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CAER Art Prize Award Presentation

Paul Evans presents Eve Callard with first prize for her powerful and evocative painting in acrylic.

On Friday 7th September CAER Studio artists Paul Evans and Nicola Parsons, along with CAER Heritage director Dave Wyatt, presented the CAER Studio Art Prize awards to students from Cardiff West Community High School at the morning assembly.

12 young people from years 8, 9 and 10 have worked with CAER Studio’s Nicola Parsons and Kimberley Jones from ACE (Action for Caerau and Ely) to create art based on the heritage of Caerau and Ely.

All of the young artists have been highly commended on the excellence of their work – which varied from highly detailed drawings to 3D dioramas! All of the participants received a prize-winners certificate and professional quality sketch book. The top prize winners also received box-sets of professional quality artist’s materials from Jacksons Art in London.

All of the work produced for the CAER Studio Art Prize will be displayed at special pop-up exhibition during the Youth Voice event at St Fagans National Museum of History | National Museum Wales on Saturday 27th October. The event is from 10.30am-4.30pm and is FREE to attend – please book your place here. The exhibition continues at St Fagans on Sunday from 10pm-5pm.

Talia Richards won the Dusty Community Prize with this excellent drawing.

FIRST PRIZE: Eve Callard

JOINT SECOND PRIZE: Ellie Mallia Freeman and Ellis Horton

DUSTY COMMUNITY PRIZE*: Talia Richards

PRIZE WINNERS: Teanna David, Anwen Good, Maddison Hardwick, Alysha-Paige Jury-Lewis, Charlotte Macintosh, Ryan McCarthy, Madison Row, James Timothy

Caerau ‘sandfort’ at Barry Island

CAER Studio lead artist Paul Evans adds shape to the ‘sandforts’ ramparts.

On Saturday 11th August CAER Studio artists joined forces with the Guerrilla Archaeology collective – and volunteers from Cardiff University – to create a huge scale model of Caerau hillfort, on the beach, in sand …

Featuring as part of the Barry Island ‘Storytelling Weekender’, we began work early, as soon as the tide allowed, measuring out the site and creating a scale drawing of the hillfort’s outline in the sand. Other members of the team helped distribute copies of our amazing (and FREE) ‘CAER Times’ newspaper to passers-by and visitors to the beach.

The serious work of shifting hundreds of kilos of sand to build the model to its scale height of 1m then began …

Shifting sand in wheelbarrows to create the ‘sandforts’ basic form – hard work!

After a few hours of steady work we had enough sand built up on the ‘plan shape’ to begun sculpting the details of the ‘sandfort’.

With the basic form of the ‘sandfort’ complete and to scale, Ian Dennis takes a much-needed break!

These details consisted of ramparts, entrances and other features based on a drawing from the People’s Collection Wales (RCAHMW drawing) showing plan and section of Caerau Hillfort, Ely.

Ian Dennis adds detail to the ‘sandfort’ – note CAER Studio flag in the background!
With details added, our scale model nears completion – Ian Dennis (left), Dylan Sutton (middle) and Paul Evans (right) add the final touches!

By now our ‘sandfort’ was starting to attract a considerable amount of attention! With our scale model complete, visitors to the beach and members of the CAER Studio/Guerilla Archaeology team were now ready to create their own ‘Iron Age sandforts’ in response.

Becci and Nicola’s Iron Age ‘sandfort’ note the exquisitely crafted ’round houses’ …

Our work here was done … and just in time because at 3pm the heavens opened and it was time to hurriedly pack up the van and leave the beach!

CAER Studio would like to thank everyone on the team who contributed to this excellent and immensely productive day:

From Cardiff University: Prof. Jacqui Mulville (Guerilla Archaeology), Ian Dennis (Guerilla Archaeology), Dr. Julia Best (Guerilla Archaeology) Dr. Oliver Davies (CAER Heritage Project) and our amazing volunteers – Joel Curzon, Tom Falvi, Jake Griffiths, Alex Palmer and Megan Williams.

From CAER Studio: Paul Evans, Imogen Higgins, Becci Holmes, Nicola Parsons, and Dylan Sutton.

Big thanks also to Viv Thomas for photographing the event. All photos © Vivian Paul Thomas 2018

FREE Copies of CAER Times are available from Our Place Dusty Forge 460 Cowbridge Rd W, Cardiff CF5 5BZ and Ely & Caerau Community Hub, Cowbridge Rd W, Ely CF5 5BQ

 

 

CAER Studio’s BIG July Review!

Lots of creative activity at the garden party at Our Place Dusty Forge. Photo © Vivian Paul Thomas

July was an exceptionally busy and productive month for CAER Studio.

