Welsh museum shortlisted for UK art competition

Tuesday 10 May 2016

  • © Denbigh Museum

    © Denbigh Museum

  • © Rhondda Heritage Park

    © Rhondda Heritage Park

  • © Rhondda Heritage Park

    © Rhondda Heritage Park

  • © Amgueddfa Cymru

    © Amgueddfa Cymru

Rhondda Heritage Park has been shortlisted for the Connect! competition as part of this year’s nationwide Museums at Night festival.

For the last three months, museums and galleries from all over the UK have been submitting a range of creative ideas hoping to entice one of five leading contemporary artists to their venues to create a unique arts event.

Rhondda Heritage Park has been shortlisted alongside Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, Telford; Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park, Warwickshire; Torre Abbey Historic House & Gardens, Torquay; and Fulham Palace, London to win renowned artist Aowen Jin to lead a participatory event in the October Museums at Night festival.

Artist Aowen Jin said: “This colliery site has an ideal setting for a secret art installation only visible when exposed to torchlight — an underground mine. Ghostly images of past pit life will contrast with contemporary times in the valley.”

The Chinese-born British artist and social commentator has a unique position as both an outsider and an insider in Chinese society. Much of her work questions why people live the way they do, and she spends years living within a community or embracing a sub-culture to create new insights into contemporary society.

During the event, Aowen Jin will also share her experiences through talks and offer a workshop in collaboration with local people to create art together as part of the project.

To vote for Rhondda Heritage Park, visit www.museumsatnight.org.uk/connect/

Winners will be announced on Monday, 16 May.

Museums at Night, now in its eighth year, will take place in May and October. This after-hours festival sees hundreds of museums and heritage attractions across the UK open their doors for special evening events.

From 11–14 May, museums across Wales will offer visitors the chance to experience culture and heritage in a totally unexpected way from a murder mystery, ghost walk and museum by torchlight to a family pond dip, live acoustic set and WW1 trench at night.

Lleucu Cooke, St Fagans National History Museum said: “To celebrate Museums at Night, we’re giving visitors the chance to see the site in a different way. The late museum ghost walk promises to be an entertaining evening with visitors going on a torch-lit tour of the museum grounds and buildings. This is a fantastic opportunity to explore the museum and hear true tales of ghostly encounters and some Welsh superstitions at the same time.”

Swansea Museum will be offering visitors the chance to see Swansea and the Great War exhibition and the trench at night and screening Steven Spielberg’s War Horse.

Storiel — Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery, is hosting a live acoustic set in the gallery by Gai Toms, a Welsh singer songwriter. There will be a spidery feel to one of his songs and the audience can participate by co-devising a song with Gai. Craft activities including bush tucker trials and bug trails will also take place in the museum.

Ceredigion Museum will be opening their forthcoming exhibition ‘Hollow: mining for objects’ by artist Jenny Hall. Cardboard boxes are filled with objects that were once the fabric of the lives of others. If you were the archivist what history would you tell? This exhibition encourages you to mine the ore of these objects, transforming them through story and symbol, exploring the idea that the universe is made of stories, not atoms.

The Museums at Night festival has experienced phenomenal growth during the past eight years. Museums at Night took place twice for the first time in 2015. The festival attracted 220,000 visits to 700 events in more than 500 venues across the UK. The festival is designed to encourage new audiences into museums and galleries.

For details of all venues, events and activities in Wales visit www.museumsatnight.org.uk, where listings information will be continually updated right up until the weekend itself.