Spectacular music and artwork brings Caernarfon Castle to life in celebration of the Olympics

Wednesday 27 June 2012

Cauldrons & Furnaces, a series of high-profile events which were launched last month by the Welsh Government to welcome another strand of the Cultural Olympiad, is coming to Caernarfon. Caernarfon Castle will be brought to life on Sunday 1 July from 2.30pm–4.30pm as the young people of Caernarfon kick-start a month of artistic celebrations called Cipio’r Castell, demonstrating what the mighty fortress means to them.

A striking canvas made for the Cipio'r Castell programme at Caernarfon during the Youth Justice Graffiti Project

A striking canvas made for the Cipio'r Castell programme at Caernarfon during the Youth Justice Graffiti Project

Following a spectacular procession from Castle Square (Y Maes) to the castle, visitors can enjoy specially commissioned raps, orchestral and choral music, live theatre and art installations, all inspired by the culture and heritage of the castle and local area and all taking place within the castle walls.

For a month afterwards, visitors to the castle will be wowed by unique artworks arranged around the site. The youth of Caernarfon (the Cofis) have been working with local artists to develop these striking pieces of artwork, which include an innovative cutting-edge exhibition of graffiti, sound installations, kaleidoscopes, tepees, animation and film. 

Cipio’r Castell is one of eight Cauldrons & Furnaces events, which will tell extraordinary stories in extraordinary places at iconic Cadw sites from 16 June to 17 July. Thousands of young people will be sharing their nation’s colourful history from its mythical beginnings to modern times with visitors from all over the world. En route they will discover the diversity, skills and talents of the 17,000 young people and artists taking part.

Cauldrons & Furnaces is a partnership between Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, and the Arts Council of Wales. The project is part of Power of the Flame, and has been funded by Legacy Trust UK, an independent charity which is creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by funding local talent to inspire creativity across the UK. 

Clare Williams, the creative events programmer of Cauldrons & Furnaces, said: 'The young people of the region have created some really exceptional artworks and performances.  We imagine that the visitors are going to be as excited as we are to see the culmination of all this hard work in the magnificent setting of Caernarfon Castle in July.'

Gwawr Wyn Roberts, Gwynedd Council's Community Arts Development Officer, who is supporting the Cauldrons & Furnaces project, said:  'This is a community project which engages young people from Arfon and Môn in a colourful programme of arts activity.  Many different groups including the Youth Justice Service, local schools and community organisations have been working under the guidance of professional artists to deliver this exciting and innovative celebration of our heritage. We are delighted to be part of these magnificent Olympic celebrations, it’s a fantastic opportunity for us and all the participants involved.'

Entry into the castle is free with a Cipio’r Castell wrist band. These can be obtained from 1 June at www.visitsnowdonia.info or from Caernarfon Tourist Information Centre – 01286 672 232.

Other Cauldrons & Furnaces events across north Wales will also give locals and visitors an array of cultural experiences which will help bring Wales’s history to life. 

Arts and cultural enthusiasts will be entertained with a two-night spectacular of music and dance as seven centuries of Welsh history are brought to life in Harlech Castle (16–17 July)  and storytelling, puppetry and fire sculpture tell a Bronze Age tale in Denbigh Castle (8 July). 

Cadw has set a challenge for people to attend as many events as possible to be in with a chance of winning one of five Cadw annual family memberships.  For details of how to take part, pick up a Cauldrons & Furnaces leaflet at a participating site.

For more information about Cauldrons & Furnaces and how you can get involved, visit our   Cauldrons & Furnaces  page or find Cadw on Facebook or Twitter. 

Follow the journey online #CF12