Images by Hywel Harris
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CROMEN

September 2020 | Supported by the Arts Council of Wales Stabilisation Fund through the National Lottery Fund

During lockdown 2020, I urgently felt the need to engage in a methodical healing and recovery process to remember how to be an artist.

With the support of an Arts Council Wales stabilisation grant, I underwent a weeks ‘artist in restoration’ on the Taliesin Arts Centre stage to explore, invent and play with a system. The result was CROMEN, a structure/ sculpture/ framework made from recycled wooden pallets – a space for sanctuary, shelter, quietude and meditation, a repository and incubator of ideas, conversation, memories, discussion and performance to authentically consider, confront and navigate the issues and challenges arising from the current altered cultural landscape.

Due to further lockdown restrictions, I was unable to share the process live with an audience/artists as originally intended so shifted focus on the creation of a film.

CARBON < 19 a movement mantra considers how art and culture can respond to a time like this, and how it can provide a place for contemplation and reflection.

A response to CARBON < 19 a movement mantra from Karine Décorne of Migrations

I am always amazed on how quickly you work! I remember you mentioning this wasn’t part of the original plan to make a performance/film?
…it makes me think of a brain and at its centre, it’s core, what may make an individual unique
– it feels safe while being open to the outside and porous as you can see through it, from inside and outside
– the moment you climbed on it took me by surprise and I loved it: it gives yet again another dimension to the structure: you standing there and talking in silence is beautiful: just my own interpretation here but I saw:
– strength and the image of someone talking on top of a barricade or other higher point to a crowd during a demonstration for example
– a human alone and wanting to connect with the world which is so relevant to today’s situation, bringing a sense of shared experience of strength, empathy and solidarity
– and finally, a refugee because these are hard times and we should allow ourselves to feel sad and vulnerable and still find ways to believe in ourselves.
Credits

Dave Mangenner Gough (creative brother)

Jenny Hall (architect/designer)

Eifion Porter (carpenter)

Helen Ognjenovic-Morgan (textile artist)

Isabel Griffin (creative producer)

This project was made possible by the Arts Council of Wales Stabilisation Fund through the National Lottery Fund

Thanks to Taliesin Arts Centre, National Theatre Wales, University of Tasmania & Ten Days on the Island