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Giants are coming to the Abbey Medieval Festival

We are very excited to announce that we will be presenting a Giants Parade to celebrate our 25th anniversary; and we want to give you the chance to help us make it possible. We will be joining forces with Upatree Arts Cooperative to deliver a series of workshops on the techniques used to create these puppets, so this is your chance to get involved, get creative and have your work showcased at the Abbey Medieval Festival.

I’m sure some of you may be scratching your heads at the moment, so let us begin with: What exactly is a giant?

I’m glad you asked. To start at the beginning, giants were part of pageantry and celebration during the Medieval and Tudor eras; most famously they featured as part of the Midsummer Watch Parade in Chester from the 1400s. Guilds would band together to create these 12ft tall structures out of buckham and pasteboard that were paraded by two or more men. Unfortunately this tradition was banned in the late 1600s, but has since been revived and is part of many medieval festivals and celebrations throughout Europe today.

Giants Parade Upatree Arts Cooperative

Giants Parade
Upatree Arts Cooperative

So why host a Giants Parade? The Abbey Medieval Festival organising committee wanted to create something special and unique to mark our 25th anniversary, and thought the tradition and pageantry of a giants parade would achieve this. Combining forces with Upatree Arts to deliver these workshops is our small way of saying thank you to those who have supported us over the years.

A wonderful team of artists from Upatree Arts Cooperative will be running 6 workshops on the different phases and techniques used to create these giant puppets and you are invited to attend. Participants will get the chance to learn about screen and sun printing, collagraph, design, costuming and puppet construction.

We kick things off with a workshop on screen printing and collagraph on Saturday, 10th May from 9.00am at the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology. More information regarding this and future workshops will be posted on our website very soon.

Screenprinting workshop with Upatree Arts Cooperative

Screen printing workshop with Upatree Arts Cooperative

This is a wonderful opportunity for us to thank our supporters – give you a chance to create a special moment for this event and watch your work with pride at the 2014 Abbey Medieval Festival. We hope to see you there!

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