When we first thought of a travelling exhibition, the main idea was to use it to gather memorabilia, like casting a net. Now that the flow of incoming memorabilia seems to have slowed down quite a bit and after a winter of exhibition inactivity with funds at an all time low, there was a general feeling of “why are we doing this, what’s the point?”
Within the first hour of opening the yurt at this year’s Weird and Wonderful Wood Fair, the answer came embedded in the reaction of our first visitor: “Please don’t stop. What you are doing is so important to us, it means such a lot..“ And so we were plainly reminded of the main thing that now keeps us attending these events, so easy to forget in the winter months.
It’s difficult to pin down exactly what it is that makes people react in such a way. It’s not just simple nostalgia, a remembrance of lost youth or suchlike. It seems to go deeper than that. It’s more like a re-connection or a validation that those times actually happened. A period where people, given the opportunity, just simply worked together for a common good, or a commonly good time, whichever you choose…
Somehow we have become a sort of mobile collective memory bank, reassuring and reminding us that humans are capable of collectively producing something without thought for gain and a touchstone for something real. Something that’s not so possible in these proscribed days of health and safety and draconian licensing laws.
Anyway enough of that, back to the Weird and Wonderful.The weather was kind, as it always seems to be, attendance was high and the atmosphere relaxed and genial..what more could you ask for?
The exhibitors were, as always, diverse and interesting with the beautiful Haughley Park location dotted with artworks and theatre performers.
So thanks to Tarby and her crew for inviting us once more to share at such a lovely event.