Our 2015 Art Auction took place on Friday 6th March in the ballroom of The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny. This biennial event raises money for our community projects with vulnerable groups and individuals, show-cases the talents of leading contemporary artists in Wales, as well as being a lively and fun evening for our guests. Please scroll down to view artworks that are still available to purchase.
This year the auction raised £15,000 towards ‘Caban’, our new community project focused on teenagers and mental health. We will use writing, drawing and making to help improve the wellbeing of young people. Our pilot projects have demonstrated strong evidence that arts participation helps improve quality of life and we are now working closely with local mental health services to extend provision. Click here for short films from the pilot project of Caban.
The 2015 auction was dedicated to the memory of sculptor Catharine Marr-Johnson, former trustee and Patron of our Children and Young People’s programme, who sadly died in May 2014. Catharine continued to be an inspiration in the way she continued to draw, paint and create despite the increasing physical challenges presented by a diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease.
Should you have any questions about any aspect of the event, or would like to know more about our community work, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Justine Wheatley, Director
Tel: 01873 811579
(Images above from art auction 2015. Photo credit: Toril Brancher)
The auction is a unique opportunity to purchase original paintings and prints, by selected contemporary artists, in association with our art partners, Five Ways Art and The Art Shop Abergavenny. Edward Chetwynd (www.chetwyndantiques.com) was our event auctioneer, who’s lively and relaxed style added to the enjoyment of the event. Art handling and auction floor management is provided by our colleagues at Art Works Exhibition Services.
John won an Olivier award for his design for Humperdink’s fairy tale opera and with its 2015 revival at WNO, (www.wno.org.uk/event/hansel-gretel) we are thrilled to have the original 1998 painting. The production, directed by Richard Jones, drew widespread critical acclaim and the Jones/Macfarlane partnership went on to create another award-winning production for WNO with Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades.
Guide Price £1,750 – £2,000
13″ x 17.5″
As part of PEAK, Axisweb’s Alicia Miller, responds to a Curator Visit to the Black Mountains, meeting selected artists in studios and venues across the region.
24th September 2014
Arts Alive Wales’ new PEAK programme gives valuable support to artists working in the Black Mountains, helping to better network them with arts professionals and the wider artistic community at large. It also works to engender artistic exchange and explore opportunities to bring attention and support to the immensely talented community of artists working in this very rural setting.
I was really pleased to be a part of the first curator visit of the project. It was just my kind of day out – travelling through the countryside in beautiful sunshine, visiting a fascinating array of artists’ studios and houses, meeting a generous and friendly group of artists and seeing a lot of work I hadn’t encountered before. The company was good as well – including Kathryn Campbell Dodd, my west Wales compatriot who travelled back with me on an unending train journey plagued with mayhem and mishaps; the gentle and insightful Amanda Roderick from Mission Gallery; Bristol-based critic David Trigg whom I hadn’t seen in years; Ruth Cayford, who took time out to make the visit in the busy run-up to Cardiff Contemporary; and ACW‘s Louise Wright who somehow manages to be omnipresent across Wales at all times!
The day started with a visit to the house of artist Penny Hallas and poet Lyndon Davies, to see work by Philip Watkins and Catherine Baker, both unfamiliar to me. Watkins admitted to not being particularly proactive in raising the profile of his work, though he has in fact shown quite widely. His stark and unforgiving paintings of industrial sites, deserted streets and other banalities of landscape have an arid beauty. He admits to ‘trying to reconcile living in such a pretty place with my penchant for council estates and underpasses.’
Throughout the day, there is conversation between artists and curators about the context of the work – the impact of the rural locale on the artists’ practice and career is of varying relevance and there is some sense that the relationship to the place of their work is anything but direct. What rurality does afford is quietness and space – Morag Colquhoun‘s studio on the Penpont Estate may be small and compact but it breathes in the breadth of its surrounding countryside, making it impossible to feel cramped. With nature a constant companion, there is always room.
Talking with Pip Woolf at the Arts Alive Wales studio, we discuss the definition of contemporary art. She questions where her work ‘fits’, and I ask if it really matters? It seems to me that ‘contemporary art’ is a wide sphere of practice whose only definition might be a commitment to interrogate its past, present and future in some way. The studio space offers a place to crack this open – it is a test bed for the imagination where process meets practice. The studios we saw during the day were particular and idiosyncratic, most especially that of Susan Adams and Chris Nurse. Built in their garden, it houses both their diverse practices, which sit beside each other with a strange familiarity. Adams’ oversized automaton crouches in the corner making the space feel more than a little off kilter, and it crackles with creativity.
