Bell project, curated by Marcia Louzada
In early 2016, Darren O’Connor visited New British Art and spent a period of time working with Mark Halliday making a plaster mould in order to make a series of clay bells. Darren left the mould to dry and arranged transport for it to London later in the year. Darren's project was to make a clay bell which would crack up during a performance as part of an event at the Brazilian Embassy in London - a reading of 'Promised Land', a play by Samir Yazbek. An account of the event can be viewed here and here.
Professor Valerie Kaneko-Lukas conducted a Q&A session between the cast, director, artist and an informed audience at the end of the reading.
In the Autumn of 2017, Japanese artist Hitoshi Kimura visited the New British Art foundry for an 11 day residency. His first time in Wales, he continued work on his ongoing HA-NE project and made two new bronze sculptures. Whilst here, Mark took him on a tour of some local castles and beaches, and he visited galleries in Carmarthen and Cardiff before spending the evening at the Royal College of Music & Drama there at the Swn music festival. One of the evenings also saw Quentin Cowan give a performance on his collection of bronze singing bowls, bells and gongs.
In September 2015, Canadian ceramic artist Michelle Lemire visited the foundry to spend a week with Mark learning ways she could incorporate bronze casting into her ceramic practice where she usually works in porcelain. Michelle had been granted an award from the Canadian Arts Council and used the money to work intensively with Mark. She has since been able to build her own foundry at her studio in Quebec. You can see her work on her website at http://www.solartceramic.com/en/
Early in 2015, we visited Dawn Boys-Stones and Jamal Eddarai in Marrakech for five days to work towards creating a low tech foundry facility in Jamal's workshop there. Dawn and Jamal had been making welded metal sculptures but wanted to branch out into cast objects after attending one of our bronze casting courses. We used clay and Dawn's donkey's droppings to make our crucibles and plaster and grog moulds to start with some aluminium casts.