A2: Criw Celf2020-09-29T14:58:33+01:00

A2: Criw Celf offers young artists a varied programme of opportunities to work with professional artists, curators, designers, film makers etc to gain a broader understanding and greater experience of current visual arts practise. Criw Celf works with young people that are showing particular talent or interest in the visual arts helping them to fully develop their potential.

A2: Criw Celf is funded by the Arts Council of Wales and is managed by the Arts Active Trust, working in partnership with; arts organisations, galleries and colleges to embed our activity in Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Cardiff, The Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend county boroughs.

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A2:Criw Celf Alumni

My name is Amber Forde, I’m 18 years old and I’m from Cardiff. My work tends to focus on diversity and this stems from my background as my mother is white and my father is black.

Overall, my experience of Criw Celf was a joy. I was able to immerse myself in activities I was interested in, which allowed me to grow and expand within myself and my practice. As well as this, I met some really interesting people who I still speak to every so often.

I was able to involve myself with Criw Celf through my high school and within the first few hours of the first session I knew this was something that would be extremely beneficial for me to be apart of.

Many of the opportunities Criw Celf offered really did give me a new perspective on creating and appreciation for the many different mediums others around me use. I really enjoyed the ‘F.E.A.R’ performance at chapter and the exercises prior, as well as setting up an exhibition with my peers in the city centre.

Specifically the exhibition, as I was just starting to develop an art style and being able to document that on such a large scale with my peers is really gratifying.

Moving on, roughly 3 years has past since I was first involved with Criw Celf and I am about to start my foundation year. I have shifted my focus to fabric work as well as the abstract figures that I mentioned regarding my style. During lockdown I spent a lot of the time finishing my final project for college focused on exploring ’Black, working class Britain’, I was able to experiment fully and I have really gained a new found passion for textiles and imbedding my heritage in my work.

My name is Clara and I’m from Cardiff, where I’m currently living at the moment. I’m 18, and I’ve just finished my second year of A-levels doing Sociology, Art and English, and hopefully going on to do an Art Foundation in Cardiff in the next few months.

I found out about Criw Celf through school in early 2017, when there was a workshop and talk with Bedwyr Williams at Cardiff museum. A few months or so later we went back to do a different project, putting together our own exhibition on St Mary’s street (one of my favourite things I’ve done with Criw Celf) and I continued to get involved from there. The workshops were always very different from each other, meaning for most of us we were learning totally new art practices and sometimes getting to go to places that we’d never heard of before, like screen-printing at Printhaus,

Pinhole photography at Llanover hall or life drawing. One experience that has really stuck with me was being able to help in making a short film about Sean Edwards’ work for the Venice Biennale, where Tom got in touch with a few of us from past Criw Celf workshops in the spring of last year to plan and then put together a project for Wales in Venice. Coming from a school environment at first, I always liked the atmosphere at Criw Celf and over the years I’ve met so many nice people and made lots of friends that I’m still in contact with today.

Although I haven’t developed a specific area for my practice, for a while now I’ve been working with cyanotypes, creating negative images using a solution painted onto paper that reacts with sunlight. I started out using just basic pre-made light sensitive paper and developed my own process through trial and error as I went along. I brought this technique into my final A-level project which was based around Psychogeography, which in short looks at the relationship between emotions and locations (I chose to look at Cardiff and the areas I grew up going to, taking photos and making my own maps). Over the past few months I’ve been using the technique in upcycling my clothes, while I’ve also been working on jewellery making and copper etchings. The exposure to different artists’ ideas and ways of working definitely changed the way I thought about making art and what it can mean to be a practising artist, and the experiences gained over the years have been invaluable- I’m really excited for new things to come and spending more time in Criw Celf.

My name is Eleanor Mountford, I am an art student and have just completed my A Level studies. I was born in England but have lived in Wales for most of my life, so I feel very strongly connected to Wales and Welsh culture. As well as fine art, I love literature in its many forms, playing the piano, and ballet (all of which I have studied alongside my academic work) which I find pleasant as they can all be tied into my main ambition to study fine art.

