Small World and the Rhod Show
A talk at the Small World Theatre last Friday evening created a brilliant introduction to this year’s week long celebration of art by the Rhod Collective at Melin Glonc, Drefelin, Drefach Felindre.
Speaking at Small World were Sara Rees, curator of this year’s show, and also Maria Rebecca Ballestra the Artist in Residence for the duration of the show, who talked about the work she has been bringing together from around the globe with an ecological significance. All of it having influenced her planned contribution to this year’s Rhod.
The speakers introduced the theme for the show; Future NatureCulture which is the title and the subject matter of the work being assembled by a number of international and local artists. By Sunday, when the event opened there was an enthusiastic crowd gathered at the site of the show, many having been drawn to the event by the talk at Small World.
Within the grounds of the mill were some wonderfully imaginative installations and sculptural pieces, Johana Hartwig’s Catapult Tree, with its colourful and eye-catching reach, brought a small round of applause from several people seen admiring it; Pascal-Michel Dubois’ Nowhere to Hide your Horsepower’ where the interior of the car with its black and white freesian style seats sat beside the river, was both witty and interesting and Stefhan Caddick’s Mothmusic which lit up with noises at night, was quite beautiful. The installation by Rebecca Ballestra, the artist in residence, was an important addition to the international work she has been constructing and compiling during her travels round the world and her Gold Bullion and Art Sowing were thought-provoking and imaginative. In an exciting departure from the material world into the virtual one, local film and animation artists Sean Vicary and Steve Knight created a virtual sculpture which for the exhibition was embedded in the landscape, visible only via the app on screen, and a fabulous surprise to see such a futuristic piece of work in place. There was more, much more, artists like Jo Lathwood, Rawley Clay, Helen Clifford, Fern Thomas and Matthew Smith, all contributed so much to what was a remarkable array of excellent work, and in spite of the weather promising less than fair, spirits were high, and the general atmosphere was one of appreciation that such a strong showing of artists from both Urban and Rural environments should once again feel drawn to display their work at Rhod this year.