Elan Valley Creative Wales Fellowship 2020 - 2021 awarded to acclaimed Cardiff based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Gareth Bonello

3 months 3 weeks ago

Elan Valley Creative Wales Fellowship 2020 – 2021 awarded to acclaimed Cardiff based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Gareth Bonello

The second Elan Valley Creative Wales Fellowship, supported by Arts Council of Wales, has been awarded to Cardiff based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Gareth Bonello / stage name the Gentle Good. Taking influence from the traditional music and folklore of Wales along with a myriad of sources from all over the world, Gareth creates timeless folk music in both English and Welsh.

Gareth said “I am delighted with this opportunity and very much looking forward to spending time in the Elan Valley. This fellowship will help reignite my creativity and I’m looking forward to composing new works that explore the landscape, wildlife and culture of Wales.

The prestigious artistic fellowship opportunity to reside in the Elan Valley for a year has been made possible thanks to Arts Council of Wales funding, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Elan Links project partners.

Dr Ieuan Joyce, Chairman of the Elan Links partnership and Elan Valley Trust said: “We are looking forward to welcoming Gareth to reside here in the Elan Valley and excited about what might develop from his time spent here in in this special place.”

Louise Wright, Portfolio Manager, Arts Council of Wales said “Arts Council Wales is delighted to support this important opportunity for artists. The fellowship, open to all artforms, complements an established programme of visual arts residencies, that together demonstrate the extraordinary potential of the Elan Valley as a unique creative space.”

Catherine Allan, partnership member for Elan Links and Chair of Trustees at CARAD (Community Arts Rhayader and District) said: “We see the Fellowships as an investment in an artist’s creative development, not only for them as individuals, but for further developing the Elan Valley and surrounding area as the creative heart of Wales.”

Mike Booth, Visitor Attraction Manager at Elan Valley said “We’re very much looking forward to welcoming and building a strong relationship with Gareth here to the Elan Valley. Steeped in nature, against a stunning natural backdrop, the Elan Valley offers a rich and culturally charged landscape which we hope will lend itself well to Gareth’s residency. We look forward to seeing the outcome of his time with us in the near future.”

The Fellowships form part of the artist residency opportunities currently on offer at Elan Valley through the Elan Links: People, Nature and Water landscape partnership, which is an investment of £3.3 million over five years by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Elan Valley Trust, Dŵr Cymru, Community Arts Rhayader & District, Tir Coed and Natural Resources Wales.


About the Elan Valley Creative Wales Award

The Elan Valley Creative Wales Fellowships offer a unique opportunity for artists based in Wales at a significant juncture of their career in any art form, including music, literature, theatre, visual arts, craft, dance and film. The fellowships will be a chance to experiment and reflect, offering the time and space for artists to develop their creative practice through research, study and practical inquiry, by providing them with an opportunity to spend time in the wonderful and secluded Elan environment.

This is the second time a year long fellowship award has been made, the first one awarded in 2019/2020 to Wales based Turkish writer and playwright Meltem Arkian. The selection is a competitive process with applications invited from Wales based practising artists of all spectrums. The successful Fellow will need to demonstrate track record and how they could benefit from the Fellowship opportunity which includes an award of £9,000 in funding. The only requirement is that the Fellow must reside at the Elan Valley for a significant amount of time within the twelve-month period to enable full immersion. As such up to six months’ accommodation within the Elan Valley will also be included.

The fellowships have been enabled by additional Arts Council Wales funding to further develop the area as a place for artists’ retreats and residency work focusing on the creativity and engagement the place can inspire following their earlier Artist Place Time residencies in 2015/16 and more recently with the first Elan Links artist residencies held during 2018.


About Elan Links Scheme

The Elan Valley is a special place with a unique landscape, story and history. Elan Links is a Heritage Lottery funded scheme which aims to secure this heritage and boost the opportunities available in the Elan Valley for the future.

In total 26 projects will be delivered between 2018 and 2023 under three themes:

• Celebrating heritage: protecting and historic sites, improving visitors access and

archiving people’s histories and stories

• Enjoying Elan: improving opportunities for new and existing visitors and increasing training opportunities.

• Enhancing nature and wildlife: protecting natural habitats for the future.

Nearly £3.4million will be invested in the Elan Valley area to safeguard heritage and increase the opportunities for visitors.

The Elan Links scheme is led by a partnership board made up from the following organisations:

• Elan Valley Trust,

• Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water,

• Community Arts Rhayader and District (CARAD),

• Tir Coed,

• Natural Resources Wales.


About the National Lottery Heritage Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NLHFsupported.


About the Arts Council of Wales

The Arts Council of Wales is the country’s official public body for funding and developing the arts. Every day, people across Wales are enjoying and taking part in the arts. We help to support and grow this activity. We do this by using the public funds that are made available to us by the Welsh Government and by distributing the money we receive as a good cause from the National Lottery. By managing and investing these funds in creative activity, the Arts Council contributes to people’s quality of life and to the cultural, social and economic wellbeing of Wales.


About Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water serves 1.4 million household and business customers in Wales, Herefordshire and parts of Deeside. Welsh Water is a ‘non-shareholder’ company which is unique in the water industry, and all gains reinvested to improve services and keep customer bills affordable. The Elan Estate is the largest single area of land owned by any of the national water companies, comprising some 10% of the total. The Estate has been managed to protect the quality and quantity of the water since 1892.


About Community Arts Rhayader and District (CARAD)

CARAD was created in 1994 and has grown since then. In 1999, it raised money to secure units in Rhayader for the use o performance, dance and all things creative. The Rhayader Museum and Gallery is at the heart of the community and remains CARAD’s biggest project to date. Since 2009 its exhibition programme has been diverse and varied and has included the ‘Rhayader Jewels’ – a collection of Romano-British jewellery, usually on display in the British Museum and the Llanwrthwel Torcs, a bronze age collection found locally and on display at the National Museum of Wales. In partnership with other local organisations, the small staff team and a dedicated group of volunteers have and continue to devise ways of raising the profile of the town through community events like The Gro Gathering, and Christmas Lantern Extravaganza. They capture the local stories and transform them into theatre productions and exhibitions and the legacy lives on in the museum archives.