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

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
Archaeology

Uncovering the Past

Archaeology Project

Uncovering the Past

The ‘Uncovering the Past’ archaeological project will investigate sites in Pembrokeshire and North Wexford by geophysical survey to reveal information about the early Celtic Church, Celtic Saints, their followers and subsequent pilgrimage that will uncover more information about historical links between the two regions thereby contributing to the cross-border story. Geophysics is a technique that takes readings of the surface of the earth and what is below it by generating an electronic signal recording the archaeology under the ground and mapping it.

The ecclesiastical landscapes of Pembrokeshire and Wexford capture in their churches, chapels and cemeteries the stories and associations with Saints David and Aidan – a reminder of the importance of the shared Atlantic sea-lanes that served to link the churches of Ireland and Wales.

The sites targeted so far are:-

Pembrokeshire February 2021.

St David’s Cathedral was clearly the focus of substantial ecclesiastical activity in the 1st millennium AD as an episcopal centre, the possibility of the survival of earlier medieval features had been raised and geophysics was completed on Chanters Orchard in August 2020 to the south-west of the cathedral. The results reveal a lot of activity with intriguing features potentially relating to  earlier enclosures, a potential boundary wall and features associated with the nawdd  (zone of sanctuary).

Mathry Church – a large early medieval circular enclosure around possibly a 5th or 6th century precursor to the ecclesiastical site at St David’s.

Llanrhian Church environs – a potential early medieval church enclosure.

Waun y Beddau Cemetery/Carreg Nymllwyd  – the names suggest an early medieval burial ground which has already produced graves of early medieval date.

Capel yr Hen Fynwent – the name means ‘the chapel of the old cemetery’ which implies an earlier medieval or early medieval phase of activity at the site.

Rosina Vallis/Hodnant – a possible  predecessor of the later ecclesiastical site at St David’s defined by an enclosure with fragments of medieval floor tile.

Wexford August 2021

Ferns Abbey – Founded at the turn of the 7thtcentury by St Aidan, also known as St Máedhóg (who died in 624). He was reputed to have been a pupil of St David of Wales. There are three plain granite crosses and a cross slab that testify to the earlier origins of Ferns. Diarmait MacMurrough King of Leinster reputedly died at Ferns in 1171 and the broken fragment of a decorated high cross in the graveyard is said to mark his grave. Ferns was later known as St Mary’s Abbey and that field contains the probable early monastery and monastic enclosure that have been already been targeted for excavation by the Irish Archaeological Field School and geophysics will help with the excavation targeting.

Toombe church – probably an early monastery with an oval ecclesiastical enclosure consisting of an inner and an outer enclosure.

Ballyorley Upper – an early ecclesiastical enclosure  with a tradition of being an early church site.

Kilmyshall – site of an early  church, graveyard and holy well in an oval enclosure.


Date: October 2019 – February 2022

In Partnership with: DigVentures/MetGeo for Pembrokeshire County Council, in partnership with Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Wexford County Council and Visit Wexford

Project Outputs:
Geophysical Report
Project Page on the DigVentures Website
Blogs
Tweets
Participation in Geophysical Events
Workshops on how to do Geophysics

Learn More at:
www.archaeology.ie

Categories
Community

Mediaeval Costumes for Ferns – Ferns Heritage Project

Community Project

Mediaeval Costumes for Ferns – Ferns Heritage Project

Ferns Heritage Project is a key community organisation that strives to create opportunities to bring the unique heritage stories of Ferns to life for contemporary audiences. This project will play an important part in developing a unique Ferns tourism offering, forming a template to be used for years to come. Costumes will be created by a professional seamstresses and wooden staffs for St Aidan and St David will also be professionally made. In addition to this, local volunteers will make further costumes to create an historical re-enactment performance – a theatrical celebration to include jousting on horseback, medieval dancing and warriors displaying games of the medieval period.

