The London 2012 Festival is a 12-week nationwide celebration running from 21 June until 9 September 2012 bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK.
The plane will ‘nest’ in Swansea, Ebbw Vale and Llandudno, between 24 June and 14 July, for three weeks of extraordinary cultural activities reflecting the distinctive history and culture of each area. Adain Avion is one of 12 public art commissions created for Artists Taking the Lead, the UK Arts Councils' flagship project for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
Marc Rees, whose recent work includes the acclaimed site-specific project For Mountain, Sand & Sea for National Theatre Wales, is one of Wales’ leading performance and installation artists with an established track record of delivering groundbreaking, provocative and risk-taking work. For Adain Avion, he brings together leading artists from around the globe including Welsh writer Owen Sheers, Swiss choreographer Philippe Saire, Portuguese choreographer Filipa Francisco, Welsh visual artists Owen Griffiths, Stefhan Caddick and Carwyn Evans, Austrian choreographer Willi Dorner, Finnish choreographer Tanja Råman, BAFTA-winning Welsh composer John Hardy and Welsh choreographer Cai Tomos to collaborate with local people for performances, installations, workshops and events at each nesting destination. So far, over 2,000 participants, 50 artists and 65 community groups are involved in the project (the latter includes scout groups, rugby clubs, male voice choirs, brass bands, gymnastic, sailing and book clubs, buskers, harpists and knitting groups).
On arrival in Swansea and Llandudno, the plane will be pulled into place by a team of people gathered from local sports clubs. In Ebbw Vale, it will arrive as part of a large-scale nocturnal procession - Ghost Parade. Each destination will then be bombarded with a week of cultural activity. For event highlights, see below. All activities will be filmed and stored in the plane’s ‘black box’ recorder and revealed to thousands of visitors at the National Eisteddfod of Wales in Llandow (4 – 11 August). Then, as the Olympic Games draw to a close on 12 August, the fuselage will begin its journey home to Spain after depositing the ‘black box’ at St. Fagans National History Museum where it will form an important contemporary folk archive; an eclectic collective memory to represent the uniqueness of Wales in 2012.
‘Avion’ was originally discovered and transformed from the wreck of an abandoned aeroplane by Spanish sculptor Eduardo Cajal, who wanted to recycle the fuselage to create a vehicle for cultural and artistic exchange. As Wales’ winner of the £230,000 Artist Taking the Lead commission, Rees will bring this extraordinary object from its home in northern Spain to Wales. Throughout the summer of 2012, Adain Avion will serve as a mobile arts space, social sculpture and travelling time capsule, creating a succession of unique snapshots of Welsh culture.
Adain Avion highlights include:
SWANSEA: 24 - 30 June 2012
Outside the National Waterfront Museum, SA1 SRD
Arrival Procession, Sunday 24 June (4pm)
The plane will be pulled into place by members of the Ospreys rugby team. The procession will begin in front of Wales’ oldest museum institution, Swansea Museum and end at Wales’ latest purpose built one, The National Waterfront Museum.
Artist Owen Griffiths is transforming a section of The Vetch (the iconic former home of Swansea City AFC) into an urban utopia. Working with members of the local community, he is creating temporary fruit and vegetable patches over one growing season, transforming the pitch, which if still standing would have celebrated its centenary this year, into edible land. This social artwork will culminate in a flower and produce show held around Adain Avion’s nesting site (4pm – 6pm, Friday 29 June) followed by a harvest supper for local residents aboard the plane (7pm, Friday 29 June). www.vetchveg.tumblr.com
Phillippe Saire Residency, Saturday 30 June (11.30am & 3.15pm)
As part of Taliesin’s Dance Day Festival, Swiss choreographer Phillippe Saire takes up residence at Victoria Park to devise a brand new live choreography entitled Jack with eight of Swansea Bowling Club’s oldest and youngest members. Saire’s 25-year choreographic career has seen over a thousand performances of his multi-disciplinary creations all over the world. www.philippesaire.ch
Willi Dorner: Bodies in Urban Spaces, Friday 29, Saturday 30 June (12.30pm & 4pm)
Professional Welsh dancers perform with local free runners, gymnasts, climbers and martial artists for the Welsh premiere of this world-renowned work by Austrian artist Willi Dorner. Also part of Taliesin’s Dance Day festival, Bodies in Urban Spaces is a performing trail which leads through unseen and re-discovered spaces, encouraging audiences to reflect on their urban surroundings. As bodies are temporarily squeezed, arranged, balanced and rearranged along the route, the rules and restrictions of our urban environment are explored and perceived in a unique way – on the run. www.ciewdorner.at
Guerilla Restoration, Monday 25 (3.30pm – 5.30pm)
Artist Catrin James will carry out Guerilla Restoration on neglected architectural design features found on many of the post-war buildings in Swansea. She will document and present her urban refurbishing through a video installation that will be shown aboard the plane. Guerilla Restoration will reveal the mid-century splendour hidden beneath the rust and the dust of Swansea’s town centre.
Blanket Coverage: Welsh Tapestry and Tupperware tea party, Sunday 1 July (12midday- 2.30pm)
To commemorate the centenary of Melin Tregwynt wollen mill in Pembrokeshire, Adain Avion will invite the people of Swansea and beyond to bring their own retro Welsh tapestry blankets and packed Tupperware for a communal picnic around the plane. The fuselage will be completely covered in a specially-created blanket made from a re-imagined design, based on Melin Tregwynt's signature Madison. Blanket Coverage is Adain Avion's unique take on the iconic artwork by Christo who famously covered the Reichstag in Berlin with silver fabric, transforming it into a social sculpture and immensely popular gathering point.
