Creative care home residents have made “powerful and evocative” works of art that will be showcased at a top music festival.
The work of the residents of Pendine Park in Wrexham will go on display in the windows of St Asaph Cathedral where the North Wales International Music Festival will be held from September 15-30.
The theme for this year’s festival is The Horizon, inspired by the poem Y Gorwel written by National Eisteddfod winning bard John Evans, grandfather of Wrexham poet Aled Lewis Evans.
The deeply moving poem provides the creative inspiration for one of the festival’s headline concerts and a number of other events on the diverse music and arts programme.
Members of Pendine’s Seren Art Class were invited to produce a collection of original artworks on the theme of The Horizon.
Appropriately, Pendine is the headline sponsor of the festival via the Pendine Arts and Community Trust (PACT) which was set up to provide funding for arts and community activities.
Artist in Residence Sarah Edwards said: “The artistic process we used was fairly simple, with sweeping brush strokes in a variety of bright eye-catching colours and glints and flashes of silver for the actual horizon line which gives them a reflective style.
“They are perfect for displaying in the light of a window. But despite the simplicity of the process the powerful and evocative artworks are beautifully dynamic.”
Each resident in the art group has created an individual picture, with one resident producing two images.
Sarah explained: “One of our group members Tracey Wilde works very fast. Once she gets into the groove her work takes over quickly so she has made two artworks.
“Though all different they link well together because of the all-encompassing theme of the horizon.
“It’s also important that they are not all exactly the same because as we all know when we look at the horizon the image we see can change in the blink of an eye.”
Other residents who contributed include Tony Ithell who has been a keen member of the Seren art club ever since Sarah first set it up in Pendine Park’s spacious and airy Seren Lounge.
Tony said he tries to never miss a session and loves creating different styles of work.
Fellow residents Sandra Swift and Mark Cartwright were also greatly inspired by the Horizon theme which they have worked on intently over recent weeks.
They said it really fired their imaginations and encouraged them to look more closely at the sky’s horizon.
The original Y Gorwel poem focuses on the thoughts of an old man gazing out across Cardigan Bay from his home in the Barmouth area of Gwynedd and looking back to his childhood and how the innocence of youth looked to the horizon of his future not knowing the woes of life.
The poet John Evans won the chair at the National Eisteddfod in Aberystwyth in 1952 and again at Ystradgynlais two years later.
Grandson Aled, who is also a chapel minister serving congregations in Wrexham and Chester, will take part in the bilingual concert, Gorwelion y Gair (The Horizon of Words) at the festival on September 22, when he will be reading some of his own poems.
The concert also features the Trelawnyd and Bro Glyndŵr male voice choirs and the Dee Sign British Sign Language Choir as well as the popular folk quartet, Pedair.
Sarah Edwards said the coming together of various views of the horizon in all different forms – visual, literary and musical– should make for an unforgettable highlight of this year’s festival.
She added: “We are especially heartened to think that this stunning event is happening in what will be the last year that the current Artistic Director Ann Atkinson will hold the creative reins of the festival. She is also venturing towards exciting new horizons and we wish her the very best in her future.”
Ann has announced that she is to step down after 20 years in the role to give more time to her other musical projects.
Sarah said: “She has done a great job over the last two decades and this concert will be a wonderful high on which to go out. We are so proud that our residents here at Pendine Park are doing their bit creatively to help celebrate her farewell. It may be her last time heading up the festival but we are sure her legacy will be ongoing.”
In all 12 different canvases made by the residents will each be displayed in a separate window with their vibrant colours enhanced by the use of a mirror which symbolizes the sun rising over the horizon.
Sarah said: “They really should look quite stunning when in place. I can’t wait to see them and I am sure they will equally delight everyone who attends the festival.”
Tickets and further details about the festival programme are available online at www.nwimf.com. Tickets also available from Cathedral Frames, St Asaph – 01745 582929 (Weds – Fri, 10 – 4) and Theatr Clwyd by phone – 01352 344101 (Mon – Sat, 10 – 6).