Pwyllgor Diwylliant, Cyfathrebu, y Gymraeg, Chwaraeon, a Chysylltiadau Rhyngwladol
Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport, and International Relations Committee05/07/2023
Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol
Committee Members in Attendance
|Alun Davies MS|
|Carolyn Thomas MS|
|Delyth Jewell MS||Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor|
|Llyr Gruffydd MS|
|Tom Giffard MS|
Y rhai eraill a oedd yn bresennol
Others in Attendance
|Alfredo Cramerotti||Grŵp Celfyddydau Gweledol Cymru|
|Visual Arts Group Wales|
|Chris Delany||Ffederasiwn Amgueddfeydd ac Orielau Celf Cymru|
|The Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales|
|Dafydd Rhys||Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru|
|Arts Council of Wales|
|Dr Sandra Harding||Cymdeithas Celfyddyd Gyfoes Cymru|
|Contemporary Art Society for Wales|
|Kath Davies||Amgueddfa Cymru|
|Pedr ap Llwyd||Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru|
|National Library of Wales|
Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol
Senedd Officials in Attendance
|Haidee James||Ail Glerc|
|Rhea James||Dirprwy Glerc|
Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.
The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.
Cyfarfu’r pwyllgor yn y Senedd a thrwy gynhadledd fideo.
Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:29.
The committee met in the Senedd and by video-conference.
The meeting began at 09:29.
Bore da. Hoffwn i groesawu'r Aelodau i'r cyfarfod hwn o'r Pwyllgor Diwylliant, Cyfathrebu, y Gymraeg, Chwaraeon a Chysylltiadau Rhyngwladol. Oes gan unrhyw Aelod fuddiannau i'w datgan? Dwi ddim yn gweld bod yna.
Cyn inni ddechrau, hoffwn i ddiolch i Heledd Fychan am ei gwaith gyda'r pwyllgor dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf. Mae Heledd wedi gadael y pwyllor, ond rŷn ni i gyd yn ddiolchgar iawn am ei gwaith. Hoffwn i hefyd groesawu Llyr Gruffydd yn aelod llawn o'r pwyllgor. Rŷn ni i gyd yn edrych ymlaen yn fawr iawn at weithio gyda chi, Llyr.
Good morning. I'd like to welcome Members to this meeting of the Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport and International Relations Committee. Do Members have any declarations of interest to make? I see that there are none.
Before we begin, I'd like to thank Heledd Fychan for her hard work with the committee over the past few years. Heledd has left the committee now, but we're very grateful to her for her work. I'd also like to welcome Llyr Gruffydd as a full member of the committee. We all look forward very much to working with you, Llyr.
Mi wnawn ni symud ymlaen at ein sesiwn dystiolaeth ar oriel gelf gyfoes genedlaethol, ac rŷn ni’n mynd i glywed yn gyntaf gan bartneriaid cyflawni. Mi wnaf i ofyn i’r tystion gyflwyno eu hunain ar gyfer y record. Mi wnaf i fynd at Pedr yn gyntaf, oherwydd rŷch chi ar y sgrin.
We move on to our evidence session today on a national contemporary art gallery, and we're going to hear first of all from delivery partners. I'll ask the witnesses to introduce themselves for the record. I'll go to Pedr first of all, because you're on screen.
Bore da. Pedr ap Llwyd ydw i, prif weithredwr a'r llyfrgellydd cenedlaethol, Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru.
Good morning. I'm Pedr ap Llwyd, chief executive and national librarian at the National Library of Wales.
Diolch, Pedr. Mi wnaf i fynd at Dafydd nesaf.
Thank you, Pedr. I'll go to Dafydd next.
Dafydd Rhys ydw i, prif weithredwr Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru.
I'm Dafydd Rhys, chief executive at the Arts Council of Wales.
Bore da. Kath Davies ydw i, cyfarwyddwr casgliadau ac ymchwil Amgueddfa Cymru.
Good morning. I'm Kath Davies, director of collections and research for Amgueddfa Cymru.
Diolch yn fawr iawn i chi i gyd am fod gyda ni'r bore yma. Mi wnawn ni fynd yn syth at gwestiynau os yw hynny'n iawn, ac mi wnaf i fynd yn gyntaf at Alun Davies.
Thank you very much to all of you for joining us this morning. We'll go straight to questions, if that's okay, and I'll turn first of all to Alun Davies.
Diolch. Dwi’n darllen yr adroddiad yma, wedi’i gyhoeddi tua phum mlynedd yn ôl, neu rywbeth felly, a dwi ddim yn siŵr fy mod i’n deall. Un o’r manteision o fod yn wleidydd yw eich bod chi’n gallu gofyn cwestiynau eithaf stiwpid, a dwi ddim yn siŵr fy mod i’n deall beth ydy’r cynnig yma. Dwi’n cofio, Pedr, ymweld â’r llyfrgell gen flynyddoedd yn ôl nawr, ac mi wnaeth Andrew Green, ar y pryd, ddangos i fi’r holl gasgliadau rŷch chi’n cadw mewn stôr—a dwi’n cymryd, Kath, fod yna stôr gyda'r amgueddfa genedlaethol hefyd. Nawr, dwi’n cymryd bod yr oriel dŷn ni’n sôn amdano fan hyn ddim actually yn mynd i wneud dim byd i alluogi’r cyhoedd i weld y casgliadau yma sydd mewn stôr, achos rŷn ni’n sôn yn fan hyn am contemporary art; ni ddim yn sôn amboutu’r holl gasgliadau hanesyddol. Ai dyna sut dŷch chi’n deall pethau?
Thank you. I'm reading this report, which was published around five years ago now, or something like that, and I'm not entirely sure whether I understand. One of of the advantages of being a politician is that you can ask quite stupid questions, and I don't know whether I understand completely what the offer is here, or the proposal. I remember, Pedr, visiting the national library years ago now, and Andrew Green, at the time, showed the collections that you keep in storage there—and I take it, Kath, that there is a great deal in storage at the national gallery too. I take it that the gallery that we're talking about here isn't actually going to do anything to enable the public to see these collections that are currently in storage, because we're talking here about contemporary art; we're not talking about the historic collections. Is that how you understand it?
