Oriel Davies

Oriel Davies Gallery & Criw Celf

Craft & Workshop Weekend

It was great to get involved with Criw Celf back in July last year at the invitation of Kate from the Oriel Davies Galley in Newtown. Kate was looking for photography and videography coverage over a weekend of arts and craft activities that would involve basketry and textile workshops and a mock joust with hobby horses made by the participants at the beautiful location of Gregynog Hall.

After a few email exchanges, site visits for risk assessments, permissions gained for Drone work and flight plans detailed, everything was set for an exciting weekend of documentary photography.

As this was going to be a multi-tasked assignment, I needed help and who better to help out than my amazing, retired head teacher and organiser of numerous children’s activities that come with that role, Sue!

On our arrival we met with Kate and talked about what was going to be happening over the weekend and the sort of crafts that would be great to capture on camera along with detailing the young children taking part with those activities. With a full tick list, we had a plan and a way forward to allow us to capture the best moments.

While talking to Kate about the goals of the weekends project, we thought it might be interesting to add to the mix, children creating their own documentary, we would be happy for them to use our equipment to make that a possibility, Kate was more than happy to add this in, so Sue got busy and went round asking who would like to take part in filming. Sue went over the basic settings of our go-pros and digital camera and explained how to spot moments of interest, images are in focus and how to get the best composition.

With the children using the go-pro, we suggested that they went round the various craft making activities and initiate conversations. This they took on with enthusiasm, it became a far more relaxed approach to getting views, ideas and what the children were learning from a participant’s perspective.

When it came to the final day and the jousting display, we (normally it’s just me but by this time, we now had a group of potential film directors) got together to see how it would be best to position the go-pro to get the best action shots from the jousting. Our ‘directors’ suggested putting the go-pro on their heads, but they would also be wearing helmets, well, how about inside the helmet so you get a view from the helmet slit – great idea, then, on the horse’s head, on the end of the joust – I suggested they try them all, all we needed was some duct tape and try each idea to see if it captured what they were hoping to get from their conversations.

While this was going on, I got the Drone out for some nice ariel shots.

So, with the weekend coming to a close, having had some pretty awful weather, the Sunday final turned out a beautiful day with some amazing shots captured by our budding movie directors.

A great big thank you to my beautiful assistant, Sue, who engaged with the children amazingly and worked with Kate to ensure we had a recorded documentary of the weekend to Kate's specification. 

Oriel Davies& Criw Celf

Criw Celf

Oriel Davies Gallery

Criw Celf is a bilingual creative programme for young people funded by Arts Council of Wales. 

The programme has run for several years and has inspired young people to go on to develop creative careers. 

At Oriel Davies young people have learnt about new creative processes, worked with artists and visited studios, galleries and universities and heritage sites in Montgomeryshire and across Wales. The programme has focussed on creative playfulness and experimentation where there is no right or wrong way of making work.

Criw Celf has become a space where young people feel safe, respected and accepted. Friendships have flourished and young people have expressed themselves creativity.   

This exhibition showcases the Criw Celf programme of 2023/24 and celebrates the creativity of the young people taking part. 

A new youth programme called Cynulliad/ Assembly is now being developed at Oriel Davies Gallery run for and by young people. This will grow from the strong foundations of Criw Celf which has now come to an end.

The exhibition is now up, running until June 3rd 2024 - Credit: Oriel Davies Gallery

All images and video are copyright @g17 Photography Services

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