GWRANDO’s explorations of Welsh chapels and chapel culture are personal and critical evocations of encounters and meetings between people and places. Through the project GWRANDO discovered tensions between Christian beliefs and the desire for familiarity and continuity; the problems of preservation strategies that privilege architectural authenticity over continuing use and function; and the importance of sound: the word, and the song, in the chapel tradition. GWRANDO’s work has been described as ‘exciting’, ‘innovative’, and ‘very moving’ – with an approach that opens up ‘new dialogues between art, public performance/participation and community’.
Mae archwiliadau GWRANDO o gapeli Gymraeg a diwylliant y capel yn deffro barn ac atgofion personol am ddigwyddiadau a chyfarfodydd rhwng pobl a lleoedd. Drwy’r prosiect, darganfu GWRANDO densiynau rhwng credoau Cristnogol a’r dyhead am y cyfarwydd a pharhad; problemau strategaethau diogelu sy’n breintio dilysrwydd pensaernïol dros ddefnydd a swyddogaeth barhaus; a phwysigrwydd sain: y gair, a’r gân, yn nhraddodiad y capel. Ymhlith y geiriau sydd wedi’u defnyddio i ddisgrifio gwaith GWRANDO mae ‘cyffrous’, ‘arloesol’ a ‘teimladwy iawn’ – a dywedwyd ei fod yn agor ‘deialogau newydd rhwng celfyddyd, perfformiad/cyfranogiad cyhoeddus a chymuned’.
The project has seen the creation of new works based on the architecture and interiors of the chapels; field recordings; interviews with chapel members, ministers and trustees; the Welsh chapel choral tradition and hymn repertoire; and the legacy of this tradition in early recordings and vinyl. These have been presented as exhibitions, performances, installations, and interventions at community events held in local chapels, and at Ceredigion Museum, Chapter Arts Centre, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Cardigan Heritage Centre, the Corn Exchange Gallery, Cardigan Guildhall, and Capel Y Graig in Furnace.
The project has been supported and funded by the Arts Council of Wales, Heritage Lottery Funding as part of Aberteifi 2010, and by community groups such as Canolfan Crannog, Aberteifi 2010, Llangrannog Choir and Heartsong. GWRANDO would like to extend its thanks to its supporters and also to the chapel members, ministers and trustees who have participated in the project thus far.