It’s quite important for curators to be gathered up and taken off to see work – it gives them license to walk away from the administration they are often trapped in and spend crucial ‘looking’ time that reminds them why they love what they do. Vital as this is, it can get squeezed out in the pressure to get the next show up or the next grant written. Making it easy is so valuable to these art professionals. Rebecca Spooner‘s careful coordination of the day, meant there was no rushing. The schedule gave ample time to see and talk and have a valuable exchange. Though some of the group knew the artists visited that day, most admitted there were a few they weren’t familiar with. Several curators commented that it had given them a better ‘mental map’ of artists working in the region and some overview of their practice. These kind of meetings may not have concrete outcomes for the artists involved but they are important in increasing a sphere of awareness of their work. Getting work seen is as important to artists as seeing work is to curators.
- Alicia Miller
Download details of the artists: PEAK Artists
Artist Photographer: Toril Brancher (photo credit)
Louise Wright, Portfolio Manager, Arts Council of Wales
Kasia Howard, Education Officer, The Landmark Trust
Kathryn Campbell Dodd, Gallery Assistant, Oriel Myrddin
David Trigg, freelance writer and critic
Gavin Johnson, Film Regeneration and Development Manager, Ffilm Cymru Wales
Alicia Miller, Axisweb Associate in Wales, Axisweb
Amanda Roderick, Director, Mission Gallery
Louisa Mayor, Assistant Curator, Meadow Arts
Ruth Cayford, Project Leader, Cardiff Contemporary
Download details of the visitors: PEAK Visitors
Rebecca Spooner, Arts Development Manager, Arts Alive Wales
Emma Balch, PEAK Project Assistant, Arts Alive Wales
Thanks to a generous grant by the Clore Duffield Poetry and Literature Awards, Arts Alive Wales are pleased to announce that the Caban Sgriblio project will continue in 2015. Young people identified through Powys education and health partners will be invited to writing workshops exploring the work of contemporary Welsh poets to develop their own poetry and writing style for a performance on film. The aim of the project is to improve their resilience, confidence and aspirations.
Caban Sgriblio first started in late 2013 as a pilot project to help develop the confidence of young people in Powys schools. Working at Llandrindod Wells, Builth Wells and Crickhowell schools, writers Emma Beynon and Rebecca Loncraine led three groups of children into writing workshops geared towards building confidence and helping to realise their own unique voice. The effect of the project has been stark, with one teacher commenting that “some of the students who would have perhaps been more isolated in classroom situations [were] brave and prepared to share their views, or instead of working alone, actually working with a partner”.
Arts Alive Wales is one of only twelve charities to receive the grant and would like to thank the Clore Duffield Foundation for its support of Caban Sgriblio.
July 15th saw a celebration hosted by ‘Crafty Women’, a craft group for women, to mark the first term of a new Tuesday group and the end of a summer season of creative activity. The event was attended by members and guests, including representatives from Arts Alive Wales, Monmouthshire Housing Association, and Martin Hickman, Mayor of Abergavenny.
Crafty Women is a creative craft group managed by Arts Alive Wales and funded by a grant from money raised by HealthControl through The Health Lottery. Grown from an initiative between MHA and Arts Alive Wales in 2013, the group has gone from strength to strength. Two groups are now up and running on Tuesday and Friday mornings, offering women in North Abergavenny the chance to get involved with a creative craft group, learn skills and make new friends.
With a craft workshop, live saxophone music and a song from one of the group’s members, the celebration event was certainly lively. Martin Hickman commented “It brings the community together and it’s nice to see that people have something to do … everybody’s very friendly and it has a nice community feel.”
Mr. Hickman and guests tried their hand at needle felting and conversed with members of both Crafty Women groups. A colourful exhibition of dresses, felt work, book art, textiles and tea cosies was shown and items were on sale to raise funds. Clayton Charles, Senior Neighbourhood Officer from the Monmouthshire Housing Association praised the display — “I’m no expert on sewing, but the work looks fantastic. I think that if they can sell what they are making and go forward to become a self-sustaining group, it’ll be an amazing achievement.”
