In this year 10 for Helfa Gelf, we have talked to artists who have been involved with the art trail from its very beginning. They told us what it means to open their studios and we also asked them for a few words of encouragement to inspire you to visit a studio in the final week of Helfa Gelf Art Trail ‘10 Years’.
Mandy Coates, traditional and contemporary basketmaker, says:
“Helfa Gelf is amazing. I look forward to it every autumn and 10 years has flown by. I create work especially for the event and spend time preparing my workshop for visitors. The most important thing about Helfa Gelf is that it acts as a window for people to see my work. Visit Helfa Gelf because it is fantastic to meet the amazing artistic community here in North Wales.”
Helen Melvin, textile artist, inks and dye garden, says:
“I love Helfa Gelf; it is a fantastic event. My work has developed over the years. I open my dye studio and dye garden, and I have a gallery in my summerhouse. It is so lovely to have people come and understand my artistic processes. It makes it exciting as you never know who will turn up.”
Mary Saifelden, equestrian says:
I have had a number of visitors who have said to me “I would love to take up painting”. I always try and encourage folk to paint; it makes me happy. When the weather has been fine, I have been putting my paintings outside, with the Helfa Gelf flag in the tree. The door is always open and I am here to welcome visitors and provide a bit of inspiration.”
Laura Cameron, soft sculpture artist and Uned Creu group member, says:
Helfa Gelf is at its best when visitors come to talk to the artists and ask questions. This allows us to demonstrate and show our work. We hope visitors will enjoy seeing inside our studios at Parc Glynllifon and experiencing how artists create and make things.”
Sara Jane Harper, ceramics, drawing, mixed media, painting, printmaking and sculpture, says:
You will receive a warm welcome from the artists wherever they are, and will join the ever-growing number of art enthusiasts who enjoy this yearly event. I am part of a group exhibition at UndegUn, 11 Regent Street, Wrexham. On 25 September, artists Graham Mitchell and Ros Hornbuckle will be demonstrating their skills of tapestry weaving and jewellery making out of wood at Undegun from 11am to 4pm. Come and discuss with the artists more about their disciplines and how they find the creative scene within the North of Wales – and remember, it’s all free.”
Helfa Gelf is a month-long festival of art with exhibitions, residencies and special projects across the counties of Gwynedd, Conwy, Flintshire, Denbighshire and Wrexham. The last few days are Friday 25, Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 September, and studios are open from 11am to 5pm.
Funding has made the publication of the Helfa Gelf Art Trail guide, the website and the wider promotion of the event possible. The Helfa Gelf Art Trail project has received funding through the Arts Council Wales and through the local authorities across North Wales.
There are over 400 artists based in 179 locations to visit, located in every imaginable kind of venue from garden sheds to galleries. There are a number of joint exhibitions being held across the region. Artists’ details, images of their work and ‘The Art Trail Map’ can be found online at http://www.helfagelf.co.uk/en/map/.
Catch the Helfa Gelf Art Trail ‘10 Years’ artists while you can!