Public Art Workshops at Coleg Cymunedol Y Dderwen

Below is the Students account of Art Workshops ran at Coleg Cymunedol Y Dderwen,the workshops were created for the students to be involved with the creation of a new piece of Public Art for the Community College site.

Today we have been documenting Poetry and Sculpture workshops held in the Tondu site of the new Coleg Cymunedol Y Dderwen School.

Sculptor David Annand and Poet Rhian Edwards are working with the school students to merge poetry and sculpture to create a new piece of Public Art that will represent the new school and community.

David is a very skilled sculptor, he ran a class for the students here at Coleg Cymunedol Y Dderwen, they all participated in the process of creating their own sculpture which will give David ideas for the new piece of Public Art which may be displayed in the foyer of the new school. David’s work is displayed across the country and therefore it is an honour for the pupils to be able to work with someone with such an inspiring repertoire.

Rhian Edwards an inspiring Bridgend poet she held a workshop for students interested in creative writing. While we were observing we saw their poems about emotions, which might be included in the sculpture. It was great to see the less confident students grow in their belief in themselves when they were shown what they were capable of.

Guy the Arts Development Officer for Bridgend helped us to document this process, we were encouraged to create videos and take photographs of the workshops. Guy took us to the building site of the new school to visit the contractors Lead bitter to show us where the new sculpture might be located. It has been a great experience.

Jamie Sollis, Lucy Crocombe, Ben Page and Natalie Jones.

IMG_0015 IMG_0025 IMG_0027 IMG_0065 students public art designs 2 student presentations david video and figure

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Public Art Workshops at Coleg Cymunedol Y Dderwen


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Cheapside Sculptures Unveiled

The Cheapside Sculptures Created by David Annanad and poetry by Rhian Edwards/students of Brynteg Comp where unveiled recently.The sculptures along with the hard landscaping on site have completely transformed this area of Bridgend,well done all !

In May 2012 John Tripp Award Winner, Rhian Edwards and evolutionary sculptor, David Annand worked with gifted and talented pupils at Brynteg Lower School, Bridgend as part of public consultation workshops in preparation for a new town centre sculpture.

Many of David’s sculptures create an interactive space which is a combination of street furniture and art. The majority of his sculptures have poems commissioned and engraved on them and the poem helps engage the public and encourages them to take time with the piece.

Involvement of local school pupils helped to create a narrative for the piece, which used figures, steel structures and  poetry to help consolidate the whole composition.

Cheapside sculptures - September 2012 A

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Tree Planting Workshop Photos

Below are a series of images of the tree planting workshops taking place on the Maesteg Washery Site.

Jony led the Workshops and 200 students from Maesteg Comp helped us to plant approx. 2000 trees!

The photos were taken by Mei Lewis, Mission Photography

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Progress on Maesteg Washery Site

Posts and Trees

Loads happening recently as regards Public Art.
The information below is taken from a brilliant blog by Catherine Stephens-Ward, Arts, Officer for Sustrans, the text is written by Jony Easterby the Artist working on the site, Catherine’s  blog address is,

Monoliths and Ponds looking West to East


A busy month down on site for the Maesteg Landscape project.

It was great to arrive back on site after a month or two away time to start putting some fencing in.
The contractor Jonathan and his mate Dai arrived a bit late and a bit lost with a mad bit of kit…a tracked post driver, very handy…and then did a cracking job of driving my nice oak fence posts into the ground. A couple of lines of Stock fence then arose. I was worried about how this would look, but it actually framed the site really nicely and gave a sense of protection to the water. A nice bit of local vernacular as Aled Singleton from BCBC pointed out. This fence will also act as a barrier to keep dogs out of the ponds as well affording protection for the newly planted trees .

Jonathan Lean and his crazy machine

Jonathan Lean and his crazy machine whacking fence posts in

 Having put up the fences we then moved on to the charred riven oak posts. This grid of oak posts will form the protective supports for over 250 Betula pubescens (Downy Birch) that will be planted next to each post.
The charred black oak posts reference the pit props once use in coalmines, their use now subverted to support trees. As they slowly decay they will add organic matter and a bit of biochar to the soil and help the birches grow. The oak posts came from a woodland a half mile from my house, near Machynlleth. They are thinings from the re-growth from stumps of an old oak wood that was clear felled during the great war around 1916, this was used to provide pit props fro the South Wales mines…..what comes around.

