Redhouse, Old Town Hall, High Street, Merthyr CF47 8AE
Peak/Copa is pleased to support Enthusiasm
A project by Victoria Donovan and Stefhan Caddick
Enthusiasm is a migration story spanning Merthyr Tydfil and Ukraine; the 1860s to the present day. This innovative, interdisciplinary one-day arts event brings together musicians, members of the community, archivists and historians to take a radical look at a little-known historical episode that links Merthyr and the South Wales Valleys to the Donbas in Ukraine and asks how the legacy of this past continues to resonate in our social, cultural and political landscape today.
In 1869, Welsh industrialist John Hughes founded the mining town of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine, initiating a wave of migration from South Wales to Eastern Europe. 1917 and the approaching Russian Revolution saw the hasty exit of the industrialists who had followed Hughes, fearful of the revolutionary ferment. 100 years later, in the present day, Ukraine and the Donbas are once again at the centre of a violent conflict that has led to the internal displacement of over a million people.
Enthusiasm will bring to life some of the elements of this fascinating and timely story, via film, music, image, food and discussion.
• Performance of a selection of migrant letters by local and diasporan voices.
• Exhibition of historic photographs of Donetsk from the Glamorgan Archives and contemporary images by Ukrainian photographer Alexander Chekmenev
• A programme of workshops and activities
• Screening: Enthusiasm: The Donbass Symphony (1931) by Ukrainian revolutionary film maker Dziga Vertov with a new original score performed live by composer Simon Gore.
Dr Victoria Donovan, originally from Cardiff, is a cultural historian of Russia based at the University of St Andrews. Donovan was selected as one of ten academics in the ‘New Generation Thinker 2016’ scheme. www.ahrc.ac.uk
Stefhan Caddick is a visual artists who works in video, installation and performance. His practice is often a collaborative engagement that sources its materials from institutions, communities and individuals. www.stefhancaddick.co.uk
12. Selenium Lick A cheerful blue from the bucket containing this livestock supplement
Rebecca Chesney is the first Artist-in-Residence for the Black Mountains, in partnership with Peak and the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. Rebecca completed a six-week residency during winter 2015/16.
18. JoyrideObligatory burned out car at the bottom of a disused quarry.
Rebecca, based in Preston, Lancashire, was selected from over 120 applications received from artists across the UK and Europe following an open call. Rebecca’s projects are specific to the locations she works in and take the form of installations, interventions, drawings, maps and walks and are underpinned by research into the protection of the environment. Her work is ‘concerned with how we perceive the land: how we romanticise, translate and define urban and rural spaces.’ In relation to the residency Rebecca was particularly interested in ‘the economic value of attracting visitors to the National Park and how that is balanced with the protection of its ecology.’ Rebecca has worked extensively across the UK, including residencies at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth and the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere, as well as projects in India, South Africa and the Netherlands. www.rebeccachesney.com
29. Shot FoxA luscious and mesmerising red from a freshly killed fox.
During the residency Rebecca met with the Black Mountains Land Use Partnership, Bradley Welch, Senior Ecologist BBNPA, Alan Bowring, Geopark Development Officer BBNPA (who both contributed greatly to development of the final artwork), Helen Roderick and Ceri Bevan Sustainable Development Officers BBNPA, and many local artists, farmers and wardens. Rebecca walked and photographed the landscape extensively, building a collection of hundreds of images.
Rebecca’s residency resulted in SNAPSHOT Colours of the Brecon Beacons, a unique colour chart that visualises the many layers of the Brecon Beacons environment during winter. The chart represents the complex and unique relationships between agriculture, tourism, industry, ecology, culture and economy; some of the colours complement each other whilst others clash. A different season and location would result in a radically different palette. Snapshot is an attempt to reflect the realities of living and working in the Brecon Beacons; the stuff that goes on behind the observed veneer of landscape.
The SNAPSHOT paint chart was professionally designed and printed in a limited edition of 400. The charts were given away during a celebratory event on Saturday 11th June 2016 at the Arts Alive Wales studio in Crickhowell. 100 of the charts were posted to arts and educational colleagues across Wales and the UK. The celebratory event was followed by an informative guided walk by geologist Alan Bowring on the Llangattock Escarpement.
The remaining charts were sold at £10 each and income supported Arts Alive Wales charitable projects in the local community. The paint charts are now sold out.
53. Bale Wrap GreenA contemporary synthetic shade developed to blend with natural green tones
Arts Alive Wales supported Rebecca to deliver a programme of artist talks and cyanotype workshops for 68 local young people in response to the residency.
Ty Mawr, an ecological building products company situated on the banks of Langorse Lake developed paint shade no ‘21. Mon & Brec’ (A cold colour from Monmouthshire and Brecon canal water. Opened in 1799 it was used to transport coal, lime, iron ore and agricultural products) which was used to redecorate the Arts Alive Wales studio.
22. Passing ShowerReminiscent of the lightweight waterproofs available to the rural day-tripper.
With thanks to: Brecon Beacons National Park Authority staff especially Helen Roderick, Ceri Bevan, Bradley Welch, Alan Bowring Practitioners: Pip Woolf, Kirsty Claxton, Jane Bennett, Penny Hallas, Lyndon Davies, Melissa Hinkin, Emma Geliot
Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone, Merthyr Tydfil College, Gwernyfed High School. & the many local individuals, organisations and businesses who contributed to the residency.
Photo credits: Toril Brancher / Film & Photo credits: Nic Finch