Wrexham’s tile and terracotta industry to be celebrated in upcoming Wal Pawb commission
Another major public artwork is coming to Tŷ Pawb this October , developed by artist Lydia Meehan as part of our annual commission, Wal Pawb (Welsh for “Everybody’s Wall”).
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’.
The work will be officially revealed on Friday, October 2, alongside the opening event for the Tŷ Pawb Open Exhibition.
Meeting points between art and every day life
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.
New publication and exhibition still to come
Everybody’s Wall and Other Meeting Points is accompanied by a publication designed by the artist, bringing together a selection of works and processes relating to Lydia’s billboard artwork. This publication is to be launched in January 2021 alongside an exhibition of artworks inspired by Wrexham’s terracotta heritage and artefacts from Wrexham Museum.
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.
Local artist featured
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.
Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety, Cllr Hugh Jones said: “The Wal Pawb billboards have grown to become one of the most popular and recognisable features inside Tŷ Pawb, providing a wonderful dynamic backdrop to the public spaces and the many popular events that have been held there.
“We are looking forward to officially revealing Lydia’s fantastic new designs in October, the third Wal Pawb commission since Tŷ Pawb opened in 2018.
“As with many of Tŷ Pawb’s exhibitions, there is a strong link with Wrexham’s heritage in the work, celebrating the coexistence of arts and markets under one roof. I’m sure the history of Wrexham’s terracotta industry alongside the accompanying exhibition and local artist, Liam Stokes-Massey’s market wrapping paper project will be of particular interest to visitors.“
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