Posted on Friday, May 10th, 2013
When small words make loud noises
St. Michael’s Church Abertillery, June 10th-14th.
Stories are engaging and simple things. The connection that they form through the utilization of real life themes can create strong feelings; empathy, anger, passion, laughter? This makes them eminently accessible. However, as we know through folklore, fairy tales and religious allegory, their meaning and importance can be far reaching.
During the summer of 2012, artists Matt White and Katrina Kirkwood, on behalf of Breaking Barriers Community Arts, scoured the streets and hills of the Ebbw Fach from Brynmawr to Sofrydd in search of the real voices of the valleys. They met Bill the Blue who talked about being fearful of expressing a political view, Alan the burley miner shared his connection with red high heels. Joelene at the roadside snack-bar was fearful about future education and entrepreneurship opportunities, John the ex-steel showed us the the highest golf tee in the UK – yes in the valleys! and Derek the sheep talked about life on a remote farm, ‘just shut the door, poke the fire and say bugger it!’, he said. Their stories, comments and photographs were transformed into short films that tell the world who they really are. Some myths were busted and some confirmed, but the important thing was to challenge attitudes and to get people to talk.
Now the resulting seventy two stories will be placed on thirty six screens within the institutional space of St. Michael’s Church in Abertillery. The incredible vocal babble that results will offer a local view of wider reaching difficulties, while raising questions about the relationship between institutional organisations and the community.
Vanishing Point is funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund and is the culmination of an Arts Council of Wales funded project commissioned by Breaking Barriers Community Arts.