Artists invade for Childwickbury arts festival

SUNSHINE, music and art brought the crowds to the Seventh Childwickbury Arts Fair last weekend.

Set inside the beautiful Victorian stables within the private grounds of Christiane Kubrick’s Childwickbury House, located along the Harpenden Road between St Albans and Harpenden, this event continues to grow, with more events than ever this year. Mrs Kubrick is a well-known artist who came to Childwickbury in the 1960s with her husband, the late film director Stanley Kubrick.

Spokesperson Paula Murray said: “The Fair was fantastic this year with more people than ever before. Everyone had a great time.”

Taking place over three days the Arts Fair featured painting, print making, sculpture, hat making, drumming, textiles, spray-can art, willow weaving, stone carving and many other mediums, with artists from as far as Colorado and Berlin demonstrating their techniques, and offering some work for sale.

Paintings made by Christiane and her daughter Katharina Kubrick Phelps shown within their studio space drew lots of attention.

As visitors of all ages explored the stable rooms and courtyards, they were entertained by local musicians including gypsy jazz band La Bouche Manouche, choir Global Harmony and Polly Poison performing as Katie Mason with an acoustic set.

The evenings saw two sold-out performances with The Burning Bush headlining on Friday night and Soulfish on Saturday.

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The Burning Bush presented traditional Jewish songs, music and dancing and encouraged the audience to join in and learn the dances for themselves.

Well-known soul band Soulfish sold out soon after the date was announced. The 10-piece band gave a high energy performance with hits by James Brown, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder. Paula Murray said: “It was a fantastic evening enjoyed by everyone, from children to grandparents. People buy tickets for their whole family and it was like a wedding with everyone dancing all night.”

Soulfish will also be playing at M Festival at Marlborough School this Saturday if you missed out at Childwickbury.

Inn on the Park from Verulamium Park provided barbecue food in the courtyard, with all food locally-sourced. Celia Brooks Brown, a well-known food writer, demonstrated cooking vegetarian food in the cookery theatre.

Two local primary schools visited the Fair on Friday and were encouraged to meet and talk to artists. Pupils from Windermere Primary and Grove House Infant School also had the chance to draw a shire horse from Childwickbury village. They tried African drumming, felt making and worked with French artist Gerard Ballaiche to make sculptures from recycled materials.

For another chance to visit Childwickbury House, put the dates November 27 and 28 in your diary for the annual Childwickbury Christmas Market. You will be able to buy fine art, ceramics, glass and jewellery.

Childwickbury also hold painting weekends throughout the year, taught by Christiane, Katharina and Camilla Clutterbuck. Visit for further details.