North East Wales' beautiful and historic landscape is the subject of a new art project aimed at connecting the local community with its rich natural heritage.
The Our Picturesque Landscape project is a partnership scheme funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund that centres on the Dee Valley, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and the Canal World Heritage Site.
The picturesque beauty of the Dee Valley has been a source of inspiration to artists, poets and writers for centuries.
To continue with this tradition, the Our Picturesque Landscape project is hosting four literary themed Artist Residencies in 2021. These are:
Hywel Griffiths is a poet and geographer in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University.
He has won the chair and crown competitions in the National Eisteddfod and his most recent collection - LlifCochAwst - won the Wales Book of the Year Poetry category. His academic interests include the relationships between people and landscape, flooding and river processes and art-science collaborations.
Jessica and Philip Hatcher-Moore are a husband and wife team based in the Dee Valley. Jessica is an award-winning journalist, author and travel writer who worked for the Guardian in East Africa for five years before making a home in North Wales.
Her storytelling is characterised by unheard voices and improbable things. Jessica's first book, After Birth, about postnatal recovery, will be published by Profile in May 2021.
Philip is a photographer living on a hillside in North Wales. His work, which has been recognised by several international awards and exhibitions, explores society's relationship with the landscape and environment, and spans more than a decade of reportage from across the globe.
James Hudson is a visual artist working on semi-fictional projects that combine original photography, text and collage. His projects are usually commissions or residencies for cultural organisations and brands.
Sian Northey is a poet, author, translator and workshop leader. She writes for children and adults.
Her latest volume is Circles (Y Bwthyn Press, 2020), a collection of short stories with pictures by photographer Iestyn Hughes.
The residencies will explore the connections between people and place, past and present.
Throughout the year the artists will be spending time in the landscapes of the Dee Valley and meeting the people that live and work within it.
Their work - including poetry, writing, spoken word and visual art - will be created in response to these experiences and shared with local residents and visitors to the area through exhibition, performance, in print and digitally.
Updates on the residencies will be posted throughout the year, so follow the #OurPicturesqueLandscape project on social media (@Clwyd_Dee_AONB) to keep up to date with any events and activities that are happening.
Andrew White, Director of The National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales, said: “The Dee Valley – with its stunning scenery, rich industrial architecture and history, is not only an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a World Heritage Site, it is also a national treasure.
“For the last two years, we have supported the Our Picturesque Landscape project to connect people with this inspiring landscape and improve access to it. This latest stage of the project which has been made possible thanks to National Lottery players, is continuing this important work."