Ugly Pretty City Collective by Michelle Collins
This project explores social and cultural changes through site specific works that has been inspired by Swansea City. Swansea City has seen much change ever since the industrial revolution, spanning world wars through to today where major changes are taking place once again. This constant state of flux has surely had a great impact of the people in Swansea and in turn on anyone who has migrated to the area.
After travelling into Swansea daily, I became aware of its past and the changes that it has and was going through. Inspired by Dylan Thomas’s description as an “ugly, lovely town”, Ugly Pretty City Collective was set up, an ambitious innovative project to celebrate the life and people of Swansea City. I intend to document the change, through living memories enabling the residents to unify and share their experiences of site.
In part one I have set up an interactive city arts project that involves distributing door to door, 20,000 postcards to residents in Swansea within a targeted area spanning a two mile diameter, with the Dynevor Institute as the centre point. Each resident will be asked to provide or sketch a memory of change, whether it is an environmental or personal change on a postcard and returned to a freepost address with the intention of creating an archive of memories
The impact of each individual will hopefully inspire a great sense of community spirit that has certainly decreased dramatically since the Second World War and through the decline of the mining culture where people were required to strive together as one unit. The quest will talk of such times and also act as a reminder of the great bond/similarities these people share whether they are conscious of or not. Of course the collection hopes to inspire other towns and cities which too may share parallels with Swansea or indeed any culture to simply appreciate their own history, whilst performing their daily tasks.