Lewes district’s spectacular Artwave festival begins this weekend with a packed programme of top creative talent for its special 30th anniversary. 

The festival, which was first launched in 1993, this year features artwork from more than 1,000 creatives at over 180 free exhibitions including the opportunity to visit artists’ private homes as well as more unusual venues such as a windmill, farm and train station. 

Artwave 2023 runs over three weekends from Saturday, September 2, to Sunday, September 17. 

Among the highlights, the Lewes trail will see the town centre brimming with exhibitions – many in local businesses such as pubs, cafes, independent shops, coffee roasters, picture framers, florists and even the railway station. 

An imaginative new project, Windows of Wonder, has also transformed empty shop units into creative havens with stunning installations from local artists, making a landmark addition to Artwave’s 30th year and enlivening the streets of Lewes (www.windowsofwonder.co.uk).

The former Sussex Stationers building at 35 High Street features installations by Carolyn Trant, a veteran of all 30 Artwave festivals, and Emma Carlow, who has created a giant mobile from colourful objects that have been found.

Carolyn’s eye-catching work features handprinted books inspired by organic natural materials, sculpture and woodcuts, intertwined with words and poetry.

She said “I was delighted to be given the space to set up a Wonder Window, especially as it was previously a bookshop. My display is called The Little Bookshop at the End of the World.”

The Lewes Trail is sponsored by The Unity Centre (www.being-in-unity.com). 

Visitors can also follow trails through Lewes district’s rural villages, Seaford, Newhaven and Peacehaven. 

Councillor Johnny Denis, Cabinet Member for Arts, Culture and Tourism and Leisure, has paid tribute to the ‘great breadth of artistic talent’ being showcased this year which sees the biggest ever number of exhibitions for Artwave.

Festival guides are available at Lewes and Seaford Tourist Information Centres or online at www.artwavefestival.org 

Artwave is brought to you by Visit Lewes. Headline sponsor is Crane Garden Buildings, media partner is ROSA and Artwave venue boards are by Oakley Property. Other sponsors and supporters are Mayo Wynne Baxter Solicitors, Gemini Print Group, The Makers Directory, Harvey’s Brewery and Le Bureau. 

With photos of Emma Carlow (left) and Carolyn Trant (right) outside their Windows of Wonder.