On 10th of July Nicola and Dylan went on a mission to explore the idea of heritage with the CAER Puppet Clan and pupils from Cardiff West Community High School and Windsor Clive Primary. Then, on the 11th and 13th of July, Paul and Nicola led two creative/interpretive workshops at the Gospel Hall at the base of Caerau hillfort for young people facing challenges – along with a group of student ambassadors from Cardiff University Confident Futures Summer School.

After that, the CAER Studio team joined ACE, The CAER Heritage Project and Guerrilla Archaeology for a spectacularly sunny day of fun at The Ely Festival.

Last, but by no means least, on July 23rd CAER Studio artists Nicola and Dylan led an exciting series of art activities and events (including the Ely’s got Talent Art exhibition) for the Creative Garden Party at Our Place Dusty Forge.

Read more below …

Hidden Hillfort Ideas Jam, Cardiff West Community High School. Photo © Nicola Parsons

Hidden Hillfort Ideas Jam, Cardiff West Community High School

On 10th July CAER Studio artists Nicola and Dylan took members of the CAER Puppet Clan to meet a collective group of year 8 students from Cardiff West Community High School and year 5s from Windsor Clive Primary School as part of a CAER Heritage co-production event seeking shape ideas about how young people can better experience Caerau hillfort.

The CAER Studio team worked alongside the pupils, community volunteers, ACE Community development workers, a heritage professional from the National Museum of Wales and academics from Cardiff University and the University of South Wales in an exciting ideas jam to help shape plans for CAER Heritage’s Hidden Hillfort Heritage Lottery development phase.

The puppets proved immensely popular and successful in stimulating creative ideas, they also kept everyone well entertained while we got on with the series business of thinking about what the word ‘heritage’ means and decorating individual letters from this word to spell it out as a bold and colourful collective message.

Confident Futures Summer Schools at Caerau Hillfort

On the 11th and 13th of July CAER Studio artists Paul and Nicola joined Cardiff University academics and student volunteers, along with the CAER Heritage team and ACE to lead two groups of young people facing significant life challenges on an exploration of Caerau hillfort in partnership with the Confident Futures Project.

Both days involved an introduction to the site, and an explanation of its archaeological significance, followed by the opportunity to get up close and personal with some amazing artefacts from the past.

The young people then went on an exploratory journey around the monument, with instructions to ‘listen carefully’ to what the hillfort might tell them.

When they returned, they were asked to note down in words or pictures what the hillfort had ‘said’ to them about its past – or to give expression to their own thoughts about how the visit had affected them or how the experience might be improved for other visitors.

These thoughts and images were then added to a drawing of the ramparts to create the ‘talking hillfort’!

Visitors to our stall at the CAER Studio Roadshow, Ely Festival. Photo © Nicola Parsons

CAER Studio Roadshow at the Ely Festival

On 14th July CAER Studio joined with the ACE, CAER Heritage and Guerrilla Archaeology teams for a spectacularly sunny day at The Ely Festival.

Visitors to the festival got a chance to have themselves photographed in our Iron Age selfie booth with the CAER Puppet Clan. Younger visitors also enjoyed making their own puppets and colouring in designs in our ever popular Tribal Logo Colouring Book.

Meanwhile, we got a chance to trail a couple of products from our studio. Our terracotta pendants proved very popular and our roundhouses for bees and bugs attracted a lot of interest. Discussions with members of the community will help us to develop our product range further so many thanks to those who dropped by for a chat.

Special thanks to those who bought products from our stall – all proceeds have been passed on to ACE to help with their work in the community!

Terracotta pendant making at the creative garden party. Photo © Vivian Paul Thomas

The Creative Garden Party

On July 23rd CAER Studio artist Dylan teamed up with the ‘Creative Community Garden’ art group and ‘Grow Cardiff’ gardening group, to run a pop up workshop at Our Place Dusty Forge, creating terracotta pendants based on Iron Age designs. Open to the public, this proved to be an exciting, busy and fun workshop, where people created their own ceramic artworks, whilst also learning about CAER hillfort at the adjacent CAER Heritage Project stand.

We were lucky enough for the sun to be shining and we also invited the community to enjoy several other creative and gardening activities including glitter tattoos, planting, flying start teddy bears picnic, willow dragon-fly making, bug finding and art therapy with ‘The Retreat’! People also enjoyed a free BBQ and got a chance to browse through various CAER Studio products that were offered for sale.

Several fantastic pieces of art from the ‘Creative Community Garden’ art group and the local community were proudly displayed in the garden gallery and in the main hall. In addition to this CAER Studio exhibited 12 entries from Cardiff West Community High School for the CAER Studio Art prize that we launched back in May/June. Students brought family members and friends to come along to view their work on the day – and to add to the excitement we also offered visitors to the exhibition the chance to vote for their favourite piece as part of a community vote!

