Cri’r Gylfinir

Cri’r Gylfinir – Honouring The Land

In our modern ‘Western’ society we’re inclined to view art as a commodity; something to be consumed. We are preoccupied with its financial value, with owning it. We see it as product.

It’s not this way everywhere however. Indeed, research suggests that our own ‘Ice Age’ ancestors evolved their art as a kind of ‘glue’ in society; a way of forming bonds and building trust – thereby fostering a sense of well-being and belonging. This is still evident in other cultures today where what we term ‘art’ is more ritual; founded on inter-generational process and the making and maintenance of expressions of identity and universal order.

Cri’r Gylfinir (The Curlew’s Call) embraces this ethos. It’s about our relationship with the ‘more than human’ world; past, present and future. Central to this is a BIG picture of connectivity and flux spanning generations that we must first come to terms with. Only then can we can consider what to do with our own fleeting moment in time – so as to make things better for all that will follow us; to ensure that there is a tomorrow for them.

Commencing in the limestone caves of the Clwydian Range, the project will rise to the light to take wing like its emblem the curlew, a species which embodies our multi-faceted relationship with the land. 

In the course of its annual migration from upland to coast and back, this charismatic but imperilled bird transfers valuable nutrients across diverse habitats. Likewise, via the making of a series of animation-based artworks and events, the project will stimulate dialogue between art, science, conservation and communities rural and urban. In autumn 2023 it will alight in the Senedd, the Welsh Parliament, where our representatives debate the policies that shape the future of our landscape – and therefore us.

Cri’r Gylfinir has been funded by the Arts Council of Wales and the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Sustainable Development Fund, with support from Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, Royal Holloway University London and Ruthin Craft Centre.

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