Barnsley to host 20 tonne Jubilee sand sculpture and natural art festival

Barnsley plans to get in the Jubilee spirit with a colossal sand sculpture expertly crafted from 20 tonnes of sand.

The imposing Royal-themed sculpture, which is being kept a secret until it begins to take shape, will be made over five days in the run up to the Jubilee weekend in The Glass Works Square.

The sand will be delivered to Barnsley’s newest public square on Monday when the build by Yorkshire art company Sand in Your Eye will get underway.

The awe-inspiring work of art will develop during the week and family workshops will take place in the square on both Bank Holiday days, Thursday June 2 and Friday June 3.

Art lovers don’t have to wait until the Jubilee weekend to enjoy a creative extravaganza in Barnsley.

The town’s Twisted festival gets underway this Saturday, May 28 and runs until June 12.

The festival features giant willow sculptures alongside a host of natural art events.

Nine willow beasts will pop up around the town centre at various venues from Eldon Street to the Metrodome as part of the Fanstastical Beasts II trail. This is a continuation from last year’s successful trail and features six new beasts, including an alligator and a sphinx.  

Barnsley Council have worked with three willow weavers, Sarah Hayes, Emma Parkins and Leilah Vyner to create sculptures using sustainable materials.

On Saturday 28, the town centre stages outdoor performances from Frumptarn Guggenband and the Silkstone Green Morris Dancers.

There will be puppet and story time sessions for younger visitors and free rides on a unique cycle powered carousel from The Bewonderment Machine.

Other hands-on attractions include stone balancing, willow weaving, wooden box picture art, chalkboard painting and Mandala artwork.

Beautiful kite walkabout puppets will gracefully swoop through town and the Yarn in Tarn group, based at Spiral City in the Victorian Arcade, will decorate the centre with knitted flowers and birds.

Two new 6ft tall illustrated ‘monuments’ of the town halls of Barnsley and twin town Schwabisch Gmund will be unveiled.

Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of Barnsley’s twinning with the German city and the Mayor of Schwabisch Gmund will be a special visitor.

Barnsley Council Leader Sir Steve Houghton CBE said: “We always envisioned The Glass Works Square being at the heart of a jam-packed events programme offering free, cultural events for all the family.

“The Twisted Festival promises to be a real celebration of natural art and local craftspeople, and the Jubilee themed sand sculpture will definitely be worth a visit.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming visitors old and new to Barnsley over the next few weeks and offering a very warm welcome to our friends from Schwabisch Gmund.”

For more information about the Twisted Festival including event timings visit here.

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