Barry Arts Festival 2013

We’re busy on it, and we have a separate website for more details – – please visit us, and our Festival facebook page, and promote it to all your friends – share and like us!

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Countdown to Barry Arts Festival 2013

Four weeks today will see the start of the 2nd Barry Arts Festival – and this one promises more events, more venues, more involvement from the Barry community than last year. And BAF12 was a great success, so we’re in for a treat next month!

The festival will be officially opened by Dai Smith, Chair of the Arts Council of Wales on Friday 24th May at Art Central, King Square. Our BAF Patron, Gillian Clarke, National Poet of Wales, cannot be with us but has endorsed the festival – read her words on the programme which will be available in a few days.

So, ten days which will be a riot of music, art, theatre, poetry, philosophy, family activities, talks, writing, community projects, exhibitions and workshops – it’s all there, and you’ll be spoiled for choice. You don’t need to get in your car, catch a train, go to Cardiff… it’s all going to be happening in Barry! This only happens once a year, so make sure you go to as many events as you possibly can.

Tickets will be available online on this website, and at our festival shop on Holton Road (previously Blockbusters, opposite Barclays Bank). Some events are free – but you will be required to book a place as seats are limited. All details will be in the programme and at the festival shop.

This festival shop – Arts Off-centre – will be hosting exhibitions, workshops and other events throughout the festival – and for a couple of weeks before. So drop in and have a chat, pick up programmes, buy tickets, put your name down for workshops, wander round the gallery and get in festival mood!

As well as the community projects which have been reported here before – have you noticed the yarn-bombed trees on King Square?! – there are other events which have taken some planning and are in the (maybe) final stages of preparation.

I’ve heard that ‘Confusions’ the Alan Ayckbourn play being staged by Pukka Productions is causing lots of giggles, and weeping of the laughter kind, at rehearsals. It’s on Tuesday 28th May.

‘Augustus, Gwen and Nina’ – a new play about the lives and loves of three famous Welsh artists is in rehearsal under the direction of Hilary Fifer, with an experienced cast. Writer Tony Curtis is looking forward eagerly to its premiere at BAF13. It’s on Thursday 30th May.

The community projects will be exhibited at Art Central from Saturday 18th May , for two weeks, until Saturday 1st June. One of the projects, the community wallhanging of over 20 beautiful textile pieces made by women all over Barry (and beyond) is now being assembled by a team of wonderful ladies from the St Francis Quilters, and we are grateful to Palmerston Community Centre for giving us the space to do this. I love it when the community rallies round like this! Jane Hutt AM will present the wallhanging to ValePlus on Saturday 18th – it promises to be a beautiful piece of artwork.

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Travel Talks and festival update

Three Travel Talks on Tuesdays
In the run-up to the festival, Canolfan Porthceri are hosting a series of talks, with the third talk during festival week (24th May – 2nd June).

Three Travel Talks on Tuesdays” – starting on March 26th at 8.30pm in St Francis Millennium Hall, Barry.

Come along on this Tuesday 26th March and hear Ron Powell, who speaks regularly throughout South Wales and appeared at the Thornbury Festival last year.

Ron will take us to “Egypt without the crowds”, and while we escape the weather we can enjoy a coffee/tea/ hot chocolate and Welsh cake. Admission £3. Contact / 07982319456 for details.

And now other news:

With just under nine weeks to the start of the Barry Arts Festival 2013, work is progressing nicely!

Dot is training up Vale Voices, and although they could do with a couple more bass voices (could that mean you?) it’s all sounding pretty good! Trinity Church Hall on Mondays at 5.45 – 7.15.

The crochet group at Barry Library is now yarn bombing a racing bike, and out there in a suburban garage, a Beetle is being adorned….. more on that in a future post.

Art Central   If you’ve never been there, please pay it a visit. It’s a beautiful space, accessible to everyone, free of charge of course, and we should use it. Exhibitions change roughly every month – the festival projects plus other contributors will be showing their work from mid-May. At the moment Women’s Arts is showing, and next month, local artist Glyn Pooley (Art4U) will be exhibiting his work. Later on in the year I know that Barry Camera Club  and Vale of Glamorgan Artists will be holding exhibitions of their work. So make sure you visit regularly and tell your family and friends!

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A bit of an update….

It’s now March and we’re putting most of our energy into preparing for the second Barry Arts Festival in May – but that doesn’t mean that Canolfan Porthceri isn’t doing its own thing as well!

We had a successful quiz on St David’s Day, in a new venue – the West End Club, Barry – and I noticed we attracted quite a number of new people. A couple of weeks before that we organised an evening of blues and jazz with Jelly Roll Jones at the St Francis Millennium Hall – and they got people on their feet, bopping away!

