Categories
News

New mural at Theatr Gwaun complete!

News

New mural at Theatr Gwaun complete!

Ancient Connections is thrilled with the new mural at Theatr Gwaun, Fishguard! Following a competitive process, the contract was awarded to Accent London, led by Grant Radford, originally from Port Talbot, but now based in London. Over the summer, community consultations helped to refine some initial ideas and the final design was agreed. Grant and Zoe worked flat out last week to finish the mural just before the launch of the new festival ‘On Land’s Edge’ at the Theatr. Big congratulations to all involved. We think the mural looks elegant and stylish and at the same time speaks of movement and migration across the Irish Sea, which are key themes for Ancient Connections. A forthcoming leaflet will provide more information on Fishguard and Goodwicks’ local stories, folklore and heritage for curious visitors.

Categories
News Opportunity

Call Out – Holy Wells- music, literature and arts commissions

Opportunity

Call Out for artists - Holy Wells of North Wexford and North Pembrokeshire

Ancient Connections invite Expressions of Interest from artists, musicians and creatives for:

  1. Music and sound commissions (total budget available €15,000)
  2. Literature and visual arts commissions (total budget available €15,000)

All commissions will explore the theme of Holy Wells in North Pembrokeshire and North Wexford. The budgets will be allocated evenly between Pembrokeshire and Wexford. It is likely that between 4-6 commissions will be awarded, of varying values between €2000 and €10,000, depending on the nature of the project and the extent to which it encompasses cross-border creatives. Proposals are invited equally for small-scale projects as well as larger more ambitious proposals.

The Ancient Connections team want to hear about any projects you are currently working on, or want to develop that relate to the theme of Holy Wells through the medium of sound and/or music. OR literature and visual arts. Detailed proposals are not required at this stage, just an outline of the vision for a project and an approximate budget. This will give us an opportunity to review who is interested, where they are from, what they do, and how they might creatively work with or complement similar or related projects across the border. As much as possible we want to encourage cross-border collaboration between artists working in similar approaches and/or mediums. From the findings of the open call, a small number of applicants will be invited to materialise their idea with an allocated budget.

There are two briefs, one for music and sound and another for literature and visual arts – please ensure that you download the correct brief and application form.

Download Music and Sound Brief 

Download Music and Sound application form 

Download Literature and visual arts brief

Download Literature and visual arts application form

Enquiries: email ruth.jones@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

Deadline: Wednesday 20th October 5 pm 2021 

Project Outputs: artworks – visual arts, literature, music and sound

Categories
News

Aberjazz Parade – sun, dragons and brass band

Community Project

Aberjazz Parade - sun, dragons and brass band

The Aberjazz Parade was a huge success on Sunday 29th August! The Parade took place in the middle of an excellent programme of contemporary jazz at Theatr Gwaun, Fwrn and other venues in the town. The sun shone on Fishguard while Llarregug Brass Band played their eclectic mix of hip hop inspired New Orleans style jazz, led by an enormous Welsh dragon puppet created by Invisible Octopus. Earlier in the day, workshops took place where young people could make musical instruments out of recycled materials. The dragon and band started out from the stone circle on the Marine Walk, made their way to the centre of town, up the Golden Mile and round to the back of the Town Hall, where they played a few more numbers. The streets were lined with local people and visitors and the upbeat atmosphere was infectious.

Date: August 2021

Project Outputs: Aberjazz Parade 

Categories
News

St Patrick’s Chapel – 3D models reveal altar within stone enclosure

Archaeology Project

St Patrick’s Chapel – 3D models reveal altar within stone enclosure

The dig at St Patricks Chapel, which came to a close in July, generated huge excitement and interest both from local people living in the West Wales area, as well as visitors from all over the UK and further afield.

The excavation unearthed over one hundred skeletons including men, women and infants. Bone analysis, which is taking place at Sheffield University will reveal more about who these people were and where they came from.

The team at Dyfed Archaeological Trust have created two 3D models, one showing what appears to be an altar and the other shows the circular stone enclosure with the altar in its centre. Further investigations are continuing to understand better these features and how they relate to each other.

These links will take you to the 3D models:

Stone Enclosure

Altar

A full report of the excavation is expected to be completed at the end of 2021.

(image: artist’s impression of how St Patrick’s Chapel would have looked when it was in use)

Date: August 2021

Project Outputs: Report due end of 2021

Categories
News Opportunity

Ancient Connections seeks contractor to deliver Pilgrimage Product

Opportunity

Ancient Connections seeks company to deliver Pilgrimage Product

Ancient Connections wishes to contract a not-for-profit entity or commercial company to oversee, develop and promote a proposed new pilgrim route between Ferns in Wexford, Ireland and St Davids in Pembrokeshire, Wales. There will be a strong focus on developing the pilgrimage product using existing infrastructure (coastal path in Pembrokeshire and related attractions in Wexford) as well as on co-ordinating and marketing related tourism products. The budget allocated for this contract is to deliver specific and identified short term outputs as well as acting as seed funding for the longer-term vision for the enterprise. The successful contractor, be they not-for-profit or commercial, will need to demonstrate an enthusiasm to the long-term vision for the project beyond the scope of the contract deliverables and demonstrate what measures they would put in place during the contract period to ensure sustainability and financial independence once the Ancient Connections project ends in July 2023.

