Arts Council of Wales joins forces with Cadw and launches a three year Artist in Residency Programme

Tuesday 14 May 2013

A brand new programme of residencies with the aim of developing artists’ practice and engaging audiences and communities in the creative process has been launched in a partnership between Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment services, and the Arts Council of Wales.

Arts Council of Wales joins forces with Cadw and launches a three year Artist in Residency Programme

Arts Council of Wales joins forces with Cadw and launches a three year Artist in Residency Programme

The programme will promote excellence and innovation within art and heritage interpretation in the public realm, and place quality at the core of its deliveries and outcomes.

The Artists’ call generated a great deal of interest, with an encouraging number of applications from established applied artists.  The successful applicant, Lucy Harvey has already begun her journey at the fascinating historic site of Valle Crucis Abbey. The serene and peaceful setting of Valle Crucis Abbey is typical of other sites chosen by the austere Cistercian order. The abbey itself contains many original and beautiful architectural details with stone-work such as rose windows. There is also a collection of carved memorial stones dating from the Middle Ages.

Echoing the craftsmanship and creativity used by the monks themselves and those who have repaired and restored the Abbey since, Lucy Harvey is taking up residence at the Abbey to explore and create new work. Lucy Harvey originally trained in jewellery; she now uses her passion for the diminutive to create intricate artefacts inspired by hidden histories. She will be working in the context of the abbey, drawing influence from its history and using the site as a repository for her contemporary relics.

Lucy says: 'Here I wish to respond to the fragmentation of the ruined Abbey through changing installations which explore colour, material and narrative.'

Between April and mid August visitors to Valle Crucis Abbey may come across intriguing carved and handmade items, as they wander around the ruins. These will be the fruit of Lucy’s endeavours, following a period of research and immersing herself in the history and legacy of the Abbey. Lucy will draw her inspiration from stories such as the way the Cistercian monks lived, the time of the dissolution of the monasteries and the way visitors connect with the Abbey today.

Roger Farnham, Lead Custodian at Valle Crucis Abbey commented:

'We’re delighted to welcome Lucy to our magnificent monument. Making a connection between arts and heritage, and bringing our monuments to life through arts is an objective for Cadw, and bringing an artist into our monument is an exciting opportunity to deliver this. We can’t wait to see Lucy’s interpretation of this spectacular site!'

Lucy, from Manchester, exhibits regularly across the UK and internationally, and her work is held in both public and private collections. She is the first artist in residence in this planned programme of residencies at various sites owned and managed by Cadw throughout Wales.

Nathalie Camus, Portfolio Manager, Arts Council of Wales said:

'This programme is an exciting initiative developed through a strategic partnership between Arts Council of Wales and Cadw, which provides the foundation for the creation of innovative arts and heritage projects. Successful artistic interventions in the public realm often call into question the dynamics of our relationship to place, community, and ownership and can at times demand our participation to be an active citizen.'

The artist in residency project is a result of Cadw’s commitment to working with the arts, detailed in its Arts and Heritage Framework. Through working with the arts Cadw aims to increase the appreciation, understanding and animation of the sites in its care, to connect with growing and different audiences.

Members of the public can meet Lucy – and work with her on their own Valle Crucis-inspired artworks – at this year’s Hay Festival.

Lucy will be at the Hanes Cymru–History Wales stand from 10am–1pm and 2–4pm on Saturday 1 June.