Category Archives: Art

Graduate Showcase Heidi Murtagh- Smith

Hi Heidi great to meet you, can you give our readers some background information on yourself please?

I am a textile surface pattern designer and have studied at Cardiff Met for the past 3 years. Whilst studying for my degree I have also completed a variety of work experiences in relation to my practice which have helped me to grow as a professional and shape the career path I want to take.

So, what got you interested in the arts?

I have always had a natural talent for creativity. The process of creativity is so enjoyable it becomes motivating in it self which is useful when it comes to gaining qualifications. I experience a high amount of flow when it comes to being creative meaning I have just been drawn to it from a very early age.

Can you tell us about your creative process?

Whilst at University my creative process has grown exceptionally and I have developed many much needed skills a designer needs. My creative process generally follows the path of creating work by hand before digitally manipulating it. As well as this I am very comfortable working completely digitally, using my Wacom tablet to create imagery on screen. Over my time at university I have experimented with a range of mediums and styles in order to develop and diversify my portfolio.

As a young Welsh artist graduating during a very difficult period what investment and support do you think is required to enable your career to develop and prosper?

Finding a graduate job in the world of design is not recognised as easy within the best of times and im not sure there is anything much that can be done. Graduates are in need of jobs; however, the same could be said for people across the field who have also lost their jobs at this time. I think design graduates just need to support each other at this time, reminding each other to not give up and keep pursuing our dreams.

A range of arts organisation and individuals are now working online or finding new ways to reach out to audiences. Have you seen any particularly good examples of this way of working?

Myself and others within my class have been participating in compititions running on Instagram from a variety of accounts. This is a great way to fill some of the time we have in isolation and also get our work noticed. You can checkour Heidi’s Instagram account here Or her profile on Zealous here

If you were able to fund an area of the arts in Wales what would this be and why?

I think it would be great to have a museum or art gallery in Cardiff which relates directly to the field of textiles. Coming from London I am use to being able to immerse myself in a great variety of exhibitions and shows in relation to my practice; however, I feel Cardiff lacks this. Not only would this be of use to current artists and designers but also inspire children to follow this career path.

What excites you about the arts in Wales?

Whilst studying an art and design corse it is great to immerse yourself in a new place as you are never sure where inspiration will come from. Whilst in Cardiff I have been very fortunate to participate in a variety of work experiences which I am really grateful for.

What was the last really great thing that you experienced that you would like to share with our readers?

Last summer I got the opportunity to participate in an international internship to Colombia for six weeks where I worked with a sustainable fashion brand. Whilst there I learnt to live and work in a different culture as well as develop my skills and knowledge in relation to my career path. Although having completed work experiences prior to this, this was a whole new adventure and was a great way to spend my summer, whilst preparing for my future career.

Thanks for your time

Graduate Showcase Rhiannon Blythe

Many Welsh or Wales based arts graduates are finding this current period especially difficult. Their usual opportunities to meet agents, prepare for final year exhibitions or productions may take place later in the year or sadly not at all. To raise awareness of the diverse talent graduating this year GTC is offering any Welsh or Wales based graduate the opportunity to be showcased on our website. If you are interested, please do get in touch.

Hi Rhiannon, great to meet you. Can you give our readers some background information on yourself please?

Hi! I’m a bilingual illustrator from South Wales, currently finishing my degree with Swansea College of Art. I’m hoping to do a Masters degree in Illustration next year.

The main thing I like to draw is portraits, I love drawing people and I always have, they’re fascinating and allow for so much detail. I’m also very interested in illustrating novels, though specifically books geared towards more mature readers – my current project is illustrating the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

So, what got you interested in the arts?        

It sounds cliché, but I’ve always been drawing ever since I can remember! When I was young, I used to get home from school and sit in front of the telly with a pile of paper and just doodle all evening until dinner! I’d copy characters from cartoons I was watching, and I loved the show Art Attack. I could get through at least 20 sheets of paper at a time! My love for drawing has carried me through my entire life thus far, I’ve always loved just sitting down and making something.

Can you tell us about your creative process?

My creative process usually consists of sketching out a drawing on paper before scanning the sketch and colouring it digitally using a drawing app on my mobile phone called Autodesk Sketchbook. Although digital drawing has been a forefront in my practice at the moment, when I do draw traditionally I use a mixture of mediums – mainly marker pens, watercolour paint, and coloured pencils. I tend to start with a wash of watercolour and then build up layers of colour with the markers and coloured pencils. I love using bold colour schemes in my work, especially when drawing digitally, I like my portraits to look clean and sharp. I post a majority of my work on my Instagram – @doughnutkingdom.

As a young Welsh artist graduating during a very difficult period, what investment and support do you think is required to enable your career to develop and prosper?

