It's Take off for London 2012 Arts Celebrations; Today Marks the Official Launch of the Cultural Olympiad Festival - the Arts Strand of London 2012. the People Behind Wales' Offering Have Already Been Planning Their Events for Many Months. Karen Price Catches Up with Their Progress So Far

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), November 4, 2011 | Go to article overview

It's Take off for London 2012 Arts Celebrations; Today Marks the Official Launch of the Cultural Olympiad Festival - the Arts Strand of London 2012. the People Behind Wales' Offering Have Already Been Planning Their Events for Many Months. Karen Price Catches Up with Their Progress So Far


FROM shifting topsoil and singing about corrugated sheet metal to recollecting teenage roller-skating moves - these are just some of the rich arts activities which will help Wales celebrate London 2012.

All of the events are part of Adain Avion (Wing Flight), which will see a silver "wingless bird" nesting at locations throughout Wales.

The "wingless bird" is a mobile arts space which is being created from the recycled and transformed fuselage of an abandoned DC-9 aeroplane by artist Marc Rees.

He's curating Adain Avion, which is being funded by the Arts Council of Wales in partnership with Swansea's Taliesin Arts Centre.

The ambitious project is the Welsh contribution to the Cultural Olympiad, the strand of London 2012 which celebrates the sporting tournament through culture. While the plans are officially launched today, the incubation period for Adain Avion started a while ago.

Throughout next summer, the plane will tour Swansea, Ebbw Vale, Llandudno and Llandow, which is the destination of the National Eisteddfod.

On arrival at each site, the mobile art space will be pulled into place by a large team of residents from local sports clubs, youth groups and community organisations.

It will then host a programme of activities reflecting the distinctive history and culture of the area, involving contemporary artists and local communities.

The activities will be recorded on the plane's "black box" for future generations to see.

So with the London 2012 countdown now well under way, how are the plans coming together so far? Swansea One of Swansea's projects is Vetch Veg, which will see the former football ground transformed into an edible garden.

Produce will eventually be used to create a harvest supper on board the "wingless plane".

Raised beds have been created, a strawberry patch planted and sunflowers grown under the care of lead artist Owen Griffiths.

Residents, community groups, schools, Cub Scouts, and representatives from Swansea Prison are among those who have been involved so far.

Griffiths is looking forward to seeing the finished product in a year's time.

He says: "The Vetch Veg project has generated a great deal of enthusiasm and participation from the surrounding community and the city as a whole.

"By using this local landmark to involve the public in the transition of the space from an iconic symbol of the city left in ruins to a space in which they are investing through the act of collaboration, Vetch Veg is co-ordinating an opportunity for participants to reconnect with the act of growing food and sharing meals, culminating in a harvest supper for local residents aboard the fuselage and a flower and produce show for all."

Ebbw Vale Composer John Hardy and his students at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff are creating a brand-new work with Ebbw Vale Male Voice Choir.

Having discovered that the choir was mainly made up of former steelworkers, he felt they were the obvious people to join him as he composed the sound score for Cold Rolling, a site-responsive work by choreographer Tanja Raman in collaboration with Ballet Cymru. …

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