Abergavenny Train Station is among several new and surprising locations across the UK hosting Art Night 2021, a free month-long contemporary art festival. The presentation launches local organisation Peak Cymru’s new cultural space, Platfform 2, on the southbound side of the railway track.
Each weekend until 17 July, Platfform 2 will present screenings of film works by Barbadian-Scottish artist Alberta Whittle, who will represent Scotland at La Biennale di Venezia, 2022. Alberta Whittle’s work addresses the critical issues of our times and in her words: “With so many urgent conversations on health, grief, refusal, race and healing at the forefront of my mind, now is the moment to ask questions about how we can unlearn and be more actively reflective on a personal level as well as collectively.”
Business as usual: hostile environment (a REMIX), HOLDING THE LINE: a refrain in two parts and RESET are grouped together as a trilogy of films under the working title, Creating dangerously (we-I insist!).
Alberta Whittle Explains Art Night 2021 Film Trilogy
Alberta Whittle explains “After a devastating 18 months of socio-political catastrophe, Creating dangerously (we-I insist!) speculates on the optics of protest, channels of refusal, as well as the desire for pleasure and softness,.
“The title of the trilogy entangles research by Edwidge Danticat on the potential for creative action to become a communion between audience and maker, with the title of Max Roach’s album, We Insist: Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite (1960). Researched and produced as urgent meditations on freedom, this trilogy of films attempts to straddle a sense of looking back and looking forward whilst still being immersed in both epidemiological and political strife.”
As part of the programme, Peak has commissioned Wales-based artists, writers and poets Kandace Siobhan Walker, Nia Morais and Fin Jordão to produce new writing in response to Alberta Whittle’s work with creative translations by Grug Muse. These texts will be celebrated through a free, bilingual publication made available at Platfform 2 later in the festival and through an online broadcast on 9th July 2021.
A New Collaboration Between Peak & Transport for Wales
A group of 10 Young People living and working along the trainline are being paid to invigilate the screening space, as part of Peak’s growing professional development programme.
Peak’s directors, Melissa Appleton and Justine Wheatley, explained: ‘As we take the first steps out of lockdown, Peak’s inaugural summer programme brings a major UK cultural event to our doorsteps and marks the start of a new collaboration between Peak and Transport for Wales that will develop Platfform 2 as a resource for young people, artists, the local community and Transport for Wales’ customers and staff.’
Hugh Evans, Head of Community Rail for Transport for Wales, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Peak Cymru and Art Night 2021 to the recently-redeveloped platform buildings at Abergavenny Train Station. Transport for Wales is transforming station buildings across the network for use by local groups and social enterprises for the benefit of the community and this is exactly the type of project we had in mind when we launched our Station Improvement Vision.”
How To See Alberta Whittle’s Screenings
Alberta Whittle’s Art Night screenings take place on Fridays between 1pm – 7pm with screening times: 13:15 / 14:45 / 16.20 / 17.45 and Saturdays between 12pm – 6pm with screening times: 12:15 / 13:45 / 15:15 / 16:45 (The trilogy of films is 68 minutes in length)
- Visitors are invited to book screenings in advance.
- Screenings will be managed safely for a maximum group of six people at a time and this will be kept under review according to public health advice.
- Visit Peak’s website for further details and visiting information.