Monday 01 December 2014
The people of Caernarfon were invited to see the culmination of a six month art residency at Segontium Roman Fort on Friday 28 November, which included a premier of COF, a film developed during the residency by artist Manon Awst.
Local born and internationally renowned artist Manon Awst discussed her time at the site as her residency drew to a close, as well as screening of her film COF – a film with attitude, which takes a modern twist on the ancient site.
Manon was appointed by Cadw and the Arts Council for Wales as an artist in residence for 6 months at Segontium Fort, Caernarfon in June 2014.
The aim of the residency was to combine the practice and appreciation of art with an understanding and interpretation of heritage, and Manon has worked with the local community to build links between the arts and heritage, and to bring this important Roman fort to life through art.
Pupils from Ysgol yr Hendre, youth group Cofis Bach and local residents have participated in workshops to create different artistic interventions, including performances, banners and stone carvings, all who attended the evening felt a sense of pride in their contributions.
In addition to the workshops, evening events with artists and discussions with archaeologists and local historians have all contributed and inspired Manon’s final piece, a film which offers a fascinating new insight to the Roman remains.
Tristian Jones, Heritage Officer at Segontium Roman Fort said “This project has been a real inspiration to all who took part, it has been engaging and thought provoking throughout, and I am sure it will leave a lasting legacy for those visiting this unique site for many years to come”.
The event started with an opportunity to view artworks created by local children and young people and an end of residency workshop with Cofis Bach. Brief presentations were given about Segontium, the residency and how art can help to take a fresh look at archaeological sites. The premier of the film followed, with all who took part feeling inspired and re-connected with the site.
Tami Gwyn from Cofis Bach said “It has been a pleasure being part of this project, the children have all really enjoyed the workshops and loved being able to draw and design their own t-shirts, these will be a permanent reminder of the fun they have had”.
Laurence Smith, Heritage Regeneration Manager for Cadw said “It’s great to see the buzz and excitement here tonight, this project has given the local community and all those involved a real sense of ownership and pride helping to generate positive community engagement”.
Manon was born in Caernarfon and following the completion of an Art Foundation course at Coleg Menai she studied Architecture at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge. She returned to the north-west Wales town in 2007 to establish her interdisciplinary arts practice, alongside German artist and theatre director Benjamin Walther.
Manon is the second artist to be appointed as part of a three-year programme developed and funded by Cadw and the Arts Council for Wales. Lucy Harvey was the first artist appointed as part of the project in March 2013, who carried out a six-month residency at Valle Crucis Abbey, Llangollen, and north-east Wales. An exhibition of Lucy’s work is now on display at the abbey.