[Anghlywadwy.]—casgliadau, a dwi’n credu bod hwnna’n gwestiwn lled dda i ddechrau. O fewn casgliad Amgueddfa Cymru, mae tua 44,000 yn y casgliad yn ei gyfanrwydd. Y canran mwyaf, casgliad celf cyfoes yw hi. Felly, fel rhan o’r gwaith—
[Inaudible.]—collections, and I think that's a very good starting point. Within the national museum collection, there are some 44,000 pieces in the collection as a whole. For the most part, it is contemporary art. So, as part of the work—
So, sut fuasech chi’n diffinio hynny?
So, how would you define that?
Rŷn ni’n diffinio unrhyw gasgliad cyfoes yn ymwneud gyda unrhyw artist oedd yn fyw ar ôl yr ail ryfel byd.
We define anything as being contemporary if it relates to any artist who was alive after the second world war.
Achos dyw hynny ddim yn ddiffiniad arferol, nac ydyw?
That isn't the usual definition, though, is it?
Hwnna yw’r diffiniad rŷn ni wedi trafod gyda phartneriaid, a dyna beth maen nhw'n derbyn.
That's the definition we've discussed with partners, and that's what they accept.
Ie, ond dyw e ddim yn ddiffiniad arferol—
But it's not the usual definition—
—achos mae 'cyfoes' fel arfer yn sôn amboutu pobl sy’n byw heddiw, nid oedd yn byw 80 mlynedd nôl.
—because 'contemporary' usually relates to people alive today, not people who were alive 80 years ago.
Ie, ond hoffwn i ychwanegu mai dyna’r diffiniad rŷn ni’n defnyddio, ond, fel rhan o’r casgliad yna, rŷn ni hefyd yn cynnwys gwaith sydd, fydden i'n dweud, of contemporary relevance. Felly, os oes yna artist cyfoes sydd wedi cael ei ysbrydoli gan waith celf hanesyddol—efallai un enghraifft yw gwaith hanesyddol Thomas Jones Y Bardd a sut oedd hwnna wedi ysbrydoli Bedwyr Williams i greu darn o waith—rŷn ni yn cynnwys gwaith hanesyddol hefyd yn rhan o’r cynnig sydd gyda ni fan hyn.
I fynd nôl i’r casgliad ei hunan a faint rŷn ni’n gallu arddangos, ar hyn o bryd mae Amgueddfa Cymru yn medru arddangos tua 5 y cant o’r casgliad, a hwnna, ar gyfartaledd, yw'r un ffigwr welwch chi dros amgueddfeydd eraill dros Gymru, dros Brydain ac Ewrop. Yr Amgueddfa Brydeinig, 1 y cant maen nhw’n arddangos, a’r cyfartaledd yw rhwng 2 y cant a 5 y cant. Felly, mae’r project yma yn rhoi cyfle i ni rannu llawer, llawer mwy o'r casgliad—y casgliad cyfoes, a hefyd y gweithfeydd hanesyddol sy’n perthyn efallai i rai o'r artistiaid cyfoes.
Yes, but I would like to add that that is the definition we use, but, as part of that collection, we also include work that is of contemporary relevance. So, if there is a contemporary artist who's been inspired by a historic piece of art—one example would be Thomas Jones's historic piece entitled The Bard and how that inspired Bedwyr Williams to create a piece of work—we do include that historic piece of art as part of the offer here.
If I could return to the collection itself and how much we can display and exhibit, at the moment the national museum can show around 5 per cent of the collection, and that is the same average figure that you would see across Wales, UK and Europe. The British Museum show just 1 per cent, and the average is between 2 per cent and 5 per cent. So, this project does provide us with an opportunity to share much more of the collection—the contemporary collection and also the historic works that relate, perhaps, to some of our contemporary artists.
Mae’n swnio i fi fel rŷch chi’n defnyddio diffiniad sy’n galluogi i chi ddewis a dethol beth rŷch chi eisiau dangos.
It sounds to me as though you're using a definition that allows you to select what you show.
Ydyn. Hefyd, byddwn ni’n dweud, er enghraifft, Gwen John, sydd wedi ysbrydoli llawer o artistiaid yng Nghymru. Rŷn ni’n cynnwys Gwen John fel rhan o’r cynnig yna. Felly, dyna’r diffiniad, ond gallwn ni fod bach yn ystwyth gyda’r ffordd rŷn ni’n—
Yes, that's right. Also, if you take the artist Gwen John, who has inspired a number of artists in Wales, we would include her as part of that offer. So, that's the definition, but we can be agile in the way that we—
Rŷch chi’n ystwyth iawn gyda fe. Pedr, beth am y llyfrgell gen?
You're very agile there. Pedr, what about the national library?
Ie, mae hwnna'n gwestiwn diddorol, Alun, a dweud y gwir. Wrth gwrs, blaenoriaeth Llafur Cymru a Phlaid Cymru oedd neilltuo'r oriel arbennig yma ar gyfer celf gyfoes, ond lle mae'r llyfrgell yn y cwestiwn, mae Alun yn llygad ei le. Mae hynna'n golygu y bydd y mwyafrif helaeth o'n casgliadau ni eto ddim yn cael eu dangos a'u rhannu gyda'r cyhoedd.
Yn bersonol, wrth gwrs, ac yn sefydliadol, mae’r llyfrgell genedlaethol 100 y cant y tu ôl i’r cynllun yma ac mae o'n gyfle gwych ac unigryw i ddangos ein celf gyfoes i bobl Cymru ac i rannu hynny efo pobl Cymru. Ond ar ddiwedd y dydd, dydy o ddim yn sefydlu oriel gelf genedlaethol sydd yn cynnwys celf gyfoes hefyd. Yn ddelfrydol, dyna beth y byddem ni wedi ei weld: oriel genedlaethol sydd yn llwyfan i gelf gyfoes, ond sydd hefyd yn llwyfan i’n celf hanesyddol hynod, hynod bwysig a safonol ni.
Ond pam neilltuo'r oriel i gelf gyfoes? Mae hwnna’n gwestiwn i Lafur Cymru a Phlaid Cymru, dwi'n credu.
