An exhibition exploring Wales’ heritage of peace building has opened at Swansea Museum, ahead of this September’s landmark arts production by Marc Rees and 14-18NOW – ‘Now the Hero’, an epic theatrical production of war, peace and protest.
As part of Swansea’s ‘Now for More’ programme of arts and culture events marking the centenary of the end of WW1, ‘Wales for Peace’ looks at actions of pacemakers past and present, in the 100 years since WW1, through 7 themes – making the connections with local stories and collections held in Swansea Museum, as well as the iconic WW1 painting ‘the Battle of Mametz Wood’ by Christopher Williams, on loan from National Museum of Wales.
WCIA’s loans include the Welsh WW1 Book of Remembrance, as well as the Faith Leaders and Women’s Peace Petitions of 1923 from the collections at the Temple of Peace, among other historical documents from the peace movement.
To complement the exhibition displays, 20 Swansea artists have contributed their own responses to the themes of war and peace – ranging from the ‘Locus’ sound installation remembering WW1 composer Morfydd Owen, to a wire sculpture of Swansea first WW1 casualty Owen Owen, and an antique cabinet full of images and stories from Swansea Peacemakers (‘a case for peace’):
Alongside the ‘Wales for Peace exhibition in Swansea Museum, WCIA are also displaying at Swansea Civic Centre Library the iconic photography Exhibition ‘Women War & Peace’ by Lee Karen Stow.
The exhibitions are part of a month long programme of events through September aligned to the Swansea International Festival – which includes the debut of an incredibly ambitious performance art work commissioned by 14-18NOW Centenary Arts to world-renowned Swansea artist Marc Rees, inspired by the British Empire Panels in the Brangwyn Hall.
War, Peace, Protest and Prose
Now the Hero will be performed over 5 nights from 25-29 September, and is an ‘immersive requiem’ exploring war, peace, protest and prose.
“Marc Rees’s bold production through three interweaving stories of war are brought to life with a counterpoint of peace and hope. He takes his inspiration from an epic poem, an intimate portrait of a serving Swansea soldier and the British Empire Panels.
At the heart of each performance is a Requiem with a libretto by BAFTA-winning writer Owen Sheers and sung by Polyphony, Stephen Layton’s world famous choir. The music is composed by Owen Morgan Roberts, realised from an original collaboration with the late, Oscar-nominated Jóhann Jóhannsson.
This event is a major part of the final year’s programme for 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts commission for the First World War centenary – and is also the headline piece for the 2018 Swansea International Festival.”
View photo album on Flickr
of Exhibition under construction at Swansea Museum – direct link at https://flic.kr/s/aHsmqg5nsF
More about ‘Now the Hero’
View WCIA Photo Album of ‘Now the Hero’ public premiere performance