My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Ruthin International Arts Festival announces programme for its inaugural festival

Image: Candle Stick - Anne Bean

Ruthin International Arts Festival will bring International and Welsh artists to the small town of Ruthin in North Wales – with free, outdoor, and community performances held from 28 June.

The festival will see both established and emerging International, UK and Welsh artists and poets in attendance, including Anne Bean and Ansuman Biswas; Yue Minjun; W.N. Herbert; Sean O’Brien; Richard DeDomenici; Tomasz Szrama; and Adam E. Holton.

Running from 28 June – 28 July 2024, the inaugural Ruthin International Arts Festival is set to take place in the historic rural town of Ruthin in North Wales – a stunning, expertly curated new addition to the existing international art landscape, including work from acclaimed artists and poets Anne Bean, Yang Lian, Sean O’Brien, and more, centred around the theme of ‘Elsewhere’.

Directed by distinguished Beijing-based poet Yu Er, curated by Cheng Xi, supported by Ruthin Global Arts and Education Foundation, this brand-new arts festival comprises a Seven Day Live Programme (28 June – 4 July) of breathtaking multidisciplinary art, film, poetry, exhibition, and performance-based work. This will be followed by weekly film screenings and panels, open mic performance nights, and workshops, all running locally until 28 July.

Hosted in and around historic Ruthin locations such as Ruthin Castle, the Ruthin International Arts Festival explores and conceptualises seven themes across seven days: Liveness, Intervention, Serendipity, Togetherness, Diaspora, Vision, andGood Night, followed afterwards by a 4 week series of weekly screenings, film panels, and local workshops.

Exploring and honouring Ruthin’s history, community, landscape, and ecology, the Ruthin International Arts Festival will offer site-specific creative responses and experiences that resonate uniquely with the historic town through a rich artistic lens – spanning performance art, installation, movement and dance work, music and sound, and, participatory and community works, and film. Seeking to platform Welsh artists and solidify rural towns as international artistic hubs, the festival will also hold a series of local artist Open Calls centred around the diaspora of the Welsh language and the chance to build an at-home poetry exhibition.

Highlights to look forward to include a site-specific intervention from artist Richard DeDominici; Anne Bean and Ansuman Biswas’ experimental sonic performance; live poetry readings from Yang Lian, W.N. Herbert, Sean O’Brien, Yu Er and Meier; a brand-new installation commission from Yue Minjun; swedish artist Vida Vojic’sdrumming ritual; a cross-disciplinary collaboration between visual artist Li Li Ren and musician W.H.Y; music from Blanc Sceol performing on self-built instruments; and performances and a sound walk from Welsh-born electronic musician Andrej Bako.

Socially-engaged community projects will include public typist Adam E. Holton; Tomasz Szrama’s participatory performance art; a poetry workshop from Conwy-based Glyn Edwards; and Zhu Tian’s participatory dance piece. The festival will also showcase film and moving image from international filmmakers including Holly Slingsby, Nariman Massoumi and Dan Horrigan; screenings of films by renowned Chinese directors Jia Zhangke, Ning Hao, Wang Xiaoshuai, and Zhang Yuan, bringing world class international cinema to North Wales.

In advance of the Ruthin International Arts Festival, Ruthin Global Arts and Education Foundation has partnered with the Y Arts Centre to support the Y Talent Award, which will see ten prize winners aged 13 – 18 exhibit their work at Ruthin School as part of the festival, as well as undertaking a ten-day Art Residency in the ‘Twelve Behind’ retreat in Guizhou (valued at £5000). One Grand Prize Winner will also receive a cash award of £5000, in addition to the Art Residency and exhibition. The deadline for submissions is Sunday 12 May.

The festival will integrate a beautiful range of artistic expressions into the existing fabric of Ruthin and create a vibrant ecosystem of artistic ideas in the process: a space where international artists can bring and plant their unique artistic ‘seeds’, encouraging conversation between Welsh and international cultures, and collaboration between humanity and nature.