22 Apr 2013

May Twmpath

Twmpath feet
Neuadd Abercych Village Hall
Dydd Sadwrn/ Saturday
Mai/ May 11th
7.30- 11.30 pm.
The tenth in an ongoing series of folk dance evenings with a difference in the village of Abercych, North Pembrokeshire.
Come dance and celebrate the Spring with your friends and neighbours,
enjoy a host of amazing musicians and dancers…
Dances include Robin ddiog, plinn, Waves of Tory, Bouree 3 temps, An dro, waltzes, Galliards, strip the willow, Gay Gordan…
Julie Murphy, Ceri Rhys Matthews (Fernhill),
Martin Leamon, Sille Ilves (Sild)
Eeva Maria Mutka (dancer)
£6/£4 on the door
& Bar
produced by Happy Winter Evening Entertainments
‘in a fair world fernhill would be as big as any “world music” act, and their cds must haves for even casual music fans. the world, alas,
is not fair. one of the great bands on the planet’   howard wolfson – gotham acme – new york times
Sild- ‘their magical soundscapes are otherworldly and beautiful, their new album TRO is a great night time listen’
Huw Stephens, BBC Radio 1

9 Nov 2011

Here are some images and audience responses from Joanna and James’ residency this October. Works on Penrhiw was shown on 19th October at a wooded river site above Fynonne waterfall and then to the same audience in the intimacy of 2 Penrhiw Cottage. 10 days later the material was reworked for Aberych Village hall and shown during the biannual Twmpath. Joanna’s reflections follow also beneath the images.

“It was enchanting- the simplicity drew me into the minute magic that you weaved. A beautiful still breath in a busy world.” Manda, audience member

“As I come inside from outside I have space inside from outside.

And so I can be close. I like being close. It’s warm inside.

A gesture of opening, in the inglenook, after close detailed hand movements… hand and heart and I wonder is her heart opening. I am aware of the soft skin under her chin, soft open neck.

Outside where do the gestures stop, how do we reach the edges. Inside there are many edges and she reaches them sooner.

I wonder is that reassuring after all that space, all that possibility.

Expanse, open possibilities.

Close familiar.

Both… how we inhabit a place… grateful for the weather and the shelter both.”    Audience member


Joanna’s reflections:

“2 Penrhiw is an enchanting space to work and be.  It seemed to work on us as much as we worked in it, leaving us with a sense of calmness and openness, which were essential to tune into our surroundings. We began our residency with the instructions to ‘observe and respond’ and to ‘rely on instinctive choices to lead us through each day.’

We became fascinated with the juxtaposition of working both outside and inside.  We would find a space outside to quietly study and respond to and then noticing areas in the house where the material could also resonate.  The sites created the material and informed each other and we noticed how each time we performed the material we were affected by the memory of its opposite space, outside or inside.

Our observations of the 2 Penrhiw and its surrounding area, especially within the woods and above the Fynonne waterfall aroused an interest in ‘the borders between movement and stillness’, ‘change that happened so slowly that it felt sudden’, ‘memories & imaginings’ and ‘family, folklore & ritual’.  Threads of these interests weaved into the sound and movements and resulted in a presentation of our work at the end of our residency, performed outside and inside.

There was something about the timeless quality of the cottage and the expanse of nature surrounding it that led us away from using technology… Instead of filming the dance and recording the sound we chose instead to document our experience in free writing and then directly into music scores and movement scores, which at the end of the residency were presented live, solely existing in those who experienced them, or on paper that offers a freeness in interpretation.

The residency was a unique opportunity to work in such a beautiful and inspiring place with the gift of time to explore our practice and follow our interest without judgment or pressure.  James and I are keen to continue to explore the work we began at 2 Penrhiw, finding new ways to explore and show the work created.

We would like to offer thanks to Stirling, Simon, Nora & Beti for the opportunity and their generosity, openness and inspiring presence during our time at 2 Penrhiw.  We look forward to keeping in touch and hearing about future artist experiences and continuing the work we began at 2 Penrhiw.”

14 Sep 2011

Harvesting apples this last weekend… some for storing some for feasting. Join us in the next few weeks for bright and blustery early autumn days and share in the joys of fresh crunchy apples from the trees here in 2 Penrhiw garden. See booking page for late availability offers…

apple basket
up high
first feast
apple day rainbow
willow picker
apple umbrella
from the ladder

7 Sep 2011

works-on-grass-image-1Joanna Young will be in residence at 2 Penrhiw from the 10th to 20th October 2011, researching for the development of a dance work for film with composer James Williams. ‘Works on grass’ is inspired by vast Welsh landscapes and visual artist Georgia O’Keefe, aiming to embody the soul of the outside into performance using live sound and dance. Their intention is to research the landscape and culture of the area through sensing and improvising, to take time for a detailed and in depth process towards creating performance that is visually hypnotic and conceptually                                                                             driven.

At the end of the 10 days Joanna and James will share their work informally in site – please do be in touch if you’d like to attend.

Joanna Young is a Welsh based choreographer and performer who graduated from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in 2006. Working under the name of Alice Theatre Joanna has created work for stage, film and site. Her choreography is laconic with a surreal edge, linking intricate gestures with dynamic and forceful movements.

James Williams is a Cardiff based composer who works in theatre and dance. “The music for this collaboration will be exploring the pastoral in the context of past and present. It will concentrate on the elements that represent the changing and unchanging forces of nature; in particular water, wind and birdsong. It will also explore rhythms that are suggested by the land and the impact that farming has had on the land.”

