Llandudno Art Festival – Llawn04 – returns this September, a whole weekend of free events along the promenade and across various venues and spaces in the North Wales seaside resort.
There’ll be performance, street games, music, robot-making, dance, visual art, film and the unexpected, all inspired by this year’s theme of Hide/ Seek.
It opens with a few treats on Friday, September 23rd and then there’s a weekend full of events on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th. Days and exact timings will be announced in August, but for now you can browse all the activity that will be coming and start to plan what you’d like to see.
Act of Strangers – Chloe Loftus Dance: A playful and physically vibrant piece of dance performed on a park bench. Through comical exchanges, playfulness and daring contact work, the touching story of a friendship unfolds, showing the wonderful potential of the stranger standing next to you.
Am I Robot? – Paul Granjon: A robotic art installation featuring a robot larger than your average dog called Combover Jo. Combover Jo is wandering in an open space open to visitors, talking to itself and to the visitors who get close to it. Paul Granjon offers a live situation where our relation to robots and our ideas about what they can do are challenged.
Baah – Run Ragged: A shepherd and his dog Max display their herding skills with a flock of sheep. When the shepherd leaves, Max and the sheep get up to all sorts of fun and frolics. A walkabout (or dance-about) using four performers blending improvisation and sections of structured choreography accompanied by pre-recorded music and non-verbal sound.
Cinema on the Prom – TAPE Community Music and Film: Blow Up Cinema, a free cinema experience on the prom using TAPE’s massive inflatable screen. Building on the success of previous Llawn screenings on the Great Orme and at Happy Valley, the event will be a unique cinematic experience connecting communities through film, so pull up a deckchair and enjoy the ride! The film presentation is yet to be revealed!
Kate Lawrence Vertical Dance: Kate Lawrence has performed at the last two Llawn festivals, on the rear and the front of Venue Cymru. Last year two displaced Victorian ladies found their way from the roof of Venue Cymru to the sea. This year they will play hide and seek in an as-yet-unconfirmed new work.
Eleanor and Flora Music – Nora: Outspoken dancers Eleanor Sikorski and Flora Wellesley Wesley, aka Nora, bring to the stage a bold new translation of Morton Feldman’s For John Cage, source of Burrows and Fargion’s iconic Both Sitting Duet (which was performed at Llawn03 last year). They reimagine the earlier work as a standing performance that builds silent music from a gestural landscape of intimate touch. Eleanor and Flora Music is about the rediscovery and revelation inherent in acts of translation, and the emergence of new choreography from situations of collective practice.
Electromechanical lithophone – Jay Harrison: An installation that invites the audience to step inside an immersive percussion instrument and experience it from within. The installation comprises 24 tone bars crafted from North Welsh Green Slate, the bars are arranged in a large circle and mounted on modules that enable electromechanical autonomous musical performance. The installation is also interactive; audience members are invited to play the lithophone in real time using an electronic piano keyboard positioned at the centre of the instrument.
Ghostbuskers – TAPE Community Music and Film: A musical performance project for people of all ages and abilities.
Helfa Gelf Art Trail: Helfa Gelf is celebrating its 11th year. It has grown to be Wales’ biggest ppen studio event and invites you to visit artists at work in their studios. It is a unique chance for visitors to experience this normally hidden world and to get to chat to the artists and craftspeople about their creative processes and their studio spaces. These spaces are located in every imaginable kind of venue, from garden sheds to galleries, and are as inspirational as the artists and their work. So whether you want to buy some art direct from the makers, or you are just curious about what artists get up to in their studios, come along and have a look.
T.Y.F.F.S.H – Kris Martin: A hot air balloon installation fills a room and allows you to walk inside and around it.
Lewis Valentine – Iain Chambers: Chambers’ new work for Llawn04 celebrates the legacy of Lewis Valentine, Baptist minister turned activist, who played a key part in the founding of Welsh nationalism. Iain’s composition features field recordings from Llandudno alongside the organ of the Tabernacl, the chapel where Valentine was minister from 1920-46, in a piece drawing on the famous hymn Valentine wrote, Dros Cymru’n Gwlad.
Llandada Exhibition – FreeHaus Art School: A unique new project in Wales that promotes creative expression and believes that art can be beneficial for anyone and relevant for any community. For Llawn04, resident Fellows and Associates have created Llandada, a site-responsive exhibition of works responding to the town and the building in the context of the 100th anniversary of the Dada art movement of the early 20th century. Expect the political, subversive and humorous. Exhibiting artists are: Emrys Williams, Carl Chapple, Sophie Lee, Sarah Bowker Jones, Anthony Morris, Mike Murray, Alan Whitfield, Helen Jones, Nadine Carter–Smith and Nyree Waters.
