Celf - Able
Celf. Cyfle. Cynhwysiant
Amanda Wells - Project Co-Ordinator
Originally from West Yorkshire, I came to Mid-Wales in 1983 to study English at Aberystwyth University. I fell in love with the Mid-Wales region, and has lived in the area ever since. Imoved to North Powys in 1998, where I am now very well settled, along with my dog, cat, and two ponies.
I began dabbling in art in 1992 whilst using mental health day services, simply because friends at the day hospital went to the art room to do art and chat and I wanted to sit with them. With their encouragement, I began to experiment with art, and discovered a passion that I didn’t know I had. My art activity gradually built up over the years, and in 2010 I achieved a place on Celf o Gwmpas’ Artist Training and Mentoring Programme, which led to lots of new art opportunities. The programme finished in 2014 but the group wanted to continue meeting, so they started Celf-Able, a disabled-led inclusive art group in Montgomeryshire.
I believe in participatory arts as a way to empower people and promote social inclusion. I am a self-taught artist and uses the artist name Ceridwen Powell to reflect my adopted Welshness. I am a keen writer and artist, and a strong advocate of arts and creativity as a way for people and communities to thrive and heal. Much of my work explores disability issues, as a disabled person and disability artist I feel that art is a way to raise disability issues and protest about the way that disabled people are treated currently in the UK.
My passion is colour and how it can be used to express ideas and emotions. My work is predominantly abstract expressionist, inspired by the colours and shapes of the beautiful Montgomeryshire landscape.
What Celf - Able has done for me
I was one of the four founding members of Celf-Able. We had met on Celf o Gwmpas' Artists Training and Mentoring Project, and over the period of the project had become friends as well as colleagues. We'd had some adventures together, including trips to Edinburgh, Glasgow and even Finland. So when the project ended we wanted to carry on meeting and we saw the ArtWorks Cymru Learning Groups information and applied. We've since had Sharing Together funding from Arts Council of Wales, and have further funding now from Community Fund in Wales and Powys Community Endowment Fund so we're lucky enough to be able to continue meeting.
I somehow fell into the role of voluntary co-ordinator. My memory is terrible and I'm pathologically disorganised, so the idea of me
co-ordinating anything is rather amusing! I've learned lots of new skills and I do enjoy the co-ordinating, but sometimes I'd rather just sit and do art. As an artist, I've tried new activities, including performance. Like others in the group, I'd not done performance before, but I have to say I did get a 'buzz' out of it.
I really enjoy our meetings as it's good to work with other people working around you, it creates a very creative vibe. I like to see what other people are doing and share ideas and techniques. The meetings are also a way to dedicate time to art, otherwise I'm doing art at home and it has to compete for time with all the everyday life stuff.
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