Graduating at the moment seems very unreal, and I’ve almost put it to the back of my mind! However, I still feel as though having a degree show would be very beneficial to all arts students whose shows were cancelled. Being able to run these shows once things are looking up would be amazing, and would allow us to have the same opportunities as the students who came before us. Understandably, this might not be possible for some time, so I’ve been concentrating on working on my portfolio as preparation for when we can return back to some kind of normality.

A range of arts organisation and individuals are now working online or finding new ways to reach out to audiences. Have you seen any particularly good examples of this way of working?

I’ve seen a lot of artists on Instagram giving each other helping hands, mainly through sharing other artists’ work on their stories, and promoting artists who may need help with commissions and so on. A lot of art pages have been posting challenges, prompts and tasks to help people keep busy too, which I think is a really great idea.

If you were able to fund an area of the arts in Wales, what would this be and why?

I think I’d definitely want to focus on giving art education in primary schools and comprehensive schools a lot more love and care. I honestly believe art is so important for primary school children, as it’s an outlet for their feelings, and a way for them to show their interests. Art clubs were something I really enjoyed going to when I was in primary school, and I feel like it’s very important for children to have some time in the day to be creative. I also believe that comprehensive schools could focus more on this element too, and continue to nurture this creativity in young people. It would be wonderful to be able to provide comprehensive schools with more art materials, resources, and a curriculum that focused on art history and the more technical aspects of art.

What excites you about the arts in Wales?

It makes me very proud to see the art community in Wales growing as much as it is. Wales has always been known as a creative country and I can’t wait to see how far we’re going to go in the future. I’ve noticed our galleries and museums getting some more attention lately too, especially Cardiff Museum. With the diplodocus living there for a little while, their Leonardo DaVinci exhibition, and housing a Botticelli painting, the museum has gained a lot of publicity!

What was the last really great thing that you experienced that you would like to share with our readers?

I think the fact that our communities are stronger than ever right now is something great in itself. We’re all living in a very bizarre world, and everyone’s readiness to help each other and be there for each other is amazing. Although it might feel like all this will never end, the fact that we’re all in this together is a great comfort and it’s shown that despite our differences, we can all work together.

Thanks for your time.

Thank you for the opportunity! Diolch yn fawr!

Graduate Showcase Grace Hubbard-Smith

Many Welsh or Wales based arts graduates are finding this current period especially difficult. Their usual opportunities to meet agents, prepare for final year exhibitions or productions may take place later in the year or sadly not at all. To raise awareness of the diverse talent graduating this year GTC is offering any Welsh or Wales based graduate the opportunity to be showcased on our website. If you are interested, please do get in touch.

Hi Grace great to meet you, can you give our readers some background information on yourself please?

I have always been interested in the arts since I can remember, mostly due to my mum being an artist herself and my dad a theatre director and film enthusiast! It’s in the blood, you could say. 

Can you tell us about your creative process?

I’m focusing mainly on painting, but I work with illustration and film as well. In my painting I am centred around creating light and space, I do this by lightly building up the image with transparent layers of paint. You can see Grace’s work at her website here

As a young Welsh artists graduating during a very difficult period what investment and support do you think is required to enable your career to develop and prosper?

Graduating right now from the Fine Arts BA at Aberystwyth and entering the ‘real world’, is a daunting prospect. In terms of my art practise it is very unlikely I’ll be able to continue with it as I do in uni, studio spaces are expensive and coming straight out of university with no money makes getting one very unlikely. Funding and support groups that encourage the growth of communities would be the best at helping those coming straight out of uni so we don’t feel as isolated.

A range of arts organisation and individuals are now working online or finding new ways to reach out to audiences. Have you seen any particularly good examples of this way of working?

I have joined a project titled ‘The Quarantine’ that has encouraged art students to continue creating art by responding to our current situation. It has been really amazing to be a part of this, it has helped encourage me in my practise and doesn’t make me feel as separated from my peers. It’s an exciting response to our situation – as artists we cope and express our situation through art, and it’s an incredibly unique and unusual time which needs expressing! 

If you were able to fund an area of the arts in Wales what would this be and why?


There doesn’t seem to be a lot of funding for individual practise or for those coming straight from education. And as far as I’m aware community and group fundings are also being cut. I think all of these areas are important not only to us personally but to society as a whole. If I was to be selfish I would say more funding for those coming from education!

What excites you about the arts in Wales?

I’m Welsh and seeing the art scene grow and develop in Wales is wonderful. I would like to stay here and enjoy the prospects of Welsh art – I believe that art is integral to Welsh identity, we pride ourselves on being a nation of bards, creatives with everyone having a right to express. 

What was the last really great thing that you experienced that you would like to share with our readers?

I’ve had a really fortunate experience of living in America for three months, I was surrounded by a new culture and beyond beautiful natural scenery with gorgeous mountains and expansive forests, however, above all those months reminded me of how Wales was my home. 

Thanks for your time 

Thank you, for this opportunity.



