Camouflage Stain
Cuddlwio Staen
Two-channel video installation; 2016
Created for Power In The Land

Camouflage; the disguising of military personnel, equipment, and installations by painting or covering them to make them blend in with their surroundings.

Stain; mark or discolour with something that is not easily removed.

My first visual encounter with Wylfa was on a cold windy day, with the sun struggling to register, this grand buzzing piece of utilitarian architecture. This structure though was different to the unforgiving cold-war brutalism thoughts we associate with power stations; this was soft, mellowed within, and sympathetic to Wylfa Head’s coastal surroundings. The individual buildings painted an array of natural colours echoing the nearby lichen-covered rocks.

Textures, colour, and the experiential flow of Britain’s natural landscapes are central to the work I create; to see a nuclear power station try to merge, to disappear into it’s own romantic Turner-esque landscape led to the notion Camouflage Stain materialized.

Wylfa’s architect Dame Sylvia Crowe was also behind Bradwell, another Magnox nuclear power station that was decommissioned in 2002. Eight miles south from my childhood Essex home, Bradwell rises out of the flats of the Blackwater estuary. An idyllic still landscape, of red sail Thames barges and glistening still water, a classical Constable vista but this landscape is tainted. The land Bradwell sits upon will not be fully habitable until 2084, the invisible nuclear radioactive stain will dwell within nature, and likewise Wylfa will have to wait even longer.

Multiple layers of self-recorded videos are used in the creation of my pieces; for Camouflage Stain I wanted not to focus my filming on the power station but record the colours and landscape surrounding the plant. If the plant doesn’t want to be seen then why should I film it? Turning the focus on to Wylfa’s natural landscape, the land that will be burdened with the manmade stain. Camouflage Stain is an abstract look into the feeling, movement, texture, colour and rhythm of Anglesey’s northern coastline; but echoing this ghostly stain, a dialogue between power and the land.

Mae ‘Ynni yn y Tir’ yn fenter newydd yng ngogledd Cymru sy’n dod â chriw o ddeg artist deinamig, amrywiol ac aml-dalentog at ei gilydd i ymdrin â materion ynni niwclear a’r tir. Mae’r gwaith hwn yn dwyn ffrwyth ar yr un pryd â chaiff atomfa niwclear olaf Cymru, yr Wylfa yn Ynys Môn, ei chau yn niwedd 2015. Mae ‘Ynni yn y Tir’ yn mynd i’r afael â’r lleol a’r byd ehangach, a’i nod yw cyflwyno gwaith fideo, sain, perfformio, mewnosod a ffurfiau graffig a ffotograffig.

Bydd y gweithiau’n rhan o arddangosfa deithiol gaiff ei gweld mewn sawl lle ledled Cymru cyn mynd i Loegr ac Ewrop. Hefyd, ceir cyhoeddiad yn ogystal â chyfres o ddigwyddiadau ymgysylltu cyhoeddus.

Detholwyd y 10 artist am eu profiad o arddangos, eu creadigrwydd a’u hawydd i archwilio y tu hwnt i’r amlwg, i arbrofi ac i gynnal trafodaeth greadigol ymysg ei gilydd. Maent wedi bod yn gweithio gyda’i gilydd ar y safle gan ymateb i bresenoldeb ffisegol, materol ac egnïol yr atomfa, yn ogystal â’i gosod yn y dirwedd yng nghyd-destun y gymuned gymdeithasol ac amser hanesyddol.

Ysgogwyd y gwaith wrth i bob artist ymrafael â phosau ynni niwclear trwy ymchwil, cofnodi a gweithio gyda’i gilydd. Mae’r ardrawiad gafodd dyfodiad yr Wylfa yn yr 1960au ar iaith a diwylliant y llecyn hwn o Gymru yn cael ei gynnwys yng nghwmpas y sioe yn ogystal â gwaddol sefydliad ynni pwysig ar dirlun y dyfodol.