PREPARATIONS are well under way for an annual art festival, and this year the focus is on geometric configurations of symbols known as mandala.

The sixth annual T100 ‘walking, talking and making’ 12-day festival is back this year from internationally renowned arts company, Kinetika.

This year the festival is focusing on mandalas. Event bosses say the post Covid-19 world will not hamper the colourful community event.

The festival will kick-off on September 12 with a series of workshops and walks each focusing on different, important community issues, including plastic pollution and food sustainability.

Along with the help of eco-friendly warriors, Thames 21, a band of volunteers determined to protect the environment and clean up the Thames, have been fishing out plastic bottles from the estuary since last October.

It will give families the opportunity to make something spiritual in their own backyards, a sacred space which will aid meditation and propel this unique community project forward.

It will also get the community involved in social action projects to help neighbours and clean up their neighbourhoods, with litter-picking collections for mandala materials.

Special workshops will be laid on to guide families through how they create their own mandala, and be part of this ever-growing international movement.

Ali Pretty, artistic director at Kinetika, said: “It’s so important to focus on the optimism being generated by T100 Calling, especially in a time of national crisis like this.

“People are realising the importance of community and are being inspired to take part in significant local movements, such as this T100 Calling.

“We’ve all had to adapt to a ‘new normal’, and this in fact makes the whole event more powerful than ever before.

“We are not going back to the ‘old normal’, instead we’re all becoming more involved in our communities, making a difference to protect our environments while embracing an exciting ‘new normal’ which presents a unique opportunity to make a real difference to the way we choose to live our lives in future.”

For more or to get involved see http://thurrock100.com/t100-2020-overview/