The Welsh canals are will be hosting two artists-in-residence as part of a project aimed at bringing communities closer to their local waterways.
Addo, Glandŵr Cymru - the Canal & River Trust in Wales and the Arts Council of Wales have appointed Andrew Dodds and Alan Goulbourne to the posts, which form part of a three-year programme of artist residencies on the waterways of Wales.
Glandŵr Cymru has teamed up with the Arts Council of Wales to create six artists’ residencies across Welsh waterways. This partnership will highlight not only the heritage and historic significance of the Welsh canals, but also celebrate and increase their current relevance to local communities and contemporary Welsh culture. We’re exploring how contemporary arts can play a new role in conserving, animating and re-interpreting the waterways in Wales.
The first residency, the North Wales & Borders Residency, was awarded to Andrew Dodds, a Belfast-born artist working in London. He will be investigating the crossing of borders between Wales and England, the relevance of this to current cultural practices and interpreting the role that the canals played in the past and continue to play today. This residency runs until October 2014.
Andrew says: “My artwork is usually made for a particular place or time, often within the context of contested or highly charged settings. I adopt a range of artistic roles and strategies to critically research our historical and social relationship to ‘nature’, the voice and the built environment.”
Alan Goulbourne is an artist based in Cardiff and began the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal residency in February for a four-month period. His current practice involves the creation of sculptural, gallery-based and public realm works. He has recently completed an artist in residency at Aberystwyth Arts Centre and has previously exhibited and made work in Bahrain, and across the UK.
Alan says: “My practice relies upon a process of implementing order and chaos, effectively within random sequences, in order to drive a progression from a single moment and mark, to something that is visually riddled with complexity. With this residency I’m looking forward to building work which interacts with the community and environment of the area reflecting the relevant history and future of the canal’.
Mark Lang, Chairman of Glandŵr Cymru, adds: “Wales’ waterways are among the most beautiful in the world. Millions enjoy them every year and we want to inspire even more people to find out the secrets of what they have to offer. That’s what this project is all about; using the arts to inspire and involve people in the canals. I’m delighted that Andrew and Alan have chosen to begin the project. The works they create with local people will help to celebrate the 200-year heritage of the waterways, while also establishing them as a cultural focal point for the future.”