Register for New Forest Arts Festival

The Observatory at Lymington

Published Wednesday 5 August 2015

Get involved in the New Forest Arts Festival

Save the date - New Forest Arts Festival
11 - 26 June 2016
Artists invited to register their interest

Artists and arts enthusiasts are invited to celebrate the New Forest’s landscape, culture and creative community at the New Forest Arts Festival.

Register your interest in taking part and being kept informed as the Festival develops further at:

The New Forest National Park Authority is asking artists, groups, venues and potential volunteers, sponsors and audience members to register their interest in getting involved in the Festival in June next year.

The Arts Festival is in partnership with the Hampshire Cultural Trust, New Forest District Council, SPUD, Forest Forge theatre company, the New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst, Forest Arts in New Milton, hArt, and St Barbe Museum in Lymington.

The launch of the call to artists took place at the Observatory – a temporary studio and arts installation on the sea wall at Lymington.

New Forest National Park Authority Chief Executive Alison Barnes said: ‘We are lucky to have a large creative community working in the New Forest and we would like to support them, as well as using art forms to help people gain a deeper understanding and enjoyment of different aspects of the National Park.

'So we would like to invite people to join us in celebrating the New Forest’s landscape, culture and the diversity and wealth of talent in the local arts community at the New Forest Arts Festival next year.

‘We hope that the Festival will provide an opportunity for community celebration, further developing local distinctiveness and pride in the New Forest and will encourage the grassroots as well as professional artists to get involved.’

The Festival will provide a platform under which artists and groups can promote their work to a broad audience, enabling residents and visitors to discover new aspects of the New Forest.

We welcome all art forms and events from painting, sculpture, crafts, film and photography to performance, literature, music, storytelling, talks, behind-the-scenes tours, workshops…

We are particularly interested in opportunities for people to get involved in art, and in work or events which focus on improving people’s health and wellbeing.

So whether you’re an artist, group, venue, potential volunteer or audience member, please register your interest in taking part and being kept informed as the Festival develops further at:

People who can’t wait until the Festival for a fix of all the New Forest arts community has to offer can:

  • Take part in a free sand painting workshop with Observatory artist-in-residence Katie Surridge this Friday 7 August (drop in to St Barbe’s Museum, Lymington) from 10am – 3pm. Create pictures using the 21 coloured sands from the Alum Bay and contribute to a collaborative artwork. This workshop is aimed at children and families.
  • Visit the Open Art Exhibition at the New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst until September. Over 170 artists entered this year’s competition. See a selection of the best in the New Forest Centre and nominate your People’s Prize winner. It’s the Centre’s most popular exhibition each year with around 10,000 people visiting over the summer.


Notes to Photo Editor:

Left to right: Phil Smith & Mark Drury of Observatory project charity SPUD, National Park Authority CEO Alison Barnes, Observatory architect Charlotte Knight.

For more Observatory images email

Notes to Editor:

About the Observatory

The Observatory is a sculptural installation that becomes an intervention, a space, a platform, a shelter, a look-out for a series of artist’s residencies to take place over two years. Three artists will be based at the Observatory during its six months in Lymington, with a comprehensive learning and engagement programme running alongside the residencies. This will include a breadth of school and community workshops, talks and outreach work with universities, communities and special interest groups.    

The Observatory is a project conceived by Sway-based charity SPUD and was designed through a competition won by a young team of architects at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios. It has spent six months at Winchester Planetarium before coming to Lymington and will then move on to locations in Dorset and Cornwall.

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

• Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect.
• Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

• Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Visit to find out more.

Media Contacts:
Hilary Makin, Communications Manager, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646608

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