Umbrellas – Buxton Olympic Torch Relay

Another fun project by the New Mills Group. Art groups in Buxton were asked to decorate and/or provide entertainment along the Olympic Torch route to promote Buxton. All the groups were asked to use the theme of water (Buxton water). We had a silk painting project in the pipe line which could be adapted to banners. Then the artist, Ruth Marsden, had the idea of painting umbrellas instead, which could be twirled.

We had 2 types of fabric paint, opaque and transparent, brushes and sponges, as well as working on a curved surface to experiment with on a couple of practice umbrellas which were passed round. The theme of water lead people in many exciting directions as you can see from the pictures. With a group of about 25 we had a lot of umbrellas to take.

The Group had to arrive very early and were placed by the officials near the Opera House. Over the next hour the crowds grew and grew as you can see in the video. Everyone seemed content to wait and there was a happy party atmosphere. We had a fantastic view of the torch bearers. Once passed we went over to the park to the fair for food and drink. Everyone enjoyed themselves.

The umbrellas went on to be displayed in the Buxton Art Trail and the New Mills Art Trail. We thought it was all over but no, we got invited to the awards ceremony in Buxton along with our umbrellas. We were all pictured holding one of the Olympic torches. They are heavier than you would think considering all he holes. I also got to hold and study a gold medal – what a privilege.

I thought I was joining a community art group but this is so much more, you never know where a project will lead you.


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