The contractors were dragging their feet a bit by now, smoking too many fags and totally underestimated the time it takes to drive the posts in despite my nagging. By fall of light we still had another 30-40 to go. Not my favourite pastime, holding a torch in the cold and rain so someone can bash posts in the dark!

All done Jules Russel my swarthy assistant woodsman, and I re retreated to the Crystal Palace Chinese restaurant, as we do evry night in Maesteg, so that Sam and his family could spoil us with amazing food and hospitality for the night. My warmest thanks to  them and the cosy Afan Lodge for making our stay in Maesteg comfortable.

The monolith semi circle

The monolith semi circle

We were also able to see how the water has been behaving and settling into the ponds. All the ponds were holding water…but at different levels?
So out with the shovel and spade, and after a while we had reached an equilibrium with each pool flowing into another….there is so much child like fun and wonder to be had working on this project, big diggers and mud pies!
We spent the next day raising the levels of all the ponds by building a stone outfall which cannot be eroded by the over flow, this in turn seeps into the land drain,under the cycle path and onto the stream to the North of the site.
This meant some of the bunds have started to disappear, losing the flow of lines I had imagined, this however has created an interesting broken line which will hopefully soon be colonised by vegetation. Only time will tell the combined action of water, wind and life will have on the site.

Raised path between seating and mound

Raised path with limestone dust running between the seating feature and the pond mounds.

Retreating back to the hills of mid Wales for a few days allowed me to pick up the tree and plant orders and gather spades in preparation for the tree planting session the following week. A trip to the Dingle wholesale nursery in Welshpool which I have been visiting for a number of years secured all bare rooted tree stock needed. They have over 200 acres of nursery there which is very impressive.
I also ordered a tub of ‘Friendly’ mycorrhizal fungi that you dip the bare roots into.

At the dawn  of time  when (the earth looked like the Maesteg washery) plants were just beginning to colonise our planet mycorrhizal fungi were there living in a symbiotic relationship with plants enabling them to extract nutrients and hold onto water in very difficult soil conditions.
In effect, the fungus provides a secondary root system, a system that is considerably more efficient and extensive than the plants own root system.
These fungi are living organisms and will live with the plant, sourcing a continued nutrient supply for its entire lifetime. In exchange the plant provides carbon and sugars to the fungi.
Boy the soil on site needs all the help it can get!

Riven oak grid with eager tree planters from Maesteg Comp

Riven oak grid with eager tree planters from Maesteg Comp

We then planted trees with a seemingly endless trail of school kids from Maesteg Comp…and how they can plant trees. After the first day we had manage to get well over 600 trees in the ground and were starting to worry there would be non left for locals to plant on the weekend!
We then got very wet, and planted more trees and got very wet..etc.

Needless to say the local folk of Maesteg showed up over the weekend despite the rain and rugby, and all the trees were put in the ground -over 1800 of them.
The following species were planted.

Alnus glutinosa – common alder
Acer campestre – Field maple
Cornus alba – Red stemmed dogwood
Cornus Sanguina- Dogwood
Crataegus monogyna – Hawthorn
Sorbus aucuparia – Mountain ash
Viburnum opulus – Guelder rose
Viburnum lantana –Wayfaring Tree
Rosa canina – Dog Rose
Quercus Petera -Oak
Corylus avellana – Hazel
Malus sylvestris – Crab Apple
Sambucus nigra – Elder
Betula pendula – Silver Birch
Betula pubesencs – Downey birch
Cytisus scoparius – Broom
Lonicera periclymenum – Honeysuckle
Pinus Sylvistris – Scots Pine

So its over to the elements and nature to take its course on site.
I will return in the spring to sow the following wildflower seeds.
These will be ‘artistically sprinkled’ in different coloured drifts around the site.

White Campion
Hedge Parsley
Birdsfoot Trefoil
White Melilot
Vipers Bugloss
Basic Mix
Corn Poppy
Corn Campion
Water edge mix
Devils Bit Scabios
Meadow Buttercup
Purple loosestrife
Ragged Robin
Self heal
Yellow Flag Iris

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Developing habitats and eco-connectivity

Aled Singleton, Regeneration Officer, Bridgend County Borough Council

Following natural regeneration, the community in Maesteg and Llynfi has been making great efforts to develop the habitats on former industrial sites in the upper sections of the valley.


