Wgu Lecturer Enters 'air' Themed Festival

Wgu Lecturer Enters 'air' Themed Festival

Thursday 8th Jun 2023

Covers of hits by the likes of Shawn Mendes and Jordin Sparks will feature in an air-themed playlist produced by a Wrexham Glyndwr University Dean, who has been selected as one of six artists representing north Wales at a European festival.

WGU’s Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Science & Technology, Alec Shepley, is entering Germany’s largest free art festival, 48 Stunden Neukölln with an artwork titled ‘Airplay (Welsh Airs)’.

Launching on June 18, the festival is a forum for all disciplines across the arts sector and this year, its theme is ‘air’.

The theme was decided by festival organisers and was chosen because of its raw properties, importance to the planet and humanity, and also the pandemic.

Organisers of the festival noted how fascinating air is throughout life and how air enables all senses.

From our first and last breath, to being the carrier of scents and audio, how clean and non-polluted air is becoming increasingly vital in the fight against covid-19 and climate change, the theme provides scope for a variety of interpretations.

For the festival, Alec has produced a dynamic playlist of songs and pieces of music with air in the title or theme, and has worked with a local, award-winning harpist, Bethan Griffiths to create a playlist to be ‘aired’ on the opening night of the festival.

Similar to Alec’s previous work and portfolio, the piece is participative, and the playlist uses a multimedia approach.

Alec wishes to create a place of reflection and escapism within the audience’s mind to switch off from daily pressures which could include the pandemic lifestyle, with many around the world feeling isolated and trapped within the same place.

So far the list has more than 50 songs and pieces of music associated with air and the list is growing. The musical playlist includes covers from popular artists such as Shawn Mendes and Jordin Sparks and many more, with five pieces interpreted by Bethan on the harp to evoke a sense of Welsh airs.

Originally planned to be hosted face-to-face in Berlin later in the month, the festival will now be streamed online where Alec can showcase the music and share with artists across the globe.

Alec is extremely pleased to be featuring at the exhibition and said: “This will be a dynamic piece, ongoing or unfinished, in that audiences can add songs titles to the list if they know of a piece of music that is about the theme of air, giving the work new life.

“In this work the viewer is immersed in a set of visual, aural, physical, emotional relationships that subconsciously he or she is aware of, to create allegories, new meanings and to foreground the creative potential of the present in a process of renewal and redefinition.

“Through the unfinished – the possibility of a place for art (the gap between the real and represented) is renewed, is made apparent”.

You can find out more about the festival and book tickets here.