Ruthin Craft Centre
The Centre for the Applied Arts

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Helfa Gelf: Veronica Calarco

Education Space, 4 – 17 September


Kanti (Parteong) project

Kanti means ‘my words’ and Parteong means ‘baskets’ in Kurnai, an endangered Aboriginal language. In Veronica’s work, she visualises endangered and minority languages through the notion of country. She is working with two languages – Kurnai and Welsh.

During the two week residency at Ruthin Craft Centre Veronica will be working on a long-term project – making 1000 baskets from paper and other materials. These materials come from her prints and prints and drawings donated to her by other artists. The baskets tell a story of their history, from the moment of their first creation as a print (or artwork) through their journey to their current re-creation and their final resting place. Each basket will contain a word in either Kurnai or Welsh. The final work will represent a line in the poem Aros Mae – ond mae’r heniaith yn y tir and the collaborative nature of language (every person who speaks a language contributes to the development of that language).

Eventually the baskets will form an installation work, covering the floor with the baskets arranged to represent the contours of the earth, creating a visual representation of a landscape on the floor. Each basket will contain a word in either Kurnai or Welsh made from plaster casts. As part of the installation there will also be sound. This year, with the aid of a bursary from a-n (artist’s newsletter), Veronica has been working with sound artist, Lee Berwick to create sound – some of the baskets will contain miniature speakers playing sound files containing words and recordings of the myths in both Kurnai and Welsh.

Veronica Calarco is an Australian artist living in Wales. After completing a degree in Printmaking and a Postgraduate degree in Weaving at the Institute of the Arts, Australia National University, Veronica worked for a decade as a community artist in Canberra, the Kimberleys and Alice Springs, until eventually deciding to concentrate on her own art practise. In 2004, Veronica spent a two month holiday in Wales. This led to nearly a decade of living between Wales and Australia, before she finally decided to settle more or less permanently in Wales. In 2014 Veronica did an A level in Welsh and established Stiwdio Maelor, an artist residency program in Corris, Gwynedd and in 2015 started a PhD in printmaking at Aberystwyth University.

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