Monday, May 14, 2012

ICAW: Dash Art Harlech International Residency

I am currently in the board room of Coleg Harlech. It is a rotunda on the edge of a beautiful brutalist concrete building, looking out to sea. 
We arrived into Harlech early evening yesterday, and after dropping of our bags were immediately whisked up to John and Celia Brown's beautiful cottage at the end of a very long and steep track, through cow fields.
So far there are four of us visiting Harlech, myself and Andrew Branscombe from AirSpace, Helga Gasser, from Vienna and Antonio Manfredi from Naples. There has been a lot of discussion about Antonio's art burning which has caused an enormous stir across Europe.
Antonio's original action has spread, and now art burnings have taken place all over the place - and the Art War has made world news.
On Wednesday, we will return to John's cottage, where a live stream art burn will take place with Antonio and artists invited from the area to take part. Join the audience here: and let us know what you think. Antonio and John are on the telephone to the BBC about the burning , and what it stands for as I type this. See below.
Now, what to do in Harlech on this residency?
My proposal involved creating a 'How To' Kit for May. This one would be 'How To Explore' and should contain a number of tools and instruments for exploring a place. I was also interested in making some sort of alternative guidebook, based on my connections with people in Harlech. I have created some postcards to give to the peple that i speak to (at the top of this post.)
I already started looking for places to intervene, or explore. One idea is to use the community noticeboard outside of Coleg Harlech to announce something.
After John's house, Andy and I went to the pub, where the first important connection was made.
We met a nice dog, I collected some images and stories and then the landlord wondered what we were doing here, and so I told him about the residency and Harlech Biennale. He said there is a real problem with a lack of tourism to the area, and that his wife is particularly passionate about this. He showed me a stand containing leaflets about attractions and places across Wales, but pointed out that there is no guide for Harlech. I asked if he thought his wife would mind having a chat with me about the need for a guide, and she came directly. She spoke passionately about Harlech being left out of the tourist loop. I have arranged to go back and speak to her tomorrow, and plan a new guide for Harlech. What better way to explore Harlech than through the recommendations of a local person, so well connected to the area.

1 comment:

Jane Howie said...

Harlech is a wonderful spot - can't believe they haven't got a guide brochure. Its one of the nicest places we've camped. Really amazing to wake up to the sound of the sea, with Snowdonia visible in one direction and the castle in another.