Wal Pawb

food court and market with wal pawb art space in wrexham

‘Wal Pawb’ is an annual commission of six artworks to be displayed across two Tri-Vision billboards within Tŷ Pawb.

The remit of Wal Pawb is to address the coexistence of a market and art gallery within one building. The positioning of the artwork on the external walls of Tŷ Pawb’s gallery, facing into the market hall, is such that it represents a threshold or margin. These conditions are what renders Wal Pawb a unique and challenging commission.

alan dunn at ty pawb arts venue with wal pawb art display
Wal Pawb superwords artwork in wrecsam

FOUR WORDS: RECIPE

Alan Dunn 2022

Six new designs for Wal Pawb developed over twelve months in collaboration with artists Natasha Borton and Meilir Tomos, Tŷ Pawb market traders, staff and visitors.

Starting with a (post-)Covid desire to celebrate food and a return to socialising, the designs absorbed the atmosphere of Tŷ Pawb and evolved into four supercalifragilisticexpialidocious-style SUPERWORDS that encapsulate the incredible energy of the town, the importance of music and the graphic-sonic blend of Welsh, Portuguese, Polish and English languages.

The SUPERWORDS include references to Jose Mourinho, Lego, Neco Williams and phrases overheard around the town and can be seen woven through the three long designs that feature market traders photographed by Mark McNulty as if rock stars. The three square designs are a nod to Jann Howarth and Peter Blake’s sleeve for the Beatles ‘Sgt Pepper’ sleeve, assembling traders, community members and behind-the-scenes Tŷ Pawb staff.

You can visit Alan’s website for more info about the project.

Music maker Meilir Tomos has created four individual pieces of sound art to compliment FOUR WORDS: RECIPE.

He collected audio recordings from around the building in Ty Pawb and combined this with individual sounds he created that have a relationship to the individual words in the images and the experience of the creation of this project.

Using various synthesizers including a Moog Subharmonicon, Moog Grandmother and Microkorg, Meilir made subdivisions of tones and short arpeggios to create the music and mixed this together with the ambient sounds of Ty Pawb:

Darn 1 – Subdivided
Darn 2 – Arpeggio
Darn 3 – The Experiment
Darn 4 – Ty Pawb (Wal Pawb Bach)

Listen via soundcloud

Wal Pawb alan dunn artwork in Ty Pawb
Wal Pawb alan dunn artwork in Ty Pawb

Community artist, activist & advocate Natasha Borton penned this wonderful text in response to FOUR WORDS: RECIPE

Have you ever tasted what it’s like to be here?
When the air is deep fried
With a side of green chillies and Milque Toast

Where football roams without borders between LaBelleVue and Hollywood
And forget me nots bloom in yellow and blue

Wrecsam
Backlit in the moonlight

Over coffee, on a summer afternoon
We match pasta de nada to the petals of daffodils
I tell the story of a friend from China
Who introduced me to Pierogi
at a community centre in Caia Park

She tells me a story of a room
At the back of Saith Seren
Littered with Welsh mutations
Through Portuguese tongues

We pour ourselves, steaming
Into the Welsh Air
Mingling bilingual laughter above simmering spices

No rush, hunting out the next café
To sit, to linger together a minute longer

When I think of our community
It’s usually over food or a
Coffee, a beer
The only pause we carve into the space
To linger in conversation

We stir our lives together in heaped teaspoons,
She sips an espresso like the clock is running out of time,
I nurse a cappuccino like time is all I have,
We both sit, and watch the world go by for a moment when she asks

“What’s the word for the way people miss their country?”
I say “Longing”

“What’s the world for where home used to be?”
I say “Hiraeth”

“What is the word for feeling at home here?”
I say “Belonging”

How beautiful, to sit side by side
One, never overtaking the other
Just a moment away from the rest of our lives but the smell of cinnamon
clings like flowers in my hair

Have you ever tasted what it’s like to be really here?
Enriched in our community through each subtle moment of unity,
Wall pawb-alicious

Lydia Meehan

Wal Pawb Commission 2020

Wrexham’s prolific tile and terracotta industry forms the visual and conceptual basis for Lydia Meehan’s artwork, titled ‘Everybody’s Wall and Other Meeting Points’.

Considering the process of making walls as one which is both artistic and functional, Lydia highlights the meeting points between art and the everyday. By referring to the Wal Pawb tri-vision boards as thresholds, Lydia uses the architectural detail of the moulding to draw comparison between the decorative brick features of doorways and the coexistence of the art gallery and market at Tŷ Pawb.

A combination of visual references and found text offer the mouldings as models and templates for this coexistence.

Thinking of each 120 degree turn of the tri-vision boards as a flick of page, the designs take inspiration from historic catalogues which showcase the artistic designs of local terracotta companies.

The commission is accompanied by a publication designed by the artist, bringing together a selection of works and processes relating to Lydia’s billboard artwork. 

VIEW LYDIA’S PUBLICATION 

The publication takes inspiration from the local terracotta industry, from the Art and Treasures Industrial Exhibition of North Wales, held in Wrexham in 1876, and from trades within the Wrexham’s historic markets.

A further accompaniment for this project comes in the form of specially designed wrapping paper which is to be used by Tŷ Pawb’s market traders. The paper features illustrations of locally found terracotta mouldings by local artist Liam Stokes-Massey, aka Pencil Craftsman.

