Just some of the beautiful words printed on the last day of the Llenyddiaeth Cymru project at The Share Centre in Newport. The momentum has built from session to session, with some people returning to make another artwork, and new folk joining. Some of the participants chose words to reflect their faith and the celebration of Eid, others chose the name of a child, or words with strong emotional resonance. Francesca and I wanted the sessions to be very non-directive and open, allowing participants to take control of their work and choose words and art materials they felt drawn to. I demonstrated some printing techniques such as etching into styrofoam and making impressions with leaves, but mostly, participants were happy to experiment by themselves.
It’s hard to express the special kind of atmosphere that descends when people gather to make art. It is serene, yet focused; you are aware of the others around you and may take inspiration from them, yet you enter into a ‘zone’ where, just for a while, outside worries and thoughts, and even time can fade away. It is a healing, nourishing space. Perhaps there was also a subconscious sense of relief at being able to gather together again post-lockdown.