Graduate Showcase Holly Tamara

Many Welsh or Wales based arts graduates are finding this current period especially difficult. Their usual opportunities to meet agents, prepare for final year exhibitions or productions may take place later in the year or sadly not at all. To raise awareness of the diverse talent graduating this year GTC is offering any Welsh or Wales based graduate the opportunity to be showcased on our website. If you are interested, please do get in touch.

Hi Holly great to meet you.

Hello, I’m Holly Tamara, a bilingual illustrator finishing up her degree at UWTSD in Swansea. I’m originally from Cardiff and will be moving back there after my final year at university. My illustration work is based around mindfulness, self- care and happiness; I use bright colours in my designs to try and make people happy when they look at my work. Currently I am working on developing my portfolio ready to enter out into the real world and developing my online presence during this lockdown.

 So, what got you interested in the arts?

I’ve always been interested in the arts from a young age, my Nan is also an artist and I get a lot of my inspiration from her. I’ve been developing my work since primary school but have only recently found “my style” that I am completely happy with.

 Can you tell us about your creative process?

My creative process really depends on what I’m doing, usually most of my work is digital. I usually start my work with inspiration, I then start sketching out my idea on my iPad with my apple pencil. I then colour in my design with bright and bold colours. I finish by adding my logo. My best work usually includes pattern designs although I do enjoy doing editorial work too.

 As a young Welsh artist graduating during a very difficult period what investment and support do you think is required to enable your career to develop and prosper?

As a young Welsh artist, I think we should be supported by having our graduate exhibition to showcase our work to people in the industry once this pandemic is over. As well as this some sort of financial help that people with businesses get in order to keep them afloat. I have been looking at industry jobs and because of the pandemic there isn’t anything available right now. I am very proactive in trying to find work but recently I have been focusing on developing my portfolio so I am ready when we will have the chance to work when this is all over.

 A range of arts organisation and individuals are now working online or finding new ways to reach out to audiences. Have you seen any particularly good examples of this way of working?

Ones that particularly stood out to me were our class’s Instagram that features an artist in the class every week. In order to push each artists promotion beyond their own self-promotion.

As well as this I find daily prompts really helpful during this uncertain time to keep busy. I myself have taken to writing a blog about the adventures I had before the pandemic.

If you were able to fund an area of the arts in Wales what would this be and why?

If I was able to fund an area of the arts in Wales, it would probably be helping/ encouraging art with special needs or vulnerable children. My youngest brother suffers with autism, as do I; and I feel that art really helped me. These schools do try their best to encourage creativity, but the lack of funding really restricts them on what their able to do. I would love to help them to give the children to express them self creatively. I use my own creativity to make my little brother hand painted flash cards to help with his speech therapy.

 What excites you about the arts in Wales?

The arts in Wales excited me because of the opportunities there are with the welsh language. Other than Patagonia and Ohio we have the advantage of the Welsh Language. Although some people do not see the beauty in the welsh language, I do. I try to include it in everything I do. One of my favourite things to do with my creativity in wales is so compete in the National Eisteddfod with the Urdd; which I did this year. There are other opportunities with the welsh book council too that involve the welsh language.

 What was the last really great thing that you experienced that you would like to share with our readers?

In September I spent two weeks on a Welsh internship to Ohio in the US to learn about the welsh community out there. I spent the two weeks researching, meeting new people and creating a project based off my research and sight-seeing. It was refreshing to meet people as excited about the Welsh language as me outside of wales. There are more details about this on my blog where you can also see more examples of my work.

Thank you for your time.

Graduate Showcase Gabriella Wilde

Hi Gabriella great to meet you, can you give our readers some background information on yourself please?

Hi, thanks for having me. I am currently completing my Illustration Degree at Swansea College of Art.

In the last three years, humour and satire, in response to the world around me, have become key components of my work. For me, illustration is all about storytelling, and sharing information and experiences. Although my love of illustration has stemmed from narrative and character-based projects, I am keen to develop my skills further in other areas, such as typography, so that I can work more holistically.

 So, what got you interested in the arts?

Books. I was constantly reading books growing up; Jacqueline Wilson was my favourite, and, looking back, I can see how imitating Nick Sharratt’s work in school has led to my pursuit of an illustration career. I definitely don’t think the impact would have been as profound, if my family and teachers hadn’t supported and encouraged my creativity- I think this was the most important aspect.

Can you tell us about your creative process?

Usually I begin by imagining a visual scenario that I think is funny. For example, Cinderella walking around the Prince’s Ball covered in pumpkin gunk because the carriage hadn’t been scooped out properly. This initial idea could often work well as a single illustration; however, I like to explore how I could apply this narrative voice to the entire story or scenario. If I am reimagining a traditional story, such as Cinderella, I try to create accompanying rhyming text. The use of rhyme helps to create a consistent flow and helps me to keep the text concise. When producing my illustrations, I try to maintain the same livelihood as my sketches; if the lines are too precise I find that the personality of my characters gets lost.