Llandudno Swing Band: A selection of songs in advance of the cinema screening on the promenade on Saturday evening.
Sandbox: An extraordinary live discussion filmed with six special guests in Venue Cymru. Created in homage to cult 1980s TV show After Dark, Sandbox is an unedited, uncensored, live broadcast with no studio audience and no set end time. These unique conditions provoke unusually open and memorable conversations. Hosted by writer and presenter Peter Curran, creator of Radio 4’s Bunk Bed, this innovative event brings together six opinionated people from various backgrounds and viewpoints to engage in a free and open-ended discussion on a theme “State of Unease”.
Sonic Balloon – Timothy Tate and Jay Harrison: Roll up, roll up, roll up, for the most enormous, magical, spectacular musical coconut shy in the world! The Sonic Balloon is a fun, interactive musical installation incorporating music technology, multi-instrumental composition, six 3ft helium balloons, and three buckets of bouncy balls. The audience is invited to take over the orchestra and conduct a miniature symphony of brass, strings, drums, piano, electric guitars and a choir. Take a handful of rubber bouncy balls, bounce them off the floor and try to hit a giant helium balloon to bring in a section of the “orchestra”. Connected to each balloon are sensors which trigger a musical track which can be brought in or silenced at any time. As conductor, you shape the texture, dynamics and instrumentation, all the while experiencing music in a whole new light.
Sing It! Spirit of Envy – Rachel Mars: A song piece about greed and envy, solo pursuits and communal contentment. Made anew with a pop-up choir of local singers wherever it travels, it puts two joyfully waggling fingers up to glib, economic politico-bull-speak. Original composition by Verity Standen, with further arrangements by Eilidh MacAskill and Louise Mothersole.
The Trip – Migrations: This fair stall invites the lonely spectator to make a “sidereal trip”, a trip which takes the spectator to the limit, to the real border or… who knows? Maybe the unique border, the one which separates life from death. The trip is both a fun and profound experience suitable for 14 years and over.
The Two Dragons – Family Dance Project and Story Circle: A tale from The Mabinogion, told through storytelling and dance. The story tells of the three plagues that troubled Britain, one of which was the fight of two dragons. This is the story of how they came to be buried beneath Dinas Emrys. Members of Venue Cymru’s Story Circle and Family Dance Project come together for their first collaboration to perform at Llawn04.
Tim Spooner’s Assembly of Animals: A performed sculpture which combines puppets, objects and scientific demonstrations. Children and adults are invited to witness the inner workings of a laboratory as it searches for life in material. A series of red curtains are drawn to reveal an intricate sequence of operations bringing to life a fragile universe of animals within animals. At the centre of it all is the shape of the animal: a head, a body and four legs. The shape gets taken apart, enlarged, shrunk, rearranged into different versions and stretched to the edges of recognition.
Trace – Lisa Heledd Jones: An audio experience for one person at a time. Every place has its own sound. A resonance made up of invisible shadows of what exists and what has been before. Even when it seems empty. We carry resonance inside of us too. And when we’re still, we can hear them. The shadows of people and presents and stupid jokes. Long after we think they’re forgotten. Trace brings together stories that emerged from listening to and recording an empty football ground. Stories of loss, the FA Cup and what it means to remember. The piece includes field and archive recordings and the voice of goalkeeping hero Steve Ogrizovic.
A Pocket Guide to Wales – Webster and Jones: A comic, participatory adventure joining two Victorian explorers, Webster and Jones, on their quest of discovery to conquer the great outdoors! Follow the journey of an intrepid yet hapless explorer and his faithful guide as they quest through the great outdoors of Wales towards their ultimate goal: the summit of Mount Snowed On. Combining an interactive, walkabout performance with a traditional street theatre show, A Pocket Guide to Wales plays on the theme of our relationship with nature and our futile desire to master it. Bilingualism is at the very core of the piece: Webster being the archetypal Victorian English explorer, his companion a salt-of-the-earth Welsh hill farmer who doesn’t speak a word of English!
Wrekshop – Paul Granjon: Paul is an artist who is very interested in creative technology. He likes to share skills and ideas during what he calls wrekshops, which typically start with a large pile of obsolete consumer electronics (e-waste) and a good selection of tools. Participants from seven and up and all abilities are invited to take part and to take apart the e-waste. Guided by Paul, the participants will gradually build an improvised Frankenstein-like interactive robotic machine made from the juiciest parts.
Youth Vertical Dance Series: This project started this year with young people aged 11 to 14. They meet once a month on a Saturday and we thought it would be nice if their workshop could be watched by the public during Llawn04, so you can walk past and see how the group are learning and progressing.