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Major Award for Arts+Minds Artist

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Gwobr o Fri i Artist Arts+Minds

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The Arts+Minds Consortium is delighted to announce that Clementine Schneidermann, recipient of a major Arts+Minds photographer-in-residence bursary, has been awarded the prestigious Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2016 (Newcomer Award, €10,000) for the work she completed during her residency in Blaenau Gwent.

From September 2015 to June 2016, Clementine (a French photographer who received an MA in Photography from the University of South Wales in Newport) was based in Abertillery throughout her immersive residency.

Travelling around the region, visiting local neighbourhoods, community centres, residential homes, youth clubs and town halls, and meeting a broad range of people across the age spectrum, Clementine started to build up a picture of the region and the challenges that a creative observer from the outside would be faced with.

In her own words: “the biggest challenge was to understand the complexity of the region and get a sense of which things meaningfully reflect people’s lives and aspirations. I believe that being an outsider helped me to have a fresh vision, and having been extremely careful from the outset not to be influenced by negative stereotypes, I felt I was able to produce a strong and honest body of photographic work. I was conscious of much of the photographic work that had already been made in the region and therefore, from the start, I wanted to embrace a different approach”.

Clementine spent many months walking, cadging lifts and travelling by bus in Blaenau Gwent — in inclement and foreboding weather at times — photographing many people she had struck up conversations with. She was particularly taken by the humour, optimism and tenacity of the young people she came across. Over time, Clementine decided to set up an improvised fashion shoot working with local stylist, Charlotte James in youth clubs in the Coed Cae and Swyffrd neighbourhoods, to capture this resilient spirit.

The resulting pictures, combining theatricality and charm with a dose of post-industrial realism, were brought together in a celebratory Picture Post type magazine, Le Petit Dynamique, published by the Arts+Minds Consortium in association with the European Centre for Photographic Research, University of South Wales.

The title pays homage to the European origins of the photographer (who completed her residency just before the ‘Brexit’ vote) and the pioneering work of the local newspaper, The Abertillery & Ebbw Valleys Dynamic, whose editors wholeheartedly embraced Clementine’s creativity and that of her fellow photography partner, Sebastian Bruno (Argentina) in helping to add visual inspiration to the look and feel of their topical and enterprising newspaper.

Further information and free copies of the full colour, bilingual 48pp Le Petit Dynamique and JPEGs of Clementine’s photographs (for press purposes only) are available on request from Christopher Coppock, Creative Principal, Arts+Minds who can be contacted on (07929) 659 410 or via email, chris.coppock@taicalon.org

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Mae'n bleser gan Gonsortiwm Arts+Minds gyhoeddi bod Clémentine Schneidermann, a gafodd fwrsariaeth ffotograffydd preswyl sylweddol gydag Arts+Minds, wedi ennill gwobr fawreddog Leica Oskar Barnack yn 2016 (y Wobr i Artist Newydd, €10,000) am y gwaith a gwblhaodd yn ystod ei chyfnod preswyl ym Mlaenau Gwent.

Rhwng mis Medi 2015 a mis Mehefin 2016, roedd Clémentine (ffotograffydd o Ffrainc a gafodd MA mewn Ffotograffiaeth o Brifysgol De Cymru yng Nghasnewydd) wedi'i lleoli yn Abertyleri drwy gydol ei chyfnod preswyl lle'r oedd yn ymdrwytho yn y gymuned.

Gan deithio o gwmpas y rhanbarth yn ymweld â chymdogaethau lleol, canolfannau cymunedol, tai preswyl, clybiau ieuenctid a neuaddau tref ac yn cwrdd ag amrywiaeth eang o bobl o bob oed, dechreuodd Clémentine ffurfio darlun o'r rhanbarth a'r heriau y byddai arsyllwr creadigol o'r tu allan yn eu hwynebu.

Meddai Clémentine: "yr her fwyaf oedd deall natur gymhleth y rhanbarth a pha bethau sy'n adlewyrchu bywydau a dyheadau pobl mewn modd ystyrlon. Credaf fod y ffaith fy mod yn ddieithryn i'r rhanbarth wedi fy helpu i gael gweledigaeth wahanol, ac am fy mod yn hynod o ofalus o'r dechrau i beidio â gadael i ystrydebau negyddol ddylanwadu arnaf, roeddwn yn teimlo fy mod yn gallu llunio corff cadarn a gonest o waith ffotograffig. Roeddwn yn ymwybodol o lawer o'r gwaith ffotograffig a oedd eisoes wedi cael ei wneud yn y rhanbarth ac, felly, roeddwn am fabwysiadu dull gweithredu gwahanol o'r dechrau”.

Treuliodd Clémentine fisoedd lawer yn cerdded, yn cael lifft gan bobl ac yn teithio ar y bws ym Mlaenau Gwent — a hynny mewn tywydd garw a drwgargoelus ar adegau — yn tynnu lluniau llawer o bobl yr oedd wedi dechrau sgwrsio â nhw. Gwnaeth hiwmor, gobaith a dycnwch y bobl ifanc y daeth ar eu traws gryn argraff arni. Dros amser, penderfynodd Clémentine drefnu sesiwn fyrfyfyr tynnu lluniau ffasiwn gan weithio gyda'r steilydd lleol, Charlotte James, mewn clybiau ieuenctid yng nghymdogaethau Coed Cae a Sofrydd er mwyn dal y dycnwch hwn.

Cafodd y lluniau a dynnwyd yn y sesiwn honno, sy'n cyfuno theatraeth a swyn ag ychydig o realaeth ôl-ddiwydiannol, eu dwyn ynghyd mewn cylchgrawn dathliadol yn arddull Picture Post, Le Petit Dynamique, a gyhoeddwyd gan Gonsortiwm Arts+Minds mewn cydweithrediad â'r Ganolfan Ewropeaidd Dros Ymchwil Ffotograffig, Prifysgol De Cymru.

Mae'r teitl yn talu teyrnged i haniad Ewropeaidd y ffotograffydd (a gwblhaodd ei chyfnod preswyl yn fuan cyn pleidlais ‘Brexit’) a gwaith arloesol y papur newydd lleol, The Abertillery & Ebbw Valleys Dynamic. Roedd golygyddion y papur yn croesawu creadigrwydd Clémentine a'i phartner ffotograffiaeth, Sebastian Bruno (Ariannin), yn frwd am eu bod yn helpu i ychwanegu ysbrydoliaeth weledol at ddiwyg a naws eu papur newydd amserol a mentrus.

Mae rhagor o wybodaeth a chopïau am ddim o Le Petit Dynamique, sy'n ddwyieithog, mewn lliw llawn ac yn 48 tudalen o hyd, a ffeiliau JPEG o ffotograffau Clémentine (at ddibenion y wasg yn unig) ar gael ar gais gan Christopher Coppock, Pennaeth Creadigol Arts+Minds, a gellir cysylltu ag ef ar (07929) 659 410 neu drwy anfon e-bost at chris.coppock@taicalon.org

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