The Story of Gelert || How to make a tent

Architecture, Arnolfini, Art, Article, Artist, Arts, Bristol, Drawing, Events, Exhibition, Facebook, Nature, Painting, Performace, Performance, Performance art, YA Meeting

Initially the group began with the idea of Welsh folk stories, which we were interested in because of the way that they are communicated. These stories were only passed by word of mouth, and have only been recorded in modern times.


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Buying fabric, and constructing the tent in Gallery 1, Arnolfini


The group explored these stories, becoming attached to ‘The story of Gelert’ and the Welsh language, mainly its translation and mistranslation into English and other languages. This lead us to explore translation, which became the centre of the project.

The group wanted to create a den or tent like space to present the story, as we felt that this was the perfect storytelling environment.

After we had decided on creating a tent space, we were given found footage of a family putting up a tent. This coincidence re-affirmed our tent concept, and became a really important part of the work.


The story of Gelert continues to be an integral part of the work and its creation.


Amsterdam: Cardboard or Coffeeshop?

Animation, Art, Artist, Arts, Events, Performance, Performance art, sculpture, Street Art, Theatre, Workshop

For two weeks now I haven’t been able to look at a discarded heap of cardboard without seeing some kind of lusus naturae piece itself together from the rubble and emerge as an animated being.

‘If I see a tree that looks like it should be climbed, then I’m going to climb it’ : Weak Anarchy with Tom Pope.

Arnolfini, Artist, Arts, Events, Performance, Photography, Workshop

As Part of our Young Artist Series, this month we were fortunate enough to take part in a workshop hosted by the eternally playful Tom Pope.


First he shares with us some of his incredible work along with a handful of peculiar stories that paint him out to be a neighbourhood terror in a comic or something.

Tom Pope’s shirt is the colour of lemons and by his feet is a bag of oranges. These oranges will be thrown with reckless abandon into the path of cameras that are hungry to catch the oranges before they collide with walls and floors, splitting their skins in a shower of orange juice.

If the camera is successful in ‘catching’ the orange the photograph is essentially spoiled by an obscure orange blur.

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The next act in the workshop has us locked in photographic combat, our fingers poised on each other’s triggers. Maeve’s lens is pointed at me and mine at her, ready to shoot. But we don’t want to shoot each other, we want to shoot ourselves. I want to capture a thousand of my own images with Maeve’s camera but I don’t want her to snap herself on mine. So now we’re dancing, everyone in the room is dancing! Like a group of couples in the ballroom of a cruise ship that’s hit choppy waters and scattered us about. And all the time we’re going in circles, trying to move our camera away from their faces whilst drawing theirs towards us.

I’m almost as tragic at writing about this as I was in actually doing it. My chaotic brain can’t handle the two actions at once and I unknowingly let Maeve photograph her laughing face over and over and over while I fail to capture my own.

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And now (with our cameras still citrus-scented) we are temporarily blinded and guided through the gallery; shakily up and down stairs, awkwardly into lifts, clinging on to walls and sometimes each other, led under chairs and tables  until something in our sightless minds tell us the moment is right to take the photograph and open two sets of eyes at once.

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My photograph is a white-out because I had my camera on the wrong setting. The camera was as blind as I was and the image is a total nothingness. The outcome isn’t always as important as the process.

In the last part of our first workshop we do what Tom Pope does best: we play a game. Here are the seven rules to live by if you want to get involved and play the YA Game of Photography:

1. Offside rule.
2. No zoom.
3. If someone shouts ‘You!’ And points, everyone must photograph them.
4. Eye contact with the lens makes the picture invalid.
5. Cannot have two feet on the floor when taking a picture.
6. After taking a picture you have to turn 180 degrees
7. Must shout ‘Yes!’ when taking a picture

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You can go and peep at Tom Pope’s work here:

Is that really what I sound like?

Arnolfini, Art, Audio Tours, Bristol, Events, Performance

You know when you’re slapped in the face with what you actually sound like? Well yeah, that happened the first time I heard the final edits of our audio tours. But here they are, and the great thing about them being on SoundCloud is that if you did miss our Young Arnolfini gallery tour in person on December 6th you can head along to the gallery and listen to them anytime (there are also a few mp3s at the front desk so if you don’t have a smart phone you can still join in). There is no excuse not to have us guide you around the galleries now, so what are you waiting for?

Deborah Pearson – ‘The Future Show’


As with many events I go and see at the Arnolfini, I went to go and see Deborah Pearson’s The Future Show with very little idea of what it may be. I think the best description I got beforehand was simply the title; The Future Show.

The Future Show

During the performance Deborah Pearson read from a folder in front of her like a soothsayer revealing her predictions for near, not so distant and far off futures. Some of which didn’t happened, and some of which did,

“You will clap. Even those of you who were a bit bored will clap because it’s a comfortable way to signal an ending.”

