At Clydach Gorge yesterday I explored the lime kilns, in the cave like space I found small stalactites formed in diagonally drawn lines across the bricks.  It was misty when I walked up there, the mist came closer while there.  I also met outdoors activity leaders of the Gwent Outdoors Centres with hard hats.  Later I thought of caving further.  I’d quite like a taste of these immense cave systems that start here.

I’ve received the Arts Alive Creative Network Mini Fund to produce new work and I am now about to clear out my shed and order and collect the kit in readiness to set up etching aluminium plates.  I’m also trying to find paper to print on in order that the print becomes transparent when hung in a space.  At the same time I feel it’s necessary to spend more time at the Gorge and get more acquainted with the place.

I find due to my over organized approach to the rest of my life that I’m thinking ahead to the potential of an exhibition Roadtrip for this collaboration on the A465 Roadworks.  One of the outdoor activity leaders had a link with the local Gilwern Village Hall (other side of A465 from Clydach Gorge) – this got me thinking about showing the results of the collaboration.  Now it’s time to forget all that and get down to the Gorge again…


I have started my exploration by visiting the Gorge, making notes, painting, drawing, printing and filming.  I have cut up Allison Neal’s written notes about the cultural, geological, scientific and engineering history of the area and placed them in a box.…then picking these notes out at random

As I find out more interesting facts, findings and come up with questions about the Gorge I am adding them to the box, along with eliminating notes of no interest, so my collection about the Gorge is constantly being added to and edited.

This is creating a flow in my exploration of the area and the production of new work.

So far I have used video, Styrofoam printing and painting in my response.

I’ll be Saline etching, taking prepared aluminum sheet to the Gorge and responding to the site while there as well as once back in the studio.

I plan to print onto thin paper allowing the lines to be seen from the other side, i.e. as drawn originally.

I’d like to make the most of this chance to work with other creatives, forming varied collaborative relationships.

Collaboration as conversation, as exchange or as a dynamic pairing challenging our working methods?  How might I explore what I am capable of with this collaboration?

This project is important to me because I have felt unconnected to the land I now live in for a long time and this open exploration of an area is beautifully grounding for my sensitive and responsive approach to art making.

I am fascinated by people and land.  This is my dream project – working with creatives of the area and focusing on a geographical area because I love discovering other creatives mindsets and process’ and this gives me an excuse and an arena to explore the area physically and textually.

The possibility that Shakespeare wrote Midsummer Nights Dream in one of the caves, although only really only a rumour, is something that I keep coming back to.


Statement:  This project is important to me because I have felt unconnected to the land I now live in for a long time and this open exploration of a particular area is beautifully grounding for my highly sensitive and responsive approach to art making.  It is especially exciting to be working with others who will also be working freely and experimentally, working individually and collaborating and sharing ideas.  This project has a rich source to draw from and great potential for new work among local artists, most of who I have never worked with before.