Hester Reeve, YMEDACA, 2014. (L–R) Joe Moore, Hand Tool Users United; Hester Reeve, the artist; Russell Hall, The Magick Lounge. Image courtesy YSP.

It all started back at the turn of the year with a call from artist Hester Reeve about Magick taking part in a major art event at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, After months of development, planning and building, it all comes to a climax at the YSP on Saturday 30 August.

On this day Hester wil  transform the YSP into an Ancient Greek university for a special one-day pop-up academy: YMEDACA.

For YMEDACA, Reeve has collaborated with ‘Guardians’ selected from seven local groups to devise a series of free events running from dawn till dusk, known as ‘liberalational manoeuvres’ and inspired by the very first university established by Plato in 5th century BC Greece.

On the day, join the West Yorkshire Astronomical Society on a walking-talking-thinking tour of YSP to discover the exact position of the planets in the heavens above; witness the scythe cutting of YSP’s Lower Lake reeds by Hand Tool Users United; and visit YSP’s Greek Temple to experience the mysterious and wondrous with The Magick Lounge.

Visitors can also navigate the Park to encounter practices and performances by the Cantabile Choral Group, The Royal British Legion, West Yorkshire Pagan Meet Up and Yorkshire Sun Society.

YMEDACA comes to a climax with a Sacrifice to Athena, at 7pm, where visitors will witness just how far the artist is prepared to go in her pursuit and devotion to wisdom and the good.

The YMEDACA academy is the culmination of a two-year residency at the Park, presented alongside two current displays by the artist – Temple of the Muses in the National Arts Education Archive (NAEA) and The Game Plan in YSP Centre’s Upper Space can be seen at YSP until 7 September 2014.

For more information about the YMEDACA events taking place on 30 August visit ysp.co.uk/events/ymedaca

Why not have a great day out at the YSP, come down to the Greek Temple during the day and meet Roger, Andy, Ashton, Tristan, Nik and myself. And maybe stay on for the evening for the ritual sacrifice!

Et in Arcadia ego. From left to right: Andy, Hester and Damon check out the location for Ymedaca's climactic event.

Et in Arcadia ego. From left to right: Andy, Hester and Damon check out the location for Ymedaca’s climactic event.

Andy and I were up at the relative crack of dawn to travel to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park to discuss a few burning issues with artist Hester Reeve and the YSP’s Damon Waldock. We needed to sort out locations for the Ymedaca events the Magick Lounge group is involved in, and agree on the route for the procession to the climactic presentation on 30 August 2014.

During the day of 30 August 'Magickal' experiences will be available to YSP visitors appropriately in and around the 'Greek Temple'.

During the day of 30 August ‘Magickal’ experiences will be available to YSP visitors appropriately in and around the ‘Greek Temple’.

Afterwards we were able to fit in a visit to the Park’s newly refurbished 18th century chapel which currently houses a stunning exhibition of works by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. The project is the first by Ai Weiwei in a British public gallery since ‘Sunflower Seeds’ at Tate Modern in 2010, and is well worth experiencing. More information here.

Sheffield ObscuraThis is a big week for magic in Sheffield! As well as the David Stone lecture here at the Lounge on Thursday, on the night before you have the rare opportunity to see performances by three of Sheffield’s leading exponents of the darker side of magic.

Roger Curzon, Mark Lund and Ashton Carter will be strutting their edgy, mysterious stuff at the Fat Cat on Wednesday 21 November. Tickets are £7 and available from goatboyreadsminds@mail.com.

So if you fancy an evening of bizarre magick and mind-reading miracles, get yourself booked. Doors creak slowly open at 7.30 p.m. and the show lurches into life at 8.00 p.m.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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A few frame-grabs from the video of Ashton Carter’s Mysteriosa presentation at The Magick Lounge.

It’s been a busy few weeks here at the Lounge with the IBM British Ring Convention and magical vistors from Germany and Canada, but more of that later. For now, a quick reminder that we are hosting an appropriately seasonal performance and lecture by Andy Cooper under his stage persona of Ashton Carter on Thursday 6 October.

Ashton will be presenting his Mysteriosa show and then talking through some of the effects and presentations. The show has been well received by audiences around the country including several nights in a London theatre and is Andy’s own take on Bizarre and Storytelling Magic.

Ashton Carter takes you on a strange journey into the paranormal and the bizarre. Blending storytelling, magic, theatre and illusion, Ashton will raise goose bumps and send shivers down your spine. Could you be the most psychic member of the audience? How do you gain entry to the most secret of secret societies? Can a bell really foretell disasters? Where did Ashton’s Great Great Aunt meet her final moments? All will be revealed by this spooky entertainer. Warning: Contains dark humour and may make you question reality!

Start time is 7.30 pm at The Magick Lounge, 82 Broad Street, Sheffield, S2 5TG.  Admission £10, but free to Sheffield Circle members.