Link here to see this work in progress… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O54yNpLDWO4

21 Jul 2011

upstairs-chair2Here are just a few images from Sera’s residency here in March, and some of her words of reflection on her time here.

“Quite possibly, a testament to the fact that my strengths lie not in words but in more abstract methods of communication, the writing that I had attended to diligently every day at 2 Penrhiw during my residency, was lost on my return to Scotland when my computer finally shuffled off this mortal coil.

What I am left with is a memory of the great calm and generosity of spirit that pervades 2 Penrhiw. Stirling Steward and Simon Whitehead are remarkable people and 2 Penrhiw is a remarkable place.

Being introduced to the cottage is like reading a book for the first time; each door hails a new chapter. The unassuming front door gives nothing away and as each room is entered a tale of quiet history and loving restoration unfolds until, as with all good stories, the back door and final chapter reveals an unexpected, and in this case, immensely elevating, twist.

As I draw and paint from life, I had planned to work with the house, the immediate environment surrounding the house and people from the village. Thorough observational drawing gives me the skills I need to work from life in ink and paint. I enjoy the intensity and challenge that working in indelible media creates and the necessity for integrity in practice. I also relish the challenge of drawing transient or moving subjects for the same reasons.

The residency provided a supportive and peaceful environment to do this with a wealth of subjects to work from; the cottage itself, the surrounding old trees, the vast clouds which rolled past and the people from Abercych who generously gave up their time to sit for me.

It was an invaluable period of time for me to work without distraction and to return to a part of Wales that provides me with many fond memories of childhood visits to my aunt who lived nearby.

I would like to extend my gratitude to Stirling and Simon for their vision and generosity; to Beti for the calm that emanated around her and to Nora for her enthusiasm and her gifts of warm chicken eggs and other little handmade treasures.”


17 Mar 2011


Into the Village…The former worker’s cottage at 2 Penrhiw, Abercych, Pembrokeshire, will be made available for a 10 day residency for a Dance or Movement Artist who through their practice may explore the changing environment and culture of this rural village. These residencies are for artists based in, or from Wales.
During the residency we invite you to take some time to pursue some new avenues and ideas, and in a small way to engage with and make a contribution to the cultural life of the village and its environs. This could for example take some form of collaboration with individuals in the community, a workshop, a performance, a talk or an informal presentation of your work.
A small fund has been made available through Pembrokeshire County Council for this residency. An honorarium of £200 is available for the selected Artist and all residency costs will be covered.

This residency, 7th to 17th October 2011, is for those with a Dance/Movement practice and is still open to submissions.
To apply send a short biography, a description of your idea or approach, and two images of your work, by 1st May 2011, to:
Stirling Steward and Simon Whitehead, 1 Penrhiw, Abercych, Pembrokeshire SA37 0HB; email: hello@2penrhiw.co.uk 










15 Mar 2011

Glen Deskry windowWe are delighted to welcome Sera James Irvine here for the first 2 Penrhiw residency in 2011, 18th to 28th March.

During the residency Sera will be drawing the interior of the house, the landscape around it and people from the village. She means to use drawing in its broadest sense through using line, mark making, mono print and paint in response to what she sees.

“My practice is quiet and spare with a strong foundation in observational drawing. Through line I explore forms in space; how a drawing might be made in the lifetime of the event it responds to; how the act of making the drawing is intrinsic in the piece and how line can manipulate our perception of a flat surface.

As time goes on I realise that much of this is also an exploration of my own perceptions about myself and the world I live in.

Much of my work is done outside and most of it is done from life.”

Sera grew up in North Wales and since 1997 she has lived and worked on the east coast of Scotland. In addition to her drawing practice she curates shows at her Contemporary gallery in the village where she lives. She also organises events in her village and is presently directing the artistic input for a conference at Aberdeen Centre for Environmental Sustainability.

We will keep you posted as the residency progresses and will announce any public events here…

14 Jan 2011

twmpath-2We’ve now hosted 7 Twmpath (Welsh folk dancing) here in Abercych with musicians from bands Fernhill and Sild, and invited dance performers. Well attended by locals and visitors alike, these lively events are now part of village life. The next Twmpath will be on 29th December 2012 – 7.30pm start.

14 Jan 2011

river CychTwice a year the former worker’s cottage at 2 Penrhiw, Abercych, will be made available for a 10 day residency for an Artist who through their practice will explore the changing environment and culture of this rural village. These first residencies are for emerging artists from, or based in, Wales. During the residency we invite you to engage with and make a contribution to the cultural life of the village and its environs. This could for example take the form of engagement with individuals in the community, running a workshop, a performance or an informal presentation of your work.

A small fund has been made available through Pembrokeshire County Council for the first two residencies. An honorarium of £200 will be given to each residency Artist. Collaborative residencies (up to 2 Artists) are welcomed, however the honorarium would need to be split between those involved.

The first residency is 18th to 28th March 2011 and is open to Artists in any medium. The second residency, 7th to 17th October 2011, is for those with a Dance/Movement practice. To apply send a short biography, a description of your idea, and two images of your work, by 10th February 2011, to:

Stirling Steward and Simon Whitehead, 1 Penrhiw, Abercych, Pembrokeshire SA37 0HB; email hello@2penrhiw.co.uk.

23 Jan 2010

New Year Snow

2 Penrhiw in the Snow, New Year 2010A frosty Christmas and snowy New Year at 2 Penrhiw – sledging, snowballs, and cosy fires.

We are accessible (gritted road), yet immersed in the magic.