Cymerau (or confluence in English) is part of a UK wide research project called Hydrocitizenship (2014-2017) that is being funded by the AHRC. This work aims to engage communities in creative conversations about water and related issues by using participatory arts methods. eg. film, performance, theatre, sculpture, photography etc. I'm part of a team based at Aberystwyth in mid Wales who are hoping to engage with communities in Borth and Tal-y-bont. Two places that you may have seen in the news a lot in recent years due to storms, floods and high tides. Other projects are taking place in the Lee Valley (London), Shipley (Yorkshire) and Bristol. In each instance there are unique water related issues that teams of artists and researchers are aiming to engage with. At the same time, each team is mindful that water means a lot of different things to different people. History, play, memory, family, community, industry, a sense of place and connectivity or separation are all associated with water. So while we are concerned with big themes like climate change, we are interested in the small issues too!
Photograph: Becky Payne (2014)
We're just beginning to undertake some creative cultural mapping in our area by engaging a small group of artists, performance makers, and storytellers - each of whom has expertise in working with individuals and community groups. Next week - 7pm 16th December - storyteller Peter Stephenson will be leading a water themed storytelling event at the Friendship (public house) in Borth. This will be streamed live on the internet. Links to follow. The visual artist Jude Macklin will be running a series of 'water walks' along the river Leri in January 2015 and performer Frances Stoakley will be gathering oral histories in March 2015 by employing an exciting photographic method. More details of all of these to follow in separate posts. Other exciting artists will feature too as the project begins to grow over the course of the next twelve months. We are currently working up towards a Cymerau launch event on World Water Day 22nd March 2015. Please get in touch if you would like to be involved.
We would really like to make connections with other artists that are involved in innovative creative practices to do with water - specifically ones that might be described in one way or another as participatory (although this covers pretty much all art if you think about it). We are interested in making connections, facilitating new work and collaborating.
One way that you can connect with us is by joining our group here on the NTW community. Click here. You can also participate or follow what is going on across the UK (in this project and many others to do with water) by joining Hydrocitizens. This is a new online community for artists, researchers and others interested in creative approaches to water and related issues. Its a small but very exciting community whose members include artists and researchers of all kinds from around the UK and internationally. I will write another blog about this another time. For now click here to take a look yourself. Alternatively you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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