Yes, that's a very interesting question, Alun, to be honest. Of course, the priority of Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru was to designate this gallery for contemporary artworks, but where the library is concerned, Alun is entirely right. That means that the majority of art collection isn't currently on public display.
Now, personally, of course, and institutionally, the national library is 100 per cent behind this proposal and it's a wonderful and unique opportunity to exhibit our contemporary art to the people of Wales and to share it with the people of Wales. But at the end of the day, it doesn't establish a national art gallery that also includes contemporary art. Ideally, that's what we would have seen: a national gallery that would provide a platform for contemporary art, but would also provide a platform for our historical artworks, which are hugely important and of great quality.
But why have a contemporary art gallery? I think that's a question for Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru.
Gwnaf i ofyn iddyn nhw hefyd. Ond pan dwi'n edrych ar y casgliadau sydd gennym ni—. Es i â fy machgen i i'r amgueddfa genedlaethol dros y gwyliau diwethaf. Roeddwn i eisiau iddo weld La Parisienne a gweld yr impressionists, ac mae'n gorgeous ac mae'n ofod lyfli, wrth gwrs—cerdded o gwmpas yr oriel, a'r celf a'r ceramics a phethau—ond dwi'n teimlo'n rhwystredig pan dwi'n gweld hynny, achos dwi'n meddwl bod yna gymaint mwy i bobl ei weld a dŷn ni ddim yn gallu gwneud hynny am y rhesymau y mae Pedr wedi’u hawgrymu—bod dim oriel genedlaethol gyda ni. Ac er eich bod chi'n dewis diffiniad sydd ddim yn ddiffiniad cyfoes, rili, ond gwnaf i ddim mynd ar ôl hynny, dŷch chi ddim yn cynnig, neu dyw'r cynnig yma ddim yn cynnig dim byd, rili, i alluogi pobl Cymru i gael access i'r casgliadau mawr, pwysig, hanesyddol yma y buaswn i eisiau i bobl Cymru cael access i'w gweld.
I'll be asking them too. But when I look at the collections that we have—. I took my son to the national museum over the past holidays. I wanted him to see La Parisienne and the impressionists and so on, and it's gorgeous and it's a beautiful space, walking around the galleries and the art and the ceramics there, but I feel frustrated when I see that, because I feel that there is so much more for people to see and we can't enable that to happen for the reasons that Pedr has suggested, because we don't have a national gallery. And although you have selected a definition that isn't a contemporary definition, really, but I won't pursue that further, this proposal doesn't offer anything really to enable the people of Wales to access these major, historically important collections that we have and that I would like to see people in Wales being able to access.
Yn gyntaf, hoffwn i ddweud bod y casgliad cenedlaethol yn adnodd i Gymru ac mae’n rhaid inni wella’r ffordd rŷn ni'n defnyddio’r adnodd hwnnw. Mae yna sawl ateb i'ch cwestiwn. Yn y gorffennol, efallai, mae amgueddfa Cymru wedi cael ei beirniadu oherwydd ein bod ni ddim yn rhoi digon o lwyfan i artistiaid o Gymru, ac mae hwnna’n rhan bwysig o beth dŷn ni'n trio ei wneud fel rhan o’r prosiect yma.
I fynd yn ôl i'r cwestiwn ynglŷn â'r casgliad hanesyddol, byddwn i'n dweud os oedd oriel wir eisiau benthyg eitem o'r casgliad hanesyddol a oedd yn briodol i'r gwaith roedden nhw eisiau ei wneud gydag artist lleol, er enghraifft, neu ysgol leol, byddem ni ddim o reidrwydd yn dweud 'na' i hynny—
First of all, I'd like to say that the national collection is a resource for Wales and we have to improve the way that we make use of that resource. There are a number of answers to your question. In the past, perhaps, the museum of Wales has been criticised because we don't provide a sufficient platform for Welsh artists, and that's an important part of what we are trying to do as part of this project.
To return to your question on the historical collection, I would say that if a gallery truly wanted to display a piece of the historical collection that was relevant to the work they were doing with a local artist, for example, or a local school, we wouldn't necessarily say 'no' to that—
Wel, nid dyna'r cwestiwn, gyda phob parch, Kath. Y cwestiwn yw'r gallu i riant fynd â phlentyn i weld ein casgliadau cenedlaethol yn ystod gwyliau'r ysgol neu gyda thrip ysgol neu beth bynnag, neu finnau pan dwi wedi bod yn gweithio yn y dref i grwydro—a dwi'n meddwl bod cael amgueddfeydd am ddim yn ffantastig o beth, os wyt ti'n gallu crwydro i mewn heb gynllunio—a gweld pethau dŷch chi ddim wedi cynllunio eu gweld, a dwi'n credu bod hynny'n beth hynod o bwysig. Ond, os yw ein casgliadau cenedlaethol ni mewn stôr, wrth gwrs, dyw hynny ddim yn bosibl, ac efallai bod yna oriel yn rhywle arall sy'n dweud, 'Wel, dwi eisiau gweld—' beth bynnag, wel, dyw hynny ddim yn cynllunio ar ran ein sefydliadau cenedlaethol i alluogi pobl i gael gweld pethau. Beth dwi ddim yn ei ddeall yw sut y mae'r cynnig yma—y model rydych chi fan hyn i'w drafod heddiw—
Well, that's not the question, with all due respect, Kath. The question is the ability for a parent to take a child to see our national collections during the school holiday or with a school trip, or for me to do so, when I've been working in town and I can just wonder in—and I think having free museums is fantastic, if you can wander in without planning—and see things that you hadn't expected or planned to see, and I think that's extremely important. But, if our national collections are in storage, that isn't possible, and perhaps there is a gallery somewhere else that would say, 'Well, I want to see—' whatever, but that isn't planning on behalf of our national institutions to enable people to see these artworks. What I don't understand is how this proposal—this model that you are discussing today—
Wel, byddwn i'n dweud ei fod yn gyfle gwych, gyda naw sefydliad, o bosib, a fydd yn rhan o'r cynllun, i ni rannu'r casgliad trwy Gymru gyfan. Felly, dwi yn rhagweld y bydd yna lawer mwy o fenthyciadau, a hefyd gyda’r buddsoddiad cyfalaf yn yr orielau yma, i’w galluogi nhw i gymryd gweithfeydd o'r casgliad cenedlaethol. Dwi'n credu mai dyma beth mae'r rhaglen yma'n trio ei ddatrys.