 As a young Welsh artists graduating during a very difficult period what investment and support do you think is required to enable your career to develop and prosper?

I believe having the chance to showcase our work, in the same way as years before have, is very important. It is an unusual situation, and I support that our exhibitions could not go ahead as planned. However, as we have put the same time, energy, and funds into our degrees, it would be a shame to miss out on this crucial aspect of the course, which we have been working towards for at least the last year. I hope that there will be support for all students to be able to host exhibitions and shows as soon as it is safe to do so.

A range of arts organisation and individuals are now working online or finding new ways to reach out to audiences. Have you seen any particularly good examples of this way of working?

I have loved seeing people creating and sharing free colouring pages. My old school art department have also been hosting weekly art challenges for students, staff, and family to take part in. This definitely enforces the sense of community that we need right now, and I am eager to have a go at some myself.

If you were able to fund an area of the arts in Wales what would this be and why?

Following on from the work that I produced for my dissertation, I think it would be great for Wales to explore art as therapy further. Now more than ever, it is clear that producing art can be beneficial for our mental health. There currently aren’t many course options in Wales for those that wish to pursue art therapy as a career pathway, and I think that more options would encourage applications.

There is also a gap in the market for Wales-based illustration agencies. I’m sure that the growing Welsh publishing and film industries would love a place to easily select home-grown talent.

 What excites you about the arts in Wales?

The arts industry in Wales is continuing to grow. Wales has already become well established within the Film and TV industry, and this recognition is beginning to expand into other areas. It’s amazing to see people travel to Wales to pursue their creative careers! With the accessibility of the internet, creatives are no longer required to uproot their lives to larger cities, like Bristol or London. Despite this, developing more opportunities for creatives within Wales will definitely help to maintain the arts in Wales.

 What was the last really great thing that you experienced that you would like to share with our readers?

I recently illustrated a poem as part of an Instagram competition. After the writer liked, commented on, and shared the post (having forced myself to tag her), it has become one of my most successful posts. In this lockdown era, smaller actions have greater results, and this shows just how easy it is to support creatives, even in isolation!

You can find out more about Gabriellas work at her website here

Thanks for your time Gabriella

Thank you for the opportunity!

An Interview with Wales based Dance Artist Becky Johnson

Hi Becky great to meet you, can you give our readers some background information on yourself please?

Hi, thank you for meeting with me. Well, I’m currently a freelance dancer/ choreographer/ teacher based in Cardiff. I’m originally from Huddersfield (Yorkshire) and moved to Cardiff to train in Contemporary Dance at USW. I graduated in June 2019 but have stayed in Cardiff since. Since then, I have really found myself invested in the arts scene here in Wales. 

 So, what got you interested in the arts?

I’d like to say I’ve always been creative but that would be a lie. I started dancing quite young at my local dance school and loved the competitions and team dances that we’d do together. It wasn’t until I was much older and was exposed to more of the arts scene, that I started to see the beauty within the arts sector and understand how collaborative it can be.

Can you tell us about your dance process? Where do your ideas come from?

My creation process with making dance varies. I take great influence from the things around me. Being that, things that inspire and intrigue me or something I want to understand further. Either that or I use my personal experiences of my interactions with the world; things that I believe should be highlighted to others or need to be understood more widely.

You were recently involved in curating, House of Rhythm presents… A night of Hip Hop which took place at Kongs Cardiff on Thursday, March 5, 2020. The event is described as “A celebration and discovery of all that is Hip hop and is in partnership with Kellys Records and Grassroots Cardiff” How did you get into Hip Hop and Streetdance. How supported is the scene in Cardiff?

One of the dance schools I was involved with as a teenager, “Fidget Feet”, prioritised teaching the true foundations and principles of HipHop. This touched upon all five pillars of Hip-Hop as well as the various styles of dance within Street Dance culture.

That, alongside growing up with two brothers who thought they were destined to be the next Notorious B.I.G, meant I was immersed within the culture and that it’s been a pivotal part of my upbringing and even in my attitude and approach to movement (and life in general) now.

This series of events is an opportunity to provide a gateway into HipHop culture and not just the music form. I feel this sense of community within HipHop, especially in Cardiff, is lacking and hence why we have decided to partner with Grassroots.

By doing so, we are working with up and coming artists and providing them with opportunities to meet people they wouldn’t otherwise. Also, with the inclusion of workshops within different pillars of HipHop, we are combining the culture as a whole and not just focussing on one part.

There are a range of organisations supporting Welsh and Wales based dancers, I wonder if you feel the current support network and career opportunities feel ‘healthy’ to you? Is it possible to sustain a career as a dance artist in Wales and if not what would help?

