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Its a blast!

Its a blast!

A disused gunpowder factory will explode into life this month with a free weekend extravaganza of art, performance, wildlife and fun activities. North Wales Wildlife Trust will be transforming the old Cooke’s Explosives site, Gwaith Powdwr, into an open-air gallery as artists create work using the great outdoors as their canvas.

The Art and Wildlife Festival on July 24th and 25th is part of Gwynedd Economic Partnership’s initiative Discover Gwynedd which aims to encourage people to explore the county and appreciate the wealth of its wildlife and nature. 

Over 20 contemporary artists have been invited to create work that reflects the history of the site and the wildlife that’s taken it over. 

There will be a series of scheduled hourly performances throughout the reserve where you may encounter a human cannonball, a crazed butterfly catcher, or even a chatty canteen lady relaying tales of her 40 years dishing out meals to the factory workers.  Listen carefully and hear a warped birdsong, the funky break-beats of the beat-boxing bats or take a strange symphonic journey from the past to the present with the orchestral manoeuvres of brass band musicians.

A bird-like trapeze act will amaze you, whilst on the sands of the estuary something strange may be shifting!  All across the site you will be able to explore a wealth of visual art installations, sculptures and video works created by cutting-edge multimedia artists.

Artist organisers Megan Broadmeadow and Julia Peat say:  “Gwaith Powdwr has been a fascinating place to which to respond.  The factory was the heart of the village for many years, so it holds a lot of memories for people.  Combining that with the nature element has been great fun and the quality of the participating artists and their diversity of ideas shows just how inspiring the site is.”  

You are sure to enjoy the great variety of entertainment taking place in the market area, from art workshops to nature and wildlife activities and hunts.  Add to this a quite stunning setting – be sure to leave yourself some extra time to explore the area.  Don’t forget to bring a packed lunch and something to sit on to make the most of your full day out.

The Art and Wildlife Festival is the first of three exciting events being organised as part of the Discover Gwynedd initiative. The other two take place later in the summer at Uwchmynydd near Aberdaron and Cwm Idwal.

Gwaith Powdwr was an explosives works from 1865 to 1995.  It was donated to the North Wales Wildlife Trust by ICI in 1998.  Its varied environment, from woodland, scrub, heathland and open water, supports a diverse wildlife population including the rare nightjar bird, polecats, seven species of bat and the impressive emperor dragonfly.  There are fabulous views over the Dwyryd Estuary and many paths offer excellent access throughout the site.

Gwaith Powdwr Art and Wildlife Festival is also part of Discovering Places, the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad campaign to encourage people to discover their local environment.  This programme is principally funded by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor and delivered in partnership between The Heritage Alliance and London 2012.

The event takes place on July 24th and July 25th from 1 - 6pm.  There is disabled access to some areas of the site.

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This news story was published on: 17/07/2010