Greenwich + Docklands International Festival returns this summer – South London News

The Greenwich + Docklands International Festival (GDIF) 2022 opens on August 26 and runs for 17 days.

The free outdoor arts and theatre festival’s theme this year is Common Ground which organisers hope will remind visitors of the importance of shared values, rituals and togetherness.

The opening night will feature the UK premiere of SPARK, a new bio-degradable light display inspired by fireflies which will appear over Greenwich.

It’s devised by Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosgarde.

we12 p21 front ents Festival Opener 2 SPARK pic Studio Roosegaarde SMALLSPARK –  Picture: Studio Roosegaarde

Festival artistic director, Bradley Hemmings, said: “As we emerge from the pandemic, with growing economic challenges at home and terrifying events on our doorstep in Europe, I hope that this year’s festival will offer audiences a moment of sanctuary from the anxious times that we’ve been living through.

“It’s heartening that many of the incredible artists we’re working with this year are using the outdoors to offer us a glimpse of collective possibility and purpose.”

Many mosaics in towns and villages across Ukraine have been destroyed since the Russian invasion and Ukraine’s rich cultural heritage is under devastating attack.

we12 p21 front ents J1 Ukraine Bits Destroyed pic Ukrainian Institute copy smallwe12 p21 front ents J1 Ukraine Bits Destroyed pic Ukrainian Institute copy smallLeft, Ukraine Bits Destroyed – Picture: Ukrainian Institute

In response, artists in Kyiv have created UKRAINE: BITS Destroyed, which is a dazzling digital artwork, projecting large scale images of 56 monumental mosaics onto the façade of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich.

This will also be accompanied by a soundtrack and also takes place on the opening night.

Another highlight comes on September 1 when a 32ft high zoetrope called Charon which will transform the skyline around Canning Town.

This installation is by Californian artist Peter Hudson and first gained notoriety at the Burning Man festival in 2017.

we12 p21 front ents a1 Charon by Peter Hudson pic Mitzi Peirone smallwe12 p21 front ents a1 Charon by Peter Hudson pic Mitzi Peirone smallAbove, Charon by Peter Hudson – Picture: Mitzi Peirone

The machine will be mounted with skeletons and is rotated by ropes manned by volunteers.

London’s deputy mayor for culture, Justine Simons, said: “I am delighted that the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival is returning this summer, demonstrating that London continues to be a global hub for the creative industries.

“There’s a fantastic range of free events from art to theatre to dance. I’m particularly excited to see a record number of international artists, who will be celebrating the theme of Common Ground promoting togetherness and cohesion.”


Main Picture: Out of The Deep Blue- Picture: Peter Lopeman

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