This walk for the “Our Gower” project extends beyond Bishopston Valley to the beach at Pwll Du, but I thought I would present some of the details of the valley which, with the dry weather of the second project day in the valley, allowed us to explore and photograph more easily.
We also recorded some of the sounds of the thickly wooded valley and made notes about the atmosphere of the place – how it made us feel, what its colours and textures were like and something of the history and geography of the environment. For instance, Guzzle HoleContinue reading→
The second of the schools I walked with on the Our Gower project had no more luck with the weather than when we walked out on the marshes (see last weeks posts) – if anything, it was worse!
Bishopston Valley on South Gower is home to some wonderful ancient woodland . . . and when it is wet, it is also home to a great deal of mud. Despite the wet conditions (or perhaps because of them) everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. As well as Wellington boots, everyone had been givenContinue reading→
The “Our Gower” project, organised by with the Nature Conservation Team in the City and County of Swansea, involves more people than myself. There are Years 8 and 9 pupils from four different schools working with seven people from different organisations plus the school teachers to experience four of the wild outdoor environments of the Gower Peninsula in Wales.
Art education is wide ranging and there are many different approaches to it, but at its core is learning to see. The primary and most effective way to learn to see is to draw. This, surely, must be at the beginning of every artist’s career – i.e. the moment, as children, we pick up a pencil, crayon, brush and make a mark with it.
Last week I was working with the Josef Herman Art Foundation Cymru on their 2014 Schools Award project. Following a tour of Ystradgynlais with Josef (1911 – 2000) played by actor Adrian Metcalfe and the “Clerk to the District Council” played by Sonia Beck, both from Lighthouse Theatre in Swansea, we ran workshops in drawing. We viewed the Foundation’s collection of Herman’s works in “The Welfare” and referenced a set of images provided by the Tate Museum for our drawing. We used both traditional drawing materials (pencil and charcoal on paper) and iPads. Sketchbook Pro has the facility to record the drawing you do on the iPad and you can see a couple of examples from the children at the bottom of this post.
Sonia invited us all back to the year 1954 when Josef Herman lived and worked in Ystradgynlais (for 11 years). She and Adrian did an excellent job of drawing us into believing that they were the real people which confused some of the children as they knew that he had died in 2000!
The route of the River Lliw, from its source in the hills (see other posts this week) to its mouth in the Loughor Estuary, passes through Gorseinon. Here the children from Felindre Primary School are measuring the depth and width of the river as part of the Clear Streams project.
In time they and other schools will be involved in the project, will be making further investigations into the environment of the river from mouth to source to help develop understanding of the benefits of keeping our rivers and streams clean.
The source of the River Lliw is situated up in the hills of the Mawr ward in Swansea, South Wales.
The Clear Streams project being managed by Swansea’s Countryside Connections Team helps people to better understand the responsibility we have towards maintaining the cleanliness of rivers and what we can do maintain them. The project, which I am documenting, is taking school children from four primary schools out to explore the River Lliw from source to mouth. The aim for my part in the project, is to produce a teaching and learning resource for future use by schools and communities.
The scenery at the source is beautiful and so, when the weather is dry, it is a very pleasant work place. The source of the river is not a spring but a point on the hills into which the water of the surrounding slopes drains.
Working in digital print was, perhaps, a natural outcome of the fact that during the design and weave projects I ran with schools, I discovered that I was able to help teachers with some of the problems they had with their PCs when ICT (Information Communication Technology) was being pushed in the curriculum.
I bought a second hand Apple LC III computer in the early 1990’s and a new and exciting world opened up to me. To cut a long story short, it wasn’t long before I was running interactive digital media projects in combination with design and weave. These included communal large scale digital prints. This was something I had built up some skill with over a period of time and training as well as through liaison with printers.
The barbs kept coming back and in these two giclée prints on canvas, I was aiming to bring together a number of different thematic strands I have worked with over the years. Interpretation of the image and its different elements is entirely open.
These works are available for sale. There is only one other print of “Waves” and “Waves 2” is entirely unique. Anyone interested should contact me.
You can find further information on school projects and much more at Design Fibre ICT
Ok, so the sketches in the previous entry are there for you to see some of the background stuff that goes into StillWalks. The 1st walk that the sketches are from is now online and is the first one for Spring. There are others coming in the near future and some more recce images taken on my phone for other StillWalks I am working on.
I meant to do more sketch work as it is really helpful when it come to looking and seeing . . . and in that respect, I have been prompting the use of sketch work when doing the school workshops I have started. These are slightly different in that the StillWalks produced include overlaid text and voiceovers from the children which I do not want to use in my own walks but then, the aim of the school workshops is different.