Newmarket Kite Symphony Open Days: Paint Everywhere

Newmarket Kite Symphony Open Days: Paint Everywhere

The Newmarket Kite Symphony Open Days at Palace House were a lot of fun! Our new Communication Officer has written her take on the two days spent painting and making kites.

On 31 May and 1 June Market Place held open workshops in preparation for the Newmarket Kite Symphony that will take place on Saturday, 8 July 2017. We ran the sessions at the Mews of Palace House, Newmarket: the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art, a local museum nominated for the ArtFund Museum of the Year Award.

Our team consisted of Paula Wilson, artist and workshop leader, Ali Atkins, Creative Agent for Forest Heath, R.M. Sánchez-Camus, acting as our kite wrangler for the flying session, and me. Upon arrival artist Paula pinned up her huge racing silks inspired circular kite to work on throughout the two days, and we set up various stations for visitors to add to the giant community kites.

Visitors were encouraged to let their design skills run wild on the long tails; they were invited to take on a section or two of the tail and paint in their own bold designs. One family stayed for a few hours and completed an entire tail.

They were also encouraged to go into the museum to view the racing silks for a little inspiration. By the end of the two days our dedicated painters completed 3 tails for the giant kite. As you can see all ages joined in and added their own creative contributions.

There was also kite making station where our younger visitors were encouraged to make their own kites. We got an impressive display.

Our main challenge for our second day was to produce a community kite to be part of the kite symphony float during Newmarket Carnival. Before the workshops opened Paula measured the outline of a traditional kite shape and a bold pattern for the top half. During the day two dedicated young women filled in the majority of the top half. Later they, along with our younger participants who had contributed to the giant tails, made their mark on the bottom half of the giant kite. Many of them were very excited to point out their names and shapes during the carnival procession.

‘We had a great space in the Mews at Palace House, Newmarket for the Open Days, where I had a variety of fun, creative kite activities, for children of all ages to get involved. I am making an extra-large circular carnival kite, displaying designs inspired by the racing colours. Youngsters became engrossed in designing and painting vibrant sections of the tails for my kite and the outcomes look absolutely great.

On another table we were making decorated mini skewer kites and on the floor we had a community kite that children could paint a section of the design themselves and sign it.  They will be able to look out for their contributions at Newmarket carnival on the 8th July.  We had a steady day on Wednesday and a particularly busy day on Thursday with children of all ages busily joining in with the different activities.  Everyone seemed to be happy and engaged with what they were doing.’ Paula Wilson

In the afternoon participants from both days joined us on Long Hill to try out some stunt kite flying. Our expert R.M. Sánchez-Camus was on hand for teaching the core skills and guidance once the kites were in the air. The wind was up and the skies were clear, and we got an impressive display from experts and newbies alike. Some of the flyers were so impressive they were asked to join the team who will be performing for the Kite Symphony on the 8th of July. I was not invited, I crashed immediately!

We made excellent progress with the giant kite and tails and I very much enjoyed being covered in paint for two days. I want to thank everyone who joined us and added their mark to the kites, be sure to look out for them in the procession.

Make sure you join us on 8 July to see our float as part of Newmarket Carnival and then watch the first ever kite performances of Newmarket Kite Symphony in the skies over Long Hill.

For more information about Newmarket Kite Symphony please contact Ali Atkins at

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