Well, I would say it's an excellent opportunity with nine potential organisations as part of the scheme, for us to share the collection the length and breadth of Wales. So, I see that there will be far more loans, and also with the capital investment in these galleries, to enable them then to receive artworks from the national collection. I think that's what this programme is trying to solve.
Ond, y gwir yw, pan rydych chi'n dosbarthu pethau, dydych chi ddim yn eu dosbarthu nhw ar draws y wlad i gyd achos dyw pobl ddim yn mynd i deithio o Flaenau Gwent i Sir Fôn neu Sir Benfro er mwyn gweld rhywbeth—jest rhan o rywbeth. Mi fuasen nhw'n mynd i Gaerdydd i weld oriel genedlaethol, achos dyna beth mae pobl yn ei wneud, ac mae gennym ni enghreifftiau o Loegr a mannau eraill lle rydyn ni wedi gweld hyn. Ond, fy mhryder i yw ein bod ni'n buddsoddi mewn model fydd ddim actually yn cyrraedd unrhyw nod. Dydyn ni ddim yn galluogi pobl i weld y materion pwysig, hanesyddol, a dydyn ni ddim chwaith yn creu rhywbeth sy'n ddigon o draw, os ydych chi'n licio, i bobl deithio i'w weld e. So, mi fyddwn ni'n galluogi pobl mewn ardal cymharol gul i gael gweld pethau'n lleol, ond does dim sefydliad cenedlaethol i ddenu pobl ato fe.
But the truth is, when you distribute these things, you don't distribute them across the whole of the nation, because people aren't going to travel from Blaenau Gwent to Anglesey or Pembrokeshire in order to see something as part of a wider exhibition, but they would go to Cardiff to visit a national gallery, because that's what people do, and we have examples from England and elsewhere where we have seen this. But, my concern is that we are investing in a model that won't actually deliver any objectives. We're not enabling people to see the important historical collections, nor are we creating something that is a sufficient draw for people to travel to see it. So, we would be enabling people in a relatively narrow area to see things in a local context, but there is no national institution to draw people in.
Gallaf i jest sôn am—
Can I just mention—
Maddeuwch i fi am dorri ar draws. Achos amser, gwnaf i ofyn i bawb i ymateb i beth mae Alun wedi ei ofyn ac wedyn dwi'n meddwl bydd yn rhaid inni symud ymlaen. Os allwch chi i gyd—. Dwi'n gwybod bod Pedr eisiau dod i mewn hefyd. Gwnaf i fynd at Kath yn gyntaf, ac wedyn gwnaf i fynd at Pedr.
Forgive me for intervening. Because of time constraints, I'll ask everyone to respond to what Alun asked there and then, perhaps, we'll have to move on. I know that Pedr wanted to come in there. I'll turn to Kath first and then I'll go to Pedr.
Diolch. Roeddwn i jest eisiau sôn am un prosiect gwnaethon ni ei ddatblygu yn ystod y cyfnod clo. Fel rhan o'r prosiect yma, roedd cyfle inni peilota, felly roedd cyfle i bobl yng Nghymru i ddewis eu hoff weithfeydd oedd yn rhan o'r casgliad. Gwnaethon nhw ddewis rhyw 30. Roedd 100 wedi cael eu cynnig. Roedd y 30 gwaith yn cynnwys gwaith cyfoes a gwaith hanesyddol. Wedyn, gwnaethon ni ddatblygu arddangosfa, 100 Celf, a deithiodd i Sir Fôn, Aberystwyth ac Aberhonddu. A dwi'n meddwl bod hwnna'n enghraifft dda o'r posibiliadau.
I just wanted to mention one project that we developed during lockdown. As part of this project that had enabled us to pilot a new initiative, there was an opportunity for people in Wales to choose their favourite artworks that were part of the collection, and they selected around 30. One hundred had been put forward, but the 30 selected included historical work and contemporary work, and then we developed the 100 Celf exhibition, which travelled to Anglesey, Aberystwyth and Brecon. I do think that that's a very good example of the possibilities.
Dwi'n cytuno gyda phethau yn teithio o gwmpas y lle. Does gen i ddim problem gyda hynny. Dwi yn meddwl—sori i dorri ar draws eto—y buasai'n hwylus, Cadeirydd, os yw'n bosibl, i'r pwyllgor ymweld â'r amgueddfa a'r llyfrgell genedlaethol i weld y gwaith rydych chi'n ei wneud o ran cadw'r casgliadau—
I agree with these touring exhibitions. I don't have a problem with that. I'm sorry to cut across again, but I do think that it would be beneficial, if possible, Chair, for the committee to be able to visit the museum and the national library to see the work that you are doing to conserve and store these collections—
Ie, yn sicr byddai hynny'n beth da.
Yes, that would certainly be a good thing to do.
—a hefyd trafod eich cynlluniau fel sefydliadau. Dwi'n credu y buasai hynny'n hwylus i ni fel pwyllgor.
—and to talk about your plans as organisations. I think that would be very good for us as a committee.
A very warm welcome to you to do that.
Diolch yn fawr iawn am hwnna. Pedr, roeddech chi eisiau dod i mewn, hefyd, ar hwn.
Thank you very much for that. Pedr, you wanted to come in on this.
Ie, buasem ni'n croesawu ymweliad gennych chi i'r llyfrgell genedlaethol hefyd. Dwi'n cytuno â Kath, rydyn ni a'r amgueddfa yn gwneud ein gorau glas i rannu ein casgliadau hanesyddol gyda phobl Cymru, ond y gwir amdani ydy, fel cenedl, does gennym ni ddim oriel genedlaethol. Ac, i ni, mae hynny'n pwyso'n drwm, drwm ar fy nghydwybod i.
