Discover a Hidden Gem at Valle Crucis Abbey this Summer

Thursday 11 July 2013

Discover a hidden gem at Valle Crucis Abbey this summer

Discover a hidden gem at Valle Crucis Abbey this summer

This summer the elegant ruins of Valle Crucis Abbey will be studded with intriguing small scale sculptures thanks to artist in residence, Lucy Harvey. Since taking up residence in March, Lucy has taken inspiration from the hidden histories of Valle Crucis to make highly detailed artworks which use found objects and materials as diverse as wax, metal, stone and silk.

Lucy said, 'Valle Crucis is such an inspirational site and I wanted to make artworks with an element of surprise. The pieces use lots of different materials which respond to the kind of things that would have been around during the abbey’s working life, and of course, my own interpretation too.'

As part of a new Artist in Residence programme in partnership with the Arts Council of Wales, Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, appointed contemporary maker Lucy Harvey as  an artist in residence at Valle Crucis Abbey, Llangollen, one of the 129 sites in Cadw’s care.

If visiting Valle Crucis Abbey on any Thursday between 10am and 5pm until 15 August visitors will be treated to an array of installations at this open air art gallery with a difference! They will also have the opportunity to meet the artist herself, in her studio at the Summer House and watch her at work.

By discovering the work, installed in nooks and crannies, visitors are invited to look more closely at the craftsmanship and repair which is visible all around the ruins. Lucy said, 'I’ve used a mixture of fancy gilt metals and more austere materials such as slate because I was interested in the changing attitudes to decoration at the abbey. The Cistercian monks weren’t meant to have such extravagances but they did, and of course, even today we are drawn to decorative things.'

People are also invited to come along to two thrilling special events at the Abbey:

On Thursday 25 July starting at 6.00pm, visitors can join Lucy for an informal tour of her work so far at an Artist in Residence Open Evening as part of the Llangollen Fringe Festival.

To see the final culmination of Lucy’s mixed media interventions around the elegant ruins come to the Closing Exhibition and Open Studios Saturday 10 August between 10.00am and 5.00pm.

Lucy, from Manchester, originally trained as a jeweller but she now uses her passion for the intricate to create detailed artefacts. During the residency she is researching and responding to the legacy of making and repair across the abbey and within the wider context of Welsh culture, inspiring new perceptions of the site and connecting its heritage with the contemporary landscape.

Anyone interested in this project can also follow it online at