New collaborations to help home grow outdoor arts in Wales

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This spring Articulture is starting a collaboration with three Wales based artists and arts organisations to help home grow outdoor arts in Wales. They are –

Cimera – A contemporary circus and arts company based in North Wales. Founded in 2013 by professional and community artists and performers, they are dedicated to creating and developing vibrant participatory arts.

Taking Flight Theatre – A multi award-winning company based in Cardiff who produce accessible and inclusive work based in Cardiff. Their aim is to work with groups of people who have traditionally been under-represented in theatre, film and television.

Mair Tomos Ifans and Nuala Dunn – A Mid Wales based duo that was formed through the Ar Waith Ar Daith outdoor arts training in Castell y Bere in 2015. United by their interest in the combined possibilities of performance, story telling and canoeing the rivers of Wales, Mair is a performer and Nuala a visual artist and outdoor activities instructor.

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Professional development & International festival bursaries available 2017

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Wales based artists or arts organisations interested in working in the outdoors are welcomed to apply for two types of bursaries in 2017.

1. Professional development – bursaries to fund a ‘go see’ or skill share session, which will assist in the development of outdoor arts work.

Read full details here 

2. International Outdoor Arts festivals – bursaries to attend two leading international outdoor arts festivals and professional showcases in the UK – Greenwich & Docklands Festival, London 23 – 25 June, or Out There Festival, Great Yarmouth, 15 – 17 September.

Read full details here 

Photo: ‘The Senses’ by Theatre A3 at GDIF Festival 2016 – Credit/Doug Southall

National Association of Street Arts (NASA): Annual Gathering 2017 – For the Love Of It

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Join others interested/involved in outdoor arts at NASA’s annual gathering of Outdoor and Street Arts professionals – a weekend of inspiration, creation and fun, a chance to recharge and re-connect.

This year’s theme is OPPOSITION – in politics and debate, with colour, scale, temperature and more

Dates: 6pm Friday 17th February to 5pm Sunday 19th February

Location: 101 Creation Space, Greenham Common, Newbury, Berkshire, RG19 6HN

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Guest artist blog – Reflections – Extending Practice: Choreographic Practice and Sustainability

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Between August 2015 and May 2016, Wales based Dance Artist, Rosalind Holgate Smith and Documentary Photographer, Janet Ruth Davies collaborated on a site specific project called ‘Uncertain Terrain’, situated in Dinorwic slate quarry, north Wales. Through this project, they developed a cross-disciplinary practice involving movement studies, digital audio and photography, investigating the landscape as an embodied practice.

This year they were granted a professional development bursary from Articulture to attend ‘Extending Practice: Choreographic Practice and Sustainability’, a one day conference for dance artists, creatives and academics in Glasgow, hosted by creative carbon Scotland, September 2016. Here they report back.

As a photographer and dancer collaborating outdoors we have been exploring and transcribing choreographic processes across disciplines. Through our project Uncertain Terrain we were both interested to experience and communicate an embodied sense of the quarried landscape we worked within.

As we broadened our own notions of choreographic practice we became interested to explore how we might consider our processes, skills and practice in relationship with issues of sustainability. Read More

Guest artist blog – Syrcas Cimera fire performance training with Szymon Mamys

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This summer Wales based circus collective Syrcas Cimera worked with Syzmon Mamys, fire performer and producer behind the Bring the Fire Project. Here Syrcas Cimera Director Thomasine Tomkins reports back on developing the collectives work with Syzmon through a two day workshop, which was supported by an Articulture professional development bursary.

Last year myself and 3 of our directors/performers from Syrcas Cimera CBC attended the Awen School Dark Arts Training for Ar Waith Ar Daith with Walk the Plank. We learnt valuable skills in event production, willow lantern making and parades, fire drawings, pyro technics and fire dancing choreography and performance. It was amazing being part of such an ambitious production, pushing boundaries (whether personal or for the Arts in North Wales), and having the opportunity to work with such experienced practitioners. The skills we learnt were extremely helpful in the development of projects we had started in our local area and gave us a hunger to develop more. 

