Sounds of old trains greeted an audience in Oriel Myrddin on Saturday 22nd August as they arrived and received their tickets to embark…The room filled and the audience were welcomed with a song from Joanna Bond with percussion from Ceri Rhys Matthews (this version below is accompanied by the train sounds).
All aboard they listened to how Joanna became inspired by a train journey –
‘So to start I want to paint a picture … It’s July 2012, in a sleeper carriage two newlyweds are returning from 10 days honeymoon in Prague gazing out of the train window into the blur of the world and lost in train dreaming time of each others presence. Passing Germany the female an artist who up until now mainly worked in ceramics the male an aspiring politician with a poet’s heart. The artist gazes out of the window and is fascinated by futuristic train she quickly grabs her sketchbook and starts to draw. As she draws and writes recording the atoms as they fall into her mind, railway time, train dreaming, songlines, roots, social value, Wales and a question appears…
How can you go all the way to Prague on the train and not go from Bangor to Cardiff without going through Shrewsbury?’
With a cup of tea visitors were invited to look at the exhibition layed out around the room – a selection of documents, maps, drawings, photographs and objects from the last three years research work including ceramic tiles made on a railway platform at Aberdyfi, a carriage window and a milk churn used in a performance by Joanna inspired by the Pont Llanio creamery.
Storyteller Peter Stevenson told a few colourful stories from the line’s past and Ceri Rhys Matthews performed some wonderful songs and music from the area including ‘Trip i Aberystwyth’ a song specifically written about a journey along the line.
‘Our plan over the next 6 weeks is to explore the line, its cultural and physical landscape, to discover it’s stories and sing it’s songs, to engage and enthuse people along the line by placing art at the heart of a community and political campaign. The work we develop on sites of the old line and in the studio will be blogged about as we go and will become the core of a multidisciplinary exhibition and performance event starting at 7pm in Ceredigion Museum, Aberystwyth on October 3rd, we hope you can join us.’