Amgueddfa Cymru and Arts Council of Wales
20 December 2021

Making New Work: Artists Respond to the Now

Amgueddfa Cymru and Arts Council of Wales

20 December 2021 | Minute read

Making New Work: Artists Respond to the Now is an artist-led commissioning project. At the start of 2021 the Arts Council of Wales invited five artists that have works in the collection of National Museum Wales – Michal Iwanowski, Sue Williams, Bedwyr Williams, Bev Bell-Hughes and Daniel Trivedy – to nominate exceptional early career artists in Wales who they think are at a pivotal moment in their practice and would significantly benefit from a supported development and commission award opportunity.

The artists selected to take part in Making New Work: Artists Respond to the Now were: Philip Cheater, Jo-Anna Duncalf, Geraint Ross Evans, Emily Laurens, Toni Osuji, Mia Roberts, João Saramago and Dafydd Williams.

Philip Cheater is an artist working in Swansea, based in a studio with elysium gallery. Philip’s practice explores the creation of meaning in everyday life and how elements can be altered to skew our perception of the world we live in. Philip has been developing ideas around structures of power and systems of control, and in this issue of Cynfas shares a texture map to introduce the materiality of the ideas he’s been exploring.

Jo-Anna Duncalf is an artist working in clay and is based in north Wales. Her current work explores a variety of methods of applying text into and onto clay, using font to create positive and negative shapes, and using pattern, inscribing, multi layering, and multi modular pieces to present work. During this commission, Jo-Anna has collated people’s reflections of Covid-19 to experiment and create new work.

Geraint Ross Evans is a figurative artist based in Wales, working across drawing, painting and installation. Geraint approaches the pictorial space as a playground to experiment with solutions for complicated problems; exploring possibilities for a better world. In this commission Geraint has been drawing on experiential influence from panoramas and murals, also experimenting with cartography, world building and figuration. He shares four strands of this research.

Emily Laurens works at the intersection between participatory art, film, visual art, theatre and live art. She has worked on a new film during this commission, exploring fast fashion and Wales’ garment-making past. Here, she writes about her thoughts, reflections and context of her work alongside the sharing of her film. 

Toni Osuji is an artist and photographer based in south Wales. Her creative practice is informed by an interest in anthropological theory and practice, and notions of interconnectedness. Reflecting on the long-term physical and psychological effects of the pandemic, including stress induced depersonalisation, Toni has been exploring her own ‘grounding’ and rest. Toni is writing on art and fear and her text will be shared in the new year.

Mia Roberts is an artist working and living in north Wales. Mia’s practice explores the microcultures of small towns in north Wales in connection with sexuality, masculinity, mental health, addiction, abuse and politics. Mia’s commission unfolds across a large scale carving, images, videos, and sound, reflecting on transition, hormones, illness and death, feelings of claustrophobia and loneliness and the happiness you can find within local groups.

João Saramago is a Wales based Portuguese artist originally from Lisbon, now based in Cardiff. His creative practice explores ideas of vulnerability and endurance through drawing, photography, performance, film and site specific installations. You will see examples of all of these processes in this issue of Cynfas.

Dafydd Williams is an artist based in Swansea. He uses his practice as a way of conceptualising, understanding, and highlighting Queer lifestyle, history, discrimination, and influence through focusing on his own gay-life, heteronormativity, memory, and construct. Here he provides an insight into his process, thoughts and questions during this commission.

Making New Work: Artists Respond to the Now is one of four projects forming the Celf ar y Cyd programme of work. Celf ar y Cyd is a group of four projects which have been developed to share the arts across Wales in response to the pandemic. The project is a partnership between Amgueddfa Cymru and Arts Council for Wales, with support from the Welsh Government. The Arts Council of Wales led on the delivery of Making New Work: Artists Respond to the Now, with Arts Associates and Producers Elen Roberts and Louise Hobson.


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