Welsh odyssey


Cerbyd is a new initiative networking artists’ groups in Wales. Emilia Telese interviews Tom Goddard  of Cerbyd to find out more..

ET : How was Cerbyd born?

TG: The inspiration for Cerbyd came firstly from our involvement in Garej Art space between June 2007 – August 2008. After exhibiting 120 artists in rolling three week shows over a fifteen month programme, I became most interested in the dialogues created between artist and viewer, particularly from works in progress and their ongoing creative processes. They can suggest multiple ideas and perspectives; like sounding boards that will still be influenced by other voices, unlike the more finite but elusive ‘finished’ piece. Initially we faced disappointment when we discovered we hadn’t secured the funding to continue Garej, but this eventually led me to question the need for a physical space to create and exhibit art.

ET: And how did it go on from there?
TG: While I worked as an AIR member on Cywaith Cymru projects in St.Asaph & Holyhead, I felt wholly disconnected and isolated from other artists across Wales – organisations and networks were fragmented or absent. That was four years ago, when I wanted to develop creative connections across Wales. Now I hope Cerbyd will contribute and benefit those existing networks, as well as introduce a unique and refreshing approach to cross-Wales collaboration.

ET: Why “Cerbyd?”
TG: I decided that Cerbyd, the Welsh word for vehicle, could become an apt metaphor for the rise of art and its communities across Wales; a gallery without walls, which is accessible to all and has endless possibilities. Instead of meeting artists online in forums or networking sites, people will enjoy more interactive face-to-face encounters, as well as a stronger and more durable collaborative experience.

ET: What are the aims of the initiative?
TG: Historically artists have worked together for years, from the Kardomah Gang to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. In Cerbyd and my own artistic practice, I’m also aiming to achieve this – but given the numerous factors within Cerbyd that I can’t control, the collaborative process will be that much more exciting and liberating.  During one of our activities, ten selected artists will sleep, eat, travel and talk throughout an 8 day bus journey and respond to rich and varied experiences with places, communities, their groups and unique activities. At each stop the artists will take part in an activity provided by a local group, for example, bee-keeping or appalachian dancing. The artists will then respond to this through their practice which will go towards a touring exhibition and publication.

ET: What are your long-term goals?

TG: Cerbyd offers the opportunity for artists to make connections of a long lasting, deep and relevant nature. Its long term aim is to link artists across Wales through travel, activity, collaborations and dialogue.  We will provide a creative map of Wales, making it easier to identify numerous important communities and artist groups. It will also benefit those wishing to work in Wales, by bringing contemporary art practice and new audiences into rural areas.

Cerbyd will be on the road from August 2nd-10th 2010. We fully intend for Cerbyd to continue as a vehicle for Wales based artists to travel and experience various communities, explore dialogues and make connections across the world in the future.

See NAN’s profile of Cerbyd on www.a-n.co.uk/nan/organisation/72594





  1. Rosco

    09/02/2010 at 12:38 am

    Great interview Tom, I wish you the best of luck with your project!!

    I’d love to come and see your setup when the bus in on the road!

    • Ohmygodtom

      09/02/2010 at 10:18 am

      You’re always welcome Ross. So far we have a George Formby Society doing a ‘thrash’ night, Beekeepers where we get to visit their hives, a quiz night, Appalachian dancing, a bunch of begging Physicians and a Model Railway club.

      Should be mental.

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