I’ve been extremely fortunate in the fact that as soon as I graduated, I found work that was within my field of practise. This has kept me financially stable and allowed me time to fulfil my own projects outside of my teaching work. I believe Cardiff and Wales has an extremely supportive network of artists, all willing to share their own knowledge and craft. Throughout my degree, I worked extremely hard to network and to meet the right people with the suiting opportunities to help me develop within my career. If it wasn’t for me outsourcing my own network of people (from all fields of the arts sector), I would’ve struggled to get to the place I am now, never mind the place I want to be by the end of the year.

I do feel there is an absence of ongoing opportunities, especially for recent graduates that are new to the sector. However, if we are willing to make our own work and source our own opportunities, making our own projects, yes, there is work but we must be prepared to pave this path for ourselves. This isn’t disregarding help and assistance from other creatives/ professionals, but the help is more to kickstart our own ideas rather than to flourish with other people’s.

 If you were able to fund an area of the arts in Wales what would this be and why?

Wow, tricky question. I’d probably have to say spacing. Providing space for artists to develop their own practise and ideas, whether that be, musicians, dancers or visual artists. As not only is there a lack of creative and accessible space in Wales, there’s a huge lacking of funded space. If there were more funded residencies around Wales, we would see a lot more new work being developed and a much more diverse community engagement from artists in the area.

 What excites you about the arts in Wales?

I feel like this is such an exciting time for collaboration within Wales. There are more opportunities coming to bridge the divide, whether that between artistic practises or between bodies of dancers. There are some exciting opportunities in the works for disabled dancers which I can’t wait to be involved in as well as new pools of artists moving to Wales from areas such as London bringing new skills and assets.

 What was the last really great thing that you experienced that you would like to share with our readers?

Well there’s nothing like a little bit of shameless self promo but this is honest and genuine. It would be The House of Rhythm event which we had on the 5th March. There were people from lots of different communities and backgrounds all coming together to support the artists performing. We had people involved in the workshops that would never normally be in those sorts of social experiences. I also had talks with participants on how we can make our events more autism friendly and accessible for those suffering with social anxiety etc. It was this coming together of people which was really beautiful to witness as all of the participants were supportive of each other, regardless of background and experience.

Thanks for your time

Thank you very much for getting in touch!

Rooting Hip-Hop Theatre in Wales

Hip-Hop was created out of struggle in New York during the 1970s as poverty and discrimination hit the African American and Caribbean communities. It has since grown into arguably the largest arts-movement in the world.

Generally, British society knows hip-hop as a music genre which is often put to one side. However, the reality is the fingerprints of hip-hop are everywhere. From music, to fashion, to dance, to graffiti, film and theatre. Spanning the globe from New York, to LA, Tokyo, Cape Town, Seoul, Moscow and London. Hip-hop is everywhere.

In Wales, Avant Cymru are pioneering the Welsh hip-hop theatre movement following in the footsteps of the likes of Jonzi D and ZooNation. Taking stories from where the company is based in Rhondda and around Wales to platform them locally, nationally and internationally.

I’ve seen Avant Cymru’s work for myself at the Cardiff and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals and company director Jamie Berry’s solo dance in People, Power, Perception is still one of my personal favourite pieces of art I’ve seen on the stage. It proved to me that you could tell a compelling story full of emotion using only dance. Which beforehand, despite having seen a variety of different dance-based theatre, I’d never felt for myself.

It’s hard to ignore the sense of impending doom brought on by the COVID-19 epidemic. Work doesn’t stop for Avant Cymru though. Krump workshops with Duwane Taylor are available on their YouTube channel and next month they will be releasing a video where world renowned popper Shawn Ailey will be teaching the foundations for popping.

They will be running workshops through to July, either online or around Wales when safe, including sessions with beatboxing, rapping, graffiti and DJing teachers to introduce learners to all elements of hip-hop outside of dance.

As a disabled-led company, with a variety of health and mental health conditions, Avant Cymru really is open to any and everyone. With the help of the British Council they are travelling to Canada in October for the No Limit Jam to connect with fellow disabled artists and explore opportunities and encourage those with disabilities, mental or physical, to pick up hip-hop.

The passion to do this comes from personal experience:

“For us Hip-Hop has had a positive influence on our lives.” For Jamie, “suffering with depression, breakin’ was the one thing that gave me drive and ambition… The theatre aspect allows me to express these thoughts. We have noticed other Hip-Hop artists, rappers, graffiti writers and dancers do the same. We want to make sure others have hip-hop as a tool to improve their health and well-being.”

For artistic director Rachel Pedley she found a home in Hip-Hop culture. “As a working-class artist, I struggled to afford the lifestyle of ballet dancers and other theatre makers. In Hip-Hop the training and social side was more affordable and the other artists were easier to relate to. It helped build the confidence I needed to go and create and understand my value didn’t come from the cash in my pocket. Working in the Rhondda Valleys, we want to make sure that our young people have the confidence needed to walk into other aspects of life, we believe confidence comes from celebrating our differences and that hip hop even encourages this.”

