Since May 2019 I’ve been collaborating with visual artist Jacques Nimki to develop and grow a scented herbaceous dance lawn at Plas Glyn-y-Weddw in Llanbedrog, north Wales.
As part of my year-long residency with the gallery I was keen to find a way to reinstate the dance hall that existed on the site until the 1950’s. The hall here was well known for it’s dances and the beautiful sprung floor. When the hall was dismantled, Billy Butlin bought the floor and built a dance hall around it in Butlin’s, Pwllheli. There is an existing lawn here adjoining the site where the hall once stood. As part of an interest in creating spaces for people to dance and through a conversation with curator Nia Roberts it became clear that to grow a dance floor here would be the most appropriate and sustaining project for the context. The dance lawn will be a living space that will continue beyond the residency and be a place where humans can co-exist with plants and other life forms through play, movement and contemplation. It also serves as reference to the Twmp, a landscape feature in Wales, often on the edge of a village where dancers, musicians and dancers would meet. This eventually gave its name to the Twmpath, a folk dance and music event, now growing momentum again across rural Wales. We are currently planting and seeding the plot and hope the space will be ready later in the year. We are growing a mix of herbaceous and scented plants (many growing locally) and plants to bind the ground…its an experiment! as far as we know there are no dance lawns in existence, so we are making up the recipe and growing schedule. Later in the year we will be offering a small dance commission for the site. Watch this space!