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Darlington Arts Festival

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Saturday 6 November: 10 am - 5 pm (plus wine tent and music into the evening) and

Sunday 7 November: 10 am - 4 pm

A free, weekend festival with something for every generation

Darlington 6070

Darlington is a pretty little village nestled in the Perth Hills, between Midland and Mundaring. There really is something special about it. The roads twist, rise, wind and fall around granite outcrops and ancient gum trees. Winter creeks nurture the flora and fauna through winter, ready to spring back to life in the spring. The festival weekend seems to be the turning point, where winter is banished and warm summer starts.

What started as a local fundraising arts event set up by renowned artists sometime in the 1960s has grown to a huge and entirely volunteer-run festival that spans art, entertainment, food, drink, markets, workshops and more. Every year, there is something new to discover!

Come for a few hours or be there all day! Shop 'til you drop (into the wine tent), rest up in the food area, or cool down in the art exhibitions. Get creative, be inspired, come and discover the festival way.

Artisan Markets

The Artisan markets are much loved and this year, there will be more than 130 stalls and pitches offering a plethora of wares. At DAF, we are passionate about handcrafted, artisanal products which is why we have such strict criteria for our stalls; no imported/factory-made or mass-produced goods are allowed. Items must be locally designed or made and ideally, and where possible, materials locally sourced.

Lucky for us, Perth and Perth Hills are replete with talented producers and we are excited to be hosting so many this year! You will find designer paper, hand-dyed and printed fabrics and clothing, jewellery made from silver, glass, beads, wood and more. There will also be gin tastings, Persian delights, tasty preserves and other delicious items in the providore section of the festival. Choose from artworks, leatherwork, hand-spun and woven scarves, locally made pottery, furniture fashioned from wine barrels (get in quick - this stuff sells out early), fine marri wood furniture and so much more.

With so many talented artisan stallholders on-site offering unique WA-made wares, it is a great place for Christmas gift shopping!

Your favourite food vendors will be there too. Pick up paella, or something tasty from Chocolate Chilli Pork. Go on an international journey for Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern and more. For something a little sweeter, there will be doughnuts, ice cream, and the popular cream teas on the veranda of the village hall.

 

Sustainability

With a push toward sustainability, vendors are encouraged to reduce the amount of plastic that they bring to the festival.

You can help us too. Drinking water tanks will be available at the festival, so please bring your reusable bottles and fill up for free.

Help us to recycle more. There will be special bins where you can put compostable foodstuffs, recyclable items and general rubbish.

 

Classic Cars

Darlington Dipsticks will be there with a stunning selection of automobiles, from the almost modern 1980s Citroen, through to some grand old ladies from the heyday of Jaguar, Rolls Royce, Renault, MG and more.

 

Kids Entertainment

The volunteers will have other kid-friendly events on too over near the kid's corner, with rides, face painting and more. The local Darlington Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade will have their hoses out, so young ones can pretend for a moment that they are real firefighters.

Look out and look up to see the stilt walkers - Enchanted Characters.

And while the kids play, pick up a really good sausage sizzle. Not your standard fare, these are a special German sausage made by a Darlington local and proceeds go the Darlington Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade.

 

Workshop Village

These are always a crowd-pleaser. Kids of all ages love them and parents seem more than happy to play along too. The line-up is still being finalised but will be a similar format to previous years.

This year, there will be a workshop for kids 10 and up to create a flock of birds from repurposed tetra packs. The created birds will fly all weekend from selected locations throughout the village. Look out for the potter's wheel and the gelli print workshop using found and natural materials. On Saturday morning, the traditional Maypole will be back. The workshop village is guaranteed to be end-to-end, filled with lots of sticky, mucky, tactile stuff with expert guidance and heaps of fun!

Performing Arts

It is great to be back to the big format festival again! We missed the main stage last year. Back again are the family favourites, local choirs from schools and colleges interspersed with some big names including the Hills Brass Band, Swan Harmony Singers, The Sweet Teas, Midland Dance Studio, Blues ConFusion, Trilogie +, Skelton Collective, Gypsy Lou, The Band of Missfits, Ella and Lily and Time Sherry. A detailed list will be on the festival website prior to the weekend.

If that's not enough, follow behind Junkadelic as they weave through the festival, along the historic railway reserve, and around the Sculptures on the Scarp. Find Betty Bubbles, the Morris Dancers, the Belly Dancers and along the way get your face painted like Spider-Man, Catwoman or something even more intriguing!

Art

The local talent showcased at the annual exhibitions gets better and better with each passing year - I have had a sneak peek and this year is outstanding! If you are looking to buy a piece of art, be sure to get there early because those little red dots make an early appearance. If you are looking for something small and portable? We've got it. Fancy a huge
piece of art for your stately home? You really will find it here!

 

Artist's Shop

Are you looking for a gift for the person who has everything? We may have just the thing! This year, DAF is introducing an Artist's Shop. Artists exhibiting in either the Open Art Exhibition and the Sculpture on the Scarp will also be selling additional items in the shop. These may be prints, photographs, clothing, sculptural pieces including maquettes, ceramics, cutting boards and other gorgeous artistic giftware. Make this your first stop.

 

Sculpture on the Scarp

Sculpture on the Scarp is set on the famous Railway Heritage Trail by old Darlington Station, nestled between the old Post Office and the historic Darlington Hall. Follow the trail, discover the wonders and let us know which one is your favourite. There will be a People's Choice Award, so your vote counts.

Curated this year by Graham Burge, this exhibition is in its third iteration, having taken a break last year. It has become one of the most popular elements of the festival since its inception in 2018 and is definitely back by popular demand. This year, there will be more work, bigger pieces and I am promised the exhibition will be outstanding. In the evening, the bush setting will be illuminated, bringing the space into a new dimension entirely! There may even be an acoustic ensemble nearby.

Artists you loved last time will be back this year including Claire Davenhall, Ian Kay, Vince Austin and Shanti Gelmi. We also welcome back internationally acclaimed Ron Gombok, Decade Club Artist of Sculpture by the Sea for Bondi and Cottesloe.

Some of the artists will be running workshops and sharing their knowledge.

Art Exhibitions in Darlington Hall and on the Oval

Open Arts

The highly successful Open Arts Exhibition is where DAF began all those years ago. Open Art will again be curated by Kristy Scaddan. There are four categories and all works are available to purchase. This exhibition has been attracting talented artists from far and wide and this year, there are many new names helping to keep the look fresh and exciting.

There are some spectacular entries. Perhaps it is because of its roots, but this exhibition always punches above its weight in the quality of the art. This is a real opportunity to invest or to just buy something because you love it.

Junior Art

Don't miss the Junior Art on the oval. See the seeds of great artists germinate here. For Junior Art, the theme is 'heroes'. In an unparalleled year of change and uncertainty, it will be interesting to see how the younger artists interpret who their heroes are. Expect firefighters, nurses, teachers, mums, dads and maybe Superman.

Youth Art

See those seeds grow into young artists. Youth Art is not to be missed, their talent seems to know no bounds. Youth Art is on the mezzanine floor of the Hall. Enter via the back of the hall or through the hall stage door exit. Some works are available to purchase. The array of talent on display will be dazzling. Some of 2018's work is shown below:

Start planning your Darlington Arts Festival experience today at www.darlingtonartsfestival.com. We hope to see you there!

Top Tip-leave the car at home and take the bus 321/322 from Midland Station bus stand 7. It will drop you off right next to the festival!

And ... bring your Christmas shopping list. There is every chance that you will find everything you need, in one place, on one day!

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