The Alexandra Thyme Festival, held in November, in Pioneer Park, Alexandra, is a week which celebrates the arts and sustainability with the theme of Cherishing our Environment. That theme is reflected in the week long workshops, working artists, demonstrations, walks, talks, performances and exhibitions. On the final Sunday there is market day featuring ‘sustainable alley’, a young people’s ‘Talent Time’ and other activities to end our salute to Central Otago’s unique environment.
The event is held at this time of year, not just because the thyme is in flower. It is a time of seasonal change, a time when people in our community have the time to get together and learn from each other. It is a time when we can reflect on the effects of human intervention on our surroundings and question the need for action. Ironically, humans introduced the wild thyme which surrounds us, on the hills around Alexandra.
The theme enables learning discussions and skill sharing in diverse genres and across age, social and cultural fields. The weather is usually fine for the week. The events and workshops are well supported and include a variety of new workshops related to the arts and the environment each year.
The artists who choose to be with us over the week give some thought to their own relationship to their surroundings and with their materials. They willingly share their thoughts with all who visit and watch their works evolve. There are challenges for artists and community alike. The conversations between the artists and the observers become a source of powerful learning and awareness.
The Thyme Festival is a community driven event. Whilst most activities are low key, all are planned with a particular need/ interest group in mind. Coverage is generally, arts, environment and sustainability. Interaction between schools and the community is a feature.
Why don’t you join us this year?