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From the Rough to the Smooth

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O’r Garw i’r Llyfn

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As part of Tai Calon's extensive Environmental Programme, artist Mike Disley has recently been commissioned by Arts+Minds to bring his creature sensibility and use of natural materials to re-imagining a very dilapidated wall that sits on the eastern end of the Weanheulog estate in Nantyglo. The existing long and low structure is effectively a gateway to the estate that sits on the national cycle route; this latter consideration takes on a greater borough wide significance and gives further resonance to the nature of the proposed design.

The artist's new wall structure design celebrates, in a minimal and unobtrusive way, the qualities of the chosen material, GRANITE, which will be adopted in both polished and sandblasted patinas: in slab, undulating and pebble formats.

The artist is also considering utilising railings to sit adjacent to the copings that are rendered in an industrial utilitarian steel finish, which emphasises the horizontal expanse of the structure and offers a subtle contrast to the vertical lines that permeate the estate. (see site photographs and artist's working drawings below).

We recognise that the use of a high quality impervious material like granite, coupled with an artisan precision of production and finish, runs counter to much of the architectural and environmental fabric that currently exists on site, but Arts+Minds sees the artist’s work as a bold statement of intent, demonstrating that simple high quality design and attention to detail can be adopted in places such as Waenheulog and, through osmosis, become a small and unassuming symbol of material ambition and renewal.

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Fel rhan o Raglen Amgylcheddol eang Tai Calon, comisiynwyd yr artist Mike Disley gan Arts+Minds yn ddiweddar i ddefnyddio’i synwyrusrwydd cynhenid a’i bwyslais ar ddeunyddiau naturiol i ailddychmygu wal ddadfeiliedig ar ben dwyreiniol stad Waunheulog yn Nant-y-glo. Mae’r strwythur hir ac isel presennol yn borth, i bob diben, i’r stad sy’n sefyll ger y rhwydwaith beicio cenedlaethol, ystyriaeth o bwys i’r bwrdeistref cyfan ac sy’n rhoi arwyddocâd pellach i natur y dyluniad arfaethedig.

Mae strwythur y wal newydd o waith yr artist yn dathlu, mewn modd cynnil ac anymwthiol, ansoddau’r deunydd a ddetholwyd, sef ITHFAEN, ar ffurf arwynebau sgleiniog a rhai wedi eu swndio, ac mewn slabiau, ffurfiau tonnog a cherrig mân.

Mae’r artist hefyd yn ystyried gosod rheiliau i sefyll nesaf at y cerrig copa, wedi eu gorffennu â dur diwydiannol iwtilitaraidd, sy’n pwysleisio ehangder llorweddol y strwythur, mewn cyferbyniad cynnil â’r llinellau fertigol sy’n britho’r stad (gweler ffotograffau o’r safle a lluniadau gwaith yr artist isod).

Gwyddom bod defnyddio deunydd anhydraidd, o ansawdd uchel fel ithfaen, wedi ei gyplysu â manyldeb crefftwr yn y cynhyrchu a’r gorffennu, yn gwbl groes i lawer o ffabrig pensaernïol ac amgylcheddol y safle fel y mae, ond mae Arts+Minds yn gweld gwaith yr artist fel datganiad diofn o fwriad, sy’n dangos sut y gall dylunio syml, o ansawdd uchel  a sylw manwl, gael ei fabwysiadu mewn llefydd fel Waunheulog a mynd, trwy osmosis, yn symbol bychan a diymhongar o uchelgais materol ac adnewyddiad.

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