A Stitch in Time! International artist Luke Jerram to transform historic bridge for Llangollen Eisteddfod

Llangollen Bridge to be transformed into giant artwork called ‘Bridges, Not Walls’

Friday 9 July – Thursday 5 August 2021

Image captions:

Row 1: Patchwork panels of ‘Bridges, Not Walls’ Llangollen Bridge artwork by artist Luke Jerram;

Row 2: Mock-up of ‘Bridges, Not Walls’; artist Luke Jerram stands in front of Llangollen Bridge; tailor upholsterer Emma Williams stitches fabric squares together.

Llangollen Online 2021 – Official image.

International artist Luke Jerram is working to transform the famous Llangollen Bridge into a giant artwork celebrating peace, as part of the world-renowned Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod (LIME).

Luke plans to wrap the Grade 1 listed stone bridge in a giant patchwork of fabrics, reflecting the crafts and cultures of Wales alongside the festival’s participating nations.

Called Bridges, Not Walls, the artwork celebrates the idea of peace on which the festival was founded nearly 75 years ago.

Known for public art installations around the world including Museum of the Moon, Play Me, I’m Yours which brought street pianos to dozens of international cities and his recent Glass Microbiology sculptures depicting the coronavirus and its vaccine, this is the first commission in Wales for Luke, who completed his degree at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Whilst the Llangollen Eisteddfod will mainly be held online this year, organisers hope the eye-catching Bridges, Not Walls will also attract people to visit the town this summer.

In a race against time, 800 squares of one metre-wide fabric, including local donations from Llangollen, are currently being stitched together to cover both sides of the 60 metre-long bridge.

Creating an ever-changing artwork depending on the angle, light and weather conditions, the bridge will become an incredible sight to view and visit and a powerful symbol connecting this year’s online festival with its physical roots. Even the water below it will be transformed with the reflections and colours from the bridge.

Luke Jerram’s new bridge artwork will connect and extend the Eisteddfod’s creativity out from the field where it is normally held each year into the town, transforming and animating Llangollen for the whole world to see.

With the panels of the archways almost complete, work will soon start on the material to cover the bridge’s stanchions, or columns, which stand in the water and support the bridge above.

Luke says: “From the moment I saw it, Llangollen Bridge struck me as incredibly powerful, both physically and symbolically. The message and celebration of peace is at the heart of the Llangollen Eisteddfod and so this historic bridge, one of the seven wonders of Wales, makes the perfect canvas. As Sir Isaac Newton once said, “We build too many walls and not enough bridges.” From Israel to the USA, we are at last exploring the possibility of building bridges rather than walls.”

Held in Llangollen every summer since 1947, the Eisteddfod is a truly international cultural festival with a world-class diverse programme that celebrates a message of international peace and friendship through singing, dancing and performance.

Usually attracting over 4,000 performers from around the world and 35,000 visitors to Llangollen, this year’s unique celebration of global peace and harmony will be largely held online in July 2021, with the main programme being presented over the weekend of the 9 – 11 July. Bridges, Not Walls will remain in place on Llangollen Bridge until 5 August.

Betsan Moses, chief executive of Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod (LIME) added:

“We’re hugely excited about Bridges, Not Walls which celebrates everything Llangollen’s much-loved Eisteddfod stands for; peace, creativity and togetherness. We’re looking forward to sharing a varied and inspiring programme of events online this year and we hope Luke’s artwork will also encourage people to visit the historic town over the summer.”

With Welsh Government funding, this year’s online Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod will celebrate the broadest possible range of musical genres from classical, opera and choral, to jazz, soul and rock, to connect with existing and new audiences in preparation for its physical return in 2022.

For more information please visit https://international-eisteddfod.co.uk/

For further information or interviews please contact:

Caroline Harris or Kierstan Lowe at Spirit Public Relations on 0117 944 1415 / 07966 550623 / 07910 234805

or email hello@spiritpublicrelations.co.uk



For more information, terms and conditions about submitting patchworks for consideration, please visit https://international-eisteddfod.co.uk/

About Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod & Llangollen Online 2021

Every summer since 1947 Llangollen has staged one of the world’s most inspirational cultural festivals. Each year around 4,000 performers and as many as 35,000 visitors converge on this beautiful small Welsh town and its International Pavilion; to sing and dance in a unique combination of competition, performance, and international peace and friendship.https://international-eisteddfod.co.uk/

As the world continues to battle through the Coronavirus pandemic, this year’s festival will be held online. Llangollen Online 2021 will offer a reimagining of the annual event that captures the magic of the international Eisteddfod in a digital format. https://international-eisteddfod.co.uk/llangollen-online-2021/

About Luke Jerram

Luke Jerram’s multidisciplinary practice involves the creation of sculptures, installations and live arts projects. Living in Bristol, UK but working internationally, Jerram has created a number of extraordinary art projects over the last 24 years which have excited and inspired people around the globe. www.lukejerram.com