In May, Creative Cardiff launched the paid commission – Our creative Cardiff – a digital storytelling project to showcase what is special about this city and this creative community in 2020.
The brief was to create a piece of work each that explains, highlights and expresses ‘our creative Cardiff’ this year - to draw attention to what is already happening and is known about in our creative city, what is invisible and/or unknown and what could happen in the future.
Our creative Cardiff is a way to enable a range of different creative voices to tell their story. To truly capture the narrative, we have to put it in the hands of creatives to each show us their creative Cardiff.
Following a competitive selection, the creatives have been chosen. From digital illustration to opera, carnival to comedy, the commissions span a range of creative sectors and will result in stories told through a variety of mediums including photography, textile print, video and music.
The 2020 commissioned creatives are: Alyson Henry, Beth Blandford, Gareth John and Morgan Thomas, Ian Cooke-Tapia, Jason Mohammad, Jeremy Huw Williams, Katie Harrington, Keith Murrell, Magnus Oboh, Martyn Wilson, Molly Caenwyn, Rosaleen Moriarty-Simmonds OBE, Sandra Gustafsson and Tamsin Griffiths.
Creative Cardiff Project Manager, Vicki Sutton, said: “We’re looking forward to working with this group of creatives to bring to life the range of stories they’ve so passionately committed to share with us. This year so far has brought great uncertainty and change for many creatives in the city. I hope through this project we can help to spotlight and share the work of these creatives as well as spark new connections across creative sectors.”
Their pieces will be launched on the Creative Cardiff website this summer.
A number of the group are keen to have input from the wider creative community in their piece – please have a read of their biographies below on how to get involved.
Here is more about our 2020 creatives:
I am a digital story-teller and producer with a background in journalism. My work focuses on culture, identity, community and life from a female perceptive.
I have worked on creative projects using user generated video in New York and have also worked in South Africa on a project that looked at gender based violence.
I have a keen interest in telling youth stories through audio and video and have worked on a number of diverse projects of BBC Wales.
I can be contacted here: https://twitter.com/AlysonHenry_
I am a 23-year-old digital illustrator from Cardiff, and draw using an iPad and Apple Pencil. I like to focus on drawing women taking up space and creating spaces for themselves.Often, I draw women in rooms, the space around them is filled with details about who they are, who they want to be and who the world wants them to be.
I think illustration has an extraordinary ability to turn complicated, multi-faceted and nuanced stories into accessible portals and I’m pleased to be able to tell the story of some of Cardiff’s most prominent creative women.
More of my work can be found at www.blandoodles.com, or on Instagram: @blandoodles.
Gareth John and Morgan Thomas
In 2015 I joined the Hijinx Academy based at Chapter Arts Centre and began my training as a performer. Soon after that I was cast in the role of Martin in Meet Fred.
I have spent the past five years touring the world with this show while continuing my training at Hijinx.
With Meet Fred I have performed in China, South Korea, the US and all over Europe.
In 2019 I performed in Mission Control, a Hijinx and National Theatre Wales production at the Principality Stadium.
I trained in performance at USW ATRiuM and the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. My first UK and international tours were with the highly physical spectacle 'Drumchasers - Narrated by Stephen Fry.' Recent performance credits include cast member of ‘Into The Light’ (Hijinx in assoc. with Frantic Assembly) and ‘Meet Fred’ (Hijinx in assoc. with Blind Summit). I also work as a director, lecturer, movement choreographer and audition panel member. I devise and perform as a co-founder of Yeah Yeah theatre company. YouTube: https://youtu.be/MQtrKksslNo, Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yeahyeahuk, Twitter: https://twitter.com/yeahyeahuk Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yeahyeahuk.
I am a multidisciplinary storyteller, illustrator and entrepreneur. My personal work happens at intersections: materialism, the lived environment, animal migrations,multilingualism come together to create wonderful worlds. I am the author of Coyote Crosses the Continent and image-smith of Martina and the Bridge of Time.
In 2020, I founded Cooked Illustrations (https://www.cookedillustrations.com/) as a platform to collaborate with tropical and social scientists from around the world, so as to research ways to improve science communication through new stories and mediums.
I’m also creative director of Ffangaí, a still-developing international arts and culture publishing platform for minority voices and alternative ideas.
I am a television and radio presenter from Cardiff, taking fans through the goals and drama every Saturday on BBC One in Final Score as one of the BBC’s main football presenters. I then host Good Morning Sunday on BBC Radio 2 between 6am-9am before starting to prepare for my Monday to Wednesday slot on the BBC Radio Wales Phone-in. I’m also a regular voice on BBC Radio 5 Live. I’ve hosted 5 Live Sport, the football phone-in “606” and fronted live international and Champions League football nights. I’ve also covered two football World Cup Finals in Brazil and Russia and Euro 2016 in France. And if that’s not enough I have London 2012 and Rio 2016 under my Olympic belt too! Studying at Cardiff University gave me the platform to be creative and learn the storytelling and broadcast skills that I use on a daily basis. I’ve just launched a new product, a creative masterclass programme with colleges, universities and also online - giving future journalists and reporters a chance to have a go at news reading, presentation and writing skills on location. I’m on Twitter @jasonmohammad.
Jeremy Huw Williams
I am a baritone who performs in opera and recital on stages across the world, but it is Cardiff, my birthplace, that I still call home.
In 1993 I represented Wales in the Cardiff Singer of the World and made my debut with WNO.
