Torbay Culture is looking for sewing enthusiasts, ‘human seahorses’ and people to wear grass costumes during (extra)ordinary – ten days of performances, events and activities offering fresh perspectives on Torbay’s unusual places and spaces.
Two Grass Men will be visiting Torbay in June, and artist Ashley Peevor is looking for two local people to wear the costumes.
Through a series of workshops with local people, costumes are being grown, shaped and designed specially for the event, when the performers will appear in Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. Part-sculpture and part-performance, the Grass Men event explores the connection we have with nature and the green spaces in our urban environment.
Sewing enthusiasts of all ages are also invited to be part of (extra)ordinary for Fabric of Home, a mass sewing project inspired by the invention of the domestic sewing machine by Isaac Singer. The event will take place in the gardens of Oldway Mansion, the former home of the Singer Family. A multitude of makers, working alongside artist Amy Pitt, will create a miniature handmade landscape of Torbay. The sewn landscape will map the homes, roots, dreams, memories and everyday lives of people living in and visiting Torbay. For those wishing to take part, there will be sewing machines to use – treadle, hand-crank and electric versions. There will also be activities for families and creatives of all ages.
Artist Shelley Castle is looking for ‘human seahorses’ to join The Offering. Inspired by Torbay’s rare seahorses, a procession will walk through the streets of Torquay down to the sea, led by the wearer of a specially created cape, embellished with images of local marine wildlife. Dancers will create a new tango inspired by the courting dance of the Short-Snouted and Spiny Seahorses, and wild swimmers will continue the procession into the water.
Human Seahorse volunteers, with dramatic make-up reflecting the colours of Torbay’s seahorses, will join the procession, flanking a wooden representation of a 19th century Brixham fishing vessel made by members of The Shed, a community workshop in Torquay.
Creative Director, Nathalie Palin said:
“Artists and communities are coming together to make really special things happen for (extra)ordinary. There are all sorts of ways that local people can take part – as audiences at the events, creating elements themselves, supporting behind the scenes, in costume, or as performers. All the events are free and with so much variety, we hope there will be something for everyone to enjoy. It’s a fantastic opportunity for people to come and celebrate this very special place.”