Yes, I would certainly welcome a visit from you to the national library. I agree with Kath, we and the museum are doing our level best to share our historical collections with the people of Wales, but the fact of the matter is that, as a nation, we don't have a national gallery, and that weighs heavily on my conscience.
Dafydd, ydych chi eisiau ychwanegu unrhyw beth cyn inni symud ymlaen?
Dafydd, did you want to add anything before we move on?
Dwi'n meddwl bod y pwynt sydd wedi cael ei godi yn un teg iawn o ran y gwaith hanesyddol, ond mae'r model sydd wedi cael ei ddatblygu yn gwbl unigryw, dwi'n meddwl. Does yna ddim enghreifftiau tebyg. A'r bwriad yw i ryddhau y casgliadau i fynd o gwmpas Cymru, i fod yn fwy ar gael i gymunedau y tu allan i'r brifddinas, os liciwch chi, neu heb orfod ymweld ag Aberystwyth. Felly, dyna'r bwriad sylfaenol, ond dwi'n derbyn y pwynt am y gwaith hanesyddol. Y flaenoriaeth yn y prosiect yma yw celf gyfoes.
Yes. The point that is raised is very fair in terms of the historical works, but the model that has been developed is unique, I think. There are no similar examples. The intention is to release the collections so that they can travel around Wales so that they are more available to communities outwith the capital, if you will, which means that people don't have to visit Aberystwyth. That's the fundamental objective. But, I accept the point about the historical works. The focus is on contemporary works here.
Diolch am hwnna. Gwnawn ni symud at Llyr Gruffydd.
Thank you. We'll move to Llyr Gruffydd.
Ie, dwi yn meddwl mai creu rhwydwaith o safleoedd arddangos gydag amgylchedd addas ar gyfer dangos yw un o'r heriau. Wel, buasai hwn, o bosibl, wedyn, gobeithio, yn hyrwyddo mynediad yn sgil hynny a'r gallu i rannu'r casgliad i wahanol rannau o Gymru. Down ni nôl, efallai, at gryfderau a gwendidau y cynnig a beth y dylai fe edrych fel, ond y realiti yw bod yna gynnig ger ein bron ni, ac efallai y gallwch chi sôn ychydig am ba waith, os unrhyw waith o gwbl, rydych chi wedi ei wneud hyd yma i weithio tuag at y nod o greu oriel gelf gyfoes genedlaethol ers yr astudiaeth dichonoldeb yn 2018.
Yes, and I do think that creating a network of display areas with an appropriate atmosphere for exhibition would hopefully increase access and provide an ability to take our collections to various parts of Wales. We'll return, perhaps, to the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal and what it should look like, but the reality is that there is a proposal before us, and perhaps you could tell us what work, if any, you have done to date to work towards the aim of creating a national contemporary art gallery since the feasibility study in 2018.
Wyt ti eisiau i fi gychwyn? Gwnaf i gychwyn, os liciwch chi, gyda rhywfaint o wybodaeth am yr orielau dan sylw. Erbyn hyn—roedd yna waith a gafodd ei gomisiynu nôl yn 2020, a dweud y gwir, gan Rural Office Architecture ar ran y prosiect, i adnabod orielau posibl ar draws Cymru a allai fod yn gymwys ar gyfer y prosiect. Yr orielau dan sylw ydy: Storiel ym Mangor; Canolfan Celfyddydau Aberystwyth; Glyn Vivian yn Abertawe; Mostyn yn Llandudno; Amgueddfa ac Oriel Gelf Casnewydd; Oriel Davies, Drenewydd; Oriel Myrddin, Caerfyrddin; a Phlas Glyn y Weddw, Pen Llŷn; yn ogystal â Chanolfan Grefft Rhuthun.
Y criteria, efallai, sydd o ddiddordeb yn sicr i'r pwyllgor y bore yma—sut aethon ni ati i ddod at y casgliad yma. Wel, comisiynwyd y gwaith gan Rural Office i gysylltu gydag amryw orielau ledled Cymru, ond y criteria yn syml oedd yr angen i gael ystod eang daearyddol ar draws Cymru, i sicrhau bod y casgliadau ar gael ledled Cymru; y gallu, wedyn, i storio a chadw'r gwaith yn ddiogel; y gallu hefyd i gynnig cyfleoedd addysg a gwaith yn ymwneud â chymunedau; capasiti wedyn, capasiti'r staff curadurol a phrofiad i gyfrannu at gyd-greu; a beth hefyd oedd yn fforddiadwy—roedd hwnna yn gwestiwn; a hygyrchedd i bobl anabl. Ac fe flaenoriaethwyd gofodau y tu allan i Gaerdydd. Dyna oedd y prif ystyriaethau wrth fynd ati i ddewis yr orielau hynny. Wyt ti eisiau adio rhywbeth at hwnna, Kath, o ran—?
Hyd yma, mae yna oedi wedi bod ar y gwaith. Rŷn ni'n cydnabod hynny. Y prif reswm am hynny, dwi'n meddwl, oedd y pandemig yn sicr, achos roedd gwaith cafodd ei wneud ar asesu'r orielau— cafodd ei gyflwyno reit ar gychwyn y pandemig. Fe newidiodd pwyslais ein gwaith ni yn y cyfnod hynny. Fe wnaethom ni fel cyngor celfyddydau ganolbwyntio ar ryddhau y cultural recovery, y grants ac yn y blaen, ond fe aeth yr amgueddfa ymlaen gyda gwaith digidol, ac rwy'n siŵr gallet ti ddweud fwy am hwnna, Kath, yn y man. Bu hefyd newid mewn arweinyddiaeth o fewn y ddau gorff, yn arbennig. Ond mae'n rhaid inni gydnabod hefyd, yn dilyn y pandemig, gymrodd e beth amser i ailgydio yn yr impetus, ac rŷn ni'n cydnabod: fe gallan ni fod wedi comisiynu'r gwaith ar y GIS audits am yr orielau yn gynt. Dyna'r unig elfen ar hyn o bryd sydd tu ôl i'r schedule.