As for the future… on 26th March we have the first of our Travel Talks: Ron Powell kicks off the trio of talks with “Egypt without crowds”, followed on April 23rd by Malcolm Jones’s “Olympic bike ride – Athens to Barry”. The venue for both of these is St Francis Millennium Hall, Barry – @8.30 pm. The last of the talks is on 28th May, as part of the Barry Arts Festival 2013, with Howard Leach telling us about “Ascent of Kilimanjaro”.  There’s also a whisky tasting evening at Barry Yacht Club on April 19th @8pm – don’t miss it!

Other news: well, we’re still on the hunt for a permanent home that we can operate from, stage events in, and generally provide as a base for the community of artists, musicians, dancers, photographers – the list is endless. We’ll keep you posted on development…

As for the Barry Arts Festival: Canolfan Porthceri is organising a number of events, and when the programme is finalised it’ll be available online as well as in brochure form. Dot is training up the Vale Voices every Monday at the moment, with a great programme of music, and this will culminate in a concert, with orchestral accompaniment, to mark the end of the festival. More of that later! Pat is organising the three community art projects – see previous blogposts – and yarn bombing seems to have caught the imagination, with reports of some great ideas, including a yarn-bombed car…. Crocheting in the Library has taken off – after three weeks, there are at least ten people who have learned to crochet – and one of the projects the group are tackling is a racing bike! This is an informal drop-in group – come if you can on Wednesdays at 10am.

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Art Central, crochet sessions and workshops

The big news this week is that we have secured Art Central as exhibition space for the period before and during the Festival this year. The finished wallhanging and contributions from the other two projects will be on public display here.

This is a beautiful gallery, which you can access through Barry Library, and we are very happy to be working alongside the Vale Arts Development section and the Library – and looking forward to exhibiting all the contributions which we expect to flood in at the end of April.

If the flood is too great to be accommodated in the gallery, it will spill over to the library, and elsewhere. We can promise that everything submitted (unless offensive or improper – our legal advisors told us to say that!)  will be exhibited somewhere.

There has been a lot of interest in the yarn bombing project, with quite a few people signing up to it, and also a few saying they’d love to, but can’t crochet, knit etc. So Barry Library has offered space on Wednesdays, from 10am till midday, for anyone interested to come and crochet in the company of others. This includes those who want to learn – there will be seasoned knitters and crocheters there who will pass on their skills!

The first session will be on February 20th and weekly thereafter (apart from the 2 weeks of the school holidays) until 24th May. During these two Easter holiday weeks, we are planning to do crochet sessions for children and their parents on the Wednesdays. So come along, bring your crochet hooks, knitting needles and wool and let’s yarn bomb objects for the festival! Absolute beginners, just bring yourselves and we’ll get you started.

We are also planning workshops to take place in the Library during festival week – and these will tie in with the community artwork on display in Art Central and the Library. More details to come…..

The festival is over three months away – so still plenty of time to get involved. For any more info, contact /01446 735710


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Project 3: Sculpture/Model – a bit of heavy metal?

We now come to the third project organised by Canolfan Porthceri for the Barry Arts Festival 2013: sculptures, models, installations using recycled/reclaimed materials.

The other two projects are pretty ‘soft’ – involving materials such as fabrics, yarns, other textiles… so we wanted to get the balance right this time and introduce a bit of the hard stuff: metal, wood, plastic. So if you have cutting/welding gear, or a chainsaw, or a soldering iron… or even just strong glue, this could be something for you.

I’ve been keeping my eyes open and looking around for examples of such artwork, and have found animals (cows, bison etc) made from old motorbike petrol tanks and other metal bits, birds made from forks, spoons and knives, a horse’s head made from strips cut from an old copper boiler, and many, many small items made from nuts, bolts, springs, the innards of clocks…. the list is endless.

To get a little inspiration (if you need it) please take a look at the following links:

And if you want to look at something close to home, take a look at Charles Byrd’s model in Barry Library.

Please note, display space may be limited, so no life size tanks or cranes… just something which would sit comfortably on a table, or stand beside it, perhaps.

If all this appeals to you, please contact me!

email:       tel: 01446 735710



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Project 2: The 2013 Wallhanging!

Following the success of the first Barry Arts Festival wallhanging last year, we just have to follow it up with another.

Those of us who put it all together were amazed at the number of contributions we received – and at the finished size of the artwork. Mostly, though, we were humbled by the amount of talent lurking behind closed doors in Barry…..

