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Quilting the Estuary

By  Claire Barber 2006
For ten weeks during the early summer of 2006 I was 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 to 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 my interest in capturing the traces left by what had passed along the banks of the estuary. I made drawings, photographs and tracings of footprints and tyre tracks; I studied graffiti and written messages drawn on walls and in the sand; I drew and photographed hand-scrawled names on sides of boats; and I made records of animal and insect prints, and marks in the ground. I 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 their having been in a certain place at a certain time, or that they belong somewhere or that they have a claim, an ownership over a particular thing. This impression, positing, sense of place, is then further developed and explored though my use and reflection on the recorded tales and dreams of the people of Conwy Estuary.
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Satin Route

Same sun

Tears to wake the flowers III

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