Penfest 2017: the fabulous Finale !

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by Jackie McDonald

With PENFEST now over there is time to sit back, draw breath and assess the week.

It was a very busy week with many highlights. The Festival Concert on the last Saturday was truly memorable. It opened with Beeslack High School Jazz Orchestra and the youngsters led by Graham McDonald really put their all into the performance. I am sure there were some very proud parents in the audience. The demonstration of Bhangra Dance was an energetic and captivating interlude but it was the star turn, Christine Bovill who bowled the audience over from her very first note. Her voice is perfect for chanson and her rendition of Brel and Piaf songs was so powerful the audience was totally involved from the outset. She earned a standing ovation at the end which was well deserved. Christine was splendidly accompanied by Pianist Jennifer Redmond.

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Bhangra Band Edinburgh

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Beeslack Jazz Band

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Christine – Coming Home

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Christine Bovill

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Christine Bovill-Piaf

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Christine Bovill-dacapo

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But before the Festival Concert,  on the Wednesday evening,  we had listened to Kate Downie’s lecture “The Art of Crossing” about her fascination with the Forth crossings. Kate was an articulate speaker. For the artists present it was an inspiring talk and everybody could marvel at her dedication and enjoy the images.

The Folk Club, Tyne and Esk Writers Group, the Community Choir and ArtSparks Children’s Art Group all participated in the Festival. We would really like to build on this base and involve more of the creative groups active in Penicuik and District and build on the success of the Festival.

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Finally the Penicuik Turner Prize closed on Sunday afternoon with the judging and announcing the winner of the People’s Choice. The exhibition has been particularly successful this year with nearly 300 visitors in the week and 270 votes cast for the People’s Choice. Sales were up on previous years encouraged by the “bargain box” – all items of original art cost £15 or less making it even more affordable for anybody to own their own artwork. The worthy winner of the Penicuik Turner Prize this year was Nancy Bryce for her large painting of grasses in moonlight and the winner of the People’s Choice was firs time exhibitor Michele Catto for her painting “DIRTY WINDAES” Michele has been attending the art classes run by Gillian Westland in the Glencorse Centre and we certainly hope to see more of her work in the future.

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The art work also inspired a group of writers to hold an impromptu writing work shop using the art works as the starting point for poems. The poetry and pictured together were quite beautiful. Perhaps next year we can try a writing work shop early in the week so that the poems can be displayed with the art work throughout the week and what about writing equivalent to the Penicuik Turner? Put on your thinking caps and come up with an idea. We would love to hear it.

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Our next blog will be devoted to sharing more of the “Inspired by Art” 2017 impromptu writing venture. Watch this space !

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There were of course many more activities. The popular Open Studios Art Trail was open both weekends and the Poetry and Music event in Rosslyn Chapel was a sell-out.The three poets reading from their own work were Finola Scott, Marjorie Gill and Henry Marsh. The Miguda String Quartet played Mozart String Quartet in B flat Major , K458. The Huntsman.

It will soon be time to plan for 2018. If anybody out there would like to help please contact the PCAA

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(flowers for Jackie for keeping the Penfest tradition growing and flowing once again!)


Penfest 2017 – towards the finale weekend!

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” type=”full_width” text_align=”left”][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Penfest 2017 is approaching the final splendid shows of a very successful Arts Festival Week in Penicuik.

We hope you have enjoyed yourselves and are – like we – are feeling proud of being part of such a creative community in Penicuik. Scroll down thes page for reports and gallery of the first part of #penfest2017.

Two more splendid events are awaiting you: Poetry and Music in Rosslyn Chapel tonight (see more here) and tomorrow night in Penicuik Townhall the Festival Concert with Christine Bovill, Edinburgh Bangra Band, and Beeslack Jazz (see more here).

Tomorrow afternoon a new wee event popped up at West Street : “Riding the Waves of Inspiration”, creative writing and listening with a difference.  for all ages from 7 yrs + 3.30pm  – 5pm. (See more here)

Then there is the Studio Trail and other Art on show in town all weekend (see here) and the Annual Art Show Award giving (see here). The last event of #penfest2017 is the film in the Townhall on Sunday night (see here).[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner row_type=”row” type=”full_width” text_align=”left” css_animation=””][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”18294″ alignment=”center” onclick=”img_link_large” qode_css_animation=””][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”18289″ alignment=”center” onclick=”img_link_large” qode_css_animation=””][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_separator type=”normal”][vc_row_inner row_type=”row” type=”full_width” text_align=”left” css_animation=””][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18413″ alignment=”center” onclick=”img_link_large” qode_css_animation=””][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18340″ alignment=”center” onclick=”img_link_large” qode_css_animation=””][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18412″ qode_css_animation=””][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_separator type=”normal”][vc_column_text]

Slides show

Highlights from the past 6 days:


click on each slide show below to enlarge it

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click on each image to take you to the events page

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”16566″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” qode_css_animation=”” title=”Poetry and Music in Rosslyn Chapel” link=””][vc_single_image image=”18258″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” qode_css_animation=”” title=”Festival Concert with Christine Bovill” link=””][vc_single_image image=”18084″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” qode_css_animation=”” title=”Turner Prize and People’s Choice” link=””][vc_separator type=”normal”][vc_row_inner row_type=”row” type=”full_width” text_align=”left” css_animation=””][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]The Cheviot, the Stag, and the Black Black Oil is a play written in the 1970s by the popular Liverpudlian playwright John McGrath. From 1973, beginning at a venue in Aberdeen (Aberdeen Arts Centre),[1] it was performed in a touring  Scotland production in community centres, and in that in Penicuik Townhall, by 7:84 and other community theatre groups. The film on show in the townhall on Sunday 7.30 pm is television version directed by John Mackenzie was broadcast on 6 June 1974 by the BBC as part of the Play for Today series.
The Drama documentary is dealing with the exploitation of the Scottish people throughout history, from the brutal evictions of the Highland crofters by landowners to make way for the more economically viable Cheviot sheep in the 18th century, the development of stag hunts in Highland game parks in the 19th century and finally the exploitation of resources during the oil boom of the 1970’s.

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Click here to read Part 1 of the Penfest 2017 Reports by Jackie McDonald, PCAA Chair

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We would love to hear your feedback, in person, via social media or as a comment below this post.

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