Ond, erbyn hyn, rŷn ni wedi llwyddo i gyhoeddi ac i benodi cadeirydd annibynnol. Mae gennym ni gadeirydd annibynnol bellach. Mae gennym ni swyddog prosiect ac mae gennym ni swyddog creadigol. Felly, mae yna dipyn o waith wedi ei wneud. Mae yna fwy i'w wneud. Ond yn dilyn gohebiaeth gan y Dirprwy Weinidog, rŷn ni hefyd wedi adnabod, dros y ddwy flynedd nesaf, beth sydd angen ei wneud o ran agenda gwaith. Mae yna dargedau pendant iddo fe. Mae cadeiryddion y tri chorff wedi cwrdd. Rŷn ni'n cryfhau y grŵp prosiect o ran craffu ac o ran rheoleiddio. Felly, mae yna dipyn o waith wedi'i wneud ac mae yna dipyn o waith i'w wneud eto. Ond yn hapus iawn i dderbyn unrhyw gwestiynau ar hynny.
Do you want me to start? I'll start and give you some information about the galleries that we have in mind. Work was commissioned back in 2020, truth be told, by Rural Office Architecture on behalf of the project to identify potential galleries across Wales that could be appropriate for the project. Those are: Storiel in Bangor; Aberystwyth Arts Centre; Glyn Vivian in Swansea; Mostyn in Llandudno; Newport Museum and Art Gallery; Oriel Davies Gallery in Newtown; Oriel Myrddin Gallery in Carmarthen; Plas Glyn y Weddw in Pen Llŷn; as well as Ruthin Craft Centre.
The criteria, maybe, are of interest for the committee this morning—how we went about identifying this collection. Well, the work was commissioned by Rural Office to contact a number of galleries across Wales, but the criteria, simply put, were the need to have a wide geographical range across Wales, to ensure that the collections were available the length and breadth of Wales; the ability then to store and secure the work; the ability to provide educational opportunities and community-based projects; the capacity, then, so the capacity of the curatorial staff with the experience to contribute to co-creation; and what was affordable too—that was a very important question; and accessibility to people with disabilities. And we prioritised spaces outside of Cardiff. Those were the major considerations when we selected the host galleries. Do you want to add anything to that, Kath?
To date, there has been a delay in the work. We do acknowledge that. The main reason for that was the pandemic, certainly, because the work that was done on assessing the galleries was done right at the beginning of the pandemic. The emphasis of our work was changed during that period. We as an arts council focused on releasing the cultural recovery grants and so on, but the museum continued with its digital work, and I'm sure that you can tell us more about that in a moment, Kath. There was also a change in leadership within both bodies, in particular. But we have to acknowledge too, following the pandemic, it took some time to continue to pursue the impetus and we acknowledge we could have undertaken the GIS audits with the galleries more quickly. That's the only thing that's currently behind schedule.
But, to date, we have succeeded in appointing an independent chair. We have an independent chair now. We have a project officer and we have a creative officer in place. So, a great deal of work has been done. There is more to do. But following correspondence with the Deputy Minister, we've also identified over the next two years what we need to be doing in terms of the work agenda. There are specific targets that have been set. The chairs of the three bodies have met. We are strengthening the project group in terms of the scrutiny function and regulation. So, a great deal of work has been done. There is work to do. But we're very happy to answer any questions on that.
Ie, iawn. Dwi ddim yn gwybod os efallai gallwn ni gael ymateb—. Dwi'n gwybod ein bod ni eisiau sôn mewn manylder am y stwff digidol, efallai, ond jest i gyffwrdd yn fras ar hynny.
Yes, fine. Perhaps we could get a response—. I know we want to look in detail at the digital element, maybe, but would you like to touch on that now?
Yn hapus iawn i adrodd yn ôl ein bod ni wedi dechrau cael y trafodaethau sydd angen eu cael nawr gyda'r orielau. Gwnaethon ni gwrdd yn yr amgueddfa rhyw bythefnos yn ôl, jest i fynd o dan groen y model ac i edrych i mewn i beth bydd yn gweithio i'r orielau, pa gyfleon sydd gennym ni, a byddwn ni'n cwrdd nawr yn rheolaidd dros y misoedd nesaf i wneud yn siŵr bod yr adnoddau a'r rhaglen mewn lle i'w galluogi nhw i symud ymlaen yn y ffordd maen nhw'n dymuno.
I'm happy to report that we have started to have the discussions necessary with the galleries. We met at the museum some fortnight ago, just to get under the skin of the model and to look at what would work for the galleries, what opportunities there are, and we will now be meeting regularly over the next few months to ensure that the resource and the programme is in place to allow them to progress in the way that they want.
Ydy Pedr eisiau ychwanegu rhywbeth? Ydy.
Does Pedr want to add anything there? Yes.
Ie, os caf i siarad yn blwyfol, Gadeirydd, wrth ateb y cwestiynau yna. Beth rydyn ni'n ei wneud yn lleol—. Beth mae'r cynllun yma, y prosiect yma, wedi ein galluogi ni i wneud a'n hysbrydoli ni i wneud ydy buddsoddi yn ein celf gyfoes ac ehangu ein casgliadau celf gyfoes. Ar wahân i ddigido—. Rydyn ni'n dod tua therfyn digido ein holl gasgliadau celf, rŵan—ryw 60,000 o eitemau celf yma yn y llyfrgell. Ond yn lleol, ac o ran cefnogi celf gyfoes, mi rydyn ni, yn ystod y flwyddyn ddiwethaf yma rŵan, wedi bod yn comisiynu gwaith celf gan gelfwyr ifanc yng Nghymru. Ac yn arbennig iawn, mi gawson ni ein hargyhoeddi bod angen i'n casgliadau cenedlaethol ni fod yn fwy cynrychioliadol o gymunedau amrywedd Cymru, ac mi rydyn ni wedi bod yn comisiynu artistiaid o'r cymunedau yna i greu gwaith a fydd yn medru bod yn rhan o'r cynllun cyffrous yma yn y dyfodol, a rhannu eu gweithiau nhw o gwmpas Cymru gyda'r orielau.
