Sunshine Project 2013 – Mottisfont Abbey from 17th to 25th August

The rains held off. The cream teas went down a treat. And over 350 flag makers, friends and helpers came along to Mottisfont Abbey, near Romsey, to see the wonderful display of almost 140 flags – a blaze of colour welcoming all!

A blaze of colour welcomes all!

This display is the culmination of many workshops throughout the Test Valley that have taken place over the last few months –

  • Over 430 elderly were involved from 27 venues and workshops including one run with 30 blind people!
  • 137 new volunteers into the community were created, many of them issued young people
  • 138 batik flags made by all the mature participants under the guidance of international artist Alex Grant


While everyone enjoys their particular workshop their is always the delight they show when seeing their flags as part of public display especially, And after not seeing their flags since they originally worked on them, the flag-makers so often marvel at the intensity of the colours they’ve used, something that  comes out after the flags are washed and ironed, and then to see their work alongside other flags makes it even more special.

Our grateful thanks go to county councilors who donated £500 each to Sunshine Project 2013 which allowed us to approach other funders such as the Arts Council for additional funding. Without that initial core show of local investment to the project we wouldn’t have been able to raise the funds required.

And our thanks also go to Alex Grant, our project artist; the Mayor of Test Valley, the Worshipful the Mayor, Councillor Janet Whiteley; and Paul Cook, general manager of Mottisfont and New Forest, seen here welcoming everyone to the opening display, for their help and support in this project.

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Anything but Plain, Darling! – Artist’s Report

Following the success of ‘Anything but Plain, Darling’, project artist Alex Grant reports in more detail the fun and hard-work for all those involved.

Artist report for the Anything but Plain, Darling! womens project

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A Gloriously Sunny Success!

The Sunshine Project 2012 was indeed a gloriously sunny success with the Cloister Gardens of Salisbury Cathedral ablaze with colour from over 120 flags designed and created by mature and elderly groups across South Wiltshire.

From the moment they were up visitors to the Cathedral were drawn to the movement of the flags with many photos being taken; imagine how far across the globe pictures of these wonderful creations must be travelling!

Photos by Laura Haskell

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Anything but Plain, Darling! at Lacock Abbey

And so the day dawned when all the wonderful flags created over the summer arrived at Lacock Abbey. They’ll be there until the 17th September so go and enjoy walking around and listening to a blaze of colour.

Click here for more details.

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More of our flags are flying in Japan

Jan and Alex of Toozalii have been kept very busy at WMDF 2012 with so many workshops, displays and parades. Here are more links showing flags from previous projects on display and making a great impression with the crowds. showing off the launch day in Motomachi Park also shows some of the designs that will be coming back to the UK for colouring in as part of an international community project.

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Big Bird thrills and trills in Japan!

Our friends from Toozalii, Jan and Alex, have just sent this latest report from the World Music and Dance Festival in Japan…
Ohiyo gozarimas to all,
Having a great time out here being escorted everywhere and fed and watered at every opportunity!
Flags look great in the festival park and very well received by the locals.
Big Bird costume stole the show at the huge street Squid Dance festival on Friday eve
Will be parading again at the festival later today
By by the noo,
Alex & Jan
Photo credit: Hideki Emoto, Glaretone Inc
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Our Sunshine Project makes the local news

Residents show their creative side

9:22am Friday 27th July 2012 in News By Elizabeth Kemble of the Salisbury Journal.

RESIDENTS at Raglan Court and Pembroke House got together to decorate batik flags during an afternoon of colour and creativity.

The group, who took part in the Sunshine Project, were helped along by Alex Grant of the Circular Arts Company.

Raglan Housing’s community initiatives officer Matt Crucefix said: “The Sunshine Project is looking to address issues of isolation, loneliness and disability through art and this is a fantastic way  of doing that.”

The flags will form part of a large installation in the Cloister Garden of Salisbury Cathedral throughout September.

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Off to Japan!

Toozalii artists Alex and Jan have recently arrived in Japan to take part in this year’s ‘World Music and Dance Festival’. They were invited to be part of the installations by working artists and will be displaying examples of work created in Circular Arts projects over the last few years.

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