“We want to bring history to life through creating a visual display in period costume focusing on the connections between Pembrokeshire and Wexford – showcasing an important element of our shared history in an entertaining and colourful way.”

Catherine McPartlin – Ferns Heritage Project

Date: March 2020 – March 2021

Project Outputs: Community event and legacy costumes

Categories
Arts Community

Animating Schools

Arts Project

Animating Schools

Animating Schools brings three schools together for the ambitious creation of a short animation film telling the stories of connection between these two regions. The participating schools are Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi in St Davids, Pembrokeshire, Scoil Naomh Maodhog Ferns and St Edan’s School, both in Ferns, County Wexford.

In March 2020, the project kicked off with a group of aged 12-13 plus staff traveling from St Davids to Ferns to meet and get to know their peers in the Ferns schools. The pupils in all three schools have been learning about their own heritage stories, as well as the stories that link these two regions through working with Fishguard based storyteller Deb Winter and Wexford based Lorraine O’Dwyer. In Ferns, the young people performed their stories to each other as well as sharing musical performances of contemporary and traditional pieces.  

“I just wanted to send a HUGE thank you from all at Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi for the amazing visit we had to Ireland. The pupils and I were so ‘blown away’ by the incredibly warm Irish welcome and every aspect of our visit was perfect! The arrival at Scoil Maodhog was moving and our pupils are now texting, snap chatting/what’s-apping etc. and looking forward to the return visit. All the excursions were fabulous and informative and when I asked pupils what their favourite aspect of the trip was, not one of them could decide as there were just too many things to pick from.”

Cilla Bramley, Head of Expressive Arts at Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi

The project is due to recommence in March 2021, and Cardiff based animation studio Winding Snake will be assisting the young people to creatively retell these stories through different animation techniques, culminating in a short film that will be screened in venues and online in 2021-22.

“The team at Winding Snake are thrilled to be working with the schools involved as part of this exciting and historic project.  We can’t wait to get stuck in and start making! The young people taking part will work with us to create animation, learn musical composition, make foley and sound effects, participate in script writing and storytelling sessions, and will work with professional actors to learn acting and performance skills. With lots and lots of arts and craft thrown into the mix too, it’s going to be a wonderful project.” 

Amy Morris, Director of Winding Snake

A short documentary film about the project will also be created by filmmaker Terence White based in Wexford.

Date: March 2020 – Jan 2022

Project Outputs: A short animated film

Learn More at: www.windingsnake.com

Categories
Arts

Bedwyr Williams ‘Do the Little Things’ Public Art commission St Davids and Ferns

Arts Project

Bedwyr Williams 'Do the Little Things' Public Art Commission in Ferns and St Davids

Ancient Connections is thrilled to be able to create a permanent legacy of the project through commissioning public art in St Davids and Ferns. 

Bedwyr Williams was selected from a shortlist of five artists by a cross-border panel in July 2021. He has proposed to create a series of giant beehives, three in St Davids Cathedral grounds and three in Ferns. 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 project is in its early stages. Currently the focus is on finding the ideal locations for the skeps and connecting with local bee keeping specialists to ensure that public safety is ensured as well as the wellbeing of the bee colonies. 

Bedwyr Williams

Bedwyr Williams is originally from St Asaph and now based in Caernafon. He is widely recognised as one of Wales’ most significant contemporary artists and represented Wales in the Venice Biennale in 2013 with his installation ‘The Starry Messenger’. He works across a range of mediums in both gallery and public art settings, often employing wry humour and surrealism to explore culture through a different lens. For this project, he will be working closely with Contemporary Art Society, a consultancy specialising in support and delivery of public art projects. 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”.

Public Consultations

Bedwyr’s proposal was also the most popular among the communities of North Pembrokeshire and North Wexford, who took part in the online survey. These were some of the comments that community participants made about the project:

 

“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”.

(Pembrokeshire)

 

“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”.

(Wexford)

Funded by: Ancient Connections

Dates 2021-2022