Dewsbury-based global arts organisation, Manasamitra, has announced a new exhibition, Waterfall of Kites, which will take place next year at Halifax Minster. The project is part of Calderdale’s 50th anniversary ‘Year of Culture’ celebrations, CultureDale, which will run throughout 2024 and into the spring of 2025. 

Inspired by the traditional spring celebrations of kite festivals taking place across South Asia, Waterfall of Kites will inspire the communities of Calderdale with a range of activities, alongside a bespoke art installation celebrating the history, textile tradition and cultural memories of those based in the region. 

Work on the project has already begun, and community activities will be delivered from September onwards, in the lead-up to the exhibition next spring, aiming to engage Calderdale communities in the creation of the art installation, highlighting the accessibility of creativity and artistic achievement to everyone. 

Dedicated artists will deliver creative kite-making sessions to a diverse range of groups in Calderdale, responding to different cultural and creative practices. The individual kites will be displayed in the exhibition at the end of the project. 

As well as the community-made kites, Manasamitra will commission a central kite from a local artist, to represent a visual source of the ‘waterfall’ from which all the other kites will follow. 

The waterfall effect will be completed by a bespoke music and sound backdrop, which will include original pieces of work and the sounds of water in its many forms. Musicians will work with local, existing choirs, as well as developing new choirs as part of outreach work to engage people with the project.  

The whole kite installation will be designed and conceptualised by Supriya Nagarajan, CEO and founder of Manasamitra, who often works on projects that blend audio and visual sensations. 

Supriya Nagarajan, CEO and founder of Manasamitra, said: “Kite festivals are family, feel-good events, and it will be brilliant to recreate that vibrant togetherness here in West Yorkshire. We want to inspire and develop the creative skills of our local communities through an artform practised by ordinary people every year in South Asia. 

“My inspiration for this project came from taking part in the Jaipur Literature Festival, where I was able to see various beautiful styles and decorations adorning the streets. 

“Halifax Minister is an iconic building, and it will be incredible to have an art installation created by local people displayed inside it. The ‘Waterfall of Kites’ exhibition may even encourage groups to develop their own annual event in the future, engaging even more people in the arts.” 

Bobsie Robinson, cultural services manager at Calderdale Council, said: “I am delighted to be working with Manasamitra on their kite project as part of Calderdale’s Year of Culture (CultureDale). It’s important to us that CultureDale events and activities are for and with local people.  Manasamitra as an organisation shares our ethos of access and inclusion for all and I look forward to what will be an exciting addition to our programme”. 

In support of the Vision 2024 for Calderdale, the Council wants kindness to thrive in all parts of the borough, and everyone’s voices to be heard. Calderdale reached its 50th anniversary on 1 April 2024. This is the ultimate year for the Vision 2024 for Calderdale.  

The CultureDale programme features locally created events, festivals, exhibitions, performances and initiatives for everyone to enjoy from April 2024 to April 2025. It is funded by Calderdale Council, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and UK Shared Prosperity Fund. Find out more: www.culturedale.co.uk 

Manasamitra will also be partnering with the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield to work with asylum seekers and refugee groups, expanding the reach of the Waterfall of Kites project.