An online exhibition is launched today to celebrate the work produced by the artists at the 'Art @ the Hafod: the spirit of place' event which was part of the Being Human UK Festival of Humanities 2015.
A live art session, entitled ‘Art @ the Hafod – the spirit of place’, which was led by artist Dan Llywelyn Hall, took place at the Hafod Morfa Copperworks on Monday, 16 November 2015. The event, in partnership with Swansea Museum, welcomed 40 members of the public and focused on the spirit of place and connection with the environment through drawing and painting, while also engaging with the material culture relating to industrial heritage, which is part of Swansea Museum’s collection.
Today the collection of art produced at the event is launched in an online exhibition, which coincides with the Being Human festival showcase (Monday June 27 at Senate House, London) – celebrating research, public engagement and the humanities with highlights from some of the 300 events organised across the UK in 2015.
London-based artist Dan Llywelyn Hall, whose work has often examined the role of the modern landscape in society, said: "It's simply staggering that in such recent past we've already forgotten how these places operated and what went where, now only relying on archaeology. We possibly know more about Roman Wales than we do about this remarkable part of our heritage. Drawing is one of the best ways to understand your environment, in an age where we are desperately trigger-happy with our phones, do we ever really look and re-examine the images? I certainly don't. It's by immersing oneself and drawing you can achieve a sense of place as both your intellectual and emotional reactions build an image.”
The Hafod-Morfa Copperworks and the White Rock works in Swansea were once at the centre of the global copper trade. They helped to ensure that in the mid nineteenth century Swansea was producing two-thirds of the world's smelted copper.
At that point up to 200 chimneys could be seen clustered together in the valley where a whole community was formed with schools, churches, chapels, and transport infrastructure, and Swansea became known as ‘Copperopolis’.
However, with the demise of industrial activity the works closed their doors and the sites became a relic of the international copper trade.
Now through Cu @ Swansea, a regeneration project led by Swansea University in partnership with the City and County of Swansea and the local community, including those with memories of working in the copper industry, the partnership are re-engaging with the sites’ past and looking forward to a brighter future.
- Monday 27 June 2016 11.46 BST
- Wednesday 4 July 2018 16.25 BST
- RIAH, Swansea University