The successful contractor will be able to demonstrate a thorough background knowledge and understanding of the historical and contemporary context of pilgrimage in Wales, the UK, Ireland and Europe. They will have significant experience of working within a pilgrimage context OR transferrable experience in related tourism industries (eg trail walking, destination tourism).

All queries and applications must be received through Etender Bravo Solutions

https://etenderwales.bravosolution.co.uk/web/login.shtml

Applicants will need to register in order to view all tender opportunities. Once logged in you will be able to access the full brief and tender details by looking within the ITT section.  Please search within the ‘ITT open to all suppliers’ section and look for ‘Development and Management of new cross-border pilgrimage route between Ferns and St Davids and associated tourism products’ or enter code 87231

Date: Deadline for Applications 15th September 2021

Project Outputs: Pilgrimage Products and route development

Categories
Community News Opportunity

Horatio Clare creates sound walk for St Non’s – call out for public contributions

Community Project

Horatio Clare creates new sound walk for St Non's

Members of the public are being invited to contribute to an exciting new project, which aims to celebrate the history, landscape and people of Pembrokeshire’s iconic St Non’s through the medium of sound.

Sitting above the cliffs less than a mile outside St Davids, with views across St Brides Bay and out to Skomer and Grassholm, St Non’s Chapel and Holy Well is where, according to tradition, Non gave birth to David. St Non and St David, the Patron Saint of Wales, influenced the spread of Christianity across the 6th century Celtic world, including in Wales, Ireland, Cornwall and Brittany.

This spectacular, historical and wild location will be the jumping off point for award-winning writers/broadcasters Laura Barton and Horatio Clare, who have been commissioned by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority to create a sound walk podcast on the history, people and landscape of St Non’s. Horatio and Laura will be working alongside Pembrokeshire resident consultant producer Graham Da Gama Howells and BBC Sound engineer Andy Fells.

The St Non’s sound walk will be an audio experience driven by the voices and the music of this special place and community. Listeners will learn about springs, saints, chapels, pilgrims, natural history, language, archaeology, farming and land use, modernity, conservation and the wider significance of this place for Welsh identity and European culture. The finished piece will be available as a podcast to be downloaded from anywhere in the world, with the aim of bringing the place, its history and its people to an international audience.

Call out for contributers and opportunity to learn new skills!

Local writers, artists, musicians, archaeologists, environmentalists, surfers, storytellers, walkers, climbers, boaters and fishers are invited to tell their stories. The production team is also offering opportunities for young residents of the area to gain training, development and work experience in broadcasting, audio recording and research. Contact Horatio Clare on horatioclare@hotmail.com

Horatio Clare has been twice shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year, include Running for the Hills (Somerset Maugham Award), A Single Swallow, Down to the Sea in Ships (Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year), Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot (Branford Boase Award), The Light in the Dark, Orison for a Curlew and Something of his Art: Walking to Lubeck with J S Bach. His latest book is Heavy Light: a story of madness, mania and healing. Horatio presents Radio 3’s acclaimed annual Sound Walks series, which have taken listeners along Offa’s Dyke, across Germany in the footsteps of J S Bach, to the Black Forest for Winter Wanderer, along Greenland’s Arctic Circle Trail and most recently to the East Coast for Sunrise Soundwalks.

Laura Barton writes for a variety of publications including The Guardian, The Observer, and The Independent. Her work has often focused on music, gender, and landscape. She is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4 and has made documentaries on subjects ranging from tomboys to confidence, to music and rivers. Notes From a Musical Island, exploring the relationship between music and the British landscape, ran for three series. 

Categories
Community News

On Land’s Edge – new festival for North Pembrokeshire

Community Project

On Land's Edge - new festival for North Pembrokeshire

On Land’s Edge is a very special new festival for North Pembrokeshire, celebrating its unique culture, history, landscape, and the spirit of endeavour that has forged connections to the rest of the world.

24th 25th 26th September 2021

 

Tickets now available! Click here for full exciting programme and to book tickets! 

With the support of Ancient Connections, funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation programme, the festival will feature new works throughout, a programme of live performance with, Jon Gower, David Pepper,  Ceri Ashe, Jobina Tinnemans, Deb Winter, Lorna Osborn, Mathew Bale, Nia Harries, Mike Lewis, Brian Manton, Geraint Lewis and The Goodwick Brass Band plus a cast of representing the best of local talent.