So this year, we are planning another, but this time with a recipient in mind, so that there is a permanent home for the resulting wallhanging. Last year, staff and service users from ValePlus not only contributed two beautiful squares to the project, but came along, en masse, to see it exhibited at Windsor Rd during the festival. This year, we would like them to have a wallhanging of their own, as a gift from the people of Barry.

We have now heard back from them regarding the theme they have chosen, and the dimensions we need so that we can tailor the wallhanging to fit their premises at the chapel in High Street, Barry. They have suggested that we base the wall hanging around the work of Dorian Spencer Davies, a painter and illustrator from Tenby. He is a watercolourist and features, among other things, fishing boats and houses using brilliant colours and curved lines – very Barry-like! A good site to look at his work is and another is

Please take a good look at the website and Facebook page and use his illustrations of houses and boats as the theme for your work!

Squares will be somewhat smaller this year, but still big enough to do justice to your designs. So if you took part last year and would like to do so again, or if you are a newcomer to what we hope will be an annual event, or if you just fancy threading a needle and letting rip, please contact me and I’ll pass on relevant info and size instructions as soon as they’re available. You do need to register, but there is no fee attached.  We’re in it for the fun!

email:     tel: 01446 735710


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Project 1: Yarn Bombing – what is THAT?

Also known as Yarn-Storming, Grafitti Knitting, Guerilla Knitting … follow this link to see some fantastic images:

For the Barry Arts Festival 2013 (24th May – 2nd June), we are hoping to yarn-bomb a couple of trees around Barry – more of that later, when arrangements have been made.

Mainly, however, we are concentrating on producing, with the help of the knitting/crocheting community in Barry, a number of objects which have been decorated, or ‘clothed’ in colourful yarn/wool/acrylic yarn in order to exhibit them as art installations during the period of the festival.

For this we need your help and your creativity, with a great deal of quirkiness thrown in. In order to help this project along, I am planning two things:

  1. to make a collection of wool or yarn so that people who wish to participate can draw upon stocks without going to too much expense. So if you can donate yarn, please contact me!
  2. to arrange yarn bombing/knitting/crocheting sessions so that those who are expert can pass on their knowledge to those that aren’t. And sometimes it’s fun to create in company, with a coffee beside you. If this would interest you, please contact me.

I bought a small pink watering can on holiday, and gave it a jacket and some embellishment – lots of fun! I also yarn-bombed a tree in my son’s front garden, just to see how easy it was – the secret is a very large crochet hook (6mm upwards), bright colours and lots of holes rather than solid crocheting or knitting.

So, take a look at the website link and google all the terms above – and get in touch with me to register. There is, naturally, no fee attached to this. We just want to have fun and show the world how creative and colourful Barry is!

email:     tel: 01446 735710 (evenings best)

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Canolfan Porthceri projects for Barry Arts Festival 2013

With the BAF 13 only a matter of …18 weeks away (!) …it’s time to get the community projects off the ground!

This year there are three planned:

  1. Yarn Bombing
  2. Wallhanging
  3. Sculpture/Model

The rough theme is Barry: Industry and Leisure which pretty much covers anything anyone wants to do, so the sky’s the limit, let your imagination soar!

Each of these projects will be clarified in the next three posts, coming later today. We intend to stage an exhibition during the festival of all the contributions and, after the event,  all pieces of art – except the wallhanging -  will be returned to you. Alternatively, if you wish to sell them or gift them, we will advertise this in the exhibition.

This year’s completed wallhanging will find a home at ValePlus; if you remember, they contributed two lovely squares for last year’s wallhanging (now at Palmerston Community Centre) .

As Barry Arts Festival 2013 will run from 24th May – 2nd June 2013, we are provisionally asking for all contributions to the projects to be handed in to us by the end of April. This should give us time to assemble the wallhanging and exhibit everything for as long a period as possible in May, leading up to and during the festival.

If you need any info, then please read the next few posts and get in touch with, or phone Pat on 01446 735710.

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Wallhanging….mural…Where are they now?

Just a little update:

The wallhanging spent a month at Barry library and is now hanging at Palmerston Community Centre. Thanks to Jane Hutt we’re in talks with the Oriel gallery at the Senedd in Cardiff and hope that they have the space to hang something so large. Alternatively we may get it into the Pierhead building. This would only be a short exhibition before coming back to Palmerston for a spell.  But there are plans afoot to send it elsewhere for little ‘holidays’. So our wallhanging may need its own passport…..

The mural is resting at Windsor Road at the moment, but will be in Barry Library from 15th October until 2nd November – so tell everyone you know and go along and see it. Becci Holmes, who designed it, spent some time adding her own mark to it after the festival and it really looks fantastic!

Thank you to all – adults and children – who contributed to these two projects! And keep an eye out on this website for news of what we’re planning for next year……

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