Valleys Kids’ Art @ Tate Exchange

This year Valleys Kids celebrate 40 years of working with and for ex-mining communities in the Rhondda Valleys and as part of our week long residency in the Switch House of Tate Exchange, we brought ‘Home Made’, an Art installation/performance piece in the form of a Rhondda Front Room, conceived by Valleys Kids’ artist-in-residence, Anne Culverhouse Evans.

We shared the space with our Tate Exchange partners: Canterbury Christchurch University, People United and University of Kent, working closely with this year’s lead artist Clare Twomey.

Also part of Tate Exchange were Valleys Kids Youth Arts project Sparc with the young people from the Rhydyfelin project in their Pop Up Youth Club.

Valleys Kids adult art group have developed the theme “Home Made” reflecting traditional skills passed down through generations, skills that are creative and that with each new generation offer the opportunity for a new twist for a contemporary feel in the pieces produced.

This project featured continuous performances, each one lasted about an afternoon, enacting the everyday processes of crochet. In a room bedecked with artefacts from a typical miner’s home of the 1950’s, members of the public were invited to sit and contribute to an ever-increasing crochet chain alongside members of a Rhondda arts and craft circle. As this material chain was being fashioned, a second non-material chain came into being, with each contributor starting to converse with those around them – that of memory and shared experience, reaching across generations and communities.

As hundreds of visitors contributed to this ever growing chain, Anne gave out 40 Welsh dragon emblazoned bags, to individuals from different parts of the world, each containing a crochet hook, a ball of wool and an invitation to contribute to the chain.  The hope is to link Rhondda communities with the rest of the world – as coal and steel linked it in its industrial heyday.

Anne and her Art groups were delighted to receive the  first international chain, which arrived from Germany this week.  They are looking forward to extending the chain during the year with more chains sent back to her from across the world.

For more information please contact: [email protected]

More crochet chains welcome, from anywhere on earth, please send them to:
Anne Culverhouse Evans
Valleys Kids, The Factory
Jenkin Street, Porth, Rhondda CF39 9PP