Alan Whitfield has been appointed as the artist with a brief to capture the many changes currently going on at the Gwynedd Museum & Art Gallery, Bangor.
By autumn 2015, the Bishop’s Palace or ‘Town Hall’ will be the new home of the Gwynedd Museum & Art Gallery.
Following funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Welsh Government, Arts Council Wales and other major trusts and foundations, this £2.6 million project which is led by Gwynedd Council, in partnership with Bangor University, aims to re reconnect Bangor with its rich heritage and to bring the second oldest building in Bangor, back to its former glory.
By regenerating the Bishop’s Palace building, it is hoped that the site, along with Pontio, the Bowling Green, the Cathedral and the Bible Gardens will develop to become a cultural and events hub and destination for the city.
The project also aims re-interpret the history of Gwynedd by creating a hub in Bangor and at various satellites across the county and also aims to make Bangor University’s ‘hidden collections’ accessible to the public.
Artist Alan Whitfield will be using video and photography to capture the changes during the renovation of the building as well as the changes within the museum as staff prepare for the new gallery exhibition spaces and the new premises. People can follow his work through the social media outlets @GwyneddMuseum on Twitter, the Facebook page on the project blog on www.amgueddfagwyneddmuseum.
Alan Whitfield said: “It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to be involved in such an important time for art and the communities of Bangor and Gwynedd.
“Over many years I have sought to express myself, and now as a visual artist and poet who works within the context of fine art, I am able to galvanise all of my experiences.
“I am intrigued by documentary, exploring the inner beauty of everyday life through various lens based media. Notions of nostalgia and social commentary are present, but from a definite northern working class perspective. I work instinctively, exploring the townscapes of north Wales, often producing work that reflects the everyday minutiae of life.
“The chance to see the art and artefacts of the Gwynedd Museum & Art Gallery, and respond directly to the social history of Gwynedd with the community is an exciting prospect for me.”
Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Economy, Councillor Mandy Williams-Davies, who leads on the arts, added: “This is an exciting time for the Gwynedd Museum & Art Gallery. We are delighted that Alan Whitfield joins the team in recording and responding the changes within the building and within the museum as we prepare for our move. We look forward to working with him over the coming months leading up to the opening of the new home in the autumn of 2015.”
– Artefacts in the Museum were collected from 1884 when Bangor University began.
– The artefacts will be re-interpreted within the new Museum and Gallery, Bangor.
– The new museum will be open 6 days a week with longer daily opening hours.
– Some artefacts will be loaned to five locations across Gwynedd for exhibition locally.
– It is hoped that the new Museum and Gallery will open its doors in Autumn 2015.
– The Heritage Lottery Fund is a major funder. Other funders include Môn Menai (through Welsh Government), Arts Council Wales, The Wolfson Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Ashley Family Foundation, Gwynedd Council and Bangor University.