Recent arts graduates and alumni of Mess Up The Mess Theatre commissioned to collaborate with young people to create digital sharing with Pontardawe Art Centre
Mess Up The Mess have been commissioned by Pontardawe Art Centre to collaborate with three recent graduate freelancers and emerging artists to support the development of both their participatory practice and own creative work. The emerging artists are Cerian Wilshere-Davies, Callum Bruce-Phillips and Ciaran Fitzgerald, all alumni of Mess up the Mess Theatre Company.
The artists have been working with groups of young people since January 2021 and are preparing for an evening of digital sharing of the work they have been creating. Cartref / Home will be available to watch online on 25th March at 7pm.
Mess Up The Mess are particularly excited about working alongside these young artists as they have all been members since they were 12-14 years old and have been on a journey of 10+ years with the company.
The Project – Cartref / Home explores the theme of home and using comedy to have fun at home. The artists and young people have been creating their own fantasy spaces that make them feel happy, silly, adventurous or safe. Exploring fantasy, folklore and the spaces and worlds we choose to make home, the groups have been getting ready to share the work they’ve been creating online.
Asking questions like – what landscapes, objects and characters would you like to imagine up in your space? What kind of environment makes you excited? What kind of environment do you want to play or be silly in? Maybe it’s in nature, in a space with lots of other creatures and people or maybe it’s an indoor space that is just for you. These spaces might be calm and quiet, or they might be somewhere that you find really funny.
Callum Bruce-Phillips is a Film & TV Studies/English Literature graduate from Aberystwyth University and is currently working towards his MA in Film Producing. Ciaran Fitzgerald is a writer and facilitator from Port Talbot. He wrote his first play in 2013 for Mess Up The Mess, and hasn’t looked back. In 2019 he graduated from the BA Scriptwriting degree at the University of South Wales in Cardiff. Cerian Wilshere-Davies is a facilitator, theatre maker and comedian, recently graduated from the University of Salford.
The artists are facilitating and guiding the development of the young people’s own work, alongside creating their own. Mess up the Mess Artistic Director Sarah Jones has been mentoring the team. The commission has included masterclasses in areas linked to the creative project; working bilingually with Bethan Marlow, participatory film makingwith Tom Barrance and inclusive approaches to making digital art with Taking Flight.
Ciaran Fitzgerald said of the masterclasses;
“Our workshops with Tom Barrance definitely increased my confidence in terms of filmmaking. I hadn’t done much video editing previously and with Tom’s guidance I’m really pleased with what I produced, and will definitely add it to my practice in the future. After our session with Bethan Marlow, I felt that the barriers to working bilingually had been broken down. Bethan made the whole concept really inclusive and introduced some really useful strategies that I will definitely be using in my future practice. Taking Flight’s workshop on inclusion was really useful and enjoyable. It was really good to have a refresh on things that I already knew, but also to learn new things about accessibility in the arts, and perhaps challenge some preconceptions I had. I definitely want to implement BSL and Audio Description creatively into my work in the future.”
Sarah Jones, Artistic Director of Mess Up The Mess said:
“We are excited about this project for so many reasons including the opportunity to commission artists who have come through Mess Up The Mess. I remember meeting each of these artists and have been honoured to learn and collaborate alongside them over the last 10 years. We are hugely grateful to Pontardawe Art Centre for the opportunity to continue a professional collaboration with them and enable them to pursue their practice at such a difficult time for the arts and young people. They are exceptional and inspiring creatives who have the power to inspire and develop a safe and nurturing place for our current young participants to make new work and look after their wellbeing.”
Cartref / Home will be streamed online on the 25th of March 2021 at 7pm. Tickets can be purchased through Pontardawe Arts Centre: https://pontardaweartscentre.ticketsolve.com/shows/1173609478
Further information about the artists
Cerian is a facilitator, theatre maker and comedian, recently graduated from the University of Salford with have a 1st class degree in Comedy Writing and Performance. Cerian is interested in creating work that focuses on Welsh heritage and expression of identity.
Callum is a Film & TV Studies/English Literature graduate from Aberystwyth University and is currently working towards his MA in Film Producing. During his undergraduate degree Callum worked with the University’s Centre for Widening Participation, Equality and Social Inclusion, where he worked with young and vulnerable people from different underrepresented backgrounds. This experience has inspired Callum to pursue a career as a community film maker, whose focus is widening access within the film industry, to groups currently underrepresented.
Ciaran is a writer and facilitator from Port Talbot. He wrote his first play in 2013 for Mess Up The Mess, and hasn’t looked back. In 2019 he graduated from the BA Scriptwriting degree at the University of South Wales in Cardiff, and is currently developing his first commissioned play ‘Chasing Rainbows’ with Pontardawe Arts Centre. Ciaran is interested in developing work with strong characters at its heart, particularly aimed at young people. Being a fluent Welsh speaker, identity is a key aspect of the work he makes, along with key principles of access and inclusivity.