Last Friday (18.11.2016), CCQ went to the launch of a new scheme at Chapter arts centre, in Cardiff. Finally, after much speculation, the names of the first cohort of artists and companies to be supported by the innovative Peilot scheme were revealed.
Peilot, which is supported by the Arts Council of Wales and the Esmee Fairbairn Charitable Trust, offers tailored support to artists, to help them develop over the period of the programme. These artists come from the kinds of disciplines that regulars to Chapter will be very familiar with: music; performance/live art; theatre-making; dance and visual art. Some straddle several disciplines at once, or collaborate with practitioners from different disciplines.
Common Wealth, for example, is an artist collective rooted in socialist politics. The company makes site-specific theatre events that encompass electronic sound, new writing, visual design and verbatim. One of the founding artistic directors, Rhiannon White, was born and brought up in Cardiff, but her work has taken her all over the globe.
Common Wealth - No Guts, No Heart, No Glory Image: Sophie Gerrard
Be Aware Productions although only formally founded in 2015, by actress and director Pınar Öğün, Meltem Arikan, Memet Ali Alabora and Öğün had worked together on various projects in Turkey since 2009. Now they have come together to create innovative performing and audio-visual art works. Arikan writes, Alabora directs for stage and Öğün for screen. This production company, now based in Cardiff, aims to produce works with an international dimension and appeal that explore, challenge and expand the limits of the discipline in which they are produced, by creating innovative performing and audio-visual artworks with an international dimension.
Enough is Enough - Be Aware Productions. Image: courtesy of Be Aware Productions
Triongl theatre company was founded by Valmai Jones, Rebecca Knowles and Rebecca Smith Williams, who work collaboratively in both Welsh and English creating work that engages with socially relevant themes with humour and heart. Their production Miramar toured Wales earlier this year.
Triongl Theatre - Miramar rehearsals Image: Jorge Lizalde
Director, choreographer and performer, Jo Fong will be familiar to some readers of CCQ (we interviewed her in our very first issue). Her work is often intensely collaborative and inventive, as seen by her recent production An Invitation, which started life in Chapter's stiwdio space. Back in 2013, when we spoke to her, she had just made Witness, three filmed portraits of women who make dance.
Jo Fong - Witness Image: Filipe Alcada
We've also featured Tim Bromage in CCQ too. He's been a familiar figure on the performance circuit for several years but has recently extended the narrative, which is often integral to his performances, and produced a collection of poems The Hunter and The Bleak, which we featured in issue 9. His poetry, together with folk tales, myths and magic (he's an accomplished stage magician) are woven together in a performance style that's like no other.
Tim Bromage Image: Warren Orchard
Swansea-based harpist and artist, Rhodri Davies, works within the field of improvisation. He plays harp, electric harp, live-electronics and builds wind, water, ice, dry ice and fire harp installations. He has released four solo albums: Trem, Over Shadows, Wound Response and An Air Swept Clean of All Distance.
Peilot will offer three years of dedicated support to each artist and company to maximise opportunities for touring, partnership working and UK and international collaboration. Creative Producer, Cathy Boyce is enthusiastic about the possibilities of Chapter's new scheme: "I‘m really looking excited to be working with such a brilliant cohort of artists. Chapter has always supported artists to make new work, but up until now that support has always been ad hoc. This project will allow us to give dedicated time and resources to each artist and group and find the best ways to develop their careers and help realise their ambitions." Boyce explains how the scheme will work, "A programme of support will be developed in collaboration with each artist, but will include guaranteed presentations in the Chapter programme, rehearsal space, support with funding applications and commissions to develop new work." For Boyce, the programme is about making connections for the supported artists, "The most important part of the programme is to connect Peilot artists with new audiences, at home and abroad, and seek out new collaborators and like-minded partners".
We'll be following some of the Peilot artists over the three years of the programme so watch this space, as they say.
More information and updates from the Peilot scheme can be found at www.chapter.org