The 3 day festival will take place in locations around Fishguard and Goodwick celebrating stories embedded in its unique history, landscape, and personal experience. Theatr Gwaun, Fishguard’s community theatre will ‘host’ the festival and offer a warm welcome with hospitality provided in cooperation with local food and beverage producers.

The festival programme will showcase new original material for the spoken word, music, and film and feature guest appearances by creative personalities who have been inspired by this unique part of West Wales.

Full programme details on www.theatrgwaun.com and all social media.

Theatr Gwaun, Fishguard’s community theatre will host the festival, coordinating events that will take place in a several venues including those that can offer hospitality featuring North Pembrokeshire impressive food and beverage producers.

The festival programme will showcase new original material for the spoken word, music, and film and feature guest appearances by established creative personalities who have been inspired by this unique part of West Wales.

Date: March 2020 – March 2021

Project Outputs: Community event and legacy costumes

Categories
News

Bedwyr Williams selected for cross-border public art project

Following the community consultation, Ancient Connections is delighted to announce that artist Bedwyr Williams working with Contemporary Art Society has been selected to create the new piece of public art titled ‘Do the Little Things’ that will link St Davids with Ferns, Wexford.

 

Bedwyr, who is based in Caernafon, North Wales, has proposed to create a series of giant beehives, three in St Davids Cathedral grounds and three in Ferns (location to be decided). These beautiful structures would be modelled on traditional skeps, and although they would be much larger than a typical beehive, they are functional hives and would house real bee colonies. The artist has proposed that the communities in each location will take over the care for the bees and compare the unique flavour of the honey produced with their neighbours across the Irish Sea through exchange visits.

 

The decision to select Bedwyr from the shortlist of five artists, was made by a cross-border panel of specialists, who unanimously agreed that Bedwyr’s proposal bridged ancient traditions with modern concerns for the environment and biodiversity as well as highlighting the story of friendship between St David and St Aidan. According to legend, St Aidan was mentored by St David, who gave him a gift of bees before Aidan returned to Ireland to found the monastery in Ferns.

 

Bedwyr’s proposal was also the overall favourite with the communities when the scores were averaged out, with a Pembrokeshire voter saying “I like the fact that this is a “living” sculpture, in that it will house live bee colonies. This will provide much needed pollinating insects in both communities and continue the ancient tradition of bee keeping”. And a Wexford voter saying “This project is simplicity itself, I particularly like the idea of the bees collecting the pollen to bring it back to the beehive and being turned into lovely honey. It would be a great idea and it would help to conserve and safeguard our environment”.

Bedwyr says:

“I’m interested in objects that invite communities to become active participants to make the artwork whole. I want people to become fully engaged in the artwork, doing the little things to bring the artwork to life, forgetting themselves and their daily concerns for a few hours. St David’s last words were “Gwnewch y pethau bychain” or “Do the little things.” This ethos has guided the development of my proposal which is founded on the story of St David and St Aidan and steeped in the magic and history of these two intertwined locations”.

Bedwyr will now engage with the communities in both regions to drill down into the detail of how to translate this wonderful concept into a successful venture in practical terms.

Categories
News

Dig at St Patrick’s Chapel, Whitesands Bay uncovers fascinating objects

The archaeological dig at St Patricks Chapel, Whitesands, St Davids is now on Day 24. The Dyfed Archaeological Trust team and volunteers have been working incredibly hard to excavate the site and piece together the stories of the people who are buried here. Who were they and where did they come from?

Over one hundred skeletons have been uncovered, many of them are infants. In addition, a horn pin with copper alloy corrosion and part of a shale bracelet were excavated as well as a clay furnace, which was discovered beside the chapel wall, and may have been used for melting metal. The team have also found a possible gaming board with a checked pattern on the top right hand corner, which was placed on top of a cist grave.

Radiocarbon dating has shown that the cemetery was in use from the 6th century to the 11th century A.D. Analysis of the skeletons at the University of Sheffield has revealed a mixed population of men, women and children of all ages. Graves are aligned east/west with the head to the west. In keeping with the Christian burial tradition there were no possessions buried with the bodies. Some of the skeletons were in cists – graves lined and capped with stone slabs, a burial tradition common across western Britain in the early medieval period. A unique burial rite was also identified: burials of children with white quartz pebbles placed on the top of the cists.

The dig continues until 16th July, visitors are welcome and free tours are conducted every day.

Categories
News

The Little Things opera – first song released!

Ancient Connections is thrilled with the latest developments from one of our community projects led by Village Voices of Llangwm – “The Little Things – A Musical Journey” telling the story of the relationship between St David and St Aidan. This community opera is an ambitious cross-border project in collaboration with Ferns Choir with performances planned in the National Opera House, Wexford and St David’s Cathedral July 2022. Non’s Storm is performed by Emma Evans. Music composed by Sam Howley, words by Peter George. Next video will be a duet between St David and St Aidan, followed by a third all cast and chorus piece. Watch this space!