Community textile artworks exploring the history and heritage of the Garw and Llynfi Valleys go on display at the National Library of Wales in the Up and Over project.
The Heritage Lottery-Funded Up and Over project has been collaborating with Valley and Vale Community Arts, working with local volunteers from two valleys north of Bridgend – the Garw and the Llynfi valleys – to create unique textile artworks. Women from these communities have been exploring and interpreting their own collective histories, whilst intertwining the history of their communities with their own personal recollections.
The project’s aim was to recreate the beauty and history of tithe maps through the medium of textiles. A tithe map was created for nearly every parish in Wales during the 1840s and they are a wonderful snapshot of the geographical and social landscape at the time. In response to these beautiful historical maps, both communities created a collaborative artwork which includes personal records of shared routes, which represented either physical or emotional journeys, or a combination of both.
A representative of Tir Iarll Women’s Institute, Llangynwyd said:
“What a wonderful experience! It was a good time of learning about and remembering times in the Llynfi Valley. Researching the history and bringing places back to life through numerous art and craft activities created a super togetherness within the group. We learned so much. The textile panels displayed at the village hall have become an excellent source of interest to visitors who come to the valley.”
The textiles include among other things photographs with colour and stitch lines added by participating volunteers. The volunteers created individual pieces encapsulating significant moment in their lives such as family occasions, carnivals and sporting events, everyday journeys to school and work, or inspiring walks with favourite views. Also captured in the artworks are historical landmarks and influential people from their respective communities.
The Up and Over project was facilitated by artists Becky Adams and Alison McGann and was a collaboration between Valley and Vale Community Arts, and the Cynefin tithe map project.
Alison reflected: “So many stories, memories and cups of tea have been shared during this project, and especially much love and laughter.”
The textile artworks will be on display at the National Library of Wales from 8th August until 31st August 2016.
For more information about the National Library of Wales visit: www.llgc.org.uk