Monday, 10 August 2015

Sidmouth Folk Festival 2015

The Sidmouth Folk Festival has been going since 1955 and is held every year and named after the beautiful English Devon seaside town. Folk fans, singers, musicians and dancers from all over the world meet up for a week of concerts, performances, workshops and events.

I spent 5 days volunteering at this year's festival and on the odd occasions I had my camera with me, managed to make a few images - here's the view through my lens.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Breadcrumbs . . . .  or how I unwittingly ended up doing  a  recce for the Made in Roath Festival 

As my extra-brother Jacques Le Sueur showed me, leave the house and follow the bread crumbs - go where the feeling takes you ; last Saturday, on a rare day off, the feeling took me only 600 metres from the house via a couple of pubs . . .  I was only gone 8 hours.

Noon - Plasnewydd Community Garden to blag a free cup of coffee - bumped into the artist Clive Ward working on his installations for the Made in Roath Festival next week.

He gives a lot of thought to how he arranges 'litter'. He made a river of plastic bottles in the Roath Park Conservatory last year to great acclaim . . . .

He has been working with all kinds of groups on this year's project - great stuff and it can be seen in the garden 18/19 Oct 10am - 5 pm + free end of season produce too . . .

Fifty yards further on from the garden . . . outside the Poet's Corner Pub on City Rd.
I found a small gathering of people looking skyward . . .

The bloke's name is Dale Grimshaw  -  posessed not only of a fine Northern surname but also a load of talent . . . he was working on the Empty Walls Festival.

Had some great banter whist accusing him of being too lazy to use a brush; our conversation was continually being interrupted by passers-by asking permission to photograph his work and others stopping to marvel and say 'thank-you'. 
I suggested the layers of paint on his overalls were a work of art in their own right - he told me his 'other' favourite overalls are, "1/2 an inch thick in paint and weigh a couple of kilos".
I realised after, that in the street-art world, this fellah is a bit of a celebrity, and  . .  there he was, painting the side of my local. Thank you for a fine job.

No time for a pint in the Poet's . . . . onwards to the Roath Park Tavern to meet Kym the landlady to discuss fixing my piece about Passchendaele which is going up in there on Wednesday . . . . quick preview below

On the way up the road this shop window of nargolehs caught my eye and reminded me of a great trip to Istanbul  . . . 

Just inside the door of the pub I find another artist, Helen Bur one of the curators of the empty walls project and the Abacus Gallery just about to start painting another wall . . . 
the locals in the photograph will arrive by the evening to find themselves immortalised in paint . . that counts as a good day's work eh?

Call in and see the result, or check out her webpage, better still, buy some of her work, failing that, if you see her buy her a pint. 

Milgi's bar next 50m up the road to photograph some mobiles I'd heard about made out of rubbish - it was a very taxing assignment as you can imagine so I had a fine bottle of light ale from the Otley Brewery . . . .

The mobiles were made by artist Lucia Homolova from plastic bottles - the fun bit is the bottletops are stuck all over so you can unscrew the blooms and change the configurations - that's what I did anyway . .  not as a vandal, because I heard Lucia likes people to interact with her work
 . . it was the least I could do.

Then this waitress turns up . . 

When I say waitress I also mean the artist Nikita McBride . . remember that name.
She's showing work in the Cardiff Open Exhibition housed in the old Blockbuster video shop on Albany Rd. You should definitely go and see that - I think it's open Wednesday to Sunday 10am till 4pm or thereabouts.

I recall at this point in the day remembering why I left the house - to go to an exhibition of photographs by Homer Sykes at St. Martin's Church on Albany Rd. On the way I passed this . . .

Reminds me of a footballer whose name escapes me, with some bloke on his back.

The exhibition was just outside the main part of the church but the light drew me in.Well worth a visit on your Made in Roath Tour but closed Mon & Tues. 40yds down Albany Rd. from Milgi's is the Blockbuster shop mentioned earlier BUT didn't get that far because of some of this  . . . . .

and an invitation to a music and spoken word event back at Milgi's Warehouse . . .more breadcrumbs. I get there along with a capacity crowd, to find a bloke with a fine moustache giving out leaflets - I asked if I could make a silhouette of his face  . . .

 . . . that's him on the left 
he's a much respected Welsh Artist called Iwan Bala . . . of course I know that now -
he was performing with Angharad Jenkins and it was beautiful, not just the music and words but the story of how they met and why

You can follow all the links for more information, like I did the breadcrumbs, and the festival has only just started  - thanks Jacques.

I've got some films showing as part of the Roathbud Film Festival at the Globe Tues 21st Oct @ 7pm followed by Charlie Chaplin in 'City Lights' @ 8.30pm and it's all FREE.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

PARADE! Adamsdown Arts Association

You never know when you start something, where it will lead eh?
I went to the celebration at the Oasis Centre of the end of a 12-month community arts project PARADE - I thought it was the end but it turns out it's the beginning of something really special. . . 

Adamsdown Arts Association commissioned artists, musicians and theatre practitioners to work on the project with the brief : To engage local people in creative activity.
The project involved visual art, music & drama with participants working towards the common goal - ' a celebration of our community and its achievements'.

Thirty Yr 4 pupils from Stacey Road Primary School worked on portraits with an historical theme and exhibited at the Inkspot Gallery  & residents of Newton Court sheltered accommodation rediscovered long-forgotten artistic skills and exhibited at the PARADE event.

Wonderbrass developed a 'Scratch Band' with members of the community and had the Oasis Centre rocking.

Oasis is a drop-in centre for refugee and assylum seekers and their families in Cardiff. Angharad Evans led a Drama Group there reaching more than 100 people throughout the year. The project co-ordinator, Lydia Meehan noted, "The drama sessions have provided the perfect medium for building language skills and relationships within Oasis."

For me, the highlight of the PARADE event was the Drama Group's music and theatre presentations. Speaking in public is top of most people's list of 'phobias' - to speak in public in a 'second language' takes some bottle - Angharad encouraged the group to tell their stories to the audience using pictures; the tales were gripping, poignant and at times very funny. 

They also shared their talent, music, culture and their warmth - it was wonderful.

The Oasis Drama Group & Adamsdown Arts Association are now working on a fantastic new project with Sherman Cymru - a 'mash-up' of Romeo & Juliet to be performed at the theatre this autumn - you can read all about it HERE and HERE & get involved with whatever skills you have . . . .

Great oaks from little acorns grow . . . . . . .

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Mucking In

Spent Saturday morning shifting a couple of tons of manure for Plasnewydd Community Garden. I did most of the work while the others were messing about flinging stuff, leaning on shovels and making work-avoidance phone calls. The garden is looking great.

The garden is in Shelley Gardens in Roath round the back of the Poets Corner Pub on City Road and is open Saturday mornings 10am - 2pm and Wednesday evenings from 5pm.
Anyone can lend a hand or just sit in the sunshine and garden by proxy. You can help yourself to the produce too. Looks like it's going to be a bumper season going by the height of the manure pile.

It's a good laugh and you meet some nice folk, call in if you're passing.

all images are copyright panopticphotography 2014
if you would like to lift any images to re-post please get in touch first  or leave a comment  below thanks