Queue trumpets and double stroke drum roll today I make the announcement of groups and destinations on the bus ride throughout the day on twitter:


Everything is coming together, piles of applications on the floor. My luminous highlighter addiction is clear for all to see. I haven’t cleared a rain forest, only printed one page per group and transfered the rest of the info in pen! I couldn’t stand the guilt…

Dog man Star on the stereo for the first time in at least five years this must mean I’m feeling philosophical about the whole ordeal. I’m pleased with the groups selected there is a real mixture of activities from the physical to cerebral, specialist to what can often be deemed as anorack-y, those of a conservational & environmental importance and those that are pure human indulgence.

Everything will be fully laid out on www.cerbyd.org by 5pm today so better get on…


Over the past three months we have contacted over 400 organisations from across Wales including archers & astronomical societies; motorcycle, merchant navy, mensa, medieval re-enactment & model railway clubs; Societies of bonsai growers, bowmen, bat watchers & badminton players and cactus enthusiasts, postcard collectors, bee-keepers, quilters, miniaturists, ufologists and not forgetting the George Formby Society, to name but a few.

At times it has brought a wide heart-warming smile, at others a furrowed brow deep with concern turning alarmingly to abject fear when the conversation turns deeply into odd. The sweet majority of those we have spoken to, via telephone and email, are happy to give up their time to share their obsessions and interests with our motley bunch of artists. I’m grateful for their generosity, giving us an insight into what they do, what they like and how they go about liking it. When the bus sets off we’ll be taking in skills, history and tradition for a couple of hours so we can create something in response.

Of course, there are always a few who are knee deep in misinterpretation and however hard we try demand art workshops! They push forward the ‘artistic members’ of the group with the ends of their own paint-brushes, often these aloof members have a penchant for thick impasto flowers that I’m thankful to say look nothing like any female genitalia I have ever seen. Thank you Georgia!

On the whole though, it’s been great. I have spoken, talked, discussed, nattered, chatted and e-mailed with each group. Giving me a real insight into lives and passions that I wouldn’t have been privy to before or, for that matter, will probably be since. I feel very proud, and strangely attached, to the groups for their flexibility and indeterminable spirit that keeps them together. Whether it be sharing their love of WWF Wrestling (who hasn’t admired the skills of Hacksaw Jim Duggan or Bret the Hitman Hart?!) or from astronomical observatories cataloguing and studying the hazards posed by Near Earth Objects. I now live in fear and find it difficult to sleep at night but this, amongst others, is a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

These many discussions allowed me to see a window into the groups’ past & present supporting my original belief that artist’s groups are very similar to other bands of merry people who meet up, unite over something which to them is vital, and keep warm together around their little fire of interest. I just hope that our group will stay together and not set eachother alight with matches.

I’m hoping Cerbyd will get across that artists’ aren’t weird, unintelligible humanoids designed to dump unfathomably large and useless public art across the nation’s cities. No, we are just like you so the probable 60’s protest song goes. Artists can be your friends y’know.



Calm down, we are simply looking for groups or societies or organisations from across Wales to offer an activity to our travelling band of artists to take part in. For example on one of the days, a group of dancers from Mid-Wales have invited us to come to a practice session where they will dance for us then give us a beginner’s course in a 19th century form of dance. This is not my usual territory but that’s kind of the point.

Before all that takes place the selected artists will be given information on the history of each group and the activity they will be offering. There will be an emphasis on pre-project discussion between the artists and groups with a view to sharing their processes, working methods and anything else that could potentially strengthen the links between them.

We’ll then have to choose from the huge list of camping sites and food stuffs and possible stop-offs but only after we have gotten our heads around the best route to take. Then and only then we will be ready to set off on our eight-day grand tour. Each day we will take in a different group and partake in a different activity. During and after each activity the artists will talk, record and gather information to go towards their response to the journey. We’ll then get back on the bus and travel to our next destination, next adventure. The artists’ will reflect during each journey and there will be some surprises thrown in too. We’ll eat together and camp together staying in a different geographical location each night.

It is an ideal way to forge new collaborations, networks and an awareness of other practices, concerns and geographical perspectives. North and South don’t mix enough in Wales and Cerbyd will go someway towards providing a creative map of Wales, making it easier to identify important communities and artist groups. It will also benefit those wishing to work in Wales, by bringing contemporary art practice and new audiences into rural areas that can often be neglected.

The project will offer artists the opportunity to share knowledge outside of a gallery/exhibition system. Talking openly and sincerely about their practice, collaborations and future projects whilst creating a pond in Anglesey. It couldn’t be further from the disingenuous networking that goes on at openings up and down the country fuelled by cheap wine and shameful self promotion.

Cerbyd will develop further the critical network that is growing throughout Wales, while focusing on the long-term goals of cultural and critical dialogue, in addition to the artist’s professional development.

Cerbyd aims to be a catalyst for engaging new audiences, for sharing networks to mutual advantage and for cross pollination of ideas and approaches for artists and community groups.

There I’ve said it. Just got to make sure it does it now. Like it says on the tin and all that…