CREATIVITY is flowing in the Stroud district as one of the town’s biggest arts festivals gets into full swing.

The 2024 edition of Stroud Valleys Artspace’s Site Festival, which began on June 1 and lasts until June 23, offers a collection of artist-led projects, events, exhibitions and talks, as well as a directory of open studios.

The festival was set up in 1997, with the programme each year seeking to bring high-calibre exhibitions and installations to Stroud, challenge boundaries and increase awareness of diversity in the arts.

This year’s event sees more than 200 artists exhibiting and performing in exhibitions and events.

It includes work from Taqi Spateen, a Palestinian artist and fine arts graduate of the International Academy of Art Palestine in Ramallah.

He is working with artists and communities in Stroud (with SVA and the Picturedrome Theatre in Gloucester), Leeds, Glasgow, Bristol and London to create five large-scale murals.

SVA said that graffiti art is a major cultural force in Palestine and that it was excited to give Taqi a residency space.

Taqi’s local residency took place between June 1 and 5 and the murals can be visited at any time.

The festival’s open studios, meanwhile, see 76 artists open their studio doors in 32 locations in the Stroud Valleys.

These take place from June 15 to 16 from 11am to 6pm.

The open studios include artist Mat Collishaw presenting Sky Burial, an immersive audio-visual installation and meditation on life, death and humanity set to Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem.

Mat creates an ambiguous, dystopian atmosphere in which existing death rites from the East have been transposed to a Western environment.

Located within an inner-city tower block, Sky Burial suggests that some form of catastrophe may have taken place, preventing normal Western burial procedures.

Also new for 2024 is Why We Linger from the Jennifer Lauren Gallery, which supports disabled, overlooked and self-taught artists.

It features a diverse mixture of drawings, paintings, embroidery and ceramics, with viewers invited to linger over the works, observing the finer details, the delicate marks and the often-concealed messages that feature.

Viewers will see that Jennifer selects artists whose works often weave stories that evoke emotions and trigger heartfelt responses, and by lingering by each piece, the audience gets to share in these unique and informative experiences that Jennifer so treasures.

The festival also includes Bursary Artists - early-career artists who have been paired with mentors.

They include Natalie Sloan, whose work - through multimedia performance art - aims to break down shame and nurture human connection between self and others.

Another Bursary Artist is Meredith Adams, who inspired by the landscapes of Rodborough Common explores different mediums to produce wearable art.

Commenting on Site Festival 2024, artist, writer and poet Ruby Kester, who is participating in the festival for the first time, said: “The calibre and density of Stroud’s art scene is unparalleled and is at its most vibrant during the SITE Festival.

“Not limited to the heart of the town, all through the Five Valleys, artists open up their spaces to the public and it becomes once again apparent that, from the farthest-flung garden studio to the nearest spare room, we are surrounded by talent.

“This is an opportunity to explore all of Stroud and its surroundings, to meet new people, to share ideas, to buy affordable art from the source… what more could you want?”

For more information about Site Festival 2024, visit