Hebden Bridge Arts Festival


Festival-goers prepare to
misunderestimate George Bush

June 2 , 2006

Biting satire, stunning glass and prints by some of the country’s most famous artists are coming to the region in a trio of top-class exhibitions.

Misunderestimating the President

Misunderestimating the President is a hilarious exhibition of original work by leading political cartoonists from both the UK and the US.

“Love him or hate him, President George W Bush is God's gift to today's political cartoonists,” says Hebden Bridge Arts Festival organiser Enid Stephenson. “His many gaffes, spoonerisms and bloopers make him a prime target for cartoon satire.”

On the evening of June 29, Dr Tim Benson, who founded the Political Cartoon Society, will explore the repercussions cartoonists can face when they touch on contentious subjects. The exhibition runs at the Artsmill Gallery in Hebden Bridge from Wednesday June 28 to Sunday July 30, but is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

From cutting comedy to cutting edge glass-art, the second of the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival exhibitions is Glass by Althea Braithwaite – a Yorkshire debut for the artist.

Glass by Althea Braithwaite

Althea, who gave up her job as a publisher to concentrate on glass-making after recovering from breast cancer, says: “I love the translucency and the rainbow of colours. I cut and arrange the glass to create a pattern of colours and then fuse it in an electric kiln. I'm continually experimenting with new designs, and opening the kiln in the morning is often a great thrill.”

Alongside Althea, in the Festival Shop Gallery, Albert Street in Hebden Bridge from June 17 to July 16, is work by Royal Academicians, including Norman Ackroyd, Craigie Aitchison, Peter Blake, Eileen Cooper and Tom Phillips.

The eclectic mix of signed limited edition prints are from the Paintings in Hospital collection and will be for sale during the show.

Paintings in Hospital is a charity dedicated to improving the healthcare environment experienced by patients, staff and visitors by lend­ing original works of art to NHS hospitals and hospices.

“We’ve brought three world-class exhibitions to the region as part of the festival,” says organiser Enid Stephenson. “Much of this work can’t usually be seen outside the major cities and is a fantastic coup for the area.”

The festival opens from July 1 with two days of action-packed street entertainment and runs until July 16. Other exhibitions include textiles, photography, painting and drawing.

Paintings in Hospital

Programmes and booking forms are available from the festival office on Albert Street, Hebden Bridge or by calling 01422 842684. Details and regular news bulletins can also of course be found here at

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Saturday 1 July
Sunday 2 July
Monday 3 July
Tuesday 4 July
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