Labour Weekend to bring art enthusiasts to town

Labour Weekend is nearly upon us and with that is the Raglan Arts Weekend which is a free, non-ticketed event suitable for all ages. The very best artistic talent that Raglan has to offer will be opening their studio doors and inviting you in to have a sneak peek into the creative process.

There are 35 registered artists on the trail, including 9 new artists and visitors will be spoilt for choice with a diverse and engaging range of media including stone sculpture, metal work, airbrushing, mosaic art, steel forgery, surfboard carving, ceramics, taxidermy, wood furniture, fine jewellery, digital fine art, painting and photography.

Two new artists this year to keep an eye out for are photographer Paul Abbitt and painter Matt Meenagh. Paul’s photography focuses on seascapes, but he will also be exhibiting, in his home studio in central Raglan, a beautiful collection which was 10 years in the making. It comprises photographs of junior rugby players in Cambridge as youngsters, and again as young adults, photographed in a way that captures their present passion.  It aims to raise awareness of rugby as our national sport which is declining in youth numbers as children seek less physical sports.

Matt Meenagh’s work can be described as psychedelic with a touch of retro. He is drawn to patterns found in nature and he finds his work to be emotionally charged, fuelled by his surroundings and his extensive overseas travels, as well as inspired by events unfolding around him. Visitors can see Matt’s work alongside two other RAW artists at the St Peter’s Church Hall on Bow Street. These are Geraldine Burns, a longstanding RAW artist and accomplished photographer who really conveys a sense of mood and rawness in her art, and Sarah Steed, one of Raglan’s most influential jewellery designers and also a past RAW participant with a love for stone, shape and metals.

 “It’s been a hard, long slog for our artists, many who worked so hard to produce new collections for our Easter event which got postponed due to Covid, and who have had to keep coming up with the creative goods for this event!” says Nicky Brzeska, RAW’s organiser and co-ordinator for the event. “It feels like locals and visitors alike are ready to get out and do something exciting and we’re always blown away by the support for our wee community.”

 Grab a brochure from one of the shops in town or the Old School and check out the trail and what’s in store. At the Old School, you can get lots of info and see the RAW Preview Exhibition too. Most studios will be open 10am until 5pm for the three days, with some closing at 3pm. It’s a self-guided tour where visitors can walk/bike/drive around at their leisure or get shuttled to the various artists by Raglan Shuttle who will be running an organised tour over the weekend.

Raglan Arts Weekend