Announcing Mathilde Lopez and Cath Sherrell as key collaborators on Home and Hinterland
Wednesday 4th August
Wales’ three university arts centres – Aberystwyth Arts Centre (Aberystwyth University), Pontio Arts (Bangor University) and Taliesin Arts Centre (Swansea University) – have teamed up to undertake a large scale, socially engaged, creative project Cartref a Chynefin / Home and Hinterland and today it was announced that Mathilde Lopez and Cath Sherrell will be joining the project as lead artist and lead producer.
Lead artist, Mathilde Lopez, was a founding member of National Theatre Wales and is a freelance director and the founder and artistic director of August 012. She is the recipient of a Creative Wales Award in opera directing and regularly teaches at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
In exploring the project vision, Mathilde says, “In the past few years what we considered as home, as safe and known has become hinterland. Multiple lockdowns trapped us in our own lounges and computers, and there, shaken by Black Lives Matter and the evidence of the continuous structural racism and sexism embedded in our society, we lived without people, with the loss of people. And in our homes, which had already turned wild, we began to realise we had been flat-sharing with yet another unknown entity, a monster: ourselves.”
Lead producer, Cath Sherrell, is currently a Creative Agent and Arts Associate for the Arts Council of Wales and will be bringing her vast experience in community arts to support the project’s aims. Passionate about Arts and Inclusion, she has organised many large-scale arts projects. Cath was Education Officer at Aberystwyth Arts Centre and is a strong advocate for the wider Arts in Wales.
Cath says, “I am delighted to be part of this project, and particularly excited that it will be happening in 3 different locations with each recruiting their own team of artists and participating groups who will come together to co-create. Mathilde has developed the Vision for the whole project. We have no idea at this stage what the final results will be, and it will be fascinating to see how they work with it and make it their own.”
Mathilde and Cath ask: Who are we? What is a country? What binds us together? The land? The language? A poem? A song? An object? The project will be about finding time and compassion for our monsters, welcoming unwanted guests, and spending time with different people, people whom we might or might not agree with.
Dafydd Rhys, Aberystwyth Arts Centre director said, “I am delighted that we have attracted a wonderful Lead Artist and Producer for this exciting project. In such capable hands, I’m sure that we’ll realise a memorable and meaningful project that will leave a lasting legacy.”
Simon Coates, Director of Taliesin Arts Centre said, “We are thrilled to make this announcement today as the project begins to take shape through these appointments. The vision for inclusive practice from both Mathilde and Cath is so important to the way we imagined this work."
Osian Gwynn, Director of Pontio Arts said, “Home and hinterland have become ever more relevant themes over the past year, as the pandemic has confined us to our homes and our local areas at different times. This has made us look at our local environments through a different lens. This project will investigate deeper the notions of what is our habitat and our communities, the natural world and our neighbours – what are the differences between us and the ties that bind us. A project that involves local communities, university students, academics and freelance artists – I’m extremely excited to experience the results of this investigation!”
Cartref a Chynefin / Home and Hinterland will take place in Aberystwyth, Bangor and Swansea where three different teams of artists and producers will work collaboratively. The project will culminate in an event, or series of events made in specific locations by the people who live there.
The Regional Artists and Producer call out will be posted in August.