Bridgend County Borough Council is about to launch a new eco-connectivity project, providing support to community organisations to learn about habitat connectivity and to develop proposals that complement the impressive work being done by Sustrans. This tells you about some of the work that Jony Easterby has been doing to connect habitats with his project at the former Maesteg Washery and how to get involved in the future.

Less than ten years after this site was an industrial wasteland, people are already starting to relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings of the old washery site (above). As well as constructing cycle routes, Sustrans work has created a new pathway (below) going north towards the ponds and stone art feature. The path meanders through the alder trees that have grown naturally on the site in the past 10 years.

Believe it or not, the little trees shown in all of the images will grow to the as big as the ones that surround the rugby pitches closer to the Comprehensive School (above right). Jony’s work has taken into account what has grown successfully on land close to the site and made efforts to support similar habitats.

Getting involved with other projects

Bridgend County Borough Council, with support from the Countryside Council for Wales, will be supporting groups to help people learn about habitats, management techniques and develop project ideas for the future. The main groups to benefit include as the Friends of Maesteg Welfare Park, Rivercare Group, Valleys to Coast and the Friends of Brynheulog (Caerau Park Estate) and Groundwork (Caerau Market Garden). The workshops will be happening in Autumn and Winter 2012 and early 2013.

For more information get in contact with any of these groups or email Aled

Maesteg Rivercare Group

Friends of Maesteg Welfare Park

Caerau Market Garden–neath-port-talbot/what-we-do/market-garden-blog.aspx

More news to follow…

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Progress on Site

I went on site last week with Jony ,Walt from Elbow Room and Catherine from Sustrans, WOW ! what a change on site things are really moving forwards. A path has been created through the site with a wonderful viewing area at the centre. A curved wall using local stone has also been created, amazing stuff.

I am currently working with local community groups in order to develop a future legacy for the project.Please get in touch if you want to support the project,





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Maesteg Washery Site Project

We are working in partnership with Sustrans to develop an area of land which is adjacent to Maesteg Comprehensive School.

Artist Jony Easterby has been appointed to lead this project. Jony recently ran two workshops on the project in Maesteg Comp, Thanks to the staff and students  for supporting the project.

Info on Jony

It is impossible to describe Jony Easterby’s work as sculpture, music or performance; it is all of these things.

He makes an alchemical amalgam of wood, metal, computers, sourced and live sound, light and darkness.

The work is characterised by the diversity of artistic practice used and the range of technologies employed.  Each project is different but there are key ideas and interests informing the approach. There is empathy for the natural world a sense of its place within culture and social context.

Using both digital and analogue media Easterby investigates the boundaries between raw elemental materials, sound technology, composition, landscape and architecture.

A breadth of expertise in a wide range of artistic skills has found him developing projects as varied as the construction of intricate sound sculptures, sound installations , architectural installations and the artistic direction of large-scale performance projects.

Below are some photos of Jonys workshop

(video content to follow)

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Art About Us Images

Here is a great photo by Cowbridge Hub of some of their members with Artist In Residence Rabab outside of her Art About Us shop and some info on future activity.

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Dan Wood,photographer

Dan Wood is a Bridgend based photographer he is supporting the Art About Us by documenting the project.

He is a brilliant artist in his own right, a great example of some of the artists talent in Bridgend.



I was born in Bridgend, South Wales 1974, where I still live to this day, working from my home based studio/darkroom. I have always been dedicated to black and white photography using film and traditional methods.


I have not been swayed by the digital revolution, If anything, it has confirmed my loyalty to film. For me, It is in the darkroom where the work of the artist meets the work of the artisan. Personally I feel it is this that sets the traditional photographer apart from the modern day digital photographer.


I am an Arts council of Wales supported Street/Documentary photographer, with over 15 years of experience. Taking inspiration from a wide subject matter, I have travelled widely in the pursuit of photos, capturing a multitude of cultures. I’m always seeking to produce images that are expressive and thought provoking.


My work has been featured in a number of publications, and exhibited both nationally and internationally.




Leica M7 – Summilux 35mm F1.4 lens 

Leica M6 –Summilux 50mm F1.4 lens

Rolleiflex 6×6 Medium format

Yashica T5 compact camera

Leitz Focomat V35 enlarger

LPL C7700 enlarger
















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