Exhibition opening 7 June 2016

From automata and masks, to print and photography, the Big Picture Llanelly House final exhibition brought together a selection of artwork made over the last 18 months by 120 participants from nine local schools, Coleshill Day Centre and Hafan y Coed Care Home.

The exhibition was ceremonially opened by the Chair of trustees, Cambrian Heritage Regeneration Trust, who introduced the project before inviting lead artist Pip Lewis, from spacetocreate to share a few words about the creative journey participants had made over the last 18 months.

Gareth Morgans, Head of Education services for Carmarthenshire County Council, spoke about the quality and diversity of the work as well as the importance of art and creativity in the curriculum, prior to everyone involved being presented with a medal and certificate by the Mayor of Llanelli and other local dignitaries.

More than two hundred people attended the opening, including the participants, their teachers, parents, grandparents, guardians and the artists who had been involved in leading the workshops. The exhibition runs from 8 – 18 June 2016 during normal library opening hours.

If you can’t make it along you can view the exhibition booklet by clicking on the link.


Exhibition Opening of Pattern Portraits

The Exhibition Opening of Pattern Portraits, made by pupils from Bigyn Primary School took place this afternoon at Llanelly House.

The exhibition was opened by the Mayor Councillor W.G. Thomas.


Parents and staff from the school came to see the work which will be on display for the next 3 weeks in Llanelly House.

After that it will be joining the grand Exhibition of all the 12 projects that have taken part in the Big Picture project, in the Library opposite Llanelly House with the Opening on Tuesday June 7 at 11.30 am – All Welcome!

Everything coming Together!

In the third and final session at Llanelli House, we continued to work on our final peices.

To begin, Pip asked us to take it in turns to draw lines on the interactive whiteboard. We did this in order to get a better understanding of the kind of lines we could use for details on our portraits.


We spent the rest of the morning finishing off our portraits. We used some of the lines we had drawn earlier to try and define and pull out facial features such as eyes, lips and ears. Some of us chose to work on the backgrounds as well as the face. What is really interesting is the wide variety of different lines, patterns and colour we have all used!

Finally Hal took photos of us all holding our finished portraits.

We are looking forward to seeing them mounted in the exhibition next week!

Patchwork Faces

In our second session at Lanelly House, we began to work on our final pieces. These were inspired by a wonderful project led by Julie Ann Sheridan an Artist who worked with the Young Artists Club at Oriel Myrddin in Carmarthen.

To begin, Tia read out the fist blog post to allow us to recap on last weeks session. While she was doing this, Hal took portrait photos of Amber and Elwood as they were not with us for the first session.


We then spent around half an hour finishing off our pattern sheets, trying to fill them up with as many different shapes and patterns as we could.

Once the pattern sheets were completed, Pip gave us tracing paper and asked us to stick it down over the top of the portait photos we had taken in the previous session.

We then had the complicated task of drawing a grid onto the tracing paper. This took alot of concentration as each line had to be measured out to ensure the grid would be of an equal size.



Once the grid was completed, we started to work on our portraits using the pattern sheet as guidance. Using felt pens, we drew a different pattern on each of the squares. At first, some of us found this difficult to understand, but by the end of the session everyone had made a good start on their work, creating some wonderful results!

To finish, we played a game which involved splitting into two groups, and taking it in turns to run down the room and write as many words as we could to describe how we felt about today’s session  at Lanelly House.

Patterns Place and Me

On Tuesday 19th of April eight year three/four students from Bigyn Primary School had their first Big Picture workshop exploring patterns, place and ourselves, with Artist Pip Lewis and Project Assistant Hal Lewis-Norman.

As a session warm up, we were each given paper and were asked to draw a pattern of any kind. We then passed the drawing to the next person who then drew another pattern. This continued until the pages were full of patterns and lines. Taking it in turns we then shared our artwork with everyone, discussing the many different types of patterns possible to draw.

We then spent some time exploring Llanelly House with clipboards, trying to capture as many patterns and lines as we could find.


We began in one of the drawing rooms, filled with fine carpets, games boards and grand fire places. We then had a look in one of the master bedrooms, with its large windows, 4 poster bed and artwork! Finally we headed up a tight staircase up towards the servants quarters. Here the light levels were much lower, and it was harder to pick out the patterns and lines we were looking for.

After the break we did a face proportions drawing exercise. This started by drawing the head, making sure that it was an oval shape, not circular.

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We then moved onto drawing the eyes, taking extra care to ensure they were centred. Pip showed us a technique which involved drawing five eyes across the middle of the face then rubbing the middle and outside ones away.  After this we moved onto the nose, mouth, eyebrows and finished with the hair. Some of us added extra features such as our own hairstyles to make the drawings unique to us!


Finally we worked with Hal to take portrait photos in preparation for the next weeks workshop.  Working in pairs, we took it in turns to use the camera to take a photo of each other.


Here are the finished drawings from the face proportions exercise.

Bynea County Primary Exhibition

A selection of work from the A Place of my Own project with pupils from Bynea County Primary School is now showing at Llanelly House, until May.


Lead artist Pip Lewis, project Facilitator Cheryl Kitt, and Project Assistant Tangwen Roberts joined pupils, staff, parents and the Mayor’s representative to celebrate the opening of the exhibition on Tuesday 12 April 2016.

The pupils were pleased to see their work on display and explained to their audience what they had done in the each workshop, before enjoying some Welsh cakes and having a photo with the Mayor’s representative, who was very impressed:



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From Fashion to Farming

In their final session with residents at Hafan-y-Coed, Pip Lewis and Tangwen Roberts continued to record the life stories of three more residents

Margaret, Gordon and Ness shared their memories of growing up and living Llanelli, in conversation with Big Picture project facilitator, Cheryl Kitt and Activities Assistant Clare.

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From farming to fashion and tailoring, pharmacy to mining, Margaret, Gordon, Ness, Eirwen, Hayden and Doreen’s stories illustrate the range of working experiences and ways of living in 20th century Llanelli.

Their stories and portrait photos will be exhibited at Llanelly House later this month.



Stories of our Lives

In the second session at Hafan-Y-Coed residential home, Pip Lewis and Tangwen Roberts recorded the memories of the lives of three residents.

In conversation with Activities Assistant Clare, Doreen, Hayden and Eirwen shared their stories of growing up in and around Llanelli, reflecting on their working lives and families. They also had portrait photos taken under studio lighting by Pip Lewis.

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These portraits and transcripts of the interviews will be shown in the next Big Picture exhibition at Llanelly House from April 24th.


“I feel like a celebrity!”


Then and now


In the first Big Picture session at Hafan-Y-Coed Residential Care home artist Pip Lewis and projects assistant Tangwen Roberts introduced themselves to a group of residents who meet regularly to work on art and craft projects in the home.


As a way of getting to know each other  we started with a warm-up exercise, each choosing a coloured chalk pastel and drawing on an blank piece of paper and passing the paper round and adding a line to respond to the existing marks.

After the warm up exercise the group spent time drawing flowers – some of which were taken out of the jug for closer observartion. During the session a song was started with several of the residents joining in.

Many conversation were struck up during the session, about the residents lives, their memories of Llanelli , their occupations and families. Some of these conversations were recorded and will be added to in the next sessions, when we will be recording more in-depth individual interviews with the residents.

The interviews will start in next weeks session, alongside the taking of individual portrait photographs in the residents’ rooms, for an exhibition in Llanelli House in May.

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