The work will continue to displayed in the main hall at ‘our Place’ at the Our Place Dusty Forge and the vote will remain open, so please pop in over the Summer and take a look at our fantastic range of ceramics and paintings!

 

The CAER Art Prize

Work in progress for the CAER Art Prize

CAER Studio artist Nicola Parsons and ACE CAER Development Officer Kimberley Jones have been helping students from Cardiff West Community High (CWCH) to create a variety of amazing new artworks based on the heritage of Caerau and Ely.

The young people have worked with drawing media, paint and clay during three intensive workshops held at CWCH, creating drawings, paintings and 3D work based on themes from the Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman, Medieval Periods – alongside more contemporary ideas of what the word ‘heritage’ might mean.

The winners will be awarded artist’s quality materials to the value of the following:

1st prize worth £100
2nd prize worth £50
3rd prize worth £50

+ runners-up prizes

We are delighted by the progress that the young people are making towards their entries into the CAER Art Prize – many thanks to Ann Hudson and the students at CWCH for all their hard work.

The artworks will have been be completed by 25th June and there are plans to exhibit the winning entries at Our Place Dusty Forge during the summer.

We will be posting the winning entries soon – please watch this space!

‘Dusty Fort’ – Design with Dylan!

CAER Studio design workshop at Our Place: Dusty Forge.

On May 21st, CAER Studio artist Dylan was invited along to the Monday morning ‘Creative Community Garden’ art project at ‘Our Place: Dusty Forge’, to facilitate a creative design workshop.

He worked with 8 regular participants to generate ideas, taking inspiration from the CAER Hidden HiIlfort Project. The group had previously been approached to paint a small wooden castle built by the local ‘Dusty Sheds’ group and situated in the Dusty Forge garden. We thought this would be a great opportunity to create a design based on the history of Caerau hillfort and to collaborate with other local makers.

The art group members worked enthusiastically on designs for the castle, which they aptly named the ‘Dusty Fort’! Dylan will now use the ideas and drawings created by the participants to generate a final design. The group will paint the design onto the castle in the next few weeks.

If you would like to get involved with CAER Studio and find out more, we will be taking part in the Creative Garden Party taking place at the Dusty Forge on July 23rd from midday. At this FREE event you will be welcome to work with our CAER Studio artists to create some heritage-themed artwork, find out more about the project and view some of the fantastic handmade products that we have made with the local community!

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.

Imogen Higgins: CAER Commission – work in progress

Sculptural ceramics by Imogen Higgins (work in progress).

Imogen is in the process of creating a series of three sculptural ceramic pieces based on Welsh bronze age axe heads discovered in Caerau and Ely. She saw these, along with other amazing finds that are stored in the archives of National Museum Wales, during a recent visit with students from the Cardiff University Live Local Learn Local Hidden Histories and Untold Treasures: Exploring Ely and Caerau Through Time course.

These three vessels were each thrown on a wheel and then modelled afterwards using a coiling method to create the ridge near the base and the three vertical ribs along its face. These ribs are an important decorative element in many of the bronze axes produced in this period (900-850BC).

Imogen plans to use a combination of slips and stains to complete the series, which will resemble the green hues of these extraordinary artefacts.

“My aim when making the series was to take inspiration from the bronze age axes and interpret some of their characteristics into clay rather then setting out to make an exact replica. I have really enjoyed this process and plan to use some of the design aspects learnt from this CAER Studio project in future artworks.”

Imogen Higgins

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.

Round Houses for Birds and Bees!

Terracotta roundhouses for birds and bees by CAER Studio. Photo © Dylan Sutton 2018

Artist Dylan Sutton has developed this fantastic concept for CAER Studio: roundhouses for birds and bees! Based on the design of the Iron Age roundhouse, these terracotta ceramics will provide homes for solitary bees and unique nest boxes for birds.

Roundhouses were the standard form of housing built in Britain from the Bronze Age throughout the Iron Age, and in some areas well into the Sub Roman period. They used walls made either of stone or of wooden posts joined by wattle-and-daub panels and a conical thatched roof and ranged in size from less than 5m in diameter to over 15m. Most of what is assumed about these structures is derived from the layout of the postholes, although a few timbers have been found preserved in bogs. The rest has been postulated by experimental archaeology, which has shown the most likely form and function of the buildings. For example, experiments have shown that a conical roof with a pitch of about 45 degrees would have been the strongest and most efficient design. A reconstruction of the Bryn Eryr Iron Age Farmstead at St Fagans is based on a groundplan of two roundhouses connected to form a figure-of-eight.

Our terracotta roundhouses have been individually created at Our Place Dusty Forge by regular members of the Community Garden group and the Thursday retreat.

A selection of roundhouses will be available to purchase from our website in coming weeks. All proceeds from sales will be donated to help support the work of ACE.

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.