Shape My Town – Merel Bekking – Ancient Copper to Contemporary Design

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Merel Bekking

From Ancient Copper to Contemporary Design

Merel Bekking is a Dutch  designer based in Bangor and will be our first ” Shape my Town” artist in residence this year. In her work Merel likes to challenge the current status quo and question why things are the way they are. She has chosen to focus her work on the fascinating heritage of the Bronze Age Copper Mines on the Great Orme in the context of her work as a contemporary product designer in the 21st century.

Merel says:
“Even though the Great Orme copper mine was an extremely important and wealthy site in the area for thousands of years, the knowledge of its existence had completely disappeared only to be rediscovered less than 30 years ago. During my residency, I will investigate the use of malachite, the precious mineral found in the great Orme Mine and copper, the metal that can be made with malachite. With these materials and together with the local community I will work with this ancient gift from Llandudno to create contemporary user objects.

For this project, I intent to bring back the knowledge and pride about this important part of Llandudno history to the local community and its visitors.”

As part of Merel’s residency we will create a “Pop-up” Museum in the Victoria Shopping Centre in Llandudno. Where Merel will have her studio. It will have  lots of interactive events, displays and drop-in workshops including sessions on malachite dying and  a copper jewellery making masterclass. Merel will also be up at the mines working side by side with Dave Chapman from “Ancient Arts” who will bring history to life with  copper smelting demonstrations.

Merel says:
“The Ideas:People:Places project is based on the same partnership principles as my work practise. I often work in cross sector collaborations. I’ve worked together with neuroscientist, plastic producers, South African artists, traditional weavers, even taxidermists. As I am making North Wales my home for years to come I would very much love to play a role in the regeneration of Llandudno and make a long-lasting, creative and empowering change to this area.”


This post is also available in: Welsh

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