Heledd Wyn, a lecturer in Media Production at the University of South Wales (USW), has been awarded a Future Wales Fellowship to explore the impact climate change is having on the everyday lives of people in Wales, using art.
The Fellowship, from Arts Council Wales and Natural Resources Wales, will focus on the three main themes of energy, food and transport.
Heledd and the seven other members of the Future Wales Fellowship will be given support and opportunities to develop their own artistic work, with the aim of challenging the way people think about climate change, encouraging more sustainable lifestyles.
The Fellows recently met for the first time at a two-day residential course hosted by the Centre for Alternative Technology, near Machynlleth, where they heard from some of the foremost experts in the field of environmental issues and sustainable practices.
“Food is elemental to human survival, especially as we face the climate crisis,” said Heledd. “Working in response to the Welsh Government’s Future Generations Act, it is paramount that we, as artists and humans, respond rapidly to the crisis. It's an opportunity to have a positive impact on what we eat and how we consume in order to reduce carbon emissions, and live in a sustainable environment.
“Wales is a forward thinking country and is at the forefront of ideas on climate change. Machynlleth is a town with real answers in terms of community living. My work will focus on the area and the local production of food, specifically the hemp crop which has many sources to offer, including carbon dioxide reduction.
“My aim is to instil hope for future generations; motivating change to agriculture policy in order to respect farmers and the land we live in; and create inspirational films which captivate the community and prompt them to consider their consumption.”
Judith Musker Turner, Portfolio Manager Arts Council of Wales, added: “We’re delighted to have selected eight outstanding artists as Future Wales Fellows who will inspire new approaches to issues relating to sustainability, wellbeing, the Climate Emergency and Climate Justice, and engage with the lived experiences of people in Wales and beyond.
“We were blown away by the passion, commitment and deep understanding of issues relating to the Climate Emergency demonstrated by the overwhelming number of artists who applied for the Future Wales Fellowships and will look to draw further upon this wealth of expertise as Arts Council of Wales works to develop our own plan for Climate Justice and the Arts.”