As well as offering workshops and encouraging people into forms of hip-hop, Avant Cymru also produce their own work. Working with artists from all pillars of hip-hop, from beatboxers, emcees, graffiti artists, dancers and DJs. As well as with artists from outside hip-hop such as theatre writers or musicians from outside hip-hop.

Hip-Hop is often stereotyped as ‘gangster rap’, but it is so much more than that. Avant Cymru aim to change this view as they “would like to share our knowledge with different audiences to show how varied and creative Hip Hop can be and how positive it can be when you get involved.”

Hip-Hop is arguably the largest artistic movement in the world today. But maybe the most misunderstood also. So, if you’re interested, check out an upcoming show from Avant Cymru or another hip-hop company. Or even give it a go yourself.

Arts Online, A Guest Post by Megan Pritchard, Marketing Campaigns Manager at National Dance Company Wales

We are both saddened to see the vast array of cultural cancellations over the past day and proud to see so many companies putting the health of their staff, participants and audiences first. 


The arts are an important part of many of our lives, and we’re also excited to see so many isolation friendly options arising. We’ve started a list of online dance and yoga classes, digital only festivals and a huge array of dance, opera, theatre, museums and CPD activities you can do from home – including full NDCWales performances.  Please share this resource and let us know of other fab things we can add to it. 

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Mae’r ddau ohonom yn drist iawn o weld yr ystod eang o ddigwyddiadau diwylliannol sydd wedi cael eu canslo ers ddoe ac yn falch o weld cymaint o gwmnïau yn rhoi iechyd eu staff, cyfranogwyr a chynulleidfaoedd yn gyntaf.
Mae’r celfyddydau yn rhan bwysig o fywydau sawl un ohonom, ac rydym hefyd yn teimlo’n gyffrous i weld cynifer o opsiynau y gellir eu gwneud wrth hunan-ynysu yn codi.Rydym wedi dechrau rhestr o ddosbarthiadau dawns ac ioga ar-lein, gwyliau digidol yn unig a llu o bethau yn seiliedig ar ddawns, opera, y theatr ac amgueddfeydd, a gweithgareddau y gallwch eu gwneud adref – gan gynnwys perfformiadau CDCCymru llawn.


Rhannwch yr adnodd hwn a rhowch wybod i ni am bethau gwych, eraill y gallwn eu hychwanegu ato.


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DANCE CLASSES 
Gaga is a unique dance training, Gaga Movement Language גאגא שפת תנועה NYC are currently offering 3 classes a day 7 days a week with a suggested donation.  https://www.gofundme.com/f/gaga-nyc-online-classeshttps://www.facebook.com/groups/mootmovementlab/


Moot – The Movement Lab are making their resources as available as possible and have great updates on other training online. 


Juliard School of Performing Arts are running ballet barre classes through instagram https://www.instagram.com/juilliardschool/


You can learn the famous Rosas Danst Rosas from Anne-Teresa De Keersmaecker here online, easily done at home with a kitchen chair  https://www.rosas.be/en/news/814-dance-in-times-of-isolation


The Dance Centre is offering fun online musical theatre inspired classes. https://www.facebook.com/1thedancecentre


Rebecca Lemme / Acts of Matter offers a free online Barre Class you can do without a proper Barre https://vimeo.com/398046579/cdfec48e01?fbclid=IwAR2AlsTXHcg7–4ulAhmvpNotiVJIMz3Z3v_PIYW6pKyT0bZ_JQFfJN0Cow


The Guardian has an article on tips for dancing at home.https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/feb/22/fitness-tips-online-dance-tutorials?fbclid=IwAR2DKtULuSlfcB7TueCKqAbegoM4OYJFrRoCX5mwpwsWO_NILQsn6sHKXxI


YOGA CLASSES

Overwhelmingly our dancers suggest following Yoga With Adriene for youtube yoga https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene


Cat Meffan Yoga – another office fav, with a huge range of free classes on youtube. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVrWHW_xYpDnr3p3OR4KYGw


Our dancers also enjoy the Down Dog App which also has a ballet barre class option https://www.downdogapp.com/


Rosanna Emily Carless our Dance Ambassador is streaming free yoga classes daily on her facebook page.


