Artist in Residence

Cadw has teamed up with the Arts Council of Wales to create a series of artists’ residencies across Wales over three years.


This strategic partnership aims are to:

  • Enable artists to immerse themselves in sites and create new work that responds to the context of a monument, historically and within the community
  • Develop and deliver, in partnership, an innovative programme of art in the public realm projects which place quality at the core of the delivery and outcomes.
  • Promote excellence and innovation within art in the public realm through sharing of knowledge and expertise amongst arts and non-arts professionals.
  • Ensure public engagement is central to the development of art in the public realm and provides the catalyst for public creative imagining of collective spaces.
  • Provide a model, which promotes sustainability, both in the delivery and development of the public art sector.
  • Inspire public interest in creative practice
  • Raise the profile of contemporary art practice
  • Create links between the ways people typically interact with Cadw’s historic monuments and contemporary art practice.

Manon Awst at Segontium Roman Fort

In 2014, local artist Manon Awst was appointed by Cadw and the Arts Council for Wales as an artist in residence at Segontium Fort, Caernarfon.
Manon’s final piece was created by working in collaboration with a number of local artists and students, dancers and musicians, to create a film set inspired by the ruins of Segontium Roman Fort.

Manon applied creativity and expertise in the fields of architecture, sculpture, public art and performance to develop new works and events linked to Segontium, such as Helfa Gelf and Gwyl Arall/AnOther Festival. She worked extensively with the local community to gather feedback, opinions and ideas to bring the site to life and generate a sense of understanding, appreciation and pride by local residents.
This included a number of workshops with local school Ysgol Hendre, where drawings made by the children became the base for the design of large festival fags to promote and signify the entrance of the Roman fort.

In addition, local artists and art enthusiasts came together for an evening of presentations based on the popular Japanese format Pecha Kucha: the art of concise presentations (20 images x 20 seconds) providing an excellent opportunity to discuss work and share ideas, using the visitor centre as an alternative social space.

A creative workshop was arranged with young people and students, looking at archaeology, photography and stone-engraving and exploring the idea of mark-making with reference to roman graffti and contemporary graffti found within the
town of Caernarfon. In the workshop, the beginning of a sculptural piece for outside the visitor centre was created, bridging historic mark-making processes and contemporary forms of communication.

A four-day performance marathon in collaboration with Cofis Bach, Caernarfon, explored themes of communication and using Segontium as a stage for a game.
A group of young people from the local area of Peblig and a group of creative professionals from the Cofis Bach Company were brought together by Manon to bring new life to the site through music, drama and art. The 4-day marathon resulted in an outdoor public performance at Segontium on Friday 25th July. The challenges, using different areas of the fort, incorporated modes of communication: teamwork, respect, boundaries, social media etc. Students were split up into different teams: those who faced the challenges, the band and the chorus which led the audience to each level.

Manon’s work and activities have been captured and promoted online through her blog

Summer 2014 also saw the residence of local artist Wendy Couling at the Tudor Mansion of Plas Mawr in Conwy and a travelling exhibition of photospherical sculptures by Cardiff-based Matt Wright.

Wendy Couling at Plas Mawr

Local Artist Wendy Couling worked at Plas Mawr, Conwy, throughout August as an Artist in Residence. Wendy sought 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.
The artwork produced, inspired by the space, symbolism and the inhabitants’ existence, invited 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.

Matt Wright photospherical travelling exhibition

Matt Wright, a 360º photographer, utilised high definition imagery to create sculptures inspired by eight of the country’s most iconic sites Pentre Ifan, Blaenavon Ironworks, Tintern Abbey, Porthgain, Valle Crucis Abbey, Din Lligwy Hut Group on Anglesey and Raglan Castle.
Matt's photospherical sculptures appeared at Cadw sites across Wales throughout August and September 2014. The final sculptures and resulting documentation will then form a touring exhibition supported by the Arts Council of Wales and Welsh Government to be launched at the Wales Millennium Centre in June 2015.


Lucy Harvey at Valle Crucis Abbey

In 2013, contemporary maker Lucy Harvey was appointed as artist in residence at Valle Crucis Abbey, Llangollen.

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 researched and responded 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.

By discovering her work, installed in nooks and crannies, visitors were 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.'

An exhibition and video of Lucy’s work is now available on display in the Summer House at Valle Crucis.