For Mountain, Sand and Sea

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How do you design for a series of performances that are spread throughout a town and encompass church halls, hillsides, huts, beaches, benches, bridges, streets, shop fronts, amusement arcades, discos an enigmatic past and a dead elephant? Drawing these together is to first know what these places, topographies and histories signified to us as artistic co-directors (Marc Rees and me), and what they mean to the people of the Welsh seaside town Barmouth. For Mountain, Sand and Sea charted the conveyance of these interpretations to an audience who were invited to experience a journey of encounters and interventions throughout the town. The core of the installation works and context for the performances was to realise contemporary explorations in re-presenting the town's history as a type of realignment/remembrance to its present place. The breadth of this undertaking led to a creative and on-going engagement in understanding this very unique seaside settlement. Boat construction and exploration had long been a part of its maritime history and formed the context for the sculptural works designed. Equally important was the dramaturgical challenge of connecting these various performances. Fittingly, the design for For Mountain, Sand and Sea was eclectic in its formulisation, where the ideas created ranged from a table to seat 50 people, a cinematic size projections of archival images, an 'arena' made from multi-coloured windbreakers, numerous objects bought for a pound and a life size wooden boat kit. The project was funded by National Theatre Wales and Welsh Arts Council 2010.
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