It’s really quite a hard show to summarise because of its simplicity, but that is where it shines most. I found her calm American tone very disarming which lead me to believe even some of her more absurd predictions, of which include a seagull in a pocket.

As a whole I would suggest to anyone to go and see The Future Show whether they were interested in performance or not, because at the very basis of the performance is something we all seek, comfort in knowing or guessing what the future may hold.

Thanks for reading,

Charlie CT

I wish this was..

Art, Installation, Performance

Yesterday I stumbled across this really interesting project that I couldn’t not sharing with you.

Candy Chang is a Taiwanese American artist who is interested in the relationship between public space and personal well being. She creates interactive experiments in public places, and I Wish This Was is a prime example of one of her best.

I Wish This Was was inspired by empty shop units. Candy created fill-in-the-blank stickers as an experiment to see what might happen if we could easily say what we want in these vacant spaces. She then left these stickers in businesses and places around the city for all to access and write their own thoughts and express their own opinions.

The photographs below are some of my favourite responses. They vary tremendously, and I think that is why I have found this project so inspirational and interesting!

The amount of thought different people have put into their answers also fascinates and amuses me, and makes me consider what I’d write if I had the opportunity..



I’ve never been to an exhibition like it.

Art, Artist, Bristol, Exhibition, Installation, Performance

Cevdet Erek, the current artist on display at Spike Island, stretches my definition of an exhibition with his latest installation.

Cevdet is an artist and musician. His installation at Spike has completely transformed the exhibition space. He generally works within an existing space, but creates additions for it, transforming and adapting it to suit his needs.

For example, the main gallery 1 space which stands over ten metres tall has been split into two, due to the new floor Cevdet has added to the space. He has created two spaces that could not feel more disparate if he tried. They represent the contrast between night and day time. He uses electricity to overcome the natural cycle of light and darkness in the lower space, but leaves the naturally lit higher space as he found it. Blank white walls.

The blue LEDs that dominate the lower, underground type, space represent the hours of daylight in Bristol during the exhibition. Each LED represents one minute of daylight, so throughout the duration of the exhibition, each day another LED will be illuminated.

I’ve never been to an exhibition like it.

Visually, it can almost be awkward for some, providing little to look at. But if you give yourself a chance and let yourself be immersed by it, it provides a quite unique, memorable and surprising experience.



Shangaan Electro

Bristol, Inspirational, Music, Performance, Uncategorized, Workshop
Nozinja in Soweto, 2010 from Dazed and Confused interview.

Nozinja in Soweto, 2010 from Dazed and Confused interview.

On Tuesday Charlie and I had the opportunity to be involved in a workshop with the brilliant Shangaan Electro. Visiting a primary school in St. George, the South African group stirred much curiosity and enthusiasm among the 7 – 11 years olds bouncing around their school hall, waiting to be taught some basics of the traditional dance in their after school activity.

The regenerated music genre of Shangaan Electro has slowly enveloped the world, taking marimba beats to whole new levels of vigorous speed and movement.  Traditionally slower (but by no means slow!), African Shangaan music used to average at around 110 beats per minute, but in 2005 when jolly chap Nozinja decided to get involved with music, he upped the beats per minute to 184.

Teaching the children basic steps and encouraging each of them to make the moves their own, not one child refused to enter the middle of the circle and demonstrate their dancing, with a lot of side stepping, circling and jigging around to all angles of the people watching them.

Usually attending clubs and events, a Primary school in Bristol was not an expected choice for the group to visit. Despite this, the joyful spirit of Shagnaan Electro with its highly charged and exciting pace and rhythm was undoubtedly an incredible experience for all involved. For each child exposed to a form of dance expression that had no rules other than tempo and for every adult who was witnessing the buzz and inspiration of the children taking part, we all left that afternoon with a faster spring in our step!

Would you rather hear the truth or a story? – An interview with Emma Callander

Bristol, Performance, Theatre

The first production of The Sum, the new Bristol based theatre company, Banksy: The Room in the Elephant is set to return to Bristol over the weekend, with tickets free for under 21s on Friday.

Inspired by real events, the play is centred around Titus Coventry, an eccentric character made homeless after Banksy stencilled ‘THIS LOOKS A BIT LIKE AN ELEPHANT’ onto a water cooler, which served as a home for Titus, near L.A. Despite being in the limelight of the media, public, playwrights and a dubious firm which seized the property, Titus is finally telling his story.

Young Arnolfini spoke to the director, Emma Callander.

Yorgos Sapountzis Interview

Bristol, Other, Performance, sculpture

Prior to Young Arnolfini’s collaboration with Greek artist and performer Yorgos Sapountzis, Maz Shar spoke to him about his work. You can find a pullout of some of our work together in the YA zine, launching this Friday. (Click for info)