Erddig’s artist in residence 2022/23
- 28 February 2023
Jenny Cashmore, our most recent artist in residence, is a contemporary multidisciplinary artist familiar and dedicated to the Welsh cultural and creative sector. She joined Erddig for six months for a project funded by Arts Council Wales and delivered in collaboration with Ty Pawb.
Jenny’s practice is driven by an interest in the connections between people, objects and place. Her works are often dependant and specific to the location and the communities she is engaging with.
Outputs manifest in various forms and have previously included; pop up nail bars offering bespoke coloured polish reflecting site specific cultural and environmental characteristics; experimental walking exercises, live encounters between body and architecture; and daily scores created remotely and sent from her home to be printed in a gallery space, thereby artfully connecting the two places.
She enjoys thinking about how an audience experiences and engages with an artwork to ensure it is something unique and exciting.
Why this project?
“This project is perfect as my practice is all about relationships, rethinking and examining how we connect to each other and the world around us.
I am looking forward to spending this period of time focusing on our relationship with the natural environment and engaging with the wider estate of Erddig. I am interested to see what we can learn from the wild and how this can support or challenge our own engagement with a landscape, and ultimately affect our wellbeing.
I am interested in working in an inclusive way, focusing on what is unique to the people and landscape that I am engaging with.”
A long embrace with the dark
For over 300 years Erddig’s parkland has been open to the local community as a place for tranquillity or adventure. This residency enabled us to explore new and unique encounters with the familiar landscape during the darker half of the year – when the days are shorter, and when it is colder and wetter.
After getting to know the grounds and connecting with local groups, Jenny was inspired by the themes of accessibility, togetherness and darkness, and the creative methods that might deepen our connection to nature.
Erddig’s artist in residence 2022/23
Jenny Cashmore, our most recent artist in residence, is a contemporary multidisciplinary artist familiar and dedicated to the Welsh cultural and creative sector.
An invitation for the longest night
Jenny collaborated with sound artists Ardal Bicnic, Rosey Brown and Heledd C Evans as well as local volunteers, to forage the sounds of Erddig’s parkland to compose a sound piece. This was played to accompany the Wrexham community during the longest night of the year on Wednesday 21 December 2022.
As the temperature drops our lifestyles can change too. There are many tips we can take from our friends in nature, like learning to slow down and use the winter season as a time to recharge and pay attention to our mental wellness. A long embrace with the dark; An invitation for the longest night was a remote collective action enabling individuals to be connected to nature and each other from their own homes during the dark hours.
The over-night digital broadcast on Calon FM was perfect for locals to dip in and out of from sunset on Wednesday 21 December at 15:57 to 8:24 the following morning.
Jenny also drew on all the senses to create an immersive experience by working with local herbalist Pip Waller. The partners created a bespoke blend of tea, named ‘Erddig tea for dark times’, drawing inspiration from the plants growing on Erddig’s estate, from apple and pine to elderberry and more. Creating a tea that could be drunk whilst listening to the soundscape at home – a chance to take some time out to relax and let imaginations run free.
Listen again here to the archive of the event streaming. Download the soundscape to listen to at home or in a place of your choice. 22 min looped audio soundtrack using foraged sounds from the Erddig estate. Recordings made during the winter months.
Edited by Ardal Bicnic (Rosey Brown and Heledd Evans)
Sound recordings by Rosey Brown, Heledd Evans, Jenny Cashmore, Deborah Smith, Sarah Birch, Judy Bartley and Natalie Bunn.
Voices featured; Bom Dia Cymru group, Pip Waller, National Trust gardeners, KIM Inspire group and Rosey Brown.
March equinox: When dark and light are equal
Jenny culminated her artist residency at Erddig when the dark and light hours were equal around the March Equinox. She invited the public to come, at this time of balance, to explore what a more equal relationship with nature might feel, sound, taste, smell and look like.
Visitors joined Jenny throughout Erddig's parkland for a balanced programme of participatory pop-up activities completely free of charge on Saturday 18 March 2023 (when sunrise and sunset were 12 hours apart in Wrexham, known as Equilux).
Participants enjoyed a gentle sunrise and sunset run in collaboration with Muddy trainers to mark the transition of dark to light, and light to dark. Around the mid point of the day Jenny welcomed people onsite at Erddig. They explored Prompts to enact and imagine; some guided sessions to engage with the work; shared a picnic with family and friends; tasted Erddig drink for balance (made in collaboration with herbalist Louise Idoux) for which the weather's temperature determined if it was served warm or cold; explored balance with family-friendly circus activities delivered by Short Scruffs Theatre; and listened to A long embrace with the dark on top of the Motte and Bailey” (for more details about this work see above).
On Monday 20 March – Equinox - Calon FM's Heather Wilson hosted Jenny for a creatively programmed edition of Home Is Where The Art Is, thinking about nature and balance. Listen again online at Calon FM.
Prompts to enact and imagine
Prompts to enact and imagine is a creative artwork that is a collection of poetic instructions thinking about our relationship to nature and wellbeing.
Jenny collaborated with Natasha Borton, a multi disciplined creative to deliver creative writing workshops with KIM Inspire and Dynamic Wrexham. These sessions alongside Jennys ongoing conversations, active research and other workshops informed the development of Prompts to enact and imagine.
It was co-written by Jenny and Natasha. It takes the form of a map folded brochure that is tactile and exploratory. It is a multi-lingual artwork in the four main spoken languages of Wrexham, Welsh, English, Polish and Portuguese.
Jenny’s temporal practice supported her aim to work as ethically and sustainably as possible, reusing and recycling physical objects when necessary. Outputs produced had a purpose and with ongoing legacy.
Flyers for the final sharing were printed on wildflower seed paper enabling them to be planted at home. Bespoke cups to serve the balanced drink were printed by a local organisation – they contained no plastic and were fully compostable/biodegradeable.
A bespoke picnic bench (featuring a prompt from Prompts to enact and imagine) commissioned from community enterprise Caia Crafts and used in the final sharing, was gifted to the National Trust.
Likewise, high quality compact and sustainable picnic blankets were gifted back to community groups and volunteers who participated in the project. Thus enabling people to continue to visit and spend time outside in the future.
This project has been created in collaboration with a group of exciting creatives, community groups and members of the community; including
- Bom Dia Cymru
- Dynamic Wrexham
- KIM Inspire
- Muddy Trainers
- Ardal Bicnic (Sound duo, Rosey Brown and Heledd C Evans)
- Natasha Borton (Multi-disciplined creative)
- Calon FM and Heather Wilson
- Louise Idoux (Medical Herbalist, Oswestry Herbarium)
- Pip Waller (Medical Herbalist and Plant Spirit Medicine Healer)
Discover the top things to see and do when you visit the parkland. From meandering rivers and an 18th-century water feature to the dramatic escarpment leading to Wat’s Dyke.
Find out about the High Sheriff who lived beyond his means when he built Erddig, the rich London lawyer who extended and redecorated it and 240 years of the Yorke family.