AT HOME ARTS FESTIVALS IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19


These festivals aim to gather streamed content and classes in different ways – Social Distancing Streaming Concerts https://www.socialdistancingfestival.com 

The Social Distancing Festival https://creativedistance.org/ 

Creative Distance, The Theatre Cafehttps://www.facebook.com/thetheatrecafe/photos/a.1597256473856456/2552997778282316/?type=3&theater 


LIVE EVENTS STREAMED TO YOUR DEVICES 


NDCWales P.A.R.A.D.E.  including choreography by Caroline Finn, Marcos Morau and Lee Johnson, in collaboration with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Rubicon Dance and Vertical Dance Kate Lawrence; filmed by The Space Arts. https://vimeo.com/248459479


Tundra by Marcos Morau https://vimeo.com/254300487


Reflections documentary and dance film from our Dance for Parkinson’s participants. https://vimeo.com/ndcwales/reflections


The Metropolitan OperaAre running nightly live streams, up at 7.30pm(EDT) each left up for 20 hours. http://metopera.org/

Rosie Kay’s 5 Soldiers https://youtu.be/2urN4ESejFo

Or Zosia Jo’s – Fabulous Animal is available to stream for donation here https://www.zosiajo.com/fab-animal-film


Berliner PhilharmonikerUse the code BERLINPHIL by March 31 to get 30-day access to the orchestra’s stunning work https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/home


Marquee TVOffer plays, dance, opera and theatre all to stream on a Netflix like service, offering free 30 day trial at the momentmarquee.tv

Twitter Search #togetherathome to see bands streaming intimate concerts live from their homes.

 
The Guardian have posted their own list now too  https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2020/mar/17/hottest-front-room-seats-the-best-theatre-and-dance-to-watch-online?CMP=share_btn_fb

Filmed on StageHosts links to mostly paid streams of large Broadway shows and musicals http://www.filmedonstage.com/

You can watch the west end production of Wind in the Willows here https://www.willowsmusical.com/ 


Netflix and Amazon Prime VideoBoth have a small selection of stage shows to stream


Other Cultural Activity 


Free Museum tours from across the world https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours


Free colouring pages from museums http://www.openculture.com/2019/02/download-free-coloring-books-from-113-museums.html?fbclid=IwAR3wPlZLs00PCl-tilb9jXHKJPUSDa2oui1SHQC-iEsh40w7b_ZN5DIyglU


Free National Park tours https://www.thrillist.com/news/nation/google-earth-virtual-tours-of-us-national-parks


David Bowie is At the V&A MuseumAn augmented reality tour of the singer’s costumes, notebooks and life’s work. https://davidbowieisreal.com/


CPD FROM HOME 
ETC have made their online training courses free during this time: training for technicians Courses.etcconnect.com  The following performers offer one to one tuition, find them on facebook. 


Rubyyy Jones – Cabaret MCing Paul L Martin – mentoring for cabaret performers  John Celestus – one to one Flexibiliy and Strength, contortion, compare 
Skillshare International Offers photography, illustration, design with a 2 month free trial available https://www.skillshare.com/


Welsh for work with Learn Welsh Cardiff – Dysgu Cymraeg Caerdydd A 10 hour course free https://learnwelsh.cymru/work-welsh/work-welsh-courses/work-welsh-taster-courses/


Say Something in Welsh A podcast based language learning system with free and paid options including Welshhttps://www.saysomethingin.com/


Duolingo The number one free language app has a great Welsh course toohttps://www.duolingo.com/

Connecting With Our Body with Zosia Jo – interview by Eva Marloes

The disconnect with our bodies is making us sick. We communicate through disembodied social media and are strangers to one another. As the Coronavirus spreads across Europe, it might sound strange to advocate for a stronger connection with our body and nature, and yet it is through connection that we get to know what our body can do, its vulnerabilities, and how to make it resilient. The exhibition and performance ‘Fabulous Animal’ by dancer and performance artist Zosia Jo is thus unwittingly topical. It is an invitation to rediscover our body without judgment and to find strength by tapping into our animal side.

I have never had a rosy picture of nature. Nature can be terrifying and ruthless. Nature doesn’t ‘need’ us; rather we need nature. We are of nature. Zosia Jo’s invitation to have a more grounded relationship with our body and those of others emphasises strength born of acceptance rather than control. It is a much needed lesson in these times of uncertainty, anxiety, and disconnect.

Some might find it all too abstract, but there’s nothing abstract about the body. The coronavirus spreading illness and panic brings home how we fool ourselves into believing that we are above nature and detached from it. We want to dominate nature even to the point of extinction. We want control over the body. Men, in particular, want to control women’s bodies. They do so through rape and harassment, through restrictive legislation on reproductive health, and through the labels applied to women for what they wear, how they look, and how they move. Zosia Jo wants to ‘shake off the patriarchy’. Yet, her message is for everyone. Women bear the brunt of this ideology of dominance and control, but men are oppressed by this too. The attempt to eliminate vulnerability, repress emotions, and control the body is what makes us weak.

The work of Zosia Jo invites us to stop, watch, and listen to our body. There is an aliveness in the photos and videos of Zosia Jo seeing and experiencing her body as if she has woken up from a long sleep. She plays with her flesh and muscles, with her hair, teeth, and skin. She touches the body of a tree from inside in a sensuous and playful way. She climbs a tree like a monkey. She does not conquer nature, but connects with it.

