In Tir Sir Gâr, A Rural Vision, artists respond to the current crisis in The Farming and food industry with a groundbreaking multimedia event. Tir Sir Gâr runs from 15 - 27 April 2013.
Leading Welsh artist Marc Rees, whose remarkable Adain Avion brought the London 2012 Festival to the heart of Wales last summer, has commissioned a group of Welsh and International Artists to respond to the current crisis in The Farming industry. Tir Sir Gâr is an extraordinary multimedia experience that combines film, promenade performance and theatrical installation to present an alternative contemporary rural vision and draw attention to the dilemmas faced by The Farming and food producing community.
Commissioned by the Welsh-language National Theatre Company Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, Tir Sir Gâr will span across two sites in Carmarthen: St Peter's Civic Hall and Carmarthenshire County Museum in Abergwili, which houses a vast agricultural collection from the historic area surrounding Carmarthen. Audiences will weave through the museum watching a promenade theatre performance about a contemporary Welsh farming family. Along the way, six visual artists and choreographers will present their eclectic take on modern farming in the form of video installations displayed alongside the museum's agricultural collection.
The performance at the core of Tir Sir Gâr is written by Carmarthenshire playwright and screenwriter Roger Williams (writer of the BAFTA nominated Tales from Pleasure Beach, BBC 2) and directed by Lee Haven Jones (Pobol y Cwm, S4C). The cast includes Dewi Rhys Williams who won the Bafta Cymru Best Actor Award for his performance in Cymer Dy Siar, and RhIan Morgan who recently garnered acclaim for her role in Coriolan/us for National Theatre Wales. Catherine Ayers, Sion Ifan, Gwydion Rhys, Lucy Hannah, Craig Walkley and Caryl Morgan complete the cast. Tir Sir Gâr is produced by Rees' long term collaborator, Creative Producer Siân Thomas.
The play tells the story of a family forced to decide on the future of their farm following the sudden illness of their father. Will one of the children step forward to keep the family tradition alive? What is lost when people stop farming and leave the countryside? Inspired by the museum's collection, the creative team spoke extensively to local farmers and their families about farming today and the challenges they will face in the future. These conversations and the issues raised informed the play.
Along the performance route, video installations curated by Marc Rees, offer abstract responses to some of the fundamental areas of farming; livestock, labour, architecture, language and land. The films have been created by Rabab Ghazoul, Eddie Ladd, Marc Rees, James Melville, Simon Mitchell and Simon Whitehead and shot by filmmaker Simon Clode.
Rabab Ghazoul is a Cardiff based visual artist born and part raised in the Middle East. Her work explores themes of home, belonging, language and place. For Tir Sir Gâr she will explore the struggles and challenges that face the modern day farmer.
Acclaimed Welsh performer and choreographer Eddie Ladd grew up on a farm. Her work draws heavily on her rich Welsh cultural heritage and for Tir Sir Gâr she will respond to the theme of Land through enacting a traditional baptism within the landscape.
Interdisciplinary artist Marc Rees is known for his flamboyant, humorous and often extreme interpretations of history, culture and personal experience. His film will explore the theme of Architecture in agriculture via a series of rural vernacular portraits.
Movement artist Simon Whitehead creates work inspired by physical engagement with the land and the qualities of season, people and place. His film will respond to the theme of Livestock and will incorporate a 'folk dance' amongst White Park Cattle, a breed indigenous to Carmarthenshire.
Artist duo Melville Mitchell's high impact performances explore themes of machismo and camaraderie. Their piece will respond to Labour and Machinery and is inspired by Borrowed Pastures, a 1960's documentary narrated by Richard Burton about two exiled Polish soldiers struggling to survive on a derelict Carmarthenshire farm and their attempt to tame the stubborn land that surrounded them.