Artist Owen Griffiths has been working with residents at Tre Cwm Housing Estate in Llandudno to develop ideas for the regeneration of a corner of the Estate. Owen and Isabel Griffin, Creative Producer, have held community art sessions in July, August and September to get residents involved in the design.
Owen Griffiths, an international artist based between Wales and Denmark, explained:
“We have worked in Parc Bodnant on the Tre Cwm Estate, in the slightly forgotten landscape of an old clothes-drying area. This area has become an empty space, without purpose. We are working with the community, especially the young residents, to generate ideas developed around temporary art installations and longer-term potential changes. We are developing a sense of co-authorship in redesigning these lost spaces.”
The project, called ‘Ffactri’, is part of the Culture Action Llandudno CIC (CALL cic) plan to transform Llandudno’s ‘Lost Spaces’ by using art and culture to revitalise the built environment and energise the community. It is aiming to encourage local people to have a positive new relationship to the built environment. This has been made possible by the collaborative initiative and financial support of the Arts Council Wales Ideas:People:Places grant and Mostyn Estates Ltd working in partnership with Cartrefi Conwy Housing Association.
CALL’s activity at Tre Cwm is part of a wider environmental regeneration project at the estate that Cartrefi Conwy are currently undertaking, which will see many physical changes to the whole area. It will include new pathways and play areas, landscaped areas, parking and road configuration.
Clare Phipps a Community Involvement Coordinator at Cartrefi Conwy said:
This project very much fits in with Cartrefi Conwy’s philosophy that the physical change of an area should be underpinned with community and social change. We think that by making people feel involved it fosters a sense of pride in the Estate that we are seeking to develop as part of our wider regeneration project. The work at Tre Cwm comes on the back of a major environmental programme on the Peulwys estate; the first housing estate in Wales to be given a Green Flag Award.
In July, August and September Owen and Isabel ran drop in workshops which included mask making, painting designing, den building, as well as weaving and poetry.
“The space has an urban dynamic. It is situated close to a rural environment but still is essentially an urban landscape. We used the art workshops because it is a great way to encourage conversation while you are doing the activity. Learning and doing things with your hands frees up time to talk about design and ideas about the space. We are researching the space by doing something active rather than more formally asking ‘what do you want to happen to this space?’ It is about getting people to join in and participate in the slower process of change to their environment.”
Owen and Isabel are currently developing the ideas that came out of the workshop sessions they held and the finished design will be included in Cartrefi Conwy’s regeneration project next year. Local people have worked enthusiastically with the artists and it is hoped that these new experiences will have a positive influence on how they can confidently change the area that they live, work and play in.
This post is also available in: Welsh