Winter Solstice or midwinter marks a mysterious and magical pause in the year for many cultures. Its symbolic importance starts with the arrival of December and builds to a crescendo in the latter part of the month before slipping away again early into the crisp cold air of the New Year. This is a time to wonder at the power of nature and the rebirth of light as the days start to lengthen. It is a time for ritual, mysticism, myth, sacred thoughts and storytelling. It is also a time for feasting, playing and coming together, and as this year we might be denied these things, we have decided to spearhead our festival with a discussion on how art can help keep the vital momentum of human connectivity.
The first Artscapes UK Winter Festival 2020, born online out of the pandemic that has gripped our world, looks forward to 2021 with renewed optimism. The precious nature of winter has been compellingly told by artists across the millennia, and what better time than now to celebrate our cultural heritage and explore the things that draw us together as a species in this time of crisis.
As we look forward with excitement to better times, a new cycle of life begins on earth. Therefore our festival theme this year is hope. Starting on 6 December and culminating on 3 January, we are delighted to offer a series of four major live talks – each one a story in its own right – but drawn together by the power of hope.