On 1st March Merched Chwarel concluded our R&D project with a caban-style, day – long ‘sharing’, kindly hosted by the Amgueddfa Llechi, Llanberis.
The day was in two parts: A drop in exhibition of our work in progress (incorporating sketch books, video, sound, 3-D work, photographs, installations and research) attended by all four artists and about 40 guests, followed by an hour-long caban debate with tea and bara brith. The debate was attended by invited guests from the arts, archaeology and womens studies, as well as those with a strong personal connection to the quarries and quarrying.
We created the space for dialogue to happen, questions to be asked, artistic ideas and information to be shared.
This followed a more public ’Open Day’, again hosted by Amgueddfa Llechi Llanberis, on February 22nd where there was an opportunity for the public to observe our working processes, to share our ideas and documented research, as well as contributing their personal stories.
Comments in our visitors’ book at the sharing day/emails afterwards were:
- “Fantastic co-operative project , enjoying the varied responses to a neglected subject. The online presence too — literate and revealing!”
• “Great to see artists asking questions, shedding light on the past in such creative ways. Diolch.”
• “A fascinating and worthwhile project. I look forward to seeing further developments.”
• “Prosiect difr tu hunt — cyffroes!”
• “Exciting project. Inspirational. Looking forward to following you.”
• “Fantastic ideas and cooperation on project. I think it is an excellent idea to bring together women to explore their emotional and artistic connection to quarries, also to research women’s involvement — a group to bring together a larger group’s ideas and feelings”.
• “Rhyfeddoe wir gwaith ymchwil mawr rhag i’r pethau fynd yn angof.”
• “Wych, edrych ymlaen amdan datblygiad y prosiect.”
• “Exciting stuff, wonderful passionate research. Looking forward, Edrych ymlaen.”
• “Thought today was brilliant and inspiring.” Rhys Mwyn
• “What a great day and great project! Would love to connect with it in the future”.
• “diolch am y wahoddiad i’r prynhawn merched y chwarel. roedd yn diddorol iawn, trafod y wahnol syniadau a cyfarfod pobol. Roeddwn yn hoffi y syniad gan Lisa a Marged I gwisgo llechi, fel tomen llechi sydd yn medru symud. Hefyd roeddwn yn meddwl am y cysylliadau rhwng y marched ddoe a heddiw a pawb, llinellau sydd yn lincio pawb. Y marciau at y llechen fel ysgrifennu at bwrdd du gyda sialc. Gad I mi wybod am digwyddiadau pellach a buaswn yn hoffi cyfrannu at dy project.
Da iawn a pob lwc”.
Throughout our project we met with interest and encouragement from a wide range of people and organisations. The level of interest in the themes and the results of our work from Amgueddfa Llechi, galleries, archaeologists, culturalists, holiday makers and local residents showed that there is a future for the project. For example, in his article about the event in Y Herald Cymraeg, Rhys Mwyn said ” Undoubtedly, there is a very exciting project in progress here – and I can suggest this on the basis of art alone … but there is [also] a fundamental question being asked: When I walked into the meeting room at the Slate Museum, I realised how little I know of the role of the women in relation to the quarry. By romanticising the overly hard human life of the man in the quarries, we have completely ignored the women… and this has to be stared directly into the human mirror”
This conclusive day gave us a focus on reflectivity and critical analysis of the results of our research and development , with a view to the next phases of the project.