Rice straw magic at Wara Art Festival

Picture: Tourism WA

August 24 (TravelAndy): If you’ve never heard of Wara Art, that is all about to change.  While some rural communities have their scarecrows and The York Festival has its sculpture competition the Hay Bale Challenge, Japan has Wara Art – a spectacular example of a highly creative use of straw.

Wara (rice straw) Art was developed as a way of finding a creative use of the excess straw leftover at the end of the rice harvest.  Once used to make things like tatami mats, rice straw has been replaced by modern synthetic materials, leaving farmers with an abundance of straw.

The resulting sculptures spawned a new art practice and Wara Art Festivals are now held each year throughout Japan.  For the  first time, Wara Art is leaving Asia and coming to York where we will create our own spectacular straw sculptures.

Akira Moriya, a veteran of around twenty wara art sculptures, will be travelling to York to oversee the construction of three representations of endangered Australian fauna, made using locally sourced wheat straw.

The straw sculptures will be installed throughout York’s town centre and The York Festival extends an invitation to artists and anyone interested in volunteering to help in their construction.  All you need to do is find a day or two to spare between 26th August and September 30th.


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