Bronze roundels poetry trail
This commission was part of the Merthyr Tydfil Town Centre public art scheme and its aim was to help connect and promote two cultural centres in the town.
Canolfan Soar houses Welsh language organisations in the area and Theatr Soar, which is housed in a restored chapel, is a community theatre that invites both amateurs and professionals, whatever their language background, to use its facilities and to find an audience. The theatre is accessed from both the car park to the rear as well as a passageway that connects it to High Street. The view from High Street is screened by shop fronts so that the theatre entrance can only be seen at the end of the passageway and it is easy to miss the entrance as you walk up the High Street.
RedHouse is the former Town Hall, a majestic red brick building overlooking Penderyn Square. Although a very prominent building, it had only recently opened at the start of this commission and had yet to establish itself within the psyche of the town, with many residents yet to visit the building.
Rebecca Gouldson was commissioned to create a paving trail between the two venues. She worked with poets Grahame Davies and Mike Jenkins to facilitate art and poetry workshops at Canolfan Soar where participants created poems about Merthyr. Short extracts and lines from some of these poems have been used in the bronze roundels installed along the pavement and even with these few words we can glimpse the spirit of hope, resistance and pride that people have in Merthyr. The background patterns on the roundels are details from maps of the local area.