Yes, if I can speak in a parochial manner, Chair, in responding to those questions. What we're doing locally—. What this project has enabled us to do and inspired us to do, indeed, is to invest in our contemporary art and to expand our contemporary art collection. We're coming to the end of the digitalisation process of our entire art collections and artworks—we've got approximately 60,000 artworks in the library. But locally and in terms of supporting contemporary art, during the past year now, we have been commissioning contemporary artworks by young artists in Wales. And we were convinced that our national collections needed to be more representative of the diverse communities of Wales, and we have been commissioning artists from those diverse communities to create work that will be able to be part of this exciting project in future, and to share their work and to display it around Wales in the various galleries.
Ocê, diolch am hynny. So, mae yna dipyn yn digwydd. Oes yna unrhyw wariant cyfalaf wedi bod o gwbl ar unrhyw beth, ac, os oes e, ydy hwnna wedi dod o ddyraniadau cyllideb bresennol eich sefydliadau chi, neu ydy hwnnw'n rhywbeth sydd wedi cael ei ariannu o'r tu allan?
Thank you for that. Has there been any capital spend to date, and if there has been, has that come from your current organisational budget, or has that been funded externally?
Mi wnaf i gychwyn, ac wedyn mi wnaf symud at Dafydd. Mae'r gwaith digido i gyd wedi cael ei ariannu gan Lywodraeth Cymru. Felly, wrth gwrs, roedd yn rhaid i ni gael staff ychwanegol i wneud y gwaith hynny, ac rŷn ni wedi gwneud hwnna dros y tair blynedd diwethaf. Felly, mae hwnna'n adnodd Llywodraeth Cymru, ac rŷn ni'n ddiolchgar iawn am hynny.
I'll start and then I'll turn to Dafydd. All of the digitising work has been funded by Welsh Government. Of course, we needed additional staff to do that work, and we've done that over the past three years. So, that resource is provided by Welsh Government, for which we're very grateful.
Oes, mae yna arian cyfalaf wedi'i glustnodi gan Lywodraeth Cymru, ac mae yna arian refeniw, yn ogystal â rhywfaint o gyllid yn dod o'n cyllidebau arferol ni fel tri sefydliad tuag at y prosiect. Yn 2023-24, y bwriad ydy, fel cyfanswm o ran project funding, felly, yw £1.8 miliwn, wedyn mae'n mynd i £3.8 miliwn a £5.7 miliwn dros dair blynedd. Mae hwnna, dwi'n meddwl, yn bennaf yn adlewyrchu'r anghenion cyfalaf fydd i ddod â'r orielau lan i safon. Mae rhai o'r orielau mewn cyflwr eithaf derbyniol, felly dyw pawb ddim yn cael yr un peth, fel petai. Mae'n amodol ar yr angen yn lleol.
Yes, capital funding has been earmarked by the Welsh Government, and revenue funding has also been earmarked, as well as a quantum of budget that comes from our usual budgets as three institutions towards the project. In 2023-24, the intention, as a total in terms of the project funding, is £1.8 million, then it goes to £3.8 million and £5.7 million over three years. I think that primarily reflects the capital requirement to bring the galleries up to standard. Some of the galleries are in a relatively acceptable state now, so not everyone will receive the same, as it were. It's conditional on the need locally.
Maen nhw'n dechrau o lefydd gwahanol.
They're staring from different points.
Ie, ac mae rhai wedi derbyn gwaith lled ddiweddar ac, felly, angen llai o waith. Ond dyna brif bwriad, nawr, y gwaith—awdit y GIS. Dwi'n gwybod y gall Kath esbonio hwnna'n dechnegol yn well na fi, fel rhywun sy'n ei ddeall e o ddydd i ddydd gydag amgueddfeydd, ond mae hwnna'n rhan o ddod i adnabod yr anghenion yn yr orielau unigol.
Yes, and some have had work done relatively recently, so they don't need that work now. So, that's the main aim, now, of the Government indemnity scheme audit. Kath can explain that technically much better than I could, as somebody who understands it as part of the day-to-day workings of museums, but it is part of identifying the requirement in the individual galleries.
Thank you. Pedr.
Wrth gwrs, hefyd, Gadeirydd, mae'n bwysig ein bod ni yn cofio ein bod ni yn cael grantiau pwrcasu gan Lywodraeth Cymru, ar wahân i'r prosiect yma, i ddatblygu ein casgliadau. Rydyn ni'n ddiolchgar iawn, iawn am hynny. Heb y grantiau hynny, wrth gwrs, byddai'n gwbl, gwbl amhosib i ni ddatblygu'r casgliadau cenedlaethol.
Of course, Chair, it's also important that we bear in mind that we do receive purchasing grants from Welsh Government, which are separate from this project, in order to develop our own collections, and we're very grateful for that. Without those grants, of course, it would be entirely impossible for us to develop the national collections.
A jest yn olaf gen i, os ydy hwnna'n iawn, efallai y gallwch chi ddweud ychydig ynlgŷn â sut mae ystyriaethau cydraddoldeb a chynaliadwyedd wedi cael eu cynnwys yn y gwaith hyd yn hyn?
And just finally from me, if that's okay, could you tell us a little bit more about how equality and sustainability considerations have been included in the work so far?
Wyt ti eisiau ateb hwnna?
Would you like to respond to that?
Wyt ti'n moyn cychwyn, a wedyn mi wnaf ddod mewn?
Do you want to start, and then I'll come in?
Dwi'n meddwl roedd hwnna'n rhan o'r ystyriaethau wrth ddewis yr orielau, yn sicr. O ran cynaliadwyedd—cynaliadwyedd o ran yr orielau eu hunain—yn sicr, mae hwnna'n rhan o'r broses o asesu'r anghenion cyfalaf a'r anghenion refeniw. O ran cynaliadwyedd heibio i gyfnod y prosiect, mae hwnna'n ddarn o waith sydd angen ei wneud o ran cynllun busnes, ac mae Gillian, y project director—mae'n ddrwg gen i, dwi'n mynd o'r Gymraeg i'r Saesneg, fel rhywun o Lanelli—mae Gillian â'r cyfrifoldeb o ddatblygu'r cynllun busnes rhwng nawr a—. Mae yna ryw 18 mis gyda hi i gwblhau'r gwaith yna.
