For ten weeks during the early summer of 2006, Claire Barber was an artist-in-residence on the Conwy Estuary. The aim of the residency was to engage with the local people and visitors to the area and to initiate research and development of themes and ideas, for inspiration for a series of commissioned artworks to be made for the new route. The residency was a partnership between Cywaith Cymru Artworks Wales and Conwy County Borough Council, funded through Cywaith Cymru’s residency scheme.
A central part of the residency was spent collecting first-hand histories, stories, observations and information from local people to reveal underlying truths about living in the area, bringing together a set of individual commentaries on the locality. The other focus was her interest in capturing the traces left by what had passed along the banks of the estuary. She made drawings, photographs and tracings of footprints and tyre tracks; studied graffiti and written messages drawn on walls and in the sand; drew and photographed hand-scrawled names on sides of boats; and made records of animal and insect prints, and marks in the ground. Claire also collected grasses and plant life, boiling and distilling them to make coloured dyes with which to stain fabric.
The work was an attempt to try and picture the significant, but often missed marked impact that daily active life leaves on the environment. It also describes the determined efforts that people make to show they have been in a certain place at a certain time, that they belong somewhere or that they have a claim or ownership over a particular thing. This impression, positing, a sense of place, is then further developed and explored through my use and reflection on the recorded tales and dreams of the people of Conwy Estuary.
A selection of resulting work from the residency was collated in a publication RESIDENCY: Quilting the Estuary published by Public Art Wales.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCardiff
PublisherPublic Art Wales
Number of pages45
ISBN (Print)9780950820132
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2006


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