The strength of the group was clear from the progress that has been made in skills since the first group started in January 2013, and for the role that the founder members are playing in shaping and supporting the new group. Sian Phillips, Arts Alive Wales trustee commented on the achievements of the group – “From the people I’ve spoken to here, they look at it in a really positive way and they feel that coming to the Crafty Women sessions gets them to know a wider circle of people even within their own area of Abergavenny. I think it helps people combat loneliness and gives people the confidence to help others.”
Crafty Women meet on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10am-12pm at Wellfield Close Hall. For more information about the project or if you are interested in joining Crafty Women, please call Kathy Young at Arts Alive Wales on 01873 811579, firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Naomi Pearson at Monmouthshire Housing Association on 01495 767187.
The Health Lottery is operated for and on behalf of 51 Community Interest Companies across England, Scotland and Wales, all holding society lottery licenses issued by the Gambling Commission. www.healthlottery.co.uk
Weekly workshops started at the Ty Parc homeless shelter in Tredegar before Easter. Since then they have enjoyed modelling in clay with Thomasin Toohie plus drawing, painting and working in aluminium with Tessa Waite. From Thursday June 19th, this group will spend four weeks experimenting with the words and lettering of the poet David Jones, guided by the stonecarving artist Matt Caines supported by Tessa.
Young people from three Solas Centres for homeless young people have, so far, taken part in five weekly workshops. (Woodstock House, Abergavenny, Hales House, Pontypool and The Countryman, Blackwood) They have been looking into the themes of the project using drawing with Tessa and then claywork, and modelling in wire and modroc with Penny Turnbull.(www.pennyturnbull.co.uk) One participant was inspired to write poetry in response to the project.
The Abergavenny based Crafty Women Group are looking forward to starting their Aerial project workshops on Friday June 20th . They are anticipating an exciting five weeks engaging with the project alongside Becky Adams the books and textiles artist, again supported by Tessa. For more news about the Crafty Women group please click here or visit their Facebook page.
If you would like regular updates on the progress of this project, please send your email address to email@example.com
This week we received the sad news that artist, Catharine Marr Johnson has passed away after a lengthy battle with Motor Neurone Disease. It is difficult to overestimate Catharine’s immense contribution to Arts Alive Wales as an artist, patron and trustee; she has been such an inspiration to us in so many ways.
Members are enthusiastic and talented craftspeople who focus on traditional textile crafts. They enjoy the weekly meetings where they are able to exchange ideas and to help and encourage each other.
The Guild has a varied annual programme of workshops, talks and visits.
The Guild is open to experienced crafts people as well as to complete beginners and always welcomes new members and visitors.
Looms, Spinning wheels and other equipment are available for use at the centre.
For more information visit The Guild’s website: crickhowellguildwsd.wordpress.com
To apply for this Jobs Growth Wales role at Arts Alive Wales, visit https://ams.careerswales.com/Public/Vacancies/View.aspx?vid=21480
We are delighted to announce that we have a new paid internship available (minimum wage) for an Arts Marketing Assistant funded through Jobs Growth Wales for an initial 6 months. The vacancy is advertised on the Careers Wales website; applicants should be aged between 16-24, interested in working in arts marketing, be well organised and have really great communication skills. The post is based at our office in Crickhowell. Closing date for applications (NB applications via the careers wales website only) is 18 April 2014. The start date is flexible but ideally the internship should start in June.
Candidates: please make sure that you apply via the Jobs Growth Wales website and that you are eligible*
The vacancy reference is 21480 (Arts Marketing Assistant)
* Eligibility Criteria
· Unemployed or working less than 16 hours per week
· 24 years old or under
· Not in full-time education
· Resident in Wales
For further details and to register for a class contacts Dek email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Class1: Beginners, 6pm
Class 2: Intermediate, 7:30pm
Class 1: 6.15pm to 7.15pm
Class 2: 7.30pm to 8.30pm
£80 for the term.
For further details and to resister for a class contact Julia on 07854773418 or email email@example.com
Class 1: 5:45 – 6:45 pm
Class 2: 7:00 – 8:15 pm
For further details and to register for a class contact Cathy on 01873 812 637 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click a date to see details of events and classes