Young people from Caerphilly County Borough have created sculptures in commemoration of the First World War.  The artworks were produced during a twelve-week project organised in partnership between Head4Arts and Caerphilly County Borough Council Youth Services Hub Team.

The artworks were created by young people from the Mid Valleys West and Caerphilly Basin Lansbury Park Hub groups.  Both groups were inspired by the centenary of the First World War and decided to make memorials to remember those who were affected by the conflict.

During the project, the young people learned more about World War One by taking part in a research trip to the Imperial War Museum, London.  The groups furthered their creative skills by working alongside professional artists to explore different artforms, including collage and mono-printing with Rhian Anderson and storytelling and performance with Mike Church.

Following this period of creative research, the young people worked with lead artist Cindy Ward to make and design their sculptures.  Both groups have interpreted their findings in different ways to produce two unique pieces of commemorative art; with the Lansbury Park group drawing inspiration from hand painted camouflaged helmets and the Mid Valleys West  group choosing to create a copper silhouette of a WW1 solider.

The young people involved also had an opportunity to work towards an Explore Arts Award accreditation as part of the project.

The sculptures were launched at a presentation event in the Winding House Museum, New Tredegar where they have been displayed throughout the Easter holidays.  The artworks will later be re-located to Van Community Centre and Markham Leisure Centre.

Youth Worker, Deb Greenway said “The young people involved have taken so much from the project, they have been able to learn more about an important part of our history in an engaging and creative way.  Displaying the sculptures in our local museum has enabled lots of community members to view the work and appreciate the talents of our young people”.

For more information about Head4Arts, visit www.head4arts.org.uk  or contact info@Head4Arts.org.uk / 01495 357816

Earth Hour 2018

Over 400 people from across the South East Wales valleys region came together at four events to celebrate Earth Hour with Head4Arts this March.

Earth Hour is a WWF global campaign during which millions of people turn off their lights to raise awareness of climate change.  As Wales is celebrating the year of the sea in 2018, Head4Arts focussed this year’s activities on the effects of climate change on our ocean environments.

The events that were held at Blaenavon World Heritage Centre, Dowlais Community Centre, Parc Penallta and The Met Abertillery offered a range of family friendly activities based on an environmental theme, such as storytelling and lantern making.  Participants were invited to make a promise for the planet – resulting in hundreds of families pledging to make small lifestyle changes to reduce their impact on the environment.

Each of the events concluded with magical lantern lit performances by local groups such as Abertillery Youth Drama and Musical Society in The Met, Tune Club members in Dowlais and the Celtic Café folk band in Blaenavon.  The celebrations at Parc Penallta included a lantern parade featuring 40 giant sea creature lanterns, creating a stunning backdrop for the event.

A special motion graphic film using artwork created by school children from across the region was launched at the events.  The film was created during a series of outreach sessions where children worked alongside professional artists and environment specialists to learn about the effects of increased water temperatures on sea creatures.  The film is now available to download as a screensaver, using the following link https://files.fm/u/j5qszewu

Kate Strudwick, Head4Arts Creative Project Manager said “This year’s Earth Hour activities have enabled us to connect with large numbers of community members, using the arts to raise awareness of an important environmental issue.  It has been encouraging to see so many families pledging to make a difference for the future. We have been thrilled with the positive response to this year’s events and we are looking forward to planning similar activities for 2019”

Head4Arts’ Earth Hour celebrations were made possible through partnerships with the following organisations:
Aneurin Leisure, Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust, Stephens and George Centenary Charitable Trust, Parents Network Merthyr Tydfil, Torfaen County Borough Council, Caerphilly County Borough Council Countryside Team, Parents Network Caerphilly and WWF.

The downloadable screensaver was produced by Breaking Barriers Community Arts.

Photographs – Mark Lewis