Thursday 22 July 2010, 15:25
The art gallery space at this year's National Eisteddfod will celebrate the industrial heritage of Wales by using a unique space to showcase visual arts.
In one of the Eisteddfod's most ambitious projects to date, this year's Y Lle Celf (art space) will be housed in the basement on the site of the disused steelworks in Ebbw Vale. The basement, or bunker, was one of the underground buildings that used to hold the heavy steel rolling machines at the steelworks site.
The stack annealer basement, set to be the home of Y Lle Celf, in February 2010
The underground bunker is set to become Wales' National art gallery for a week as the Eisteddfod starts on Saturday 31 July. As you can see from these photographs, it has undergone a fantastic transformation - and it must have taken huge leap of both faith and imagination to envisage this exciting arts space.
The building itself will play an important role in this year's Y Lle Celf, as the industrial past of Blaenau Gwent and the Heads of the Valleys is reflected in using this wholly industrial space as a gallery for Welsh art.
The basement pictured in May 2010, having been drained of water
Robyn Tomos, the National Eisteddfod's Visual Arts Officer, said: "I've never felt such excitement around Y Lle Celf before. This year's exhibition has inspired so many artists, and the opportunity to exhibit in such an amazing space has appealed to those working in so many different mediums.
"I very much hope that people will flock to Y Lle Celf on this year's Maes. The combination of the great art and the unusual atmosphere is sure to appeal to everyone who enjoys Y Lle Celf."
How the Basement Art Gallery for Y Lle Celf was shaping up last week
Y Lle Celf is a partnership project between the National Eisteddfod and the Arts Council of Wales. The gallery will feature a large multimedia exhibition that will include both fine and applied art (including the moving image and performance art).
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