Making the most of your commission

Small World Theatre has a proven track record of creating exciting, stimulating commissions and public art spectacles. We make articulated sculptures, automata and giant lanterns using a mind boggling range of recycled, repurposed and found materials. We create new, inspiring art from materials that some would consider to be rubbish.

Some commissions are site-specific, other pieces are meant for touring and appear many times. Despite using recycled materials, these structures are permanent or semi-permanent and often find themselves being dismantled and re-used in future projects.

We welcome discussing ideas and budgets, because we know collaboration is the key to success. Here are some recent examples of making an impact in communities.

NEW critters add to I’m a Celebrity fever in North Wales

November 2021

I’M A CELEBRITY fever continues in North Wales! Small World Theatre was invited back by Abergele to create more recycled artwork to celebrate the return of the entertaining ITV show ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here’ in Gwrych Castle 2021. Originally commissioned by Venue Cymru in 2020, the ‘I’m A Celebrity Too’ art trail was curated by Oriel Colwyn with support from Conwy Arts Trust, Cartrefi Conwy and Abergele Town Council.

In 2020 Small World Theatre was commissioned to create three giant insects.”Creating giant structures from reclaimed and repurposed materials is something we love to do”, said artist Bill Hamblett. This year’s celebrity critters include a giant spider, rat and the head of a snake with a woven body (currently being worked on by the community to make him the longest snake in North Wales).

Small World Theatre considers the impact on the environment when making all its work. The creatures are made from recycle, reclaimed and junk materials. This year’s sculptures highlight other species that some humans consider to be pests. “A grasshopper, acorn weevil and a stag beetle were chosen last year because they are all important for the conservation of the rich biodiversity in this area” said artist Ann Shrosbree “This year’s creature are also an important part of our ecosystem. We hope they continue to bring smiles to the town”.

Photos: thanks to Paul Sampson, Oriel Colwyn 


Ann Shrosbree/ Bill Hamblett/ Toby Downing/ Ben Cramp @tobyandben in Instagram

New street art trail for Colwyn Bay

The Imagine Sculpture Trail is part of the Imagine Colwyn Bay Heritage Fund Great Place Scheme. The project aimed to involve young people in creating playful and engaging public art with strong locally based environmental and heritage themes. Led by Imagine Colwyn Bay and in partnership with the Bay of Colwyn Town Council’s In Bloom Committee, the project is funded through the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Gwynt y Môr Windfarm Fund.

Small World Theatre was commissioned through an open call out to work on the project. The concepts for the trail were developed through workshops and engagement with Coleg Llandrillo Foundation Art students. Creative workshops took place at Ysgol Nant y Groes, Penrhos Avenue Pupil Referral Unit and TAPE Music and Film’s animation club. Small World Theatre also worked with CREST to enable people on supported placement to identify materials that could be repurposed to make the sculpture installations. Working with young people’s creative ideas, local knowledge and some excellent salvaged materials, Small World Theatre set about recycling the concepts into existence!

The sculptures are sited around the town and leading to the beach. Some of these are in the photographs and include the cormorant, ‘Nancy’Women’s Land Army, ‘Lady Penelope’ Octopus Ice Cream, Pollinator Arch, Ivy Street, Seagulls, Jack the Fisher Dog. Each sculpture is described in the Imagine Colwyn Bay App accompanying the trail. Follow the trail posts on our Instagram account @smallworldtheatre.

December 2021

Images: thanks to Ben Cramp


Ann Shrosbree/ Bill Hamblett/ Toby Downing/ Ben Cramp/ Sarah Hope/ Sam Vicary

Gin Bar Installation

Bluestone Resort, Pembrokeshire, 2019

This multifaceted, interactive sculpture was built by Small World Theatre’s artist Toby Downing, as a permanent attraction at Bluestone Resort. The indoor installation in the bar has exciting illuminated elements. On the rooftop there is a large mechanical contraption powered by an electric motor with lots of moving parts to excite and engage (more cogs, cranks, levers, wheels).

Toby has included interactive elements to engage visitors; a large cymbal operated by a handle and a set of bellows with pull cords. The cords play the harmonica which is amplified through a gramophone horn. True to form, this sculpture is largely created from found and recycled objects.

Y Ddraig Goch

Small World Theatre’s giant, fearsome Welsh Dragon is an articulated sculpture and processional giant measuring 10m long. Commissioned by Swansea City Council, is was a figurehead at Swansea’s first Parêd Dewi 2018 and is intended to appear at future events. The dragon is on wheels and is able to wind its way through the city in a spectacular procession ending at the National Waterfront Museum.

In 2018 Small World Theatre worked with many community groups, refugee families, schools and students at Gower College to create their own versions of dragons for the parade. The red dragon has since been invited to many events including the Eisteddfod Proclamation Celebration in Aberteifi 2019. More photos of the dragon here.