A site-specific piece about the construction of the reservoir Llyn Celyn, flooding the Tryweryn Valley and demolishing the village of Capel Celyn in the process. This piece is a continuation of an ongoing theme relating to displacement. In this case, the displacement of the village residents to provide water to Liverpool. The events that happened at the time also prompted a strong sense of Welsh Nationalism and calls for Devolution which continue to this day.
Inspired by the artist Tim Davis, who uses film, photography and installation to respond to and represent specific sites of interest. Davis also created a piece called Capel Celyn where he cast 5000 wax nails based on a rusty nail found on the bed of Llyn Celyn during a period of drought.
Initial focus for this project was on the effects of this controversial scheme on the local community and the protests and rallies that took place against the Tryweryn Dam project. Two mood boards were created using original media photographs to describe the sense of emotion that the project had provoked in the local community. These mood boards were then photographed and the new photographs used to create the Digital Collage that comprises a 5-metre Statement Banner depicting the protests that took place at the time. Additional Banners were also printed as an accompaniment.
The photograph “Dirty Laundry” bears reference to the fact that the water contained in Llyn Celyn is used for domestic purposes in Liverpool and beyond. For every gallon of water that arrives from Llyn Celyn at the Huntington Treatment Works in Chester, a gallon is sent to Liverpool to provide water to the Liverpool population for domestic purposes. The Tryweryn Dam was built around the time that Automatic Washing Machines were becoming more popular and…
“Look What They Did” offers a reflective position where a protest slogan is replaced with a message of observational reflection. Interactions with members of the public at Llyn Celyn suggest that still people visit Llyn Celyn to reflect on the actions of the Liverpool Corporation from the past.
“A Rallying Cry” is a re-enactment of a photograph from the protest that took place at the opening of Llyn Celyn on October 21st1965. The opening ceremony had to be cut short after 3 minutes when protestors cut the wires to the microphone.
The floor piece, ‘Dam’ is a representation of the Tryweryn Dam and comprises water collected from Llyn Celyn, driftwood and slate from the shoreline, along with a football found floating in the water.
The accompanying collection of film seeks to highlight the domesticity of the situation, the fact that people were moving into high rise living in Liverpool and the water requirements were on the increase, at this time it was becoming commonplace to own an automatic washing machine.
The films also seek to reflect on the remains of the community that can still be found around the shore of Llyn Celyn and include scenes from archive footage that shows the last days of the community at Capel Celyn and the extent of the impact of the Tryweryn Dam on the landscape and the community.