T100 Calling: When the going gets tough, T100 gets going

  • thehaveringdaily.co.uk

Kinetika’s flagship walking, talking and making festival moves online for everyone to enjoy and participate

Since March and the first lockdown disrupted plans for the T100 Walking, Talking and Making Festival, Kinetika’s Artistic Director Ali Pretty and her team have worked hard to be creative and offer people different and safe ways to engage and join in with the festival. The festival was postponed from July to September and during that time, Kinetika artists have been connecting with groups across Thurrock and further afield including Kolkata and Marseilles to inspire and encourage people to get creative.  In May, the company produced a mandala pack to download from its website which offered ideas, inspiration and guidance on making mandalas in any space and from any items available. Now the new restrictions have again affected the walking element of the festival but once again, the artists have moved their activity online for everyone to get involved.  

Kinetika marked the start of T100 Calling on Saturday 12 September with an event at the High House Production Park in Purfleet-on-Thames. The invited audience were treated to a preview of the T100 exhibition which celebrates the first five years of the festival, music from Mat Bacon and helped in the creation of the first of the T100 Calling mandalas made from fresh produce gathered from local allotments.

Ali Pretty said “It was very moving to invite a limited audience to this discrete event. Our original 2015 walk leader Peter Woodard returned to see how much we have developed over the last five years. By interacting in our small groups of six, we were able to have more meaningful conversations about the importance of bringing communities together in this way. I’m looking forward to seeing their creativity and resilience over the coming two weeks.”

The Royal Opera House has its set and scenery production base at the High House and Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House said: “I was delighted to attend the launch of this year’s T100 Festival at the High House Production Park. Now in its sixth year, the T100 festival is a wonderful moment where creativity story-telling and the community takes centre stage, and I am hugely looking forward to seeing these celebrated in the days and weeks ahead as a tonic for these hugely challenging times.”

On 13th September, Kinetika artists were busy on beaches in Shoeburyness and Westcliff making mandalas from shells, driftwood and seaweed. These followed the theme of Tide Turning as T100 Calling asks participants to reflect on how to change behaviours and respond to the climate crisis.   

During the festival mandalas that have been designed by local artists working with community groups will be created at a specific locations around the borough, each one with a special theme. These will be shared online and inspire people at home to make their own mandala following these themes and then share on facebook, twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #T100calling. Bubbles of six can get involved at home, in a local green space, in a garden and with their community. Ali said “Let’s see how creative Thurrock can be to keep us going through these challenging times.”

The themes are:

Saturday 19 September: SPRING CLEAN: AT HOME

Recycling, cleaning up the environment, collecting plastic from the Thames, the beaches and the foreshore. Recycle it into a beautiful mandala. What are the alternatives to plastic?

Sunday 20 September – MAKE DO AND MEND: AT HOME

Upcycling, turning broken things into beautiful things. Carve out some time at home to create a space to get creative with ceramics, glass or other neglected items.


Wear someone else’s shoes for the day, what does it feel like?Take a favourite pair of shoes and share stories with family or friends, reflecting on journeys travelled on foot, then design a shoe mandala. What happens when walking?


Creativity, wellbeing and mindfulness can make dreams come true! Have fun and think about what other materials Kinetika could use for mandalas by sharing the things that matter.

Saturday 26 September – RENEWAL: IN YOUR GARDEN/STREET

Turning landfill into a community park, where insects and wildlife can thrive again. Make a mandala to create a natural habitat in your garden.


Sustainable communities, honw grown vegetables and plants, foraging, living a healthy lifestyle. Make a mandala from local produce or home grown food. Plant seeds for the future and share dreams for a world that is changing.  

All the walks from the last five years of T100 festivals are to be found on the T100 website and can be walked at any time. This is a great resource for anyne wanting to get out and about to discover Thurrock and includes walks in Southend on Sea and over in Kenttoo. 

Find out about creating mandalas and see the mandala gallery on the T100 website. http://thurrock100.com/may-mandala-gallery/

Kinetika is also working with Thurrock CVS and Our Road to create mandalas in streets across Thurrock. To get involved contact  volunteer@ngagethurrock.org.uk

T100 Calling is made possible by the generous support Arts Council England, Thurrock council and 

The National Lottery Community Fund.  

This year T100 is proud to be part of the Totally Thames Festival. To find out more about the festival’s programme please go to https://thamesfestivaltrust.org/



More details about T100 Calling







@thamesfesttrust (Twitter




T100 – the first five years exhibition

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