The Night-time Blitz Experience is a project that marks the 80th anniversary of the Blitz in Grangetown, Cardiff. Four artists and a group of creative local young people have undertaken research into places and people in Grangetown affected by the Blitz. Four night-time artworks were commissioned by Art Shell and Grangetown local History Society at the sites of some of the worst bombings in Grangetown 80 years to the day and time they happened.
About the artists:
Alec Stevens is a visual artist focused on telling stories within museums, archives and collections. The projects he undertakes are rooted within the research of a particular location and the presence of people there over the course of history. Alec is developing work centred around the Hollymans Bakery (now Clarence Hardware) in Grangetown, Cardiff. He is interested in the events leading to 10 named and 22 unnamed people taking shelter in the bakery’s basement on the evening of the 2nd January 1941.
Jason&Becky are collaborative artists based in Swansea. Their practice is often interactive in nature, involving participation and/or audio-visual installation-based work, which aims to explore relationships between people and place. For The Night Time Blitz Experience, Jason&Becky are proposing to work with residents and local school-children in developing an audio-visual experience and/or performative event, in response to the 80th anniversary of the Blitz, through the exploration and inter-weaving of narratives past and present. Jason and Becky plan to make work around Clydach Street.
Secondson is a musician and record producer, who creates work predominantly with analog audio equipment, with an emphasis on synthesised and sampled sounds. For the Night-time Blitz Experience Secondoson will work with a halldorophone, the instrument can create a very industrial, mechanical, almost drone like quality coupled with traditional amplified cello sounds and any sound source that can be sent into the amplifiers. Secondson will be working with dual projections and live performance near to where the Hollyman’s Bakery tragedy unfolded in January 1941. Secondson’s studio is across the Clarence Road bridge in Butetown.
NTBE Youth team:
A group of 10 young people aged 16-25, living in or with a connection to Grangetown are currently working on sessions with local artists, musicians and producers leading to a fourth piece of artwork/performance. ‘The work that the young people were intending to make for TNTBE was a performance and not an online work. This film is not a ‘piece of art’, it is not what the group was working towards, it is a gesture, a record and acknowledgment of the work that the group did, their journey and contribution to the project. The footage is taken from mobile phones some of the 10 session and the audio is a skeleton of samples they created that the group would trigger live.’
Background: Steve Duffy, leading the research for Grangetown Local History Society, with other GLHS members, began collecting stories and audio memories of World War Two from Grangetown residents nine years ago, some of whom are no longer with us. The importance of recording personal and family histories – and piecing together events which were often otherwise lost to wartime censorship, became apparent.
“These were dramatic and life-changing events for many people – 165 across Cardiff were killed and 6,000 made homeless in one night, right at the heart of the neighbourhood which was worst hit.”
As well as connecting with older people, we will be working with schools and looking to connect with young people creatively on relating to the Blitz and its effect on the local landscape and community.