Lydia’s commission has involved a Wrexham walking tour, workshops and collaborations with Tŷ Pawb’s traders and the wider community.

Lydia Meehan interview

My work sits somewhere between making art as an artist and working in community engagement, which involves working with other people on various creative projects across art forms. I’m interested in how society might think differently about art – how art can be useful in our day to day lives, to help us think differently or solve problems, or improve our environments.

Conceptually, the idea of an art centre and market existing together in one building is really interesting as it opens the doors to art filtering into everyday life and, therefore, people having a different kind of interaction with art to what is more commonly constructed in society. The premise of Wal Pawb (which translates to Everybody’s Wall) also tied in conceptually with some work I had made with g39 gallery, in Cardiff, which had explored the idea of the wall as an artwork – as a kind of marker point between functional everyday environments and gallery.

The majority of the engagement work that I undertook on the project involved collaborations or commissions with traders or members of the local community which reflected certain aspects of either Wrexham’s tile and terracotta industry or the Industrial Exhibition of North Wales which had been held on Hope Street in Wrexham in 1876. Most of these collaborations were due to be shown in the exhibition which was cancelled due to COVID-19 and a few pieces were never fully realised because of circumstances related to the pandemic.

It doesn’t take much research into Wrexham to find out that it was at the forefront of industrial history, though each time I visited I found out something new. The Wrexham County Museum is full of fascinating history, such as Wrexham being the first town to export larger to other parts of the world, or to have been one of the earliest to establish a football association. During a walking tour, Phil Phillips also uncovered an array of social history through stories and anecdotes ranging from industrial power through to the sound of the rain on the tin roofed cinema.

One of my favourite parts of the project is a work by Tony Côrdoba who created a badge design based on a medallion which was commissioned to celebrate the Industrial Exhibition of North Wales in 1876 and can be found in the Wrexham Museum and Archives. We had intended to have Tony’s design made into an embroidered badge by one of the traders of the People’s Market at Tŷ Pawb but unfortunately this was unable to happen due to pandemic related issues.

Lydia Meehan Wal Pawb Commission 2020
Lydia Meehan Wal Pawb Commission 2020
Lydia Meehan Wal Pawb Commission 2020

Kevin Hunt
‘face – ade’

Wal Pawb Commission 2019

Kevin Hunt is a graduate of the North Wales School of Art & Design (now referred to as the School of Creative Arts) at Wrexham Glyndŵr University.
Currently living close by in Liverpool, Kevin retains a fondness for Wrexham, having delivered a variety of projects in the town since graduating, however his Wal Pawb commission is his largest presentation of work in Wales to date. He is a lecturer at Manchester School of Art.

Alongside artwork for Wal Pawb’s two motorised tri-vision billboards, Kevin has devised a multifaceted intervention for Tŷ Pawb as part of the commission. Each billboard plays host to a triptych of complex interconnected patterns while Kevin’s intervention also comprises an evolving rooftop garden of edible plants, the continuous production and sale of a carbonated drink and Clwb Garddio (a community group of gardeners who regularly meet). This carbonated drink is served in a limited edition compostable paper cup visually complimenting the billboards design.

Kevin’s playful approach to linguistics informs both the visual design and conceptual nature of the project. By referring to Tŷ Pawb’s Wal Pawb spaces as ‘facades’ and then splitting this word in half, the resulting term face – ade literally brings to mind the figurative and the fizzy.

With a typically generic civic exterior, it’s interesting to note that the former ‘Peoples Market’ building Tŷ Pawb now occupies has facets that resemble punctuation marks from some of the world’s most commonly usedtypefaces. Many, like Comic Sans, were released in the early 1990’s at a similar time to the building’s original construction. It is with an idiosyncratic touch that such punctuation is applied by Kevin, forming a sequence of oversized and hand-held emoticon-like forms, informed directly by the buildings facade.

Operating as a socio-economic prompt to re-think how Tŷ Pawb could be used, face – ade provides the time and space for people to gather, ideas to germinate and a refreshing new drink for Wrexham (with an evolving flavour, reflecting ingredients grown directly on Tŷ Pawb’s roof) to develop. A DIY, community-led production line encourages greener ways of thinking about what we drink and where such products come from, while generating income to be pumped back into maintaining the rooftop garden.

Katie Cuddon

Wal Pawb Commission 2018

Katie Cuddon is based in Newcastle. She is a lecturer at Newcastle University. Her work has been exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally. Recent exhibitions include ‘Sticky Intimacy’, Chapter, Cardiff (2016).
Katie was the Sainsbury Scholar in Sculpture and Drawing at the British School in Rome, Italy (2008-09), and the inaugural BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art Bothy Project resident on Isle of Eig (2017).

Katie Cuddon was selected as the first Wal Pawb artist from an open call in 2017.

The artwork Katie created for Wal Pawb used image, colour and texture to reference the multiple and varied trades and activities of the market. She created a collection of simplified cut-outs of images associated with the market. These images were generated through consultation with the traders and users of the market. The images have then been set against textured and coloured backgrounds. Katie spent a period of six months developing artwork. During this period she also conducted a series of workshops and studio visits with young people and local artists to help further inform her artwork and to assist participants in the development of their own artwork.

Wal Pawb was Katie’s first large-scale public commission

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