Swansea Canal is welcoming its first ever artist-in-residence in the shape of Cheon Pyo Lee, who will take up the six-month position starting this month.
The role aims to celebrate both the heritage and historical significance of the two-centuries old canal as well as its relevance to local communities and Welsh culture.
Cheon Pyo Lee was born in Korea but grew up in Paraguay, and lives and works in New York. He has an international practice that includes exhibitions, awards and residencies, including the Queen’s Museum, New York and Atelier Mondial Studio Residency in Switzerland.
His residency will be based at a workspace in Hafod in the Tawe Valley, giving Cheon the opportunity to produce work inspired by the local community and canal surroundings.
‘Wales’ canals have such a rich history’
Cheon is the fourth artist in residence on Wales’ waterways in a programme run in partnership between Addo, Glandŵr Cymru and the Arts Council of Wales to explore how contemporary arts can play a new role in conserving, animating and re-interpreting the waterways in Wales .
Tim Eastop, executive producer of Glandŵr Cymru’s Arts on the Waterways programme, said: “We’re delighted Cheon has been appointed and we’re looking forward to seeing what he produces.
“It’ll be great for him to get started and really involved with the community to explore and animate the canal. Wales’ canals have such a rich history, and links to local industry and culture. They are arguably never more relevant than in today’s society, offering a space to escape, slow down and consider the world in a different way.”
Cheon added: “I am excited to be the first resident artist on the Swansea Canal. I look forward to learning from this historically rich site and also experiment with new approaches towards art making.”
I was very surprised and pleased to be asked recently to lend my support to the Swansea Canal Society’s work as Patron, and am delighted to be able to offer some words of support for the inspiring work already underway and plans for the future.
The Great British public owe a great deal in the resurgence of the canal network to the efforts of small groups of enthusiasts and volunteers who began to campaign for, clean, dredge and rebuild decades ago. In recent partnership with the Canal and River Trust, many of our historic waterways have not only been interpreted to help local people connect with and understand the places where they live and work, but have provided a place of leisure, an environment for plant life, animals and birds in increasingly urbanised environments, and helped people to improve their physical and mental well-being.
It is my hope that the society will be able to gather the necessary support to move forward with their ambitious plans to restore and regenerate an area for which I have fond memories and much affection.
Some Facts about Liz:
Liz McIvor, is presenter and writer of the BBC4 series, ‘Canals: The Making of a Nation’. Liz has also written the book which accompanies the series, which finished its six part run on October 6th. Both the book and series have been very well received and it has become BBC4’s top-rated show of the year (source: Broadcast Commissioning Forum). Alison Graham in the ‘Radio Times’ described Liz’s style as ‘direct, informative and engaging’.
Liz McIvor’s day job is as curator of social history and technology at Bradford Museums and Galleries. She attended the University College of Wales in Aberystwyth where she was awarded a First Class degree in History in 2000, specialising in social and economic history. She later attended University of London where she did a Masters in Museum Studies.
Liz has close connections to Swansea as she lived in Fforestfach in the early 2000’s, whilst working as a Curator and Historical Advisor in South Wales. She worked with miners and minority groups and studied Cambrian Archaeology. She even dug up the occasional Cambrian skeleton in the course of her studies!
The SCS is delighted to have Liz’s support. She is not only a first class writer and presenter but she loves Britain’s canals and has a deep knowledge of their social history. She is the ideal patron for us.