I first became involved with Criw Celf in early 2019, when I was approached by a friend from college and asked if I would like to be involved with an arts project, which was very exciting. I hadn’t found many arts organisations in Caerphilly which made me feel very “out of the loop” so this was a wonderful opportunity for me. The project in question was to make a short video based on Sean Edward’s submission to the 2019 Venice Biennale, which again was extremely exciting. A group of us would meet regularly after college and on weekends to learn about Sean’s work, discuss ideas and plan out the project; it was really good to be able to throw ideas around with different people to find what we thought would be the best outcome. We also had a trip to the G39 gallery in Cardiff where we got to see a variety of thought provoking exhibitions by a range of different artists, browse the library area, and enjoy some free soup while we continued planning. Our project also involved making a couple of studio visits where we were able to see and document the working space, materials, and practice, as well as being able to interview Sean and his assistants. This gave us all really good insight into what it’s like to be a practicing artist (making it feel more achievable than the education system would have you believe), as well as give us a better understanding of what he conveys in his artwork. Since then I have remained in contact with various people who were involved, as well as quite recently making some connections with Artes Mundi through Criw Celf, who have provided a really wonderful support network and safe space to discuss art practice.

Currently, I’m trying to explore lots of different styles and mediums, which I’m sure I’ll do more of when I start my foundation year in September, but at the moment I am mostly using oil paints, water colours, gouache and inks. I still do a lot of observational work to continue developing my skill, and to try as many styles of working as I can, which is always fun (even when it’s not successful). The themes I tend to gravitate towards are extremely personal as I use my work as an outlet for a range of ideas that are important to and/or affect me, such as sexuality, femininity, and traumas. These often tie together and overlap for me, but not always. I recently did a small project on mythological Sirens; investigating the intertwining of allure and danger in one creature, as well as what this depiction of monsters through a feminine lens can tell us about historical attitudes towards any women with power. Currently however, I have changed tone and decided to make a stop motion animation about a fish to try something new, so I’ve been planning that out for when I have the space to do it. As I said earlier, I’m starting my foundation year in September, where I will hopefully have the opportunity to better my skills and try out more methods of working before hopefully going to University.


My name’s Greta, I’m based in Cardiff and I’m interested in multiple forms of art, such as graphic design, paintings, film, sculpture, textiles and other mediums. I’ve always tried to surround myself in the creative world, whether it be in or out of school. When starting Criw Celf, it instantly presented opportunities to experiment with many different forms of art, while also being able to meet others with similar interests.  With Criw celf I was given the chance to meet local professional artists while having a taster of their speciality, learning about how they worked in their studio spaces and the system they had made for themselves and their practice.  Having these sessions caused a more personal approach towards each art form, and to learn different techniques.

A highlight that stands out is ‘Sam’s Story’ a project focused on the issues of bullying. We created sculptures, using old school shoes as the base.  This gave the opportunity to create an art piece with a purpose, to convey an important message through art.  Being a part of Criw Celf included a mixture of abstract mediums, and realism, the opportunity to do life drawing meant I could work on my accuracy and take a step back from other projects to work on the basic skills for drawing.  Something else I thoroughly enjoyed was the talk with artist Bedwyr Williams, while his work was exhibited for Artes Mundi 7, gaining an insight into how his piece was developed.  This then aided me when we created an exhibition of our own, with the work from previous classes.

After sixth form I wanted to proceed with art and design while also looking into what I wanted to specialise in. I have recently completed a foundation year for art and design.

My most recent art work was from my final major project, where I made a short film, while using small ice sculptures as my image. By using ice as my material for the sculptures, it was a temporary image, leading to why it was key to capture it on film, using a timebase approach. With post production being a key step in order to curate the final piece. Now that I’ve completed the foundation course, I’m now going forward to study design for performance at Liverpool, and looking forward to taking the direction of performance arts.

Bore da, I’m Lorelei and I’m from Cardiff. I have finished my A levels this year and will be moving to Bristol to do an art foundation for a year from September.

I discovered Criw Celf in 2013 through an art teacher in Year 8 and have continued to be a part of it ever since. When I first began, I found it comforting to have a space away from the hot climate of High School.

It is difficult to keep track of what I have done as there is so much! However, some that have been significant to me was learning how to screenprint at the Printhaus, visiting the Surveys exhibition at G39, and participating in life drawing at Llanover Hall. These are local spaces that I was previously unaware of, which have opened up avenues for further learning and exploration. In addition, I discovered arts spaces within the Cardiff arts community (Tactile Bosch, Arcade Campfa, WAAW, Gentileza, Cardiff MADE, SHIFT, Su11), these spaces have inevitably made me feel more comfortable and confident in being a young creative, in ways which were not possible in a classroom or at home.

