Wales. The home of Europe’s biggest traveling cultural festival, the National Eisteddfod, an extraordinary celebration of Welsh arts and language and each the culmination of a two-year community initiative, leading the Arts Council of Wales to refer to the event’s preparation and delivery as Wales’ leading mobile regeneration project’.
Host of Articulture’s second creative networking event in 2014, the Eisteddfod is currently undergoing some exciting and fresh developments, with Gwyn Eiddior, a theatre designer commissioned to review and update the site aesthetics and navigation of the Maes, including new contemporary arts commissions by local artists, responding to and sited in the landscape.
Mid festival week the Articulture team and 20 practitioners arrived to a riot of colourful flags, commissioned sculptural pieces, and a welcoming new look drama village. The aim of the event – to explore opportunities around creating and presenting outdoor arts at the Eisteddfod as it enters a dynamic new phase, as well as other similar community cultural events across the country.
Facilitated by Gareth Lloyd Roberts, Director of Aberystwyth Arts Centre, and creator of the successful Blysh Festival at the Wales Millennium Centre, the informal day program brought together key Eisteddfod team such as Gwyn and Robyn Tomas, Visual Arts Officer, with the visiting practitioners in a creative dialogue whilst touring the festival site.
Setting the scene in the morning in the traditional Eisteddfod Societies tent, the party then walked taking in festival highlights including outdoor performance of ‘Ceinw’, an Articulture/Eisteddfod commission by Citrus Arts, ending up in the new and innovative drama village in the café, hosted by Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru.
Open discussion with guest speakers took place throughout the afternoon, and further visits across the site to dream up creative possibilities culminated in a collective brainstorm, envisioning the future against the challenges of creating outdoor work. Download brief notes from this session can be downloaded here.
An enjoyable day of exploration and networking, Articulture now hopes to continue partnership work with the Eisteddfod with further strategic discussions and new outdoor arts commissions.