Wonder and a touch of magic for arts festival

Gabrielle Hall, Director of Lindfield Arts 2013
Gabrielle Hall, Director of Lindfield Arts 2013
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Gabrielle Hall is realistic about the task ahead of her as the director of the 2013 Lindfield Arts Festival.

“Robin’s boots are very big and hard to step into,” she said referring to last year’s director Robin Belfield who brought the giant multi-faceted and multi-coloured Luminarium to Lindfield Common.

“I want to create something equally as appealing although it will be very different. I hope it will create a little bit of wonder and a little bit of magic; it will have a big visual influence and I hope people will feel really excited when things start to go up on the Common next year.”

Lindfield Arts Festival is now in its fourth year and getting bigger, better and more established with each offering. Gabrielle takes over as the fourth director after founders Leesa Le May and Claire Fuller in 2010, Lynn Tulip in 2011 and Robin Belfield in 2012. Behind her is a committee of more than 20 people, all volunteers, who will pull together a myriad of events covering fine art, photography, sculpture, poetry, dance, theatre, music and singing and much more.

Next year’s theme is to be ‘Step into Wonderland, Adventures in Art’ with the three-day festival from May 10 to 12 focussing on imagination, fantasy and fairy tales. The committee wants to make the festival more interactive with additional workshops, opportunities to try new things, “so visitors can play as well as watch, listen and learn”.

Gabrielle, who lives in the village and previously owned a shop in the High Street, now owns and manages the Koorana Centre at the former congregational church building in Ardingly. She is also a therapist in Reiki, a spiritual mentor and runs self-development programmes. Her former shop, Heart & Soul, was one of the first business sponsors of the Lindfield Arts Festival in 2010 and since the 2011 festival she has coordinated the festival’s children’s programme. Her input last year culminated in children from special schools having their own viewing of the inflated Luminarium.

This year Gabrielle and the committee are bringing several new aspects to the festival including film, with plans for celebrity speakers, film workshops and screenings. Gabrielle said: “It is exciting and for me it is being able to work with people who are creative and quite idealistic in pulling it all together.”

Lindfield Arts Festival 2013 holds its launch evening at the Koorana Centre, Ardingly, on November 29 when invited guests and sponsors will hear about the plans and how they can get involved. Already on board is the marketing agency Bellman which has built a new website for 2013, which will be launched in December, as well as providing concept and marketing. “It has been fantastic to work with their creative team to take the festival to a new level,” Gabrielle said. The festival committee would be interested in hearing from other sponsors. Details from info@lindfieldartsfestival.com