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 street art trail for Colwyn Bay

Imagine Colwyn Bay is a partnership programme with the vision of placing heritage and culture at the heart of the Bay of Colwyn’s regeneration. Since forming in 2019 a range of projects have developed that explore the areas unique history and connection to past and present communities through creative opportunities. The Imagine programme has been funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund Great Place Scheme, Conwy County Borough Council and the Bay of Town Colwyn Town Council.

Small World Theatre is delighted to have received a commission to create an Imagine Colwyn Bay Sculpture Trail in consultation with the community. Working closely with the Colwyn in Bloom Committee and with additional funding from Gwynt y Mor this project will not only respond to the past, but it will also explore and reflect the town’s vibrant, creative present. The installations will link with the exciting Imagine Trail App; an augmented reality, heritage trail experience that is due to launch this summer.

Photo credit: John Ansell

Small World Theatre’s creative team on this project; Ann Shrosbree, Bill Hamblett, Toby Downing and Ben Cramp are working with art students from Coleg Llandrillo, pupils at Ysgol Nant Y Groes and several community groups to focus the concepts of the trail. True to form, Small World Theatre will be using recycled and reclaimed materials (sourced locally where possible) to create provocative and informative artwork.

We hope to connect with the communities of Colwyn Bay during this exciting project and share the team’s progress with our own friends and followers. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting photos and updates. Stay tuned!

Sep 21

Celebrity Bugs

November 2020

CELEBRITY bugs commissioned by Venue Cymru, Theatr Colwyn and supported by Conwy Arts Trust, Cartrefi Conwy and Abergele Town Council for the host town Abergele. As jungle fever gripped Abergele, preparations to welcome the celebrities of the popular ITV show ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get me out of here…’ included an Art Trail for the community. Small World Theatre was commissioned to create three giant insects. “It was challenging finding materials during the firebreak” said artistic director Bill Hamblett “but creating giant structures from reclaimed and repurposed materials is something we love to do”.

Small World Theatre considers the impact on the environment when making all its work. “A grasshopper, acorn weevil and a stag beetle were chosen because they are all important for the conservation of the rich biodiversity in this area” said artist Ann Shrosbree “We hope they bring smiles to the town”.

Photos: thanks to Paul Sampson, Oriel Colwyn

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.