This exciting project brings artists together to create a multidisciplinary performance and presentation of work, inspired by the landscape and history of the Carmarthen to Aberystwyth railway line. The project runs in parallel to the ongoing Traws Link Cymru campaign to reinstate the line.
Having secured Arts Council of Wales funding the project launched on August 22nd 2015. In the 6 weeks following a group of artists walked along sections of the old railway line, to dance, to film, to sing and record; to draw and make site specific art, reconnecting the locations and histories of the line through creative responses to the journey. Sharing stories and songs along the route, the artists blogged about the creation of new work as they went, developing ideas towards the final destination – a performance presentation first shown in Ceredigion Museum, Aberystwyth on October 3rd 2015.
- Lead artist Joanna Bond is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in New Quay, west Wales specialising in ceramics, singing, performance art, and capoeira.
- The idea formed in June 2012 while Joanna was travelling back from honeymoon in Prague by railway. ‘I had a strong desire to connect west Wales with south Wales where I grew up and where my parents still live’.
- Up until its closure the railway connected north and south Wales and was an instrumental part of rural life. It is remembered with great fondness and its reinstatement would bring environmental, social and economic benefits.
Using the railway as a metaphor
- Connecting artists. The project brings together a number of artists from various different disciplines, connecting ideas and creative experiences.
- Connecting places. The artworks brings together stories and songs of the area, sharing the personal experiences of places and journeys.
- Connecting people. The project aims to engage with a broad audience. Through community groups and organisations it will develop engagement with the campaign to reinstate the railway and promotes relationships between art audiences, train enthusiasts, environmentalists and tourists.
The art & the artists
- Music, sound & song. Local music and songs from Carmarthen to Aberystwyth are explored and recorded by musicians including Ceri Rhys Matthews and Tobias James. With additional sound and spoken word works created by Naomi Heath and Maura Hazelden.
- Video & photography. Video documentary and video artworks by Jacob Whittaker follow the artistic processes of the group and contribute to the final production. Photographer Marc Hayes documents the process with still images.
- Dance & performance. Joanna Bond, working with movement artist Simon Whitehead creates and dances choreographies inspired by the landscape, the railway and the other artists on the journey along the line. Together with Ruth Hogg, Jo creates a range of performance works for the event in Aberystwyth.
- Storytelling. Storyteller Peter Stevenson shares evocative and atmospheric stories around imagined and real journeys, encounters and adventure on the railway and in the surrounding areas. These inform the work of the other artists and provide focus points over the course of journey.