Pictured is the Loughborough University Arts Festival logo.

New 10-day Arts Festival to bring top industry names to Loughborough

Renowned creatives, the history of food, poetry and an artist that once destroyed all their belongings…

Pictured is Michael Landy holding up a cut-out image.

Michael Landy.

The University will host its first arts festival next month and it promises to have something for everyone!

From 6-15 June, an exhibition, theatre performances and a number of discussions between academics and top industry names will be taking place on campus.

The ‘Loughborough University Arts Festival’ is a new multi-day event, organised by the University’s arts programme LU Arts and the School of the Arts, English and Drama, that looks to celebrate the institution’s creative arts.

The talented Michael Landy – who is best known for his possession-destroying performance piece installation Break Down (2001) and for the South London Gallery Art Bin project (2010) – will open the festival on 6 June.

Michael is a Loughborough alumnus and a member of the Young British Artists and the Royal Academy of Arts. He will be at the University discussing the ideas behind his work, and possibly his student days, with Professor of Fine Art Craig Richardson.

William Sitwell, one of Britain’s foremost food writers and a familiar face on BBC’s Masterchef, will also be joining in the festival fun on 15 June.

The Waitrose Food editor will talk about the history of food with Dr Joan Fitzpatrick, a Senior Lecturer in English at Loughborough whose research specialism is Renaissance literature and culinary culture. 

Other creatives that are to speak about their craft and careers include writer and poet Kate Rhodes, portraitist Alastair Adams and illustrator and alumna Katy Halford – the creator of Moz the Monster (John Lewis Christmas ad 2017).

A number of Loughborough alumni-led events will also take place during the festival as will performances of a comedic musical, developed by final year Drama students, that explores gender roles and gender fluidity.

The line-up also features a live Skype call with the acclaimed installation and performance artist Tania Bruguera on 11 June.

Tania will discuss what it is like being a citizen-artist with Loughborough’s Dr Gillian Whiteley, Dr Fred Dalmasso and Professor Ruth Kinna.

Her talk is accompanied by an exhibition titled ‘Re-Imagining Citizenship’ that has been jointly curated by the Politicized Practice Research Group, the Anarchist Research Group and the Theatre and Performance Research Group.

It will be on display in the Martin Hall during the festival and will showcase items from the Working Class Movement Library, Salford archive collection.

The Arts Festival also coincides with the University’s popular Arts Degree Show  (9-17 June) and Design School Degree Show (14-18 June), giving attendees the perfect opportunity to check out up and coming talent.

Nick Slater, Director of LU Arts, said: “We hope that the events and exhibitions will provide an opportunity to see or hear more about the creative activities undertaken within the School.  

“You can hear about some of the fascinating research taking place during your lunch break or join us after work for a drink and refreshments while listening to a range of inspiring speakers. 

“I would encourage attendees to combine an event with a visit to one of the exhibitions – whether that be the degree shows of the School of Arts, English and Drama and the Design School, or the Re-Imagining Citizenship exhibition in Martin Hall Exhibition Space. 

“The festival will be a visual and intellectual treat with something for everyone to enjoy.”

Professor Alison Yarrington, Dean of the School of the Arts, English and Drama, commented: “The Arts Festival celebrates the success of some of our notable alumni, offers an introduction into some of the fascinating research with which we are engaged in, and presents exhibitions and events that will enable you to explore ideas and issues within current arts practice.

“There is much to enjoy and we look forward to sharing with you the talent and diverse creative work of our School.”

Many of the events are free to attend and the festival is open to all. More information on the festival and the full event programme can be found on the dedicated website.

The programme may be subject to change. Those interested in attending should check the Festival webpage for the latest information.

Notes for editors

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Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2018 QS World University Rankings, top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey and named University of the Year in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2018.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 6th in the Guardian University League Table 2018, 7th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2019. It was also named Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.