The Festival of Cats opens tomorrow (March 25) featuring a series of exhibitions, workshops and events in and around Margate.
The feline themed festival started from a love of T.S.Eliot’s book of poetry – “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’ and much like the book, the event celebrates the psychology, sociology and whimsy of cats.
Festival creators Jemma Channing and Helen Pitman have been overwhelmed with the response and invite everyone to come and enjoy a celebration of our feline friends.
Jemma said: “We have over 150 pieces of work by artists from all over the UK and overseas! It’s been fantastic to see the diversity of work from artists as young as 4 years old.”
Special guest artist Emily Firmin, of Total Pap and co-star of Bagpuss, has kindly loaned the Festival an original Bagpuss illustration to be shown during the exhibition and will adorn The Margate School window with her, and fellow artist Justin Mitchell, incredible Papier-mâché cats. In addition, Emily’s meowing cat will wear the Ukrainian colours with 50% of profits from its sale going to the relief fund.
The Exhibition, The Margate School, 25th to 27th March, 11am-5pm
The 2022 Festival starts with the opening of the main exhibition, at The Margate School, where over 250 works of art were submitted from across the UK and even some from overseas. Works include paintings, prints, sculptures, tapestry, illustrations, film and much more! The exhibition is free and open to the public, 31-33 High Street, Margate, CT9 1DX
Organisers are limiting the number of visitors for the first hour of each day 10am-11am, so that people can enjoy the exhibition in quieter surroundings. Audio will be through headphones only. The relaxed sessions can be useful for neurodivergent people or those with sensory processing conditions, as well as those who simply prefer to enjoy art work in quiet, relaxed spaces.
The Cat Inside – Curator’s Tour at The Margate School, 26th March, 11-12 noon
A free guided tour of the flagship exhibition where you’ll hear about how artists T.S.Eliot and Louis Wain inspired the festival, and get to know some of the artworks in more detail. SOLD OUT
A special British Sign Language tour is available from 12noon-1pm. No need to book, just turn up on the day!
Make your own cat mask – kids workshop at The Oval, 26th March, 10am-12 noon
Join the fabulous artist Natascha Maksimovic for this free children’s workshop where you’ll make your own marbled cat mask to take home and keep!
Register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/275501541527
Caturday at the Palace Cinema, 26th March, 4pm
The Palace is delighted to be taking part in this year’s Festival of Cats. Come and watch The Electrical Life of Louis Wain and join Charlotte Wilde the professional trainer and supplier of cats for the film for a Q&A.
Pussies Cabaret at Arts Club, 26th March, 8pm
Arts Clubs is hosting a very queer cat cabaret featuring drag performances, costume competitions and a cat walk. Featuring performances from Shelly Grotto, Casey Sea, Cesar Jentley, Andrés- Éslowly, Pamela Handmeyourson and Tivoli Lady Gardens.
Tickets here: https://www.outsavvy.com/event/8355/pussies-cabaret
Sunday Cat Chats, 27th March, 3-4pm
Come and listen to some stories and poems about cats and watch some of the film entries! A purrfect Sunday session that is open to everyone at The Margate School. Free, no bookings required.