EBBW VALE: 1 – 7 July 2012
The Works, Steelworks Road, Ebbw Vale, NP23 6DN
Ghost Parade, Sunday 1 July (9.15pm)
This large-scale nocturnal event, curated by local visual artist Stefhan Caddick, commemorates the poignant 10th anniversary of the closure of the Ebbw Vale Steel Works when the last remaining workforce marched out for the final time with trade union banners aloft and the town band in front. The parade, which involves outdoor projections, archival moving imagery and mass participation, takes place along the final mile of Adain Avion’s journey from Swansea to Ebbw Vale, concluding in front of the former Steel Work’s General Offices. Ghost Parade celebrates a decade of transition in Ebbw Vale.
Cold Rolling, Saturday 7 July (6pm)
Finnish choreographer Tanja Råman draws inspiration from the original architectural blue prints of the Ebbw Vale Steel Works and its metal-making processes to create an intricate new site-specific dance piece in which 10 dancers from Ballet Cymru respond to a live score sung by Ebbw Vale Male Voice Choir (which includes many former steel workers). Led by BAFTA-winning composer John Hardy, in collaboration with Electronic Music student Victoria Ashfield from The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, this brand new work will replicate the former works’ industrial soundscape. The choir will perform the piece live within the fuselage of the plane in synch with Råman’s dance piece.
Owen Sheers: SMS Steel Men Stories, Mon 2, Weds 4, Thurs 5, Fri 6 (Mon 1.30pm-3pm, other days 3pm-4pm)
Wales Rugby Union Writer in Residence Owen Sheers collaborates with BAFTA-winning filmmaker Christopher Morris on a series of filmed portraits of characters associated with The Steel Men; the Ebbw Vale Rugby Club. The written material is by Sheers, based on interviews with the subjects. The project is in association with Newport Film School as part of Adain Addysg (the project’s Education wing).
LLANDUDNO 8 - 14 July 2012
The Promenade, Llandudno, LL30 1BB
Arrival Procession, Sunday 8 July (4pm)
Six glamorous stewardesses and the captain (clad in bespoke Melin Tregwynt retro-style uniforms) will guide the fuselage along the promenade pulled by RGC 1404 and flanked by 600 local school children who are working with community dance organisation Dawns i Bawb to create a choreography inspired by runway landing lights and airplane vapour trails. The Llandudno Town Band will accompany the procession with the Arrival Anthem composed by John Hardy.
Cysgod, Sunday 8 - Sunday 15 July
Visual artist Carwyn Evans has created a series of portraits of Llandudno residents and visitors sitting by the sea. Captured through still and moving image, these contemplative vignettes will culminate in two artwork presentations – Cysgod (which means ‘shelter’ or ‘shadow’). The first is a series of life-size still portraits housed within the 1950’s style shelters that line Llandudno’s promenade. These will be accompanied by an intimate gallery installation in Mostyn where the video portraits of the seaside sitters will be projected inside a modernist replica of the beach shelters. This display will echo the many meditative moments that resound within these sheltered spaces.
A Solo for Margot, Thursday 12 July (2.30pm) & Friday 13 July (1.30pm)
Following his highly memorable intervention in Marc Rees' For Mountain, Sand & Sea (National Theatre Wales), Welsh choreographer Cai Tomos will create new work A Solo for Margot. Margot is the daughter of Will Catlin, a theatrical entrepreneur and owner of Llandudno's Arcadia Theatre. As a young girl, she was a keen roller-skater. Her father built her a roller skating rink, which was then converted into the theatre whose dance troupe, The Catlin Follies, she went on to join. This collaboration re-visits Margot's memories of dancing and creates a movement solo for an intimate audience inside the plane which will be located in front of her former dancing haunt.
Migrations present The Journey/Y Daith by Filipa Francisco, Saturday 14 July (1pm & 3.30pm)
Portuguese choreographer Filipa Francisco and composer Antonio Pedró collaborate with local folk dance groups to create a unique take on the familiar flash mob phenomena, but with an added folk step twist. The performance travels from the pier and along the promenade encompassing known landmarks and musical groups en route to the plane. Co-produced by Migrations and Festival Materiais Diversos. www.migrations.co/home
Motorhead, Monday 9 July (2pm) & Thursday 12 July (5pm)
Llandudno based Sculptor Nick Elphick creates a specially commissioned new installation aboard Avion where two evocative worlds collide; an arctic landscape with abstract icebergs floating on the plane's interior glass floor which, once amassed create the giant gnarly facial contours of a rock god with surprising local connections. Elphick is renowned for his bold, playful and beautifully crafted works.
LLANDOW 4 - 11 August 2012
The National Eisteddfod of Wales, Vale of Glamorgan
The National Eisteddfod will occupy a former airfield in Llandow. A perfect setting for Adain Avion, which will settle here during Eisteddfod week to display the plane’s black box archive to visitors. On 12th August, the black box will be deposited at St. Fagans National History Museum where it will form a permanent record of Welsh culture during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games.
For further information on Adain Avion, please contact either:
Laura Myers at The Corner Shop PR on 0207 831 7657, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben Chamberlain at The Corner Shop PR on 020 7831 7657, email email@example.com
Catrin Rogers on 07812 190 264, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alice Baynham on 07944 748 654 or email@example.com