Notes from Wales Issue 1: Autumn 2014 - Page 15

Further ahead Brecknock Museum and Art Gallery is currently closed to the public until the end of 2016 while it undergoes a £2.5 million development, which will create a new cultural centre in Brecon. If the refurbished temporary exhibition gallery is programmed with ambition and confidence it will be a real boost to the contemporary arts in the south of the county. Over the past year I’ve been working on PEAK, a project for Arts Alive Wales, which seeks to develop platforms for the creation and presentation of contemporary art in the Black Mountains (a group of hills spread across parts of South Powys and Monmouthshire, roughly contained within the towns of Abergavenny, Hay-on-Wye and Brecon). The project was initiated in response to Arts Alive Wales’s strategic aims to generate professional opportunities for artists in the region and to provide greater access to contemporary art within our rural environment. Emma Balch, PEAK Project Assistant, at The Begwyns, near Hay-on-Wye. Credit: Rebecca Spooner A view of fields at the base of The Sugar Loaf mountain, Abergavenny. Credit: Rebecca Spooner The low-down PEAK is exploring the potential to develop rural networks, artistic exchange (regional and international), temporary studio and gallery spaces, artist-led projects and festivals. PEAK is also working on a pilot project, in partnership with The Landmark Trust, to develop an artist residency for spring 2015, in response to the renovation of Llwyn Celyn, a medieval house and farm in the Llanthony Valley. This will give artists the opportunity to research an historically important Grade I listed site and sensitively explore complex issues surrounding renovation, examining the physical and social ecology that is lost as well as gained. This autumn selected curators and writers have been invited to a studio visit in the Black Mountains, to meet artists including Morag Colquhoun, Susan Adams, Philip Watkins and Pip Woolf, amongst others, with the aim of raising the profile of the area, its artists and exploring potential for new projects and collaborations. Documentation of the visit will be shared on the Arts Alive Wales website in October. Rebecca Spooner, September 2014 Oriel Davies, Newtown > -----------------Canal & River Trust > -----------------The National Trust > -----------------Green Man Festival > -----------------Hay Festival > -----------------Machynlleth Comedy Festival > -----------------The Sidney Nolan Trust > -----------------Brecknock Museum and Art Gallery > -----------------PEAK > -----------------Arts Alive Wales > -----------------The Landmark Trust > ------------------ Axisweb members Susan Adams > Stefhan Caddick > Morag Colquhoun > Penny Hallas > Shani Rhys James > Rebecca Spooner > Antonia Spowers > Amy Sterly > Stephen West > Philip Watkins > Pip Woolf > NOTES FROM WALES | AUTUMN 2014 14