Tag Archives: cwtch the bid

Cwtch The Potential

20 Nov

20 cwtch

Swansea Bay’s bid to be the UK City of Culture in 2017, ‘Cwtch The Bid’, wasn’t successful; the result was announced this morning and Hull’s the winner – congratulations to Hull. So tonight’s event back in Swansea was more of a wake than a celebration, but it was very upbeat. One of the nice things about Cwtch The Bid was the amount of artists, musicians, writers, performers who did lots of little bits to feed information and ideas into the bid. It was great to see so many people putting aside their differences and getting stuck in and who still want to be involved in moving things forward in Swansea.

This evening’s celebration was totally focussed on how to keep the ball rolling. With so many people involved from grass roots organisations and such a terrific response from the public, it should be possible to ‘Cwtch The Potential’ and carry on. Dylan Thomas didn’t do us any favours when he labelled Swansea “the graveyard of ambition”. It’s time to shake off that legacy and become ‘the powerhouse of ambition’.

I sat in a corner, as I normally do at gatherings of more than half  dozen people, and I sketched the crowd in my clothbound A5 sketchbook, prepared with ripped brown parcel paper stuch in with Pritt stick glue, using Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens, sizes S, F and M. I’ve learned from hard experience not to get too precious about drawing crowds because people move around so much. Don’t be afraid to overlay figures as people move into view and obscure those behind. The zebra head on the left is not real, it’s a wacky model.

BTW, ‘cwtch’ is a Welsh word meaning to hug and nurture.

Window Dressing

20 Oct

window 2

I’ve spent a couple of days working with the 15 Hundred Lives art group on a big draw at the Creative Bubble artspace in Swansea’s City Centre. We were joined by a number of artists, art students and members of the public as we drew over cardboard-covered walls. It was a challenge to draw on cardboard and I found it frustrating at first, I just couldn’t get to grips with what I’d planned. But then I gave up and decided to go with the flow of the materials and started pulling bits of the cardboard open along the folds. I put drafting film into the spaces and drew spooky faces onto them. It looks a bit like a sinister advent calendar now. But with Halloween coming up it sort of works. I drew the main figure from a sketch of a ‘sagger’ that I’d made some time ago and the spooky faces from sketchbook scribbles I made during Disruption II, a performance art event in Swansea back last year. There’s also work from Graham Parker and Daniel Leek in this window.

other window

At the end of the 2 days, we cut the cardboard up and put some of the images in the windows. It’ll stay there until our next event in November. The window above includes work by Jenny Chisholm, Viv Howell, Sylvie Evans, Chris Harrendence and Lucy Read, amongst others. Creative Bubble has given our artgroup the use of the premises for two days a month up to Xmas. We’re running events called ‘What Do Artists Do All Day?‘ so that people can wander in and see us at work and see what it takes to produce a piece of art from scratch. This month we had guest artist Jenny Chisholm and we hope to have a different guest artist each time, to show a range of artistic disciplines.

window 1

Cwtch And Smurfs

12 Sep

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I went to a consultation event this evening about Swansea’s bid to be the UK City of Culture in 2017. There were some performances at the beginning and then we split up into groups to discuss various aspects of the bid. It’s very exciting and will be a huge deal if it comes here. I did a quick scribble of a singer who had an instrument I hadn’t seen before. I don’t know what it is. I found out that Swansea holds the world record for the most people dressed as Smurfs in one place. Now that’s culture for you.

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