Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Gallery 1, 2 March – 23 June 2024

Bottles Grid, 3×5, Pembrokeshire, Wales, 2012.

Teulu (Family) will see families from Ceredigion, Powys and Gwynedd working with Aberystwyth Arts Centre to co-curate a major exhibition that will take inspiration and show works from our national collections at National Library of Wales and Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales.

It is a project that breaks new ground, is innovative and which is trying to find new models of working that puts the public at the heart of decision-making. At its core is the aim to break down the barriers that prevent family audiences from enjoying and taking part in the arts.

This exhibition has been curated by 4 families. We were invited by the Arts Centre to work with them over a period of 5 months in a collaborative project that aimed to try and better understand what families want from art exhibitions.

We all wanted to get involved as we love being creative and doing arts and crafts together and have found that there aren’t many opportunities for the whole family to do this.

The Arts Centre partnered with the National Museum Wales Cardiff, National Library Wales and Aberystwyth Arts School and we had free reign to select works from our amazing national collections to create an exhibition of our own.

But where to start? What did we want to say in our exhibition? We went on a trip to Cardiff National Museum, the National Library of Wales and Aberystwyth Arts School where we got to look at lots of art and go behind the scenes. It was lovely to see the kids become more confident with each other at this point, building relationships and sliding along floors in open spaces.

We explored what we like, our interests and hobbies, what we don’t like and what we like doing as families.  A common theme emerged, and we wanted to portray what was important to us- and that is spending time together- with the family, in nature, the beach, the mountains and how we should look after our environment. All the works spoke to us of this.

The kids were drawn to colour which is why we decided to add lots of colour to the gallery. We also wanted an interactive element to draw families in and keep the children entertained so we had the opportunity to work with artists Jenny Hall, Karina Kolesnikaite, Ella Louise Jones and Tim Walley technician to create a sensory experience as well as a visual one.

We also responded to themes and artworks chosen through ceramic and animation, which was great to get hands on and creative, the kids especially loved creating clay sea sculptures. As we have gone on, we have all become really good friends, like a family.

We hope you enjoy these artworks, creative activities and the space as much as we have in putting it all together, we think that there are some beautiful works here- even a Picasso which Remy 7yrs insisted that we include! We invite you to spend time here with your family and enjoy.

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