Saffron Walden has become a major centre for the Arts over the last few years, beginning with the creation of the fabulous Saffron Screen in 2006 and culminating in the building of the £10 million Saffron Hall in 2013.
For a town of just over 15,000 people, to have a hugely successful cinema, a state of the art concert hall, along with music, literary and maze festivals makes Saffron Walden unique in its cultural offer.
There are also many arts based organisations in the town, such as Saffron Players, Saffron Walden Art Society, Saffron Walden Choral Society, Saffron Walden Musical Theatre Company, Saffron Dance Band, Saffron Walden Symphony Orchestra, Saffron Walden Town Band, Blue Skies Big Band, The Walden Buskers, Hyperfusion Theatre Company and Pure Rhythm to name just a few. Full details of all our local groups can be seen here.
The image at the top of this page is called ‘The Children of Calais’ and is the work of local artist Ian Wolter. It is located in Dorset House Garden, adjacent to St Mary’s Parish Church, and was unveiled on 8 June 2018 by Lord Alf Dubs.
The Children of Calais portrays six British children as refugees caught in the present migration crisis. Their poses echo Auguste Rodin’s famous the Burghers of Calais, completed in 1895.
Rodin’s solemn composition commemorates an event during the siege of Calais in 1347. The English King offered to spare the lives of the people of the city on condition that six of its burghers would surrender themselves. Although they expected to be executed, the burghers’ lives were spared by the intervention of the English queen.
The Children of Calais evokes a parallel narrative: the desperate situation of the young refugees, and the potential for humanity to yet hold sway.