From 15-24 September 2023, you can experience performances, workshops, installations, parades and more at five sites in Dorset. Featuring international, UK and local South West artists, Inside Out Dorset 2023 will mount two World Premieres and five UK Premieres. We’ve been running this festival since 2007 and in September 2021 it attracted over 28,000 people.
Moors Valley Country Park and Forest
The climate emergency sits at the heart of events at Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, managed by Forestry England and Dorset Council. This 800-acre site caters for visitors of all ages and will see spectacular art installed through the site. Two of the pieces that visitors will encounter at Moors Valley are created by Artmusic founder Helen Ottaway. Installations Lachrymae and Saeflod will adorn the woodland canopy creating an immersive site-specific accompaniment to every visit. In 2014 Helen’s Lachrymae was commissioned by Inside Out Dorset and Dorset AONB to be presented on the South Dorset Ridgeway. Such was the success of the piece, she has been asked to present it again at this year’s festival. For the new commission, Saeflod, Helen collaborates with a graduating student from Arts University Bournemouth.
Poole and Wimborne
Another festival highlight, the unique Serving Sounds from The Working Boys Club will perform at the festival’s Poole and Wimborne sites, which focuses on circus acts and international talent. This multi-sensory sound installation creates connection through music. The installation is an interactive work, playful and joyful with spaces for up to four people of all ages to interact with the bar at any one time, each experience lasting up to the length of a song. The Working Boys Club is made up of identical twins Jason and Adam Dupree, who make and create work by mixing their experience in the arts with their past lives as tradesmen.
The festival’s Wild Woodbury site at Bere Regis will welcome visitors to enjoy varied programming including workshops, talks and local food vendors for a festival feel. The site, which is owned by Dorset Wildlife Trust, is undergoing a process of rewilding and will provide a unique location for Inside Out Dorset to work alongside Dorset Wildlife Trust and Dorset AONB. One element of the Wild Woodbury programme comes from French artists De Chair et d’Os, who create site-specific projects. They will present Five Seasons, a piece about rituals and our connection to the earth.
The finale weekend of Inside Out Dorset will see a spectacular parade of light and music weave through Weymouth led by Transe Express’ Poupées Géantes. Three giant dolls will glide magically through the crowd, with the voices of three opera singers transforming the street into an opera house. The singers will perform beloved classical pieces by composers such as Bizet, Mozart and Verdi, their beautiful voices contrasting with the rhythmic backing from Les Tambours that creates a powerful sound combining percussive traditions from around the world.
Co-Artistic Directors Kate Wood and Bill Gee comment, “Bringing great art and audiences to some of Dorset’s most remarkable rural and urban locations is at the heart of the Inside Out Dorset festival. This year’s programme showcases a diverse mix of exceptional UK and international artists and the unique work they have created – from Dorset-based twins, The Working Boys Club, to the Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band all the way from India, we hope to create a sense of coming together, reflecting on the importance of protecting our environment and appreciating the beautiful Dorset landscape.”
For more information about this year’s festival, please visit the Inside Out Dorset webpage.
Image: Bainana, Le G. Bistaki, due to perform in Bere Regis as part of Inside Out Dorset 2023 ©GregoireEdouard