As a dancer, Zosia Jo tells me that she was always aware of how important the line of the body and the look of the body were. She tells me,

“I got thrust into this world where it was all about ultimately how I looked, even though it’s more complicated than that. I got swept into trying to be thin, trying to be in a certain way. My journey back to performing and dance became a very personal one, one that was about finding myself, empowering myself to feel good about my own body and to dance again. To perform was a big part of that.”

She studied somatic dance, which stresses listening to one’s body to appreciate how movement emerges. She has run workshops for people to experience their bodies without judgment. She has worked extensively with women in Cairo, who rarely get the opportunity to be in a safe and creative space away from the ever-present male gaze. Women are under constant pressure to look pleasing to men. Zosia Jo sought to ‘shake off’ that judgment. She tells me,

“It’s the curiosity about the body, feeling and touching with no judgement, I might be touching the part of body I least like but I have to discover it as if I had no attachment to what that is.”

Zosia Jo listens to her body and only her body. She seems to forget the audience and the camera or, more poignantly, she doesn’t care. Released from the pressure to conform to expectations, be they expectations of beauty, grace, agility, she can breathe freely. Her technique is like breathing, a continuous expanding and pulsating. It’s paying attention to one’s body and only one’s body.

“I wanted to make something that was ugly … let go of this instinct of making something beautiful and just be utterly unrefined. The goal was to be so ugly that is beautiful.”

Yet, she is a performer relying on external validation and enjoying the relationship with the audience. I ask her what she does to communicate how she feels to the public. She tells me,

“Somatic dance can be a bit trippy … I might feel great but I look disempowered, how do I match my own experience with what I’m trying to say to the audience and not look like shrinking and hiding in public space? That is the question.”

It is the connection with animals that makes that communication possible, she asked herself,

“Which animal enabled me to be in the world in such a way that it’s clear I’m taking space or that I’m being empowered? At the same time a feeling good, that is not fake, that is not impersonating a kind of traditionally male sense of what power is or what power looks like, but that I am feeling good.”

Zosia Jo performs the instinctive and earthy character of an animal but juxtaposes with the ‘fabulous’ of queer culture.

“Fabulous … I think of queer culture, dressing up, taking ownership of one’s sexuality. … I like the contrasts between queer culture, glamour, sequins, sparkles, sexuality and shiny expressionism, and animal, which is something earthy and grounded. I loved the seemingly paradox.”

This is what makes it a fun performance. Performance can in itself be liberating. I ask her where she finds the internal validation for this work. She tells me,

“When you listen to physical reality, you can ground yourself and feel grateful just for being present and alive. When you feel what the body can do and get excited about what it can do instead of what it can’t do or instead of what is wrong with it that’s very validating without having to be impressive in any way… It’s not ‘heroic’ movement … moving to the beat, it’s something so human. Everyone can do it.”

Everyone can do it. Everyone can rediscover their body, “wobble all the fat” and have fun with it without fear of judgment, without the need to control it. The empowerment is not in dominating and controlling; the empowerment is in the connection.

Watch the videos of Zosia Jo here.

Fabulous Animal Live Performance – A Review by Eva Marloes

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Fabulous Animal is a composite artistic project, which includes photos and videos of professional dancer Zosia Jo and of workshops’ participants and Zosia Jo’s live performance at Cardiff Made. It is an exploration of the body in its fleshy and animalesque dimension. The performance begins with Zosia Jo feeling her body, her teeth, her arms, licking her arm, comparing the hair in her armpits with the hair on her head. She stretches her muscles and shakes her body. She dresses and undresses.

The performance starts with playfulness and warmth. Zosia Jo is friendly and puts us at ease. Zosia Jo has a beautiful physicality and control over her body. Every move looks natural, with no tension, and easy. As her body moves slowly and softly, it becomes seductive. It is seductive in the literal sense of the word, in bringing us closer. She embodies an eroticism without a mask.

In the very small space of Cardiff Made, Zosia Jo projects a sense of wider nature. She moves like the waves of the sea, like the movement of our lungs as we breath. What is striking of the performance is her ability to give a sense of being in nature and part of nature. Zosia Jo is successful in stripping us of our everyday masks and let us see that underneath our clothes we are animals. In nature, the spectators would have been able to sense more their own body and their relationship with rocks, sands, trees, or water.

The texts beside the photos give a thoroughly research context linking this exploration of the body and nature to feminism. However, it is too abstract for the performance, while it is probably more powerful in the contexts of the workshops Zosia Jo did in Egypt. The exploration of the body outside of societal constructs of beauty, strength, and skill can resonate with men as well as women. In a disembodied society, we can all benefit from experiencing our bodies differently. At the performance, we remain spectators; yet as we watch Zosia Jo, we can imagine her as an animal. Like a butterfly she spreads her wings and she is nature. She is a fabulous animal.

You can watch the video online at the following address: https://www.zosiajo.com/