I’m a designer living in Wales, working across wider national and international localities.
I often work with public, cultural and educational institutions as part of collaborative research and design projects. Recent projects and collaborations include the Oriel Davies Gallery, Wales Millennium Centre, Victoria and Albert Museum, Wellcome Centre for Neuroimaging, and Crafts Council.
WHAT YOU LIKE ABOUT WHAT ORIEL DAVIES DOES
Through the work we’ve been doing together over the past year, we’ve been exploring the commons, specifically, how the gallery can become resource that can be reimagined by young people living in Newtown and the surrounding areas. There’s a shared desire to realise the Cynulliad ODG Assembly and to put young people at the heart of exploring different possibilities for the gallery. Though the gallery has been shut, it is in no way closed. The team is open to doing new things with new people, thinking differently about what it is, what it does, how it does it, who it supports and how.
A FAVOURITE CULTURAL ARTEFACT
Chwilio am Gwyddoniaeth, Malcolm Neon (Casetiau Neon, 1980)
Casetiau Neon was the first Welsh DIY/underground record label, and it was established in my hometown of Aberteifi in 1980. Set up by Malcolm Gwyon whilst a pupil at Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi, it was an important platform for bands such as Datblygu and Malcolm Neon (Gwyon) to record and release music.
Although the music was released some 20 years before my teenage years, the points of reference are so vivid and resonate with a lot of my experience growing up in Aberteifi.
This cassette ‘Chwilio am Gwyddoniaeth’ by Malcolm Neon was a key point of reference for a project I did a couple years ago at my old school (Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi) titled I’R BYD DYFODOL / TO THE FUTURE WORLD, due to its themes of futurism and automation, as well as the DIY ethos grounding the making of it.
Casetiau Neon releases were recorded in Malcolm Gwyon’s bedroom studio (behind Robin’s Taxi) and the artwork photocopied and printed at E.L.Jones printers - where I also did my work experience at the age of fifteen, stapling raffle tickets and binding obituaries; I’ve since worked with them on many occasions to produce less macabre things, such as the printed publication for IBD/TTFW.
Datblygu, Malcolm Neon and others, created their own space to be critical of the musical, political, economic state of affairs at the time, finding different vehicles - including music, performance, film-making, publishing - that allowed them to express this, and Casetiau Neon was instrumental in this process.
Captured by the ‘Chwilio am Gwyddoniaeth’ cassette are many things that are important to me, such as networks in rural areas that support young people be creative and critical, reimagining accessible resources (local printers > record label), and using fiction to creatively imagining alternative possibilities for a locality.