So, as the autumn draws in (terrifyingly quickly), the hours are ticking before my residency starts on Monday. As it is (for me) the best weekend of the year in Llandudno, with the free Llawn Arts Festival in full swing, I thought I'd go and test the water to see what people might think of the project, and to test out a few aspects of it. I hope this quick blog of some of the results might give you a flavour....
With a box full of lovely fliers for the project (many thanks to CALL for making these), I started off by wandering up to y Tabernacl, as I'm going to be based in y Festri there. It had been transformed into a beautiful and surreal haven! Perfect! We'll be hosting the 'Finding the Centre' here at 2pm on Saturday 23rd July, when you can come and get your blue plaque and set off in search of naming and tagging your personal Centre of Llandudno.
Two highlights of the Friday evening were engaging with the Mostyn Portffolio group of young artists, and meeting a gaggle (their chosen collective noun!) of town councillors and the deputy Mayor at the opening of Llawn. Their enthusiasm for the project was a fantastic way to begin! Topics ranged from summer and winter dog walking routes, public toilets known as Bog Island and laylines of the universe running through the Great Orme (good job i've got some divining rods to use in the 'Finding the Centre' event on Saturday 23rd September).
On Saturday, I started off by going to Look Out. A fantastic project created by Andy Field and pupils from Ysgol Morfa Rhianedd, with the pupils talking to you personally about their experience of Llandudno, and their visions for the future (utopian and distopian). As we sat gazing out over Llandudno (the picture above is of the view), I was guided by Ella: here is a little clip of what she said:
You can listen to the results at aplacetolookout.co.uk, alongside similar projects across the world. I really hope we can add this extraordinary work to the People's Map.
On the way back down I meet locals Rebecca (moved here when she was 5) and Steve (born and bred here) on the Zig Zag walk down towards the Grand Hotel.
We walked and talked of hanging gardens or an icerink as an alternative to the proposed flat development next to the Grand (you can see the site above, between the hotel on the left and the arcade on the right), which is very much opposed by residents who are "trying to organise against it", the hospitality and anti-racist nature of Welsh people, wind, floods, and why they alway return to Llandudno.
As I made it to the sea front, I started recording a soundscape on the Esplanade, when I came across Benjamin Buck and Charles Gershom, Host Operator, making their definitive Audio Chronology Survey of various places across Llandudno.
I'd love these sound recordings to go on the map!
Then lunch with Wanda Zyborska. We talked monuments, monumentalising and naming. I'll be walking with Wanda to find out more, and hope she'll give a talk at some point about her fascinating, long term work with monuments, which has taken a topic turn with recent world Monument - toppling. We even tried out some delicious mini-monuments....
Then, after a quick chat with Mr & Mrs Clarke about psychogeography and 'deep mapping', I returned home, excited and exhausted by all the ideas and connections... I can't wait to start on Monday!