Holy Trinity Arts and Crafts Festival 2021 – Paradise Regained
Paradise Regained, a three-week festival at Holy Trinity Sloane Street Church, explored themes of the environment and nature through a celebratory series of arts and crafts.
Inspired by John Ruskin’s ecological philosophy, each event was intentionally crafted to help people rediscover the joy that can be found in nature.
The creative team at Holy Trinity Church wanted to put on a festival where everyone could gather and celebrate being in the community again after the isolation of lockdown.
The first week of the festival focussed on the beauty of craftsmanship and creativity. Beginning in conjunction with Open House weekend, Holy Trinity Sloane Street celebrated the arts and interior of the Church through guided tours around the building, organ recitals and talks on traditional crafts and architecture in churches.
Week two explored nature and sustainability, focussing on how communities can rise to the challenges and the opportunities of the future. The week opened with a sustainable fashion evening by Safia Minney and her students from London School of Fashion, where they colourfully explored ethical fashion.
The second week also saw a variety of online events. This included poetry readings, online art workshops and a film screening centred on the theme of Paradise.
The final week of the festival looked at horticulture, botanicals, and the power of ‘lived’ experiences of nature. This was showcased through ‘Earthworks’ a multi-generational dance work that was created as a global and personal response to how the world can heal and move on in hope.
Excitingly, during this week the festival was also able to join forces with Chelsea flower show and Chelsea in bloom week. Contributing through a Garden Café and through the ‘Walk of the Dandelion’.
“The choreographer Luke Brown had originally started on a piece two years back – exploring this theme of how dandelions are resilient and thrive in most circumstances. He felt that as people came out of lockdown, they needed to be reassured that they are resilient. So, he developed his concept of working with a puppet, community dancers and creating a workshop where everyone creates dandelions”. – Vicki Lant, Festival Co-Curator.
The walk was well attended by many children from local schools, who helped write messages of hope on the dandelions and handed them out in Sloane Square with the puppet Daniel.
“What I thought was so moving was seeing this enormous figure, Daniel, emerging from our church and carrying these beautiful messages into a community. It was extremely moving for people in a way that goes beyond words” – Fr Nicholas, Rector of Holy Trinity Sloane Street.
During the final week of the festival, a Gala music evening on an environmental choral piece was held, which included a children’s chorus from Christ Church and Holy Trinity Primary Schools, Chelsea and More House School.
More highlights from the 2021 arts and crafts festival can be found on the Instagram page.