PEAK is an initiative devised by Arts Alive Wales to develop opportunities for contemporary art in the Black Mountains and Welsh Borders for the benefit of the region’s artists, communities and visitors.

Morag ColquhounPEAK is exploring potential for artistic exchange, artist residencies, exhibitions, temporary studio and gallery spaces, artist-led projects, curator visits and festivals, as well as education and outreach programmes for young people.


Louise Wright, Rebecca Spooner, David Trigg, Alicia MillerThe inspiration for PEAK lies in an enthusiasm for the exceptional artists working in the Black Mountains, including Stefhan Caddick, Helen Sear, Penny Hallas, Sarah Ball, Pip Woolf, Sean Edwards, Clare Woods, Antonia Spowers and Morag Colquhoun to name but a few. PEAK also takes inspiration from the distinctive, natural landscape of the Black Mountains as a unique resource, environmentally and creatively, which attracts thousands of visitors each year.

PEAK has already gained interest from potential partners including the National Trust, Canal & River Trust, The Landmark Trust and the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. These organisations share PEAK’s vision for bringing artists, sites and audiences together.


Visit to Wysing Arts Centre, CambridgeshireIn 2014 PEAK carried out a research project supported by the Arts Council of Wales, to connect with rurally based, UK arts organisations, with the aim of raising the profile of the Black Mountains as a site for the presentation of contemporary art.


The project supported visits with invited artists, to the following organisations:

Grizedale Arts, Cumbria

Fermynwoods Contemporary Art, Northamptonshire

Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridgeshire

Stroud Valleys Artspace, Stroud

Click on the links above for responses to the visit.

Chris NurseThe research project has enabled PEAK to learn from the knowledge and expertise these well established organisations have built on, particularly curating, commissioning and developing audiences in rural places.

In September 2014 curators and writers were invited to visit the Black Mountains to meet selected artists in studios and venues across the region. Click here to see documentation and read a response to the visit.

Lowland Tribe & Mountain Tribe
The Black Mountains are a group of hills spread across parts of Powys and Monmouthshire in southeast Wales, and extending across the national border into Herefordshire.

They are the easternmost of the four ranges of hills that comprise the Brecon Beacons National Park. The Black Mountains may be roughly defined as those hills contained within a triangle formed by the main towns of Abergavenny in the southeast, Hay-on-Wye in the north and Brecon in the west. The Black Mountains is a rich cultural area, having attracted many artists, writers and musicians to live and work here. The Black Mountains is also the home of international festivals including Hay FestivalBrecon Jazz, Greenman and Abergavenny Food Festival.

For more information about PEAK contact:
Rebecca Spooner, Creative Director
rebecca@artsalivewales.org.uk / 01873 811579

Arts Alive Wales in an educational arts charity, based in Crickhowell, Powys: www.artsalivewales.org.uk

reg charity number: 1011599.