The not-to-be-missed Victorian Festival of Christmas returns to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard next month, running for three days only from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd December 2017 (daily 10.00 am - 5.00 pm), with a stunning centrepiece trail of 12 giant nautical themed Nutcracker statues. In addition, the festival boasts a bustling Christmas Market of more than 150 stalls selling hand-crafted items and curiosities, and the chance to watch and sing along with traditional Victorian street performers and musicians, as well as lots of other exciting and fun-filled activities for all the family.
The Nutcracker trail is presented by Wild in Art in association with Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and will consist of 12 giant soldier statues, each one inspired by a nautical brief, celebrating key historical figures, ships or themes, brought to life by artists including Deven Bhurke, Donna Newman, Jess Perrin, Lois Cordelia, Megan Evans and Rachel Blackwell. Most of the statues have been painted on-site at the Dockyard. #NutcrackersOnParade
After the festival finishes, some of the sculptures will be auctioned off for NMRN, a registered charity run by the National Museums Royal Navy, while others will be displayed in the grounds of the museum at the historic royal dockyards.
Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia's Nutcracker design responds to a brief called "Poor Powder Monkeys". The so-called Powder Monkeys were yong boys (aged about 10 - 14) who were recruited into the navy in the 1800's and exploited for their small size to run and fetch gunpowder from the ship’s hold and carry it to load the artillery guns onboard warships. Their job was demanding and dangerous. Lois's design features a collection of dramatic silhouette vignettes telling the stories of the daily life of the powder monkeys. On the back of the Nutcracker, Lois has painted an evocative portrait in sepia tones based on the most famous photograph of a powder monkey, dated circa 1864.
Lois travelled to Portsmouth in November 2017 to paint her design onto a blank Nutcracker statue. Being a speed-painter, Lois completed the entire paintwork in about 8 hours.
"Poor Powder Monkeys"
Miniature #NutcrackersOnParade :-)