Two Left Hands – 2020 Alternative Well Dressing Idea

Who are we?

We are Two Left Hands, a small group of Buxton friends inspired by the Funny Wonders carnival entry 3 years ago (they were a roller coaster). We loved the carnival as spectators but recognised that it was dominated by lorries and entries by existing groups. We wanted to inject a bit more creativity with the ethos of engaging more adults, including people not in a existing group whilst minimising our environmental impact and promenading. 

The majority of what we use is recycled or recyclable. So 2 years ago we built giant puppets and smaller ones to parade. We did the same last year but with a grant from Derbyshire Action Grants, we were able to open our work out to the wider community. We have another grant to do the same this year but of course, there is no carnival to make for. We have over 130 followers on Facebook, many of whom are willing and able creative people of all backgrounds and ages.

Here is a little video from last year commissioned by our friends at Stone and Water

The idea

Owing to the Covid-19 situation we have lost our focus to create big puppets but we had an idea! Our theme for carnival this year was ‘Heart  of the Community’ and we’d like to keep that idea going but just change the outlet.

As the Well Dressing festival is sadly cancelled, we thought our keen, creative types may want to make an alternative well dressing trail through town. Using things they have around the house people could make a well dressing style picture from paper, paint, petals, beads, fabric. Whatever they fancy! When it comes to the normal well dressing week in early July we can ask them to hang them in their windows or gardens (weather dependent). This can make an informal trail, rather like the flower pot men. 

We are working on some ideas to get people inspired. I have attached an unfinished sample using paper collage (mostly a Pure magazine) and paint. Our friends at Stone and Water have offered that their artists will create a couple of videos for more ideas. 

We would also like to create a bigger well dressing on fabric panels to perhaps hang somewhere prominent in town. Perhaps at/near one of the wells? We were thinking we could cut the fabric into panels and distribute to people to make their section and then we could sew them up. This is possibly a bit ambitious but I think this is something to keep in mind for now and keep an eye on what happens with lockdown. 

The last thing we had thought of was thinking about how we document this rare well dressing, it would be a shame for it to get lost amongst all the dross on social media. Perhaps your volunteers/committee have some ideas about that. 

I hope this gives you enough info to get in touch with your volunteers. I am happy to be contacted directly by email.

People can also follow or message us on our Facebook page @twolefthandsbuxton

I am going to start warming up some of our super keen supporters but I think an early to mid-June public launch gives people a few weeks to do something without thinking it’s too far in the future and forget! 

With best wishes

Gillian Wright