Today’s the Day

Meet the Artists at Ludlow Assembly Rooms this afternoon from 3.30 – 7.30 pm.

All are welcome, no charge, free wine and a chance to meet us, Alastair Duncan and Jean Duncan, and ask about our work. There is tapestry weaving, digital prints, painting on metal and canvas, photography, video and video interventions.

The show continues until 26th October and can be viewed during normal Ludlow Assembly Rooms opening hours which includes evenings.

Work from the show can be seen here.

Tenses 3

Tenses 3

West 1 by Jean Duncan

West 1 by Jean Duncan

Tension Mounting for Meet the Artists event

Last week I delivered my exhibition and my mother’s to Ludlow Assembly Rooms Alastair Duncan (tapestry, prints and StillWalks) and Jean Duncan (painting)

The weather was atrocious and I thought en route, “If I get a puncture, I’ve had it – I can’t unload everything from the car to get to the spare tyre when the weather is like this, it would all be ruined!”¬†Fortunately this did not happen and by the time I reached Ludlow, the rain had dried up ūüôā

Our Meet the Artists event has been arranged for 3.30 – 7.30 on Friday 12th October – that’s next week! Neither of us are known in the area and I am concerned that nobody is going to turn up, so the tension is mounting as with all events like this.

Other attractions – Aside from our exhibition, which of course is reason enough to visit Ludlow, there are other attractions as well. The comedian, Marcus Brigstocke, will be playing in the theatre after our event on 12th October and I think there are still some seats available. There are great places to stay overnight and the town itself is a very charming place.

So if your wondering what to do next weekend, that is the place to be. Finish early on Friday and book yourself a visit to Ludlow ūüôā



Ludlow Assembly Rooms Arts Centre

Ludlow Assembly Rooms Arts Centre


Crowd Funding – Sights and Sounds of the Countryside

StillWalks Sights and Sounds of the Countryside Project – Crowd Funding

The StillWalks Crowdfunder pitch for outstanding funding towards the Sights and Sounds of the Countryside project is now live and looking for sponsors / investors.

This is a brilliant project that I hope, in future, to replicate with many other schools and communities.

Only £10 РInvest anything from as little as £10 and get a reward for your support.

Please take a look at the Crowdfunder pitch and help me promote the project and pitch by passing on this publicity to your network of contacts and friends.

I have personally guaranteed to cover this shortfall if the funds cannot be raised as I feel the project is so important not only to the schools and groups taking part but also to StillWalks and its development to say nothing of our natural environment.

All or Nothing – All the funds required through the Crowdfunder pitch must be raised if anything at all is to go towards the shortfall in the project funding. If the target is not reached in the time allowed (30 days), then you pay nothing and my guarantee comes into play.

All details of the project are on the pitch.

Production Day

Production Day

Berry Woods

Last week I visited Berry Woods on the Gower. The purpose of the visit was to explore the the area to be used as the production location for Knelston Primary School and the Sights and Sounds of the Countryside project (mentioned in a previous post) which is due to start next month.

I am really looking forward to going out with the children and the other project workers, Emily Hinshelwood and Julie Brunskill, to investigate the landscape in detail.

Here are some pics from my visit to the woods.

En route to Berry Woods

En route to Berry Woods

Berry Woods

Moss in Berry Woods

Berry Woods

Berry Woods

Berry Woods

Berry Woods

On the way back from Berry Woods

A friendly face near Berry Woods

Heading back from Berry Woods

Heading back from Berry Woods


I spotted four of these Buzzards while around Berry Woods



Exhibition and Meet the Artist event.

Tapestry weaving, original digital prints, photography, video and painting.

Alastair Duncan and his mother, Jean Duncan, will be exhibiting their work at Ludlow Assembly Rooms Arts Centre from 5th – 26th October, 2012.

Alastair’s work will include examples of his work as a tapestry weaver and digital artist as well as his work with StillWalks which will include screenings of selected StillWalks as well as two “alternative” videos that he has described as interventions!

Jean Duncan’s work will be displayed in the Cafe Gallery in the arts centre and includes painings on metal as well as on canvas. The paintings are from her works known as The West.

Meet the Artists

On Friday 12th October from 3.30 – 7.30 both Alastair and Jean Duncan will be at the Arts Centre to answer questions and talk about their work. All are welcome.

Why not stay over and visit the beautiful market town of Ludlow at the same time. There are some great places to eat and stay as well as things to do . . .  Marcus Brigstocke will be on stage at the Assembly Rooms at 8pm the same evening!