Last year, Thomas Goddard invited a small group of Criw Celf members to envision and coordinate a “behind the scenes” video piece of the developing Cymru yn Fenis project. Being able to see Sean Edwards’ developing work in Cardiff was an exhilarating experience. I remember thinking how wild it was to be in a space of many secret happenings, it was a real privilege.

My practice is ever changing. Before lockdown I was finishing up a sculpture / ceramics-based project for my A level coursework, the works were texture-based and were around replicating and distorting aspects of local nature.

During lockdown, my work has significantly shifted. In preparation for my art foundation, I have been developing a combination of audio pieces such as sampled birdsong, guitar loops and radio broadcasting. In addition, I have been collecting objects from walks and my household, and documenting them through film photography, video and drawings.

If I hadn’t found Criw Celf, I feel that I wouldn’t have an as in-depth sense of the contemporary welsh arts scene, or have the knowledge of different creative practices (be it on a professional level or on a learning level). Moreover, I wouldn’t have met one of my closest friends!

Criw Celf is a wonderful scheme that I am so grateful to have been involved in, it is completely free for young people to be a part of and offers so much for so little.

Diolch Criw Celf!

Spain is where I was born and Wales is where I have grown up. My mother is Spanish and my father is Arab; we moved to Cardiff as the economic crisis in Spain was beginning to unfold because it is where many of my dad’s side of the family live. I enjoy having family close by.

A teacher in the art department suggested I go along to a workshop happening in a university nearby- this was around about Year 8, so in 2015. I went along with a couple of friends who also went to art club after school and we worked with an artist to make signs. We were given a lot of freedom and prompts to get ideas bouncing and I made a protest banner that read “You’re Bonkers!”, I almost forgot to put in the K when I was making it.                                                                               It was quite an upgrade from the typical school supplieswe were used to and I also learned some sponging techniques. That workshop was also the first time I met some of my future Criw Celf pals who I would get to know better over the next couple of years.

Criw Celf has given me lots of first times. It was in a Criw Celf workshop where I printed my first T-shirt; where I first used a disposable camera; where I made my first mini-story book; where I learned about surrealist cinema; where I made my first monoprint- I could go on for a while. The techniques I learned proved very useful when I did my Art GCSE.Many of the techniques I learned and used with practicing artists were not something I would be taught in high school. The only replicated media in school was lino prints and monoprints (not to diminish either- both are very cool).

Another aspect of Criw Celf which is invaluable is actually the‘working with the artists’ aspect of it. Learning about their design processes and the different creative sectors out there, is how you get a feel for what you most enjoy.My image of an artist in high school was quite small. I didn’t really know that there were artists who sometimesworked with other artists to create art and I had no idea about the arts community within Wales and of the organizations like Chapter, g39, Printhaus etc. I learned that artists were all very different and worked in all kinds of ways.

Through Criw Celf, I’ve also received paid opportunities like being part of a small team and recording the behind the scenes of Sean Edward’s work for his exhibition at the Venice Biennale (one more event I’d never heard of before) and making a small Zine to display his art.

I’ve been able to develop my creative skills even after deciding not to do Art at A-Level which has been really great. Criw Celf is also largely the reason why I’ve been able to finally decide what I want to do when I leave Sixth Form. I’ve applied to study Architecture and am hoping to stay in Cardiff; I’ve also applied to do an Art Foundation course in case I don’t get accepted this year and I’ll just try again next year.

I’ve been really into monotype prints recently and I’ve been experimenting with different media, I’ve also been developing my human figure drawing as it’s something I know I need a lot of work on. Being part of Criw Celf is a really cool experience and I’ve made really good memories which have in turn led to me understanding myself better.

Natural Woman- this is a piece I did a couple of months ago at a Criw Celf workshop with the Printhaus. We used an etching press and wet paper to achieve it.

Virtual Tour Cynon Valley Museum

Due to Covid-19 the annual A2 Criw Celf Summer School became a two week online programme for 11 – 19 year olds with free creative workshops and resources in textiles, painting, illustration, drawing and printmaking.

Here is a virtual exhibition tour of the Artist’s work who taught on the Summer School this year.

Featuring the work of:

Julia Bethan  |   Carl Chapple   |   Geraint Ross Evans   |   Claire Hiett
Cat Lewis  |   Alison Moger  |   Sophie Potter  |   Tomos Sparnon
Jacob Taylor  |   Haf Weighton

Criw Celf Online Resources

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