‘Adain Avion’ mobile arts space lands in Llandudno

Photo by Marc Rees

On Sunday July 8th the fuselage of a DC aeroplane landed on the promenade in Llandudno, the third destination of the wingless plane’s “flight” around Wales, having previously nested in Swansea and Ebbw Vale, it will reach its final destination in August when it comes into land at the National Eisteddfod of Wales which in 2012 occupies a former airfield in Llandow, Vale of Glamorgan.

The wreckage of the DC-9 plane was discovered by Spanish sculptor and designer Eduardo Cajal in a scrapyard, having crashed with no fatalities, Cajal decided to transform the fuselage into a mobile arts space, his artist/architect led collective Trashumante finally unveiled Avion at the international art fair ARCO in Madrid. In 2009 Marc Rees was selected to represent Wales in the UK-wide project Artists Taking the Lead as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. His winning proposal was to bring Avion from its home in Huesca, northern Spain to travel around Wales. Rees acting as the planes Captain became the temporary custodian of this extraordinary sculptural object, celebrating the twentieth anniversary of its conception with an international cultural exchange titled “Adain Avion”.

Photo by Philip Andrews

Alongside “Captain” Marc Rees were 6 Stewardesses – The AAA Troupe [Adain Avion Attendants] played beautifully by ‘Kitsch ‘n Sync Collective‘ and decked out in dresses designed by Melyn Tregwynt  they performed routines around the plane, town and Mostyn Gallery creating a homage to the town’s theatrical entrepreneur Will Catlin who hired Pierrot groups and strategically placed them about town to publicise his shows. Will Catlin’s daughter Margot worked with dancer and choreographer Cai Tomos to develop a performance which took place on the site where Will once built her a roller skating rink.

Local Artists Nick Elphick, Tim Pugh and Wendy Couling staged exhibitions and workshops within the plane, and artists selected from the Helfa Gelf Open Studios Arts Trail took part in a sound and video installation. Aeroplane related films played on screens inside the fuselage and each morning the plane hosted a different fitness class.

The events, exhibitions and performances where all recorded and along with the footage from previous destinations will be edited to produce the planes ‘blackbox’ which will be presented by Marc Rees to the National History Museum at St.Fagans, Cardiff, where it will be archived in the Contemporary Folk Archive.

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By @badgemakesart

Area: Wales

Space and Time – Photography Exhibition by Gemma Pepper – May to October 2012 – Llandudno – North Wales

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The first time Gemma Pepper realized she wanted to become a photographer she was stood on top of a mountain in Zakinthos in Greece.

Born in Hertfordshire and raised in Switzerland, Gemma grew up in a creative family, her Mother is a keen watercolour painter and late Grandfather a photographer and painter, she found herself encouraged to follow her dream of becoming a photographer. In 2010 she moved back to North Wales to study for a HND in photography, now approaching the end of her final year she chose to stage a solo show as part of her assessment, the result is ‘Space and Time’.

Inspired by the likes of Francesca Woodman, Ralph Eugene Meatyard and Duane Michals, Gemma’s work explores ideas of representation and the self, with portraits of young females and self portraits a prevalent theme. For this body of work Gemma sought inspiration from surrealism and traditional darkroom techniques, using a 35mm camera and long exposures she began to question the notions of time and space.

Having used an old Village Hall in Dolgarrog and an empty Hanger in Beaumaris for similar photo-shoots Gemma experimented with both Digital and Film [both 35mm and large format] working through ideas for her final project responding to the buildings features and the models relationship with the space. It was through sheer coincidence that Gemma found her biggest inspiration for the project in the shape of an empty Edwardian Pumping Station in Rhos-on-Sea, thanks to the support of estate agent Richard Baddeley she was able to use the building as the location for the end photo-shoot, using long exposures and blurred movements to evoke the constant changes that affect and shape our lives.

In 2011 Gemma achieved both first and second place in two Focal Press competitions, and is currently shortlisted for the ‘Art, Design and Media Student award 2012’.

‘Space and Time’ will be touring from May atCASC artist studios and project spaceto Zurich, Switzerland in October 2012.

The exhibition is the first public exhibition to be held at ‘casc artist studios and project space’ an artist-run organisation consisting of artist studios and a project space, founded with the mission of supporting and promoting both emerging and established contemporary visual artists from North Wales and beyond, by providing affordable artist-run studios and an exhibition/project space. Key to the groups’ ethos is the development and sustainability of local, regional and international initiatives, promoting research and community outreach projects.

Gemma’s exhibition is the starting point for the group’s mission to help support and nurture upcoming talent, providing them not only with an exhibition space, but invaluable advice, guidance and a kickstart to their burgeoning artistic careers.

More information can be found about Gemma on her Facebook Page and CASC artist studios project here

Written by Badgemakesart

Images copyright Gemma Pepper

Area – North Wales