You can find Ludlow assembly Rooms here.

Further examples of both artists’ work for the exhibition can be seen on¬†Flickr.

Tenses 3

Tenses 3 by Alastair Duncan

West 1 by Jean Duncan

West 1 by Jean Duncan

John Muir Award Training Day

I had a great day in Singleton Park, Swansea this week where I and about 20 others enjoyed a day of training in the delivery of the John Muir Award¬†(see pics below).¬†John Muir’s environmental philosophy and the award criteria fits perfectly with the ethos of StillWalks.

Appreciation and understanding of the natural environment is at the top of the agenda with StillWalks as are other features such as stress relief, health and wellbeing – these elements are also a part of the John Muir philosophy.

Town and Country РStillWalks, however, does not exclusively feature the natural environment and wild places. Indeed, the urban environment is of as much relevance to StillWalks as the countryside Рand in fact this is the case with the John Muir Award as well. The young and the old, school children, teachers, families and individuals are all encouraged to look at and listen  to, explore, discover and appreciate the wild places within urban areas as much as those in our countryside.

And the news is – StillWalks is going to be carrying out a project with schools and communities over the Autumn and Spring called Sights and Sounds of the Countryside. The project will tie in closely with John Muir Award work also being delivered to schools by Tim Orrell and Swansea Nature Conservation Team (hence the training day). StillWalks has successfully applied for funding for the Sights and Sounds project from Swansea’s Countryside Connections, ¬†Sustainable Development Fund and Literature Wales to work with an artist and writers to produce a collection of videos similar to those made on the Josef Herman project.

The training day was interesting, useful and great fun. Fortunately it was good weather and we were able to get out and about in the park for some fun and games.




Walking with Josef Herman

“Brilliant” “The very best schools project ever!”, Betty Rae Watkins (Josef Herman Art Foundation Cymru).

The “Walking with Josef Herman” DVD, made with Alastair Duncan and StillWalks is to be screened on the BBC Big Screen in Castle Gardens, Swansea next week (see invitation below). The videos produced on the project (see below) are what I would describe as bespoke StillWalks – bespoke because they use voiceovers. These are recordings of the school children reading the poetry they wrote with Emily Hinshelwood as a part of the project following our production day on location in Ystradgynlais. The project was the ninth annual artists’ residency organised by the Josef Herman Art Foundation Cymru and Caron McColl and Lynne Bebb from Swansea Arts in Education, part of Swansea Education Effectiveness Service.

Screening – Castle Gardens, Swansea. Wednesday 19th September, 2012 from 11.00 – 12.00.

JH logo

Herman Walk logos

Josef Herman DVD

Josef Herman DVD

The DVD contains more than videos made with the schools but the videos can be viewed individually below.

Llanfaes Josef Herman Walk – Rainy Day in Ystrad from Alastair Duncan on Vimeo.

Ynysmaerdy Herman Walk 480p from Alastair Duncan on Vimeo.

St Thomas Herman Walk 480p from Alastair Duncan on Vimeo.

Parcyrhun Herman Walk 480p from Alastair Duncan on Vimeo.

Invitation - English

Invitation - Welsh 

Going Pipistrelle Batty at the Weekend

Last Friday night was a first for me – I found myself without a torch in our local park hunting for bats. It didn’t occur to me to take a torch but fortunately there were plenty of other people there to whom it had occurred and a great time was had by all.

Click here to listen on the blog to the sound of Common Pipistrelle bats in Coedbach Park last Friday night or here on SoundCloud.

Steve Lucas, Welsh Bat Officer with the Bat Conservation Trust gave a fascinating talk/slideshow about the various species of bats and their habitats until it got dark. Then we ventured out and were given bat detectors to use in the woods and along the hedgerows. We heard three different types of bat in Coedbach Park – Common and Soprano Pipistrelles and a Whiskered bat.

Seeing with Sound – The bat detectors respond to the very high frequencies bats use as their “sonar device” to detect and catch insects and “see” their surroundings – bats, however, are not blind. The frequency range of a Pipistrelle bat is around 45Khz (kilohertz). The range of the RODE NTG-3 shotgun mic I use for StillWalks recording (see the last blog entry) has a range that goes up to 20Khz and so has no chance of picking up the sound of bats!

The sound file above is a recording of the output of the bat detectors we were using made on my Edirol RO9 recorder – the hiss is mostly from the bat detectors but the sound patterns of the bats are quite clear. Adults and children alike were excited and fascinated to hear the bats at first hand rather than on a TV programme and I, for one, am looking forward to the next time.