Church art project unites community in Remembrance
People in the heart of Snowdonia have come together during the pandemic to create a striking art exhibition in their church to mark Remembrance time.
Called Cyfnod Cof – ‘Remembrance Time’ - the art project includes an eight-foot cubed art installation and a large framework of thought-provoking poems, stories and reflections from more than 100 people across the community around Betws-y-Coed. It is installed in St Mary’s Church to remember the lives of all those who have died.
The project was organised by the Revd Stuart Elliott, Vicar of Bro Gwydyr, to bring people together among all the isolation and anxiety caused by the pandemic. He invited families and community groups, including Scouts and schools, to contribute their own remembrances and was overwhelmed when almost all responded by sending poems, artwork and reflections. Stuart has attached the contributions received so far to a large frame, reciprocal roof structure to create an inspiring art installation about how people rely on one another.
The exhibition also features a challenging contribution from Stuart’s daughter, Chloe, an art student. Inspired by the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Cymdeithas y Cymod, Chloe created an eight-foot cubed installation about armed conflict, featuring the words of Welsh poet Hedd Wyn, who was killed in WW1.
Stuart says, “The project was conceived out of the opportunity of the pandemic to offer a different space for reflection, to challenge our thinking and sustain us in these dark times.
“We wanted to encourage people to reflect on our inter-connectedness and I have been thrilled by the response we have had. Part of the installation is a reciprocal roof structure which relies upon each roof beam resting on the next in order to provide a strong and stable roof. Our communities are similar in that we need to rest and strengthen each other.
“Visually the most striking thing is that it uses the traditional space of our church in a new way to promote these reflections in art. The way it brings together colour, natural objects and handmade knitted poppies is emotionally engaging.”
Prayers and reflections for Remembrance Sunday (November 8) and Remembrance Day (November 11) will be led from the heart of the space.
Stuart adds, “We hope it will offer a space or an opportunity for the community to feel that they have been able to participate in Remembrance and remembering their loved ones this year. We also hope it allows people to reflect on local and global issues, nationhood, separation and issues of justice and peace.”
- The Cyfnod Cof exhibition will be open for people to visit, under Covid regulations, from Monday, November 9-15, from 12-3pm.
- Watch a film of it and find out how you can contribute