And at the heart of the Suffolk countryside, heavily cultivated for several millennia, stands the mighty pedunculate oak Quercus robur. It is this tree in particular, the English oak, that is an inspiration for this year’s Alde Valley Spring Festival.
For a month White House Farm is given over to exhibitions, residencies and workshops featuring the over 30 artists. This year the barns will show the bronze sculptures of Maggi Hambling, paintings by Richard Elliott, Meriel Ensom, Kate Giles, Jelly Green, Roger Hardy, Becky Munting and Tessa Newcomb, sculpture by Laurence Edwards, Jennifer Hall, Maggi Hambling, Roger Hardy, Craig Hudson and Freddy Morris, drawing and etchings by Jason Gathorne-Hardy, Sarah Pirkis and sound and video Richard Elliott.
The theme for this year is Handmade and workshops will be open to the public at weekends and Bank Holidays, with opportunities for visitors to talk to makers and buy or commission works from them. Craft practices represented in the 2017 workshop residency programme include: chair making, knife making, spinning and felt making, bronze casting, tile making, sign writing, stained glass, musical instrument making, leather work, spoon making and basketry. There will also be static displays of tree surgery and saw milling.