I had been almost dreading today. Although I have been learning Welsh for an hour or so each week for the last two or three years, I am a LONG way from fluent! Sioe Gelf (Art Show) is a long running, well established and highly regarded arts program as you can guess, about all the arts in Wales. However, as a Welsh language programme that also means the artists have to speak Welsh also!
The crew were absolutely brilliant, friendly, positive, extremely helpful and VERY patient. The program is all about my new book,"Nant Gwrtheyrn: The Enchantment - Y Swyngyfaredd" and forthcoming exhibition at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff between 4th and 27th April 2009.
The thing is, this is one of my most important bodies of work in years, and deals with spirituality, contemplation, escapism, history, community, belonging (hiraeth), language and identity, as well as surreality and enchantment. Now in a second language it would be hard enough but when just learning a second language it was almost impossible! Not only did I have a distinct lack of vocabulary, I also struggled with the mixed tense sentence structures and possessives :-( Nevertheless, the crew's encouragement and on-the-fly translations made it all work. I could only talk simply about my work, in no real depth, but it was a mammoth task for me to undertake and I am actually pleased I even completed a very long Welsh day! The programme is being aired early April but I will give advance notice here.
Of course seeing as the TV crew needed great light to mimick the mood in my book, the day was typically really dull! Mari, the sound person had immediate problems at Nant because of all the building work taking place so we had to shoot most footage down near the sea, below the works level, of course not TOO near the sea because it's crashing waves caused equal problems! As an aside, I was really shocked by the sheer scale of the new building work at Caffi Meinir, which going to cause some serious blocking of the view to some of the Trem y Mor visitors!
We spent the afternoon back at my gallery filming the rest of the interview. Of course we had even WORSE problems here as the endless bloody roadworks in this village were right outside the window :-( Not only was I trying to remember all my Welsh answers, we had to wait for for just 20 second gaps between circular saws, generators, and even the traffic throbbing away at the traffic lights, again, just outside my gallery. We would be just about to do a take when some idiot in a Nova would decide to rev away at high speed from the traffic lights! Anyway, at 5.30 when the workmen stopped, they have usually clocked off by 4.00, we were able to complete the interview. The crew then continued to shoot still frames of the prints so it was nearly 7.00 when they called it a day.
So when you see the 4-6 min clip on S4C in April, you will have some idea about just how long it takes to shoot that footage, especially with a stressed out Welsh learner ! :-)
Diolch yn fawr iawn i Rhian, Mari a Dafydd am bopeth, roeddech chi'n fantastig!!!!