CAER Studio half term outreach event at Caerau Gospel Hall – Community Heritage Centre

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On February 21st we held a half term CAER Heritage Project outreach event, at the Gospel Hall – Community Heritage Centre.  Various activities took place to make it an enjoyable day for all involved.

Some wonderful volunteers kept everyone warm with a constant flow of hot beverages, biscuits and chip butties!  A buzz of excitement surrounded Caroline (ACE) as marshmallows were toasted on a pit fire outside and Olly (CAER co-director) took a variety of people of all ages on a sunny, but chilly, amble up to the Hillfort.

As planning has been in progress over the past few weeks to launch the CAER collective of artists, and the role of ‘Community Arts Engagement Officer’ has been filled, we thought this would be a welcome opportunity to run our first creative workshop, involving our newly appointed CAER Studio artists. They have been working on the ‘Breaking The Mould’ free community art sessions (funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation) that has been running at the Dusty Forge every Monday morning over the past few years.

Everyone present was welcomed to take part in the activity on the day.  Taking inspiration from Roman and Iron age ceramics and some of the artefacts found at the Hidden Hillfort, that were also on display at the event, we moulded some 3D forms, then used natural tools to add repeat and symmetrical patterns as decoration onto the surface. These were then put aside to dry out ready for firing at a later date.

The event pulled together various members of the community, including people who came to share fond memories of Caerau and Ely with Kimberley & Helen, ask questions about the future of the project and re-engage with the events taking place in the area. Also youngsters looking for half term fun and parents who said they hadn’t had an opportunity to play with clay since their school days! The artefacts were crafted beautifully and looked pretty authentic.

When the art work is fired, we are planning a follow-up ceramic glazing workshop, and we’re over flowing with ideas for the future, from iron age tool making, to mixing natural dyes and paints to name a few!  Watch this space for updates of how you could be involved!

Nicola Parsons, CAER Studio Project Coordinator

Following the success of the award-winning Caer Heritage Project, CAER Studio is a one year AHRC funded project that will lead to the development of a series of creatively co-produced art objects and craft items inspired by the history and heritage of the community of Caerau and Ely in South West Cardiff. Local people will have the chance to get involved in a range of artistic activities, inspired by the knowledge and artefacts gained from archaeological excavations at Caerau Hillfort. The CAER Collective, a cohort of local artists, will hold workshops and events over 2018 at which residents can come along and get creative, while developing new skills and learning more about the history of their community.

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