This project is a joy. The Theme and the build are very challenging, which is great. And I am working for a wonderful team of dedicated, committed people who have been involved in it, in various ways for years. They have all put in countless hours of voluntary time. The writer and poet Mark Christmas and designer Mick Farrell, both military Veterans, have been the driving force. They made a sheltered garden at Bronllys. They have contributed significantly to the design of the Marking Time walk and sculpture and they have donated beautiful poems written especially for the woodland site at Bronllys Hospital.
This one will be set at the entrance to the woodland.
Catching a Moment
Within these woods
there is a breath to be found
to ease new life into sight and sound
transforming our world and how we see
each branch, each twig, each living tree
so when the hurt inside we feel
creates distraction with no appeal
take a walk on this path to find this rhyme
you will no longer be ‘Marking Time.’
Dedicated to those who understand.
Mark Christmas, 2015
Mark Christmas has two ongoing projects that have formed some of the back-ground to Marking Time: The Abandoned Solider ( or on Facebook) and the TAS Project.
This one will be part of the sculptures base.
We are the child of nevermind
Who, finding dreams lost, unfind
Who, wandering, walking paths unknown
to find a woodland overgrown
And seeing in that woodland Glen
The happy minds of nevermen
Who elfin laughter laughly speak
Of how we humans keenly seek
Some new haven overhewn
And child stars of the moon
Mick Farrell, 2016.
Both of these lovely people are right there anytime I need more information or
inspiration. They have been hugely supportive and encouraging.
Mark Christmas had formed a link with Ross Bennet, the out-standing Art teacher at Llandrindod Wells High School and we planned a Workshop there.
It is not easy for a school to accommodate a Project Workshop into their packed schedules. Ross and Head-Teacher Jane Asplin went well out of their way.
We started with the excellent, really skilful A-Level pupils. I brought along the model and described the project and what work needed doing.
These guys are working on the panels for 2 of the corners. We talked about the use of repeating patterns in art-work. Marking Time has 3s running all through it. The pupils chose an elegant celtic emblem of 3 from the internet that will also echo the curves of the sculpture. The third panel will be the same shape, show a version of the emblem and have the Dragon story set on it with stamps by Mount Street Junior School in Brecon.
I particularly liked the choice the pupils made to have the panels linked but not the same.
I lost track of what year groups came along during the day because they were all equally quick on the up-take, skilful, very creative and completely charming. It was an excellent day: the pupils were thoughtful about the project, open and forthcoming with their ideas, encouraging to each other, relaxed and friendly towards me.
They have a fantastic relationship with the two Art Teachers: this is clearly an Art Department that goes above and beyond every day. Other pupils dropped in from 8.30am until 4.30 to get support, information and encouragement from the teachers they trusted. The Teachers never took a break and had their lunch on the fly. They knew every pupil and cared about every piece of work. It was inspiring!
I wish I had had more time to look through the pupil’s portfolios. The couple I saw were wonderful and so was all the work on the walls. Pupils are being guided to their own style at this school. And they get the opportunity to use a wide range of materials including digital. It was great to see so many boys in the A-Level group.
The central mosaic will be made up of coloured glass pebbles and beautifully decorated tiles, full of vitality, made by this wonderful group.
Llandrindod High School has taken the art-work on the sculpture’s base to a new level. So I’m re-designing the layout: the lovely mosaic tiles will easily hold their own and I don’t want to crowd them. Mick’s poem will now be in bigger letters and go on the face of the railway sleepers that will be the most visible. Mount Street Juniors will make a great job of those tiles.