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Wednesday, September 24, 2014


(Review from the artSMart team covering the 2014 Witness Hilton Arts Festival which ran at Hilton College from September 19 to 21)

May have been my first time but definitely won’t be the last! (Review by Beverley Millar)

On Saturday morning with members of my family, I headed up the hill to the Witness Hilton Arts Festival, for the first time.

We arrived before all the crowds, but the festival soon started filling up. A wonderful atmosphere could be felt as we walked around. The craft market and flea market was vast and offered an array of goods from fudge and nougat to metal garden ornaments - including a horse made from car parts.

In the marquee set aside for artists, including Coral Spencer, the artists were on hand to discuss their work and you could purchase pieces directly from the show.

I didn’t see any shows, but that doesn’t mean I never saw anything. At various venues there were performers presenting their art for the public to see, including the Hilton College Marimba band. There were various exhibitions and workshops, including a custom guitar exhibition and Ewok painting a mural on one of the school walls depicting rhinos. Project Rhino being one of the charities the festival supports.

After walking around for most of the morning we went to the Grolsch marquee to have some refreshments. The entertainment made it difficult to leave. On offer were, amongst others, Rowan Stewart, the Hilton College Jazz Band, DHS Jazz Band. I was upset that I missed Platform Jazz as they were performing on Sunday.

The highlight of the festival for me was Joey, the War Horse. What an amazing performance of puppetry. The three puppeteers controlling Joey seem to disappear because the movements and actions of the horse are so lifelike you almost start to believe he is real. There was not a person watching him that was not mesmerised.

The day just flew past so when it was time to leave there was still so much not done and not seen. This might have been my first time but it definitely won’t be the last. – Beverley Millar