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Last night, (Thursday, 6 February), 14 professional artists from across the arts disciplines received a Creative Wales Award from the Arts Council of Wales at a reception held at Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold. Creative Wales Awards recognise the very best talent and potential of individual Welsh artists.

The Creative Wales Ambassadors Awards are made by nomination and recognise significant individual achievement in the arts along with the aim to raise the profile of Welsh culture outside of Wales. This year Arts Council of Wales is delighted to award 3 awards to Julia Griffiths Jones, Martin Daws and Richard Gwyn, all of which received £25,000.

Julia will use her award to research and explore new techniques and materials thus developing her experimental work in wire to be able to create a room within a room.

Martin’s award will allow him to be mentored by Literature Wales and Urban Word NYC in slam poetry performance and the coaching of slam poetry teams. The objective of the project is to form the first Wales Youth Slam Team and to take them to the US National Slam Championships in July 2014. Whilst Richard Gwyn’s project is to research and write an account of travel as a work in progress, challenging the notion that contemporary travel awakens in the traveller a sense of 'travelling without seeing'.

Professor Dai Smith, Chair, Arts Council of Wales, congratulated this year's successful ambassadors:

"We are pleased to have been able to augment these awards in difficult times. The Creative Wales Awards are one of the high points of the arts calendar in Wales. Arts Council of Wales believes in risk taking and nothing is more exciting than to invest in the creativity of those individuals who make the art that delights and challenges us as a dynamic society."

Creative Wales Awards of up to £25,000 enable artists to take time to experiment, innovate, and take forward their work. The aim is to develop excellence by offering a period of research and development to some of Wales’ most interesting artists.

The recipients of the Creative Wales Awards 20013/14 are:

Anthony Shapland - £20,000

Anthony creates, curates, writes, organises and looks at the world around him. All of these verbs help him to navigate life, and the mirror he holds up to it is the visual arts. Switching roles has become more commonplace, but each standpoint needs its own counterpoint. Anthony cannot simultaneously and objectively be a curator and curate and there are times when he needs to step away from the former to fulfil the latter. This Creative Wales Award marks one of those times, allowing one year of focused studio development.

Brendan Stuart Burns - £20,000

This Creative Wales Award will enable Brendan to reposition his work, processes and audience. It will grant him time to ‘make mistakes’ and play with new 3 dimensional materials, processes and techniques.

Cai Tomos - £12,000

The Creative Wales Award will centre on Cai’s artistic preoccupation with investigating the notion of the ‘autobiographical body’. It will give Cai an opportunity to look in more depth at the complexities involved in searching for honesty through choreographic, collaborative and creative dialogues.

David Childs - £12,000

He proposes to use the support of this Creative Wales Award to pursue the development of the instrument in a new and very different manner, experimenting with non-traditional / Western-classical settings, and particularly working with electronics and new technology.

Gareth Clark - £24,894

Gareth wants to take the opportunity to remove himself from the everyday comforts and conventions of life and put himself in a place to contemplate and reflect. In developing his own performance work Gareth wants to explore these elements of personal investment and encourage others to do so from participating in or observing the experience.

Fern Thomas - £12,000

This Creative Wales Award will allow for the development of new skills such as building on voice work and spoken word as well as the writing process behind this. This period will explore the role of the image in alternative forms and also question how artists in Wales can create a sustainable arts practice beyond the dependency on the gallery system.

Gideon Koppel - £25,000

Gideon will use still photography to explore the flat, open landscapes and horizons of the Netherlands, where a high proportion of the land is reclaimed and visually marked by man-made earthworks and structures. This project will also involve an exploratory process of still photography using a combination of chemical and digital techniques: integrating the painterly qualities and sensitivities of film with the subtle image manipulations afforded by digital techniques.

Natalia Dias - £12,000

She will begin to explore the synergies between the time-based processes of her making and the time-based perception of film and would also like to investigate the possibilities that Kiln-formed glass and 3D printing could bring to her practice.

Paul Rigel Jenkins - £11,885.

This Creative Wales Award will allow Paul to explore ways to make theatre that incorporates the impulses and interaction of performers and audience in live drama: intimate exchanges, active audience participation, disrupting performance and methods of meaningfully involving live feed social media.

Sara Moorhouse - £20,000

With her Creative Wales Award Sara intends to develop the scale of her work. This will involve implementing and practicing skills, learnt previously through an Arts Council of Wales training grant, to create larger thrown works and multiple smaller mould-made works.

Susan Adams - £20,000

Susan will use her Creative Wales Award to loosen her control of the narrative in her art by engaging in a period of in-depth open-ended research, allowing free-flow narratives to emerge whose meanings are less clear to her.

David Alston, Arts Director, Arts Council of Wales concluded:

"This is the Arts Council of Wales’ opportunity to recognise some of the incredible talents in Wales. We are able to support the work of artists who are at a significant juncture in their career. They are taking exploratory routes to develop the art they make in Wales in future years. Over the years artists have warmly responded to such opportunities and Wales has reaped the artistic dividend downstream from the awards. Strengthening Wales’s artistic base is a key plank in our future strategy, aimed at making the arts central to the life of the nation."

For further information please contact Siân James on 029 2044 1344 / 07812 801356 or email sian.james@artscouncilofwales.org.uk


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