Navigators Art & Performance teams up with York Festival of Ideas for Micklegate Art Trail and Auden night of words & music

The locations on Navigators Art & Performance’s Micklegate Art Trail for the York Festival of Ideas

YORK arts collective Navigators Art & Performance is making a double contribution to the York Festival of Ideas fortnight.

This morning marks the official launch of the Micklegate Art Trail, an innovative community engagement project, highlighted today by activities in participating venues from 11 am.

Running until June 23 at 10am to 4pm each day, the trail is a collaboration between shops, restaurants, artists, makers and community groups.

Artists taking part will be: Adele Karmazyn; Ala Jazayeri; Angela Scott; April Gibson; Brenda Christison; Caroline Lewis; Chalky the Yorkie; Chrissy Buse; Desmond Clarke; Donna Maria Taylor; Eliiot Harrison; Em Goldie; Emma Parker; Fiona Kemp; George Willmore; Hellboreia; Isabel Bullon Benito; Jude Redpath; Katie Fleming; Katie Lewis; Lara Aitken; Larrissa Guida Lock; Leon Francois Dumont; Lincoln Lightfoot and Linda Harrison.

So too are: Lisa Power; Lu Mason; Lucy Churchill; Mark Kesteven; Matthew Fawcett; Melissa Hill; Naomi Wells Smith; Nicholas ESRJ King; Nick Kobyluch; Nick Walters; Nicola Glover; Nicola Harper; Pete (The Plasterer) Baker; Phil Bixby; Poppy Burr; Richard Mackness; Rizak; Schiewe Ceramics; Simon Pagan; Sola; Steve Beadle; Susan Bradley; Tom Bennett; Tom Maynard and Zoe Phillips.

Twenty locations will be putting artists’ work in the window: The Punch Bowl, Plaskitt & Plaskitt Interior Design and Blossom Street Gallery, all Blossom Street; Bridal Relived; Brewdog; Old School Barber Shop; Holy Trinity Church; Cads of Micklegate; Skosh; The Falcon; 84 Sandwich Bar; Dannie Lea Hair & Beauty; Divine Coffee Roasters; Eliza Lamb; Hudson Moody; Oxfam Bookshop; Cafe Fleur; Fancy Dance Shop and Amnesty Bookshop, all Micklegate, and The Hooting Owl, Rougier Street.

The Micklegate Art Trail brochure

Tonight, Navigators Art & Performance turns the focus on York-poet  W H Auden at Museum Street Tavern, where York musicians, poets and performers will be gathering for An Exploration of W H Auden’s Poetry in Words, Music and Performance from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.

“Wystan Hugh Auden was born in Bootham, York, in 1907. Informed by science and engineering, his fascination with the world and its workings was expressed in a myriad of poetic forms, earning him the title the Picasso of modern poetry,” says Navigators Art & Performance.

“As well as over 400 poems of both profundity and great wit, he wrote drama, es-says, libretti, travel writing and works of criticism: a range that reflects the multi-faceted nature of human life and his own aliveness to all of it.

“Openly gay and defiantly anti-establishment, he was controversial and influential in his views on politics, morals, love, and religion, and widely recognised as a leader of the British avant-garde at a time of cultural and creative flux in Europe.

“His editor recognised him as ‘the first poet writing in English who felt at home in the 20th century. Auden died in Vienna in 1973. We hope you will make him feel at home in the 21st century too.”

In the words of W H Auden in 1927: “All genuine poetry is in a sense the formation of private spheres out of a public chaos.”

Tonight’s programme:

Introduction About York Trailblazers.

Hugh Bernays talk; Jealous Love (Auden, unpublished)

Auden’s Face (original)

Charlotte Shevchenko Knight: Night Mail (Auden)

Musée des Beaux Arts (Auden)

Ukrainian as In (original)

Richard Kitchen: O What Is That Sound (Auden)

Look, Stranger (Auden)

StreetLines:  extract 2 (original)

Anthony Vahni Capildeo (recorded material) Letters from Iceland (Auden)

Letters from Jorvik (original)

Janet Dean: 1st September 1939 (Auden)

England 2020 (original)

Three Dresses: My Mother Wonders

How I Felt About Her Death (original)

JT Welsch: Lullabye – duet with Janet Dean (Auden; guitar)

As I Walked Out One Evening (Auden; guitar).

Part Two, after 20-minute interval

Alan Gillott talk; Influence (original)

Carrieanne Vivianette: This Thing (original)

Performative interpretation of a poem by Auden (title to be revealed!)

JT Welsch: The Fall Of Rome (Auden; guitar)

Funeral Blues (Auden; guitar)

Elizabeth Chadwick Pywell: Poem XVII Auden)

If I Could Tell You (Auden)

Behold the Body Of The Moon (original)

Lower On Your Arms Reversed (original)

Richard Kitchen: Clerihews (various)

Jane Stockdale: Silent Lands (original; acapella)

If I Could Tell You (Auden; guitar)

As I Walked Out One Evening (Auden; Shruti box).

The poster artwork for The Basement Sessions #4

“The Festival of Ideas has a different theme every year and the great thing about it is that if you’re organising an event that might fit, you just contact the organisers and propose it,” says Navigators Art co-founder Richard Kitchen.

“If they like your proposal, you’re in! We did that for the first time last year and it was an amazing success, particularly our sold-out performance event, which we hope will happen again this year.

“By demand, we’re hoping to repeat the Auden event in October, when the associated York Trailblazers sculpture project will be in place at various locations in York.” Watch this space for updates.

In addition, on June 8,Navigators Art & Performance’s The Basement Sessions #4 offers a night of music, spoken word and comedy at The Basement, City Screen Picturehouse at 7pm with Percy, Amy Albright, Cai Moriarty, Danae, Suzy Bradley, Kane Bruce, Rose Drew and John Pease. 

For tickets and full festival details, visit:

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