Andrea Heath, Untitled, 2016. Cardiff Without Culture? poster campaign.
Andrea Heath has worked as a graphic designer, illustrator, community artist and youth and community worker.
We’re delighted that the poster campaign ends today with the work of artist Andrea Heath, and a project she created with women in Riverside. Andrea was one of the main contributors to our MARCH FOR CULTURE on February 6th, a decisive event in our Cardiff Without Culture campaign, which has since seen the reversal of the Council’s decision to cut £700,000 from the arts in Cardiff. What could be a more fitting end to our poster campaign than work created by the very communities who benefit from art, cultural activity and the presence of artists, in our city. Thank you to all the artists who contributed to this poster campaign, and the wider Cardiff Without Culture campaign. Actions such as these have enabled the arts community to creatively resist and overturn decisions that we believe will damage the rich fabric of this city.
Art is amazing, it has the power to accomplish so many great things! Art can heal, art can build bridges, it is like glue for our communities. For me, the process of creating is equally as important as the end product since it has the potential to bring together and empower diverse individuals and communities. Capitalism tries to rob us of our individuality, it tries to appropriate every human endeavour and turn them into commodities. The act of being creative keeps us human, teaches us to solve problems and to imagine a different future.
Sanja Ivekovic, Untitled, 2016. Cardiff Without Culture? poster campaign.
Over the last four decades, Croatian artist Sanja Iveković has developed a pioneering practice that tackles issues of female identity, the politics of power, consumerism and the paradoxes inherent in society’s collective memory.
Recently Sanja has been supporting a campaign in Croatia calling for the current minister of culture to resign. Citizens and cultural workers have come together to protest the appointment of a scientist to manage cultural institutions and cultural production. Though a different campaign, Sanja has felt a kinship with our campaign in Cardiff based on a similar move from artists and citizens to safeguard some of the things they hold dear about their local culture.
An extract from the Croatian petition includes the following words:
“This public appeal has been compiled by a group of citizens, cultural workers and artists who believe that for the position of a minister of culture, as well as the entirety of culture, it is far more important to think outside of the national framework, understand the other and the different, respect the antifascist heritage, understand culture and society as a heterogeneous combination of diversity and openness for dialogue and language than to merely write research papers and other works, without underestimating the value thereof.”
Cinzia Mutigli, Untitled, 2016. Cardiff Without Culture? poster campaign.
Cinzia Mutigli is an artist living and working in Cardiff.
“It is a shame that through their plans to cut arts funding Cardiff City Council seem to want to extricate themselves rather than be part of the diverse and energetic cultural activity that makes Cardiff an exciting place to live and work. They would rather not take part, they would rather walk away, they don’t want to contribute. They will however, want to boast about whatever inspiring and original artworks happen in the city despite their disinterest in helping them happen. They will shout about it to potential visitors, businesses and international students and they will emblazon their publicity and websites with images of colourful festivals and proclaim that the arts are an important part of making Cardiff a great place to be.
It’s a shame they don’t have the will, the decency, the foresight, the insight, the courage, the imagination or the strength to make an investment in return for the credit they will claim. Why won’t they maintain the small amounts of funding they have previously given or increase those small amounts to decent amounts or even to large amounts? Cardiff City Council should look at how resourceful and inventive artists are and realise what a fantastic investment opportunity funding the arts is. Are they really so shortsighted?”
Iwan Bala, Untitled, 2016. Cardiff Without Culture? poster campaign
Iwan Bala is an artist, writer and lecturer who has been immersed in thoughts and ideas based on minority cultural identity. He has exhibited internationally.
Cardiff has recently been voted third best European capital city. Why is that I wonder? Is it because of its previous support for vibrant art?
Cuts are a no-brainer. Cardiff can only compete internationally if it is known for being a great place for Art, Music, Theatre, Film, Visual Art… it brings people here. It is the duty of Cardiff Council to lead on this.
I travel and lecture abroad, and I must be able to vouch for my home city, my capital city. If these cuts go ahead, what can I be proud of?
Helen Sear & Andreas Ruethi, Culture is Immortality – Culture is living, 2016. Cardiff Without Culture? poster campaign.
Helen Sear and Andreas Ruethi are artists living and working in Wales. Both their work has been exhibited extensively both in the UK and abroad. Helen Sear represented Wales at the 56th Venice Biennale.
Without culture how can we persuade future generations to invest in the arts rather than shopping centres?
Eddie Ladd, Untitled, 2016. Cardiff Without Culture? poster campaign.
Dawnswraig o’r gorllewin / dancer from the west
Ma’n rhaid i ni wrthwynebu’r toriadau a thrwy hynny ddangos lle mae’r bai yn gorwedd – ar hapchwarae’r bancwyr a chwalfa 2008. Wrth wrthwynebu’r toriadau ry’ ni’n amddiffyn cartrefi, addysg ac iechyd y sawl nad ydynt wedi eu breinio â grym ac arian.
We have to oppose the cuts and in this way, show where the blame lies – on the bankers’ gambling with the financial system and the crash of 2008. By opposing the cuts we defend the homes, education and health of those not privileged by power and wealth.
Anthony Shapland, Untitled, 2016. Cardiff Without Culture? poster campaign.
Anthony Shapland is an artist working predominantly in moving image based in Cardiff. He co-founded g39 an artist-led space in Cardiff in 1998 and is currently on a sabbatical to develop his practice, supported by ACW and Chapter, Cardiff.
“Cardiff – like Wales – has a unique and layered cultural scene. Within this, there exists a supportive and close network of practitioners. A philosophy of co-operation and information sharing has enabled it to flourish in recent years. It is growing, strengthening and ever evolving – but it is still fragile. We have reasons for optimism though, the solidarity shown on the march on Saturday would have been unthinkable in the eighties and nineties when the division between artforms was more apparent. In the face of adversity the arts have united in a common aim.
I grew up in Pengam, eighteen miles north of where I now live in Cardiff. Through those decades there were no galleries in the Rhymney valley, by the eighties there was not even a cinema there. I was hungry for art with little knowledge of what I was looking for and few people to tell me where to find it. I slowly discovered Cardiff – Chapter, the National Museum, Oriel, Llanover Hall and the AADW – and made trips whenever I could to discover more and more. I told my art teacher at school that I wanted to be an artist, to make my work but also that I wanted to do something that might make a difference in Wales. G39 didn’t arrive from nowhere, it grew slowly with the support of a huge network of people. It was built on an idea that there could be a platform for contemporary art in Wales and on that platform artists who were established, emerging, Welsh and international all co-existed. Cardiff was and is its home, the capital city of Wales.
The proposed cuts have consequences far beyond the direct impact on individual organisations or initiatives; they weaken the foundations on which a lot of this work rests and move the conversation away from What needs doing? to How do we survive? At worst we might wonder Should I stay? This is not to say that the cuts will cause culture to cease, to evaporate, but that it makes it more vulnerable. But just try and imagine this place without it’s culture, without artists, without venues, without workshops – what then is the capital of Wales? It has parks, it has a river, but these become little more than a backdrop to a shopping mall and a latte.”