The annual graduate show for Creative and Therapeutic Arts students at the University of South Wales may not be going ahead as originally planned – but is set to take on a whole new dimension as it moves online.
pART of Pontypridd is a graduate show collectively designed and created by third year students on the course, and this year is supported by Your Pontypridd BID (Business Improvement District) and Pontypridd Town Council.
Becky Davies, module leader for the project, explains:
“As our Art Trail can no longer happen as originally intended due to Covid-19, we needed to devise a means of recognising students’ creative work towards the exhibition to date, find a meaningful vehicle for sharing their work publicly to launch them into their graduate careers, and a means of honouring and celebrating our professional partnerships with sites, businesses and organisations across the town who were not only hosting but inspiring the students’ work.
“Consequently, we are working with Your Pontypridd BID and Plaingraffic Design Studio to produce an exhibition website, hosted by the BID, to showcase the students’ work on what is a popular site for the people of Rhondda Cynon Taff. We needed to move to a digital platform rather than simply postpone the exhibition, due to students already having secured graduate jobs places on postgraduate courses starting in September, the unpredictability of when lockdown will end and the need to graduate this summer.
“As the Community, Participatory and Socially Engaged Arts Practitioners of the future, the students have been tasked with translating their work, which already embodied an explicit, social dimension, into one which actively encourages participation from the public online in place of physically, in person. The exhibition will not only showcase their work but provide a collection of resources for the local community to use to be creative themselves at home, for the community to contribute to the creation of an existing artwork by a student, and enable the public to re-connect with others and the local sites and businesses they are perhaps missing having access to during this lockdown.
“Students are asked to consider accessibility and inclusivity at the heart of their practice, so the new exhibition website content can range from photographs, to videos with captions, soundscapes, flip books / magazines, activity sheets, creative wellbeing packages, guided meditation, recipes and more.
To view the online exhibition, go to https://www.yourpontypridd.co.uk/events-in-pontypridd