PROsiect hAIcw


The poet Nigel Jenkins died in January 2014. In early April, his friend and mine, the poet Twm Morys sent me a poem, in both Welsh and English, that he had composed for his friend. He asked if I ‘could do something with this’ and immediately I set about making a drawing of it, into which I added a story about Nigel and the purchasing of a hat in Syracuse, NY, where I was present along with Twm, the late Iwan Llwyd and others. “Rhydd/Free’ was posted on my Facebook site and not long afterwards I was contacted by Nigel’s daughter Angharad Jenkins, whom I knew nothing about previously. She expressed her wish to see the drawing and I invited her to my studio, to which she duly came, bearing as a gift a CD of her playing the fiddle with her mother Delyth playing the harp. We enjoyed a long conversation, and when later I played the CD ‘Adnabod’ by DnA, I became entranced by the soulfulness of the music. Angharad came again to my studio for coffee, enjoying a respite from her busy schedule, and we discussed life, art and music, and, of course, her recent loss. This serendipitous meeting, and Angharad’s infectious enthusiasm, formulated itself into an idea for a new collaborative project based initially on her father’s work, in particular his Haiku’s. I produced more text-based drawings and she composed original music for a series of performative events. For creative artists, serendipity is often a source of inspiration, but it takes sagacity to make something happen, when the fortuitous inspiration for the work is turned into a concrete project. This was the genesis of PROsiect hAIcw, in which poetry, drawing and music are united.

The continuing inspiration comes from the wonderful writing of Nigel Jenkins and the wonderful music and engaging personality of his daughter, Angharad.
The installation and live performance will evolve, and include also appearances by the Prifardd poet/troubadour Twm Morys in future events and spaces. A book with CD and DVD of the performance will be launched in 2015.

Grateful acknowledgements are extended to the H’mm Foundation for sponsoring these publications. Thanks also to Helen Clifford and Made in Roath for giving us our first engagement at Milgi’s Warehouse in Cardiff and Amanda Roderick for inviting us to perform at Mission Gallery, Swansea. Gratitude is also due to Pete Telfer for filming the event for Culture Colony/Y Wladfa Newydd.

Iwan Bala.

The work will be a live performance/installation commencing at Made in Roath, Cardiff Contemporary, October 11th 2014 in a garage/warehouse behind Milgi Cafe on City Rd, Cardiff. October 15th it will be performed at Mission Gallery, Swansea. Other dates will follow.