Seems so long ago now, but back in the middle of last year I painted a huge mural onto the side of Pontio, the arts centre in Bangor.
I was given a poem, written in collaboration with some local schoolchildren, and asked to locate it somewhere in the building in an interest and eye-catching way. After some thought, and after a bunch of ideas were rejected for various (legitimate) practical reasons, it came to pass that I hand-painted a gigantic work onto an exterior wall. Here’s an animation of work-in-progress, because I’m sure everyone wants to know which bits were done in which order:
Big thanks to the Pontio team, especially the tech crew, who were all extremely helpful, and without whom I couldn’t have done this.
If you find yourself anywhere in the vicinity of Bangor (Gwynedd, not Co. Down) over the next 3 months, then please consider calling in to Pontio, the new and exciting Arts & Innovation Centre. It’s an interesting place with lots of things going on, but in addition to those interesting things, you can see my new multi-media exhibition, Gwaddol, for free.
Gwaddol is a celebration of Theatr Gwynedd, the popular precursor to Pontio, built in 1974 and demolished in 2010. Here’s what I said about the exhibition when put on the spot with a voice recorder by Pontio’s marketing team:
“I admit to feeling a bit daunted when I was first approached about doing this, as it was clear from the outset what a clear sense of community there was around Theatr Gwynedd. There were so many people who knew each other, worked together, grew up together and one of the most interesting things for me was finding out these stories – these stories and people who had grown into local legends.
“I feel really warmly towards the place now, though I never went there myself, and it seemed there was lots of fun to be had there. So that was something I really wanted to come out in the exhibition. It’s all very well doing a very serious and sombre reflection of the history of Theatr Gwynedd, but from speaking to people who were involved with it, it really seemed as if it was a good, fun happy place so I wanted that to be reflected.
“Rather than a memorial, I wanted it to be a celebration which maybe triggers memories. I really hope that people who do know what Theatr Gwynedd did can connect with this – whether it’s one of their stories used for something, or they see an object and it reminds them of a good time they had there.”
I’m extremely proud to (belatedly) announce the opening of Something Happened, my first proper solo exhibition. It’s currently showing upstairs at Undegun, Regent Street, Wrexham as part of Oriel Wrecsam‘s Offsite programme.
Continuing my interest in automatism, chaos, light and sound, it references sporting rivalries, planetary systems, imperial Japanese court music and quantum mechanics, and features (amongst other things):
Approx 30 vintage West German paperclips
11 x 12″ mirror balls
8 x table-tennis balls
6 x 50W sub-woofers
4 x tennis balls
3 x oscillating desk fans
3 x 20W stereo amplifiers
2 x basketballs
2 x golf balls
2 x mini pool balls (numbers 11 & 12)
2 x slinky
2 x small glass bowls
2 x crash cymbals (1 Istanbul, 1 unbranded)
2 x Session Pro rack toms
1 x Hitachi V212 oscilloscope
1 x antique West German zither
1 x Akai 4000DS reel to reel tape recorder
1 x Technics SL-20 turntable
1 x Simda 3232 slide projector
A fragment of Larry Semon’s 1922 short film Golf (standard 8mm format)
A fragment of Gustav Holst’s The Planets (3 3/4 inch tape format – I forget which recording it is)
The likenesses of Robbie Savage and Lee Dixon.
Something Happened runs from 11 September – 4 October, and is open Thursday, Friday, Saturday 12-4pm.
What’s more, it’s FREE!
I have two new solo exhibitions coming up, featuring all new work.
Something Happened is an oblique tribute to Roy Andersson, Stewart Lee, Studio 54 and the now defunct retail chain JJB Sports. It’ll take place at Oriel Wrecsam Off-Site throughout September. More details soon.
Gwaddol is being commissioned by Pontio, the wonderful new multi-purpose cultural centre in Bangor. It aims to bridge the gap between the now defunct Theatr Gwynedd, on whose foundations Pontio is being built, and the new centre, by sharing / collecting / exploring memories of the old theatre. This will likely be opening September / October time. Again, more details soon!
I’ve been working on an exciting new project with Lisa Carter and Matt Sherratt, the fruits of which will be on display in Denbigh Gallery from 9 November – 4 January. It’ll feature all manner of wonderful new pieces in a range of media: ceramics, paper, ink, photography, video and sound. Check out some of the works-in-progress here: why-we-are-here.tumblr.com and here: Flickr