Residency aims to inspire local artist at Plas Mawr

Monday 14 July 2014

Artist Wendy Couling at Plas Mawr

Artist Wendy Couling at Plas Mawr

Local Artist Wendy Couling will be working at Plas Mawr, Conwy, throughout August as an Artist in Residence. Wendy will be taking inspiration from the Tudor mansion, located on Conwy’s historic High Street, creating artwork, speaking to visitors to the house and researching the site’s history.  

This is the third artist in residence at Cadw monuments in two years, supporting the delivery of Cadw’s arts and heritage framework, which aims to work with the arts to increase the appreciation, understanding and animation of the sites, to connect with growing and different audiences.

John Griffiths, Minister for Natural Resources, Culture and Sport said: “Inviting an artist to interpret Plas Mawr will throw an interesting light over this impressive monument, and it’ll be intriguing to see how the artist’s interpretation of the site will differ from the interpretation already installed, which aims to demonstrate how the site would have looked in the mid 17th century.

The aim of using different methods to interpret Wales’s historical monuments is to bring the past to life to new and existing audiences, to inspire and interest visitors to learn more about the fascinating history of Wales.”  

Wendy said, “This residency will provide me with a unique space and environment to create a new body of experimental artwork, which will allow my creativity to flourish. The residency will not purely focus on creating artwork, but will also have a strong emphasis on research in the early stages, inspired by the space, symbolism and the inhabitants’ existence.

The artwork produced will invite visitors to the house to investigate and explore the spaces, interacting with installations that will have a human connection inspired by the lives of the inhabitants and building. A small exhibition of the artwork produced during the residency will be on display in Llandudno library during September 2014, and an exhibition in the Royal Cambrian Academy in January / February 2015.”

Royal Cambrian Academy, a charity whose aim is to create enjoyment of visual art through a lively exhibition and education programme is based at the rear of Plas Mawr. In 1885 Lord Mostyn offered to lease Plas Mawr, partly occupied then by a junior school, for a permanent gallery and the Academy was key in highlighting the architectural importance of the building. Plas Mawr is now under guardianship of Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service and is open to the public throughout the week.

Wendy will be on site from 5 to 29 August on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Cadw is also running a three-year artist in residency programme with the Arts Council for Wales. Manon Awst began her residency at Segontium Roman Fort, Caernarfon in June 2014, and Lucy Harvey’s residency at Valle Crucis Abbey, Llangollen came to an end in August 2013. An exhibition of Lucy’s work is now on display at the abbey.