Art in Penallt saw hundreds of people visit the village this year from as far afield as Seattle, USA.
Over the past few years I have watched Art in Penallt grow and evolve and have begun to realise one thing, Art in Penallt is not about art, but about community. It brings people together to celebrate life. Picasso declared that ‘Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life’. It allows us the chance to brush off memories of our hectic and busy lives and to take time out to stop and stare into a world of dreams.
Art in Penallt has turned into a 5 day long holiday of peaceful moments to ponder, for old friends and new to meet, enjoy art and each other’s company. I particularly enjoyed Peg it up inspired by Amanda Jack and Gill Bourchier who worked in partnership with Sheila Mone and Matt Peake from the Monmouth Boys School and Jane Boswell of Monmouth Comprehensive. Together they created a great opportunity for our young people to showcase their work.
When I was a youth officer I loved working with young people they were energising, fun and challenged my thinking. They have a great way of freely expressing themselves and they are not afraid to experiment and make mistakes. Bringing to mind another of Picasso’s quotes, Every child is an artist the problem is staying an artist when you grow up. We adults have a lot to learn from their attitude to life and view of the world.
It is said that artists generously offer us a glimpse into their souls and as I considered each piece of art I saw intelligence, sense of adventure, compassion, innovation, bold flare and a smattering of randomness and cheekiness. If young people are our future then these pieces of art assured me that in their hands our future looks bright. It was a special opportunity for our young people to be part of a community that offers a busy world an opportunity to stop and stare and to take time out to share with each other their lives and their dreams through art.
So congratulations Art in Penallt and well done to all the organisers you’ve done it again, can’t wait to see what you come up with for us next year.
Debby Blakeborough - October 2014