With the schools closing for the summer holidays at the end of this week, more and more children will have the opportunity to take a trip to the beach. Two primary schools and a secondary, specialist setting, in Carmarthenshire have already had a creative day at Cefn Sidan and Pembrey Country Park.  A collaborative sand art project supported through the Arts Council of Wales’ creative learning through the arts programme, introduced a bear into the sand with the help of artist Marc Treanor.

Pupils from St Mary’s RC Primary School, Llanelli and Pembrey Primary School worked with the team of young entrepreneurs from social enterprise brand Man a Man a Mwnci. The brand is run by the young people at Canolfan y Gors. 

Students from Canolfan y Gors set up their social enterprise brand in 2017. A product range was designed, followed by a pop up shop, which then led to the purchase of a tepee to support outdoor learning at the centre. In May 2018, a series of creative writing and art workshops led to the development of their book – ‘The Bear from Where?  The book has been shared with two primary schools and the illustrations co-constructed with pupils from Pembrey Primary School and St. Mary’s RC Primary School, Llanelli. The book is based on local folk-lore that tells the story of a bear stranded on Cefn Sidan beach following a shipwreck. To celebrate this collaborative work and to look forward to the next phase of the project, Team Man a Man a Mwnci invited the pupils along to help recreate the bear on the sand. Artist Marc Treanor designed the image and guided the young artists to recreate the work in the sand.

Commenting today Louise Morgan of Team Man a Man a Mwnci said:

“Creating the collaborative sand art at Cefn Sidan beach offered a way to share our story with the public. Our students and the primary school pupils worked so well together with everyone participating in the final outcome. It has taken our project to another level and really inspired everyone towards the next phase of Man a Man a Mwnci”.

Work is presently underway to take this project even further. A story trail and storytelling circle is under development at Pembrey Country Park and will include a 12ft wooden bear, created by artist Simon Hedger. A bilingual Welsh-English edition of the illustrated book will be launched along with the opening of the storytelling trail in October 2019.

Louise Morgan added:

“The illustrated bilingual book will launch in the autumn and we are currently developing a range of products based on the three main characters in the story. Our future plans include sharing our book, ‘The Bear From Where?’ with local schools and further afield. This project has really opened doors for our young people and offered new pathways for learning”.

END                 Friday, 12 July 2019