Helfa Gelf 2017 at Stiwdio Maelor, Corris


Helfa Gelf comes to Stiwdio Maelor, Corris
Stiwdio Maelor in Corris is preparing to throw open its doors for the Helfa Gelf Art Trail, 9 and 16 September. A special exhibition will celebrate the work of visiting artists to Stiwdio Maelor since its inception.

The two Saturdays will present an opportunity to meet and see work by the founder of Maelor, Australian artist Veronica Calarco. Veronica established the artist in residence programme in 2014 to provide opportunities for artists and writers from the UK and other parts of the world. Over 160 artists and writers have completed residencies over the years.

The artists who will be resident at Maelor during Helfa Gelf are: Lisa Evans from Wales, whose practice is concerned with juxtaposition between industry (durable) and the domestic (organic); Linda Barlow from England, who works mainly in textiles but has recently returned to print and painting; Anji Brice from Australia, who works in the disciplines of drawing and sculpture; writer/printmaker Eileen Keane from Ireland; and the winner of Stiwdio Maelor’s annual competition 2016, Barry Idris Jackson.

After completing a degree in Printmaking and a Postgraduate degree in Weaving at the Institute of the Arts, Australia National University, Veronica worked for a decade as a community artist in Canberra, The Kimberleys and Alice Springs, until eventually deciding to concentrate on her own art practice. In 2004, Veronica spent a two-month holiday in Wales. This led to nearly a decade of living between Wales and Australia, before she finally decided to settle more or less permanently in Wales and start a PhD in printmaking at Aberystwyth University.

Veronica Calarco says:
“I found that the most exciting and memorable part of my artist career was doing residences. I have completed residences at: Parliament House, Canberra, Australia; Grindells Hut, South Australia; Sauerbier House, South Australia; Cill Railaig, Ireland; Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, New York; Tronud (weaving with Vibeke Vestby), Norway; La Hoya, Spain; Trelex, Switzerland; Thirning Villa, Sydney; and The Regional Print Centre, Wrexham. I always wanted to create an artist in residence programme so that more artists could have a chance to experience a residency but thought it an impossible dream and that I would need huge sums of money. But when Maelor, the building, came on the market at an affordable price, I saw how this dream could become a reality. With a non-existent budget and heaps of elbow grease, I have worked to established Stiwdio Maelor as a place for up to four artists and writers to escape from daily life and work and live in a small community with other artists in an amazing area.”

Visitors are welcome to tour around Maelor and meet the artists in residence. Veronica’s studio will be open especially for the event and she is on hand to talk about her work and the residency programme.

Veronica says:
“These two days are a fantastic opportunity to see an artist in residence programme at work, meet diverse and interesting artists and view work created in the local area by artists from outside the area. Everyone will be warmly welcomed.”

Helfa Gelf is funded by the Arts Council of Wales, supported by the National Lottery, and is sponsored by the Welsh Government; plus support from the Local Authorities across North Wales has allowed the development of the Helfa Gelf Art Trail.

Stiwdio Maelor in Corris is open on Saturday 9 and 16 August from noon to 5pm, https://helfagelf.co.uk/artists/stiwdio-maelor. Works donated by the artists, which were completed during residencies at Maelor, are available to purchase. Fifty per cent of the sale of artwork goes towards funding the Stiwdio and 50 per cent goes towards funding the artist to come back to Maelor.

The Helfa Gelf Art Trail takes place in Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham counties from Friday to Sunday throughout September 2017. Further information about the event is available online at https://helfagelf.co.uk/.

You will find studios and exhibitions open during September: 1st – 3rd, 8th – 10th, 15th – 17th, and 22nd – 24th 2017. A booklet with dates, opening times, directions and artist information is available. at https://helfagelf.co.uk/content/downloads/Helfa-Gelf-Brochure.pdf.