Announcing a family of galleries as Teulu sets to open at Aberystwyth Arts Centre

From: Welsh Government
Published: Fri Mar 08 2024

The first exhibition as part of the National Contemporary Art Gallery for Wales project will open to the public this weekend (Saturday 9 March).

The Teulu/Family exhibition at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre is the first activity to be delivered as part of the dispersed model of the project where art will be displayed in galleries closer to where people live and work to improve access to contemporary art and the national collection.

The other eight galleries which make up the dispersed model are:

  • Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea
  • Mostyn, Llandudno
  • Newport city
  • Oriel Davies, Newtown
  • Oriel Myrddin, Carmarthen
  • Plas Glyn-y-Weddw, Pwllheli
  • Ruthin Craft Centre, Ruthin
  • STORIEL, Bangor

The work to establish the network of galleries across Wales is due to complete at the end of March 2025. This is a key commitment of the Welsh Government's Programme for Government and the Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru. The commitment is being made possible through a collaboration between the Arts Council of Wales, Amgueddfa Cymru and the National Library of Wales.

Teulu is a unique exhibition co-curated by four families local to Aberystwyth who have been collaborating with Aberystwyth Arts Center since October 2023.

The families have attended a series of workshops, visited galleries and museums including Amgueddfa Cymru, Cardiff and the Aberystwyth School of Art, and have been inspired to create their own ceramics and animation work to be exhibited alongside works by famous artists such as Pablo Picasso, Ceri Richards and Mary Lloyd Jones.

Aberystwyth Art School is also involved in the Teulu project and will be continuing to work with the families beyond this exhibition, looking to curate a further ceramics exhibition later in the Autumn.

Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden said:

It's very exciting news that the first exhibition under the National Contemporary Art Gallery project is now about to open to the public. The national collection belongs to everyone in Wales and this new model will allow people to explore the collection within their own communities.

Teulu is an excellent way to start the project with the public being truly at the heart of deciding what is part if the exhibition.

Involving local communities is central to the dispersed model making future exhibitions more relevant to the local community,

For the Teulu exhibition, the families were invited to choose themes of particular importance to them and were solely responsible for selecting prestigious pieces of art to be included in the exhibition. These pieces were selected and will be on loan for the exhibition with kind co-operation from The National Contemporary Art Gallery for Wales (NCAGW) collection at the National Museum, Cardiff, and The National Library of Wales at Aberystwyth, alongside works from the Aberystwyth School of Art collection.

Designated Member, Sian Gwenllian, said:

The Teulu/Family exhibition is a fantastic way to celebrate the launch of Wales's newest national institution - the national contemporary art gallery.

This major project takes an important step forward with this exhibition. It symbolises the new approach we are taking to embedding the arts into every aspect of Welsh life, making our national collections more accessible and meaningful to people, children and communities across our country.

A new online resource Celf ar y Cyd continues to grow as part of the national contemporary art gallery for Wales. This gives instant access to a digitised collection of the nation's contemporary art, accessible to anyone, anywhere, at any time.

Ffion Rhys, Curator at Aberystwyth Arts Centre says:

This exhibition has been a real journey for us, and I would like to wholeheartedly thank the families that have taken part- we have learnt so much from them, and the hope is that this learning will enable more families to have access to the arts- to take part in and enjoy, diolch o galon. Thank you also to our partners Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales, National Library Wales, Aberystwyth Arts School, Plant Dewi, Flying Start, Families First, Elin Vaughan Crowley artist and project co-ordinator, Laura Hughes ceramics tutor and Charlie Carter, animation tutor for their part in enabling this to happen.

Elin Vaughan Crowley, Artist and Project Co-ordinator explains:

It's been a pleasure to collaborate with the four families and Ffion the curator on a project that encompasses something I'm very passionate about, which is to make the arts accessible to all. Our intention was to give the families a sense of ownership in terms of decisions relating to exhibition curation, such as what kind of art was on display, what kind of space to create and how to welcome and engage people who want to visit the gallery but might have thought it wasn't a place for them in the past.

Petra Nelson has been a part of the project with her husband, Shane, and three children, Flynn, Mabli and Neli. She says:

I've loved being able to go ‘behind the scenes' in the National Museum Cardiff, the National Library of Wales and the Aberystwyth School of Art, seeing all the wonderful art and realizing how different everyone's tastes in art is.

Company: Welsh Government

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