Making and imagining Merthyr: using the creative power of art to illuminate place
The art works speak back to those who dare to tell us — the people of Merthyr — who we are and who we can become. Digital stories, photography, film, music, movement and song capture experiences, feelings and reflections of living in Merthyr.
We explored our sense of place through collaborative art workshops involving people of all generations and artists in South Wales. The exhibition was part of the Connected Communities Festival (funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council) and was based on two research projects led by Cardiff University and the University of Bristol. This project was a collaboration between the universities, a group of artists from South Wales (Fizzi Events), a local community project (POSSIB) and many of us: people living in Merthyr.
Light Moves and Graphic Moves
We move, we dance, we see, we draw, we think, we stand, we roam, we film, we wonder, we capture, we turn, we jump, we click, we feel, we walk, with light moves, across the ground of the places where we live, where we belong, we move, we dance, we see, we draw, we think, we stand, we roam, we film, we wonder, we capture, we turn, we jump, we click, we feel, we walk, entangled in landscapes, steeped in history, we make light moves into the future…
In 2014, Courtney, Katie, Renee and Shonice from the Forsythia Youth Centre and pupils from St. Aloysius Primary School created a film called Light Moves, which stunningly captures the vibrancy of moving bodies in space.
Working with a team of artists in South Wales (Seth Oliver, Fizzi Events, Heloise Godfrey-Talbot and Rowan Talbot), choreographer (Jên Angharad) and academics at the Universities of Cardiff (Eva Elliott, Emma Renold and Gareth Thomas) and Aberdeen (Gabrielle Ivinson) Light Moves was premiered at the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Connected Communities Festival in July 2014.
In 2015, the team came together again to continue its work as part of the Economic and Social Research Council-funded programme Productive Margins: Regulating for Engagement, to co-produce an exciting and imaginative new body of work. This stunning work included the film Graphic Moves, the sculptural exploration Mashing Up The Land, and sound art Found Sounds and Street Beats. The work was exhibited at Cardiff’s Abacus Gallery, The Riverfront in Newport and The Red House in Merthyr Tydfil.