Iago Morgan Jones and Jay Ellis(Cimera) and Szymon Mamys and Hugo Maciel fire dancing, choreography by Thomasine Ar Waith Ar Daith 2015

On the course we were delighted to meet Szymon Mamys who is based in Liverpool. Szymon is a fire performer, he also runs fire dancing classes and organises a Fire Arts Festival in Liverpool and is the main driving force behind Bring the Fire Project.

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Summer tour ends with great weekend at LLAWN#4 with the Independent Street Arts Network

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The Wales Outdoor Arts Consortium tour of three new outdoor works came to an end in September at the sunny and successful LLAWN#4 – Llandudno Arts Weekend.

Timed to coincide, the Independent Street Arts Network (ISAN) Outdoor Arts networking UK tour also arrived in the Welsh seaside town to host an informal networking event, in collaboration with Articulture and LLAWN. This was attended by over 20 people working in, or interested in working in the outdoor arts in Wales.

As with other ISAN tour events, the event included a discussion about issues affecting the outdoor arts sector, the opportunity to share information, events and ideas, the chance to discover more about the host festival, and networking time with fellow producers and programmers and artists. The hot topic at this event – practical rural touring.

ISAN also promoted their upcoming Ideas Summit 2016 in Bradford a few weeks later, ISAN’s annual pitching session in which around 30 artists and companies will present ideas for new Outdoor Arts projects and seek commissioners, partners, collaborators, potential bookings and feedback.

ISAN membership is open to individuals, companies and organisations who actively support the development of outdoor arts in their professional work. Find out more here – http://www.isanuk.org/join/

 

dripping-tap-webster-jones-credit-clare-turner   chloe-bench-credit-mark-mcnulty   run-ragged-baaa-credit-llawn

(Pictured – Run Ragged ‘Baah’, Dripping Tap ‘Webster & Jones: A Pocket Guide to Wales’ and Chloe Loftus Dance ‘An Act of Strangers’) Credits /Sarah Morton/Clare Turner/Mark McNulty)

The challenges of rural programming – bringing BLOCK to Mid Wales

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The weekend of 20 and 21 August, Articulture, the Magic Lantern cinema, Tywyn, and Natural Resources Wales brought the performance ‘BLOCK’ by NoFit State and Motionhouse to four locations in Mid Wales. Here Annie Grundy (Articulture Co-Director and Magic Lantern) shares the process of programming the show, and reflects on what was a challenging but ultimately successful venture, with over a 1000 people enjoying this innovative new production….

At the time of agreeing to book BLOCK all Articulture and the Magic Lantern knew was that it was a collaboration between two fabulous companies – NoFit State circus and Motionhouse dance – both leaders in their fields – and was to be a piece about urban living that involved a set composed of 20 movable blocks.

With the short film footage of the R&D period released, we gained more of an idea of the piece’s visual and physical impact, and began looking for 4 outdoor locations that would contrast with, and provide stunning backdrops for BLOCK.

We scouted venues with NoFit State and came up with the Ysgol Bro Hyddgen playing fields looking down the Dyfi Valley, the estuary and beach at Ynyslas nature reserve, the immense forest at Coed y Brenin visitor centre, and Tywyn Seafront looking out to Cardigan Bay.

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Guest artist blog – Report back from the Imaginarius Festival 2016, Portugal

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Wales based dancer Chloe Loftus visited the Imaginarius Festival in Portugal this year, with a view to catching the festival’s renowned international outdoor arts programme, as well as undertaking some useful networking for future work. Below is an account of her experience, which was supported by an Articulture professional development bursary.

Over the past decade, Chloe Loftus Dance have been creating vibrant choreographic work that has toured extensively to critical acclaim, specialising in outdoor and pop-up performances and engaging new audiences to dance theatre.  You can find out more here – http://chloeloftus.co.uk/

The Articulture bursary enabled me to attend the Imaginarius Festival in Portugal. Approximately 30 km from Porto, the festival takes place in a small historic city, Santa Maria de Feira.

2016 was the 16th edition of Imaginarius, the biggest street theatre festival in Portugal. It was split into three sections; Imaginarius – the main programme of international street artists; Imaginarius Infantil – workshops, performances and events aimed at engaging children; and Mais Imaginarius – presenting new and emerging artists.

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