+ wellspace +
December 3-21@ 1a Inverness Place, Roath AiR Catherine Lewis
‘Catherine will be in 1a to make a well-space for slow making and recovery; it will also house her urban ink making lab, using local well water and materials found and gifted whilst working and walking between well sites and the space.
Catherine’s artwork combines a range of media and processes but its making is always driven by a passion to create without burden, to seek a simple and sympathetic purity of process. Using traditional skills that could easily be lost if not perpetuated, she works with found and discarded objects, such as rusted hinges, paint scraps, conkers and berries, to make and sell her own natural inks, batch bottled and in the form of drawings, prints and functional textiles. Through residencies and exhibitions, she makes work that is site-specific, temporary and ephemeral.
She has previously contributed to work around the closure of Whitchurch Hospital and last year was the first artist in residence for the Llandough hospital Orchard project. Alongside her own making, she facilitates workshops where participants make dyes, inks, drawings and botanical prints. She explores and documents habitats, mapping the experience, making and engaging with nature and wildlife in both urban and rural settings.
Whilst at 1a Inverness Place she will be making work in this way, whilst also exploring her current recovery from breast cancer. She is now a regular patient at Llandough and Velindre hospitals.’
Made in Roath
I see the residency as being about making a sanctuary, a safe space, a community of wellness, a place of growth, inspiration and transformation. In making a well-space I hope to promote a personal therapeutic process, improving well-being through the combination of meaningful activity and connection with a place and the people. I’ll offer a place to gather, grow, learn, share and be inspired; a place where people gain a new connection to the urban landscape, to work in harmony with it, slowly embracing the natural and creating a sense of personal peace and well-being within the community.’
Catherine hopes to perform a tree dressing at the sites of Ffynnon Bren on Albany Road and St. Dene’s Well at the top of Roath Park, with friends who have helped in her current recovery. The spring at Roath Park is also known as Ffynnon Llandennis, was one of a number of wells in Cardiff which were considered to be holy and endowed with powers of healing. The well-tree dressing echoes the clootie wells that are places of pilgrimage in Celtic areas. Strips of white cloth or rags are tied to the branches of the tree as part of a healing ritual.’
Within the northernmost area of Roath Park is a beautiful well. It rises out of the soil with great force, and immediately forms a pool of considerable size, which is overhung with trees, and teems with aquatic growths of various kinds. The scene is one of wild and romantic beauty…’ (John Hobson Mathews, 19C city archivist).
I invited visitors to bring ink ingredients and donations of old bottles to store ingredients and inks.
•Tuesday 11th December 11am – 2pm Anyone affected by breast cancer invited to the +wellspace+ to share conversations and join in with the making.
• Friday 14th December 11am – 2pm Crochet and chat. My brilliant friend Danae is going to try teaching me to crochet, so i can pay back love to the wonderful knittedknockers. We’ll start with a simple flower and look at patterns for reuseable bathroom textiles. If you fancy a day of crochet call in, you’ll be welcome. We’ll have tea n cakes of course.
•Friday 21st December, mid-winter eve 5-10.30pm : a gathering to hear about the +wellspace+ and a chance to share, feast, write, play and draw with the inks.