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  • Writer's pictureMadeline Shann

SOLD OUT Upstairs at the Western plus UKYA Festival

The UK Young Artists Festival was absolutely incredible - non-stop brain nourishment with seminars from industry professionals on topics such as programming, funding and touring, galleries full of a diverse range of artwork - everything from painting, photography and sculpture to video art and installation - and incredible performances.

I was a big fan of Katherine Hall's witty and unpredictable dance theatre piece "Fill in the ", and Joe Snape's "Larmlicht #5" absolutely blew my mind. What at first feels like a lovely soundscape with a charming lightshow soon opens up and swallows you whole; minutely crafted starbursts of light and conjure random fragments of memory and accompany you as you stagger lost down your own winding neural pathways. As the piece plunges you at any second into blackness and silence you don't so much watch or listen to Joe's performance, as feel it. Even as a writer/performer/fan of music, my brain is decidedly slow and non-mathy - I might pick out a cheeky bass guitar flourish I like, but generally I just tend to respond emotionally first, ask questions later. Maybe. I'm rarely able to appreciate the full weight of both how devilishly clever a piece is and how emotionally affecting, but Joe Snape seems to have cracked it.

I performed Little Terrors in Upstairs at the Western which is a lovely venue - very kind and accommodating and a pleaure to work with. And we had a flipping FULL HOUSE! In fact they were turning people away at the door which made me feel equal parts bad and manically gleeful. The audience were wonderful, very generous, and I had a brilliant time.

Laura Boswell, Laura Evans and the team behind the festival have put together an

incredibly rich experience for the artists and festivalgoers alike. It was fantastic to see such a spread of work and to have the opportunity to connect with so many artists both within and outside of our own practice. We were very well looked after and for anyone in the vicinity and especially artists thinking of applying I can't recommend it highly enough.

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