10th August 2017
Tuesday was an eventful day. First on the agenda was to make my way to the Storyhouse on Hunter Street in Chester, the restored and revitalised 1930s Odeon building that now houses a theatre, library, cinema and arts center.
I usually anticipate Tuesday’s at the Storyhouse, looking forward to getting my geek on at CodeUp Chester, where I expand my web development and programming skillset. Alas there was no scripting, regular expressions or sub-routines on the timetable today . . . although I excitedly lugged by laptop up the steps that brought back memories of scaling the stairs to watch Jurassic Park for the first time many moons ago.
We have been exchanging emails for the last couple of weeks, as our projects Everything Chester and UPtoday, come from a similar idea, affection for our superb city and the wish that it was easier to find out what’s going on in Chester.
Our plan was to discuss our projects in more detail, see if there is any way we can support each other’s with some good old fashioned Cestrian collaboration.
As soon as we began to chat Katrin’s passion for UPtoday and the need for an exhaustive “What’s On Chester” resource was obvious.
At times the conversation paralleled observations and frustrations that my friends have expressed. There is loads going on in Chester, but there isn’t one accessible, easy to use, comprehensive directory. Instead we have had to rely on individual venues websites, posters, word of mouth and social media pages.
UPtoday’s aim is to bring all this information together on one site, sorted by place (on a searchable map) and time (which you can scroll through). It is a collaborative approach, so apart from the creators adding events to the database they encourage people to put their own happenings on.
It is free to use and the more people add their own listings, the more useful and interesting the map becomes. The map centers on Chester, Cheshire and the Wirral as that is where the team live, however it has the potential to cover the whole of the UK and even expand worldwide.
It was agreed that I would Tweet Everything Chester’s followers to spread the word through the inter-webs and embed the UPtoday map on everythingchester.co.uk under a “What’s On Chester” section, to encourage the sites visitors to add their own events.
So now I hand over to you, check it out for things going on around Chester and the surrounding area, add a couple of happenings that you know about and tell event organisers about the map.
Next on the schedule was to wonder across the road to visit ARK at Chester Cathedral.
ARK is world class modern and contemporary sculpture exhibition, the largest of its kind to be held in the north west of England and features 90, 3D works by more than 50 internationally renowned sculptors including Damien Hirst.
Many sculptors are showing brand new pieces, whilst some of the art will emerge for public view from private collections. It is the first time these pieces have been seen together.
The sculptures are displayed against the backdrop of the magnificent interior of the cathedral - symbolic of an ark, a vessel, place of refuge or a container to protect items. The ARK Exhibition shows various ways in which the cathedral is a place of salvation and sanctuary.
I have included a couple of photos of my favourite pieces of below.
The ARK Exhibition is free to enter and is open until October 15th 2017.
Chester Cathedral isn’t the only temple of art in town. Just across the road in the old Chester Library building (Northgate Street) the Pop Art in Print Exhibition is on display.
Presented by Chester Visual Arts, it has brought together for the first time an international collection of Pop graphics featuring artists Andy Warhol, Patrick Caulfield and Roy Lichtenstein to name but three.
Like Chester Cathedral’s ARK Exhibition it is free admission, however no photography is permitted, so I am afraid I haven’t included any snaps.
Pop Art in Print explores Pop across various media including, books, posters, wallpaper, printed textiles and concludes by taking a glimpse at the legacy of Pop in the work of more recent designers and artists.
I highly recommend a visit . . . you have until October 22nd 2017.
All those vivid pop colours reminded me of Lego Chester on display in Chester market, so I wondered over to see how that ever-expanding metropolis is getting on . . . that however is a blog post for another day.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post . . . remember to check out UPtoday, both the ARK and Pop Art in Print Exhibitions are on there!