Since then I have sung more than 60 operatic roles internationally. I have performed frequently at St David’s Hall in recital, with BBC NOW, and was a soloist with WNO at the opening gala of the Wales Millennium Centre.
I enjoy working with Cardiff’s talented young singers and composers, and visiting the city’s many fine art galleries.
I am a South Wales based photographer and artist re-homed from the South East, Medway Towns and graduating from Swansea Metropolitan University.
An eye for the lo-fi, love of black and white film, sweaty punk gigs and ‘DIY’ notions and communities, I embrace these attitudes in my image making, with a strong belief that art and photography should be accessible and available to everybody!
Do you want to become a part of my community art piece that reflects on our current circumstances and worldwide situation due to COVID-19? From home, I'm asking Cardiff creatives to create their own snapshot of how they may be coping or responding to the unprecedented changes to daily life in 2020, using the medium of ‘DIY’ Pinhole Photography. Get in touch with email@example.com to receive a Homebrewed: ‘DIY’ Pinhole Photography Kit and add your voice to how the Cardiff creative community is doing – your pinhole photographs will feature as part of an exhibition piece alongside other creatives to tell your story!
Keep up with the pinhole photography and freelance antics over at www.homebrewed.org.uk or add my Instagram (@homebrewedphotos).
I have a bit of a hangup about labels but in this context you could call me a community artist from Butetown: and I would say that all of my creative interest and practice stems from the everyday creativity around me when I was growing up.
My work is often but not always Butetown related.
I sing, I write, I take pictures, I make pictures and I produce Butetown Carnival and other community focused arts events.
My name is Magnus Oboh and I’m a recording artist/videographer based here in Cardiff, Wales. I started making music as a hobby over 10 years ago and over the years it got more serious then I learnt about videography (both self taught) and started my own media company, TAB Media.
As a musician I’ve performed all over Cardiff, UK, Europe and I’ve been making music videos for artists in Wales and all over the UK too.
I also make short films, documentaries, events promo, basically if it involves filming and editing, I’m equipped for the job.
I enjoy the balance of creativity between making music and film because sound and visual works great together. My aim is to bring a different narrative to music and film in Wales and using these skills to educate and bring communities together.
Since birth I have been a resident of Cardiff, and it is safe to say I call it home. As a very passionate street photographer, I have a love for abstract work, and telling a story through imagery that everyone can relate to is a key aspect.
Not sure at what age I first picked up a camera, but I do recall my first holiday in Spain at age 14 and I would not let anyone touch the 35mm camera - it was like I owned it and not a thing or person could pry it from my hands...and today it is still the same.
‘Love life and photography’.
I am a photographer and photographic historian with an avid interest in photographic materiality and the phenomenological experience of photography.
I work in analogue and alternative photographic processes, such as cyanotypes, and develop film using the Caffenol development process.
My pieces are lifted with theoretical frameworks including eroticism, feminism and Julia Kristeva’s abject which are used to examine social attitudes towards sex and gender. This also extends to my historical research which currently focuses on photography and the sex industry, LGBT history and early Welsh female photographers.
My work for this project centres around how people are dealing with grief and how they are grieving during this time of lockdown. I am reaching out to ask how others have been dealing with loss in quarantine, so if you are happy / feel comfortable taking part and have any questions, please feel free to get in touch: www.mollycaenwyn.co.uk, Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mollycaenwyn/, Twitter: https://twitter.com/MollyCaenwyn.
Rosaleen (Rosie) Moriarty-Simmonds OBE
I am passionate about Disability Equality and Diversity, and a member of the world-renowned Mouth and Foot Painting Artists.
I favour bright bold colours which reflect my personality, and primarily use acrylic and watercolour.
I wrote my autobiography “Four Fingers and Thirteen Toes” in 2007 (updated in 2009) intertwining my life story with a definitive history of the drug Thalidomide.
As a keen supporter of performing arts, I’ve worked with disabled and non-disabled, professional and amateur performers. My most recent acting foray was in “The Cardiff Tapes” performed at Chapter Arts Centre in 2019.
Twitter: - https://twitter.com/RosieMS.
I am a Finnish performance designer and I moved to Cardiff in 2016 to pursue a Masters at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Since making Cardiff my home, I’ve found a passion for participatory and community arts and have recently worked with organisations such as Sparc Valleys Kids and Artis Community.
I also create my own artworks, which have been exhibited at The Gate Arts Centre and Made in Roath Festival. I’m particularly intrigued by creating performances in unexpected places along with finding new purposes for found objects.
Examples of my work can be found at: www.sandra-gustafsson.com.
As part of the commission, I am creating an artwork that depicts members of Cardiff’s creative community and I invite artists to send in photos of themselves in their lockdown workspace. To get involved or to find out more, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am a bilingual cross disciplinary artist with a Mental Health (MH) diagnosis, creating participatory interactive projects that blur the boundaries of art-forms and challenge perceptions about health and MH, through form and content.
Using my skills and experience in film, theatre, visual arts and sound to create and perform topical work that questions and challenges perceptions, particularly around the subject of MH.
Collaboration is integral to my practice and in 2015 I formulated a partnership with artist Paul Whittaker which developed into an arts and health company Four in Four: www.fourinfour.co.uk, Twitter: @FourinFour1, Instagram: @fourinfour_artsandhealth, Facebook: @FourinFourWales (Four in Four - Arts & Health). Four in Four act as consultants for the arts, health, education and third sectors including; ACW, PHW, NHS Cymru, CAVHB, The Wallich and NCMH.
You can follow me on Twitter: @TamsGriffiths, Instagram: @TamsinGriffiths.