Back in January 2017 I was part of an exciting project called the New Approaches project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and other supporters. The project was to turn a building on Terrace Road,into a new entrance for Ceredigion Museum and the Tourist Information Centre along with a new shop and cafe. The building was formerly a pop up co-operative gallery called Cardigian Bay Gallery, a project of Ceredigion Art Trail where I made ceramics, ran workshops, volunteered and sold my work.
My role in the project was to to facilitate a community ceramic workshop “called Stories on Tiles” overseen by the “Reflecting Memories design team” Jenny Hall & Camilla Norberg, curator Carrie Canham, and architect Dafydd Tomos, to create artwork inspired by the Coliseum’s heyday from when it opened as a cinema in the 1930s through until its lease ran out in 1977 and it finally closed. The artwork will then be displayed in the new cafe area. I was also commissioned to make tiles that could be sold in the shop.
To deepen my knowlege of the history of the Coliseum I was invited to attend a one day workshop facilitated by Lisa Heledd Jones of Storyworks . Lisa compiled a set of resources including: oral histories recently recorded by the museum’s “Gathering Memories” team Anna and Amanda, photographs from the museum archive and audio and video footage of the soundtracks and films mentioned in the oral histories. She invited the workshop attendees to make notes and join in with group discussions. It was a very valuable workshop to deepen everyone’s knowledge of the stories of the Coliseum that would inspire the creation of artworks, signs and finishes in the fit-out of the proposed entrance, shop, café and reception. Lisa helped us explore this period of time to draw out the key moments, locations, words, phrases, characters and imagery. We hope that the finished interior will give a sense of connection to the historic Coliseum and museum.
Over two days I facilitated a community workshop “ Stories on Tiles” where members of the public were invited to create 4 tiles inspired by the Coliseum, using collage and transfers. I first begun using this technique over six years ago, when I created transfers of my own drawings inspired by nature like birds bugs and flowers, and then fixed these onto cups, tiles and vases as part of ‘Pretty Common Things’ solo exhibition at The Studio Gallery, curated by Ruth Hogg. This exciting technique allows me to make reproductions of both photographic and hand drawn imagery onto my ceramics, as well as introduce colour, pattern and texture.
During the stories on tiles workshop it was really exciting to work with imagery of characterful people that were involved in the Colisium, from the owners, to the performers to the vistors,to the film stars who were on screen when it was a cinema. We also used imagery of the building interior and text. Each tile was unique incorporating black and white imagery with blocks of colour including Light green, Turquoise blue,Signal Green,Light green and Sulfur Yellow.
I cant wait for the grand opening, and to see of all the creative work that has gone into this refurbishment.
The next “ Stories on Tiles” community workshop I will be facilitating will be for Penparcau Community Forum Ltd where we will create artwork to wall their new community building.
I welcome commissions from organisation to run workshops and or private to make bespoke tiles and other ware. I will also be creating a new range inspired by stories that inspire me.