The side wall of the Lion Pub in Treorchy town centre has been transformed last week as part of a climate and nature themed poetry and street art project in the lead-up to Earth Hour.
The environmental charity, WWF Cymru, and the national company for the development of literature, Literature Wales, have been working with year 6 pupils at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Ynyswen to write a poem which has been transformed into a work of public art by street artist Bryce Davies of Peaceful Progress. The poetry workshops were facilitated by Bardd Plant Cymru, Gruffudd Owen.
The striking piece depicting local nature as well as a fierce Welsh dragon, is part of a Wales-wide Earth Hour project working with schools and communities in Rhyl, Denbighshire and Cardigan, Ceredigion as well as Treorchy in the Rhondda. All three poems created are unique and reflect the local area and children’s desires for the future of Welsh nature and tackling climate change.
Cllr Rhys Lewis, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Well-being & Cultural Services said:
“Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council’s Arts Service and Prosperity and Development officers have been supporting this wonderful project. This has provided a creative way for our pupils to engage with climate change and raise awareness of Earth Hour. It is great that an opportunity to work with Bardd Plant Cymru has been made possible during a challenging time for our children and schools. To see their work captured in a mural within their local town will be exciting and will add to the vibrancy and uniqueness of Treorchy, voted the Best British High Street in 2019.”
Rhian Brewster of WWF Cymru said:
“Earth Hour is a moment when millions around the world come together for nature and people, to call for change. We wanted to use this opportunity to give the children, our future generations in Wales a voice, ask them what they wanted to see. Their words will not only be immortalised as a stunning mural in their local town but will also be taken to world leaders as they decide the next steps towards action for climate change at the COP26 Conference in Glasgow later this year.
We would like to thank the pupils and teachers of Ysgol Ynyswen for being part of this exciting project, as well as Adrian Emmett of the Lion Pub and Rhondda Cynon Taf County Council for their continuous support in ensuring its success.”
Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive of Literature Wales said:
“Inspiring communities, developing writers and celebrating Wales’ literary culture is at the heart of our work, and it has been such a pleasure to be part of this collaboration through our Bardd Plant Cymru project. Creative writing, and poetry projects such as this empowers children to express themselves and to have fun with words, which can have such a positive impact on their wellbeing.”
Bethan Ford, Deputy Headteacher and Year 6 teacher at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Ynyswen said:
“It was such a memorable experience for the pupils to be part of workshops and compose a poem about the area with Gruffudd Owen. They were delighted to have the opportunity to be part of this community project.”
Ffion, a pupil at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Ynyswen said:
“I enjoyed the experience so much! I learnt new words which are unique to the valley, and it also made me realise that Cwm Rhondda is such a beautiful place to live, full of history and character. I look forward to seeing the finished mural soon!”
Adrian Emmett from the Lion Treorchy said:
“As an ex-pupil of Ysgol Ynyswen, I jumped at the chance to get involved in this project. The mural looks amazing and will be a real feature in the town, that gives a real sense of pride and belonging. This is another great example of how working together and building partnerships can benefit the whole community. Treorchy High Street is more than just retail, it’s about experiences, and this mural will be a real WOW factor in the town.”
2021 is the start of an important decade for climate and nature action. This year, world leaders will make decisions that will impact our futures at COP26 in Glasgow in November.
By 2030, nature and wildlife could be recovering all around us. Everyone has a part to play in making that happen. And it all starts with a single switch.
The poetry street art project is just one of many activities taking place across Wales and the world to mark Earth Hour this year.