I think that was part of the consideration as we selected the galleries, certainly. In terms of sustainability—the sustainability of the galleries themselves—certainly, that is part of the capital assessment and revenue assessment process. In terms of post-project sustainability, that's a piece of work that will still need be done in terms of a business plan, and Gillian, the project director—sorry, I'm switching from Welsh to English, as one from Llanelli usually does—but Gillian has the responsibility of developing the business plan between now and—. She has some 18 months to complete that work.
Diolch yn fawr.
Thank you very much.
Grêt. Mi wnawn ni symud ymlaen at Carolyn Thomas.
Great. We'll move on to Carolyn Thomas.
Thank you. Some of it's been covered already, but, just on the strengths and weakness of this dispersed model, and, also, do you think that our residents will understand that there is actually a national gallery as well, with it being dispersed? Alun was touching before on it being a stand-alone model compared to this dispersed model. So, what do you think are the strengths and weaknesses?
I want to start with the strengths because I think it is a fantastic model. And I go back to that point that the national collection belongs to everyone in Wales, and people shouldn't have to travel four to five hours to see the collection in Cardiff; it should be available within their communities. And I think there is a fantastic opportunity here. I think the way that Amgueddfa Cymru has been working over the last few years, and the practice within the arts council as well of taking items to those communities—actually, of communities deciding themselves which items they want to see—. It's not Amgueddfa Cymru saying, 'This is what we're going to give you'; it's inviting those communities, with the support of the galleries, for them to decide what they want to see and what's relevant. And that idea of collaboration and co-curation, I think, sits at the heart of this. So, it's changing the whole way we talk about art, that it's not something rarified and distant; that it is something that you can experience in your town, in your village, in a completely new way.
I heard in a previous evidence session—I think it was, actually, when we went to Ireland—that we need to make art relevant to people.
So it tells a story, and that stuck in my mind. So, with you saying that, it reminds me of that.
Yes, I think that's absolutely the right thing, that it is something that's relevant, that's meaningful to people's lives, and this is why the element of that voice, the choice coming from a different direction, I think, is so important.
Dwi'n meddwl roedd Pedr eisiau dod i mewn yn gyntaf, wedyn mi wnawn ni ddod yn ôl atoch chi, Dafydd, os yw hynny'n ocê. Pedr.
I think Pedr wanted to come in, and then we'll come back to you, Dafydd, if that's okay.
Just briefly, Chair. I think that the national collections as well should be available in people's pockets. People should be able to carry the national collections with them in their pockets while doing their business every day. In that, the digitisation programme of this particular programme will actually allow people to do that. So, I think that's a very, very exciting prospect as well, and a very, very important part of this project.
Diolch, Pedr. That's an element that we're going to be returning to in a little more detail later, but that's really helpful for you to set down there then. Diolch.
Dafydd, roeddech chi eisiau dod i mewn hefyd.
Dafydd, you wanted to come in as well.
I think part of the challenge there, just to go back to the original question, in establishing whether the public will be aware that it's a national collection or it's a national gallery, is creating a strong brand as well—a strong brand that has impact, that is relevant wherever you are in Wales, that you understand what it is. That is part of the challenge over the next two years, to establish that and build on that. Some of that work started during the pandemic. I'm sure we'll go back to the digital element, as Pedr said, creating that brand. And I think the other aspect of this, which is interesting, is that it's not top down, necessarily; there are opportunities for the local communities to ask for specific pieces of work and to create work that's relevant to those communities. That is part of the offer.
So, will there be branding like signage and a logo to show that it's part of a national gallery as it goes on tour?
Yes, and that's something we're working on. For the creative director, one of her first jobs, now she's in post, is to look at what that brand can look like and work with the galleries, because, obviously, they've got all their strong identities too, which is of a huge relevance in terms of their profile within the community, and to have a brand that brings all of that together with the partners and the collection.
Okay, thank you. And, on weaknesses—we've talked about the strengths of this—any perceived weaknesses, going forward?
Perhaps one of the questions—and I wouldn't say it's a weakness; it's a challenge for us—is about the sustainability, in terms of us moving collections to different parts of the country and how we manage that in a way so that we do minimise our carbon footprint. So, we are looking into that and looking at things. They sound basic, but they're important—about sustainable packaging materials, looking at the types of vehicles. So, I think that is a challenge, and that's something we are grappling with.
Okay, Pedr's nodding. Okay.
I think that was it, really, wasn't it, on my two questions.
Diolch, Carolyn. Mae Alun eisiau dod i mewn.
Thanks, Carolyn. Alun wants to come in.
This is a Welsh disease all over, it's it? We're just going to give everybody a piece of jam and everybody's hungry. That's the reality of it. I've sat here for 16 years listening to these sorts of things, and ticking boxes so that we cover north, south, east, west, rural, urban, Welsh-speaking, non-Welsh-speaking, and in the end we don't deliver anything because we don't create the institution. I think it's important that we have galleries and art institutions, shall we say, where things can travel across the country. But to be successful, you've got to have roots as well. Blaenavon works because it's rooted in the coal industry in the Valleys. We were in Llanberis last year, weren't we, and I thought the plans there for the slate museum work because it's in the location there, and it's fantastic, brilliant. But the reality is, unless we actually create a national gallery, none of this is going to work. It's not true that the people of Blaenau Gwent will have access to artwork that is in Aberystwyth or that is in Mostyn or that is somewhere else, because they're not going to go there to see it. It's not true. And when you create all these very small, minor institutions across the country, instead of a national institution, what you do is you pretend that you're delivering something for everybody when you're delivering nothing for everybody, and I think we need to think hard about this as a country and as a nation because, as a nation, we don't have a national gallery, and unless we create that, then all the fantastic collections we have will remain invisible to the people who own them, and I think it would be a tragic missed opportunity.
There was a question mark—
Ydych chi eisiau ymateb i hynny, Dafydd? Mae Dafydd eisiau ymateb i hwnna.
Do you want to respond to that? Dafydd wants to respond.
There's a question mark at the end of it. It's not cynical at all; it's based on looking at this country as a country and not simply pretending that we're achieving things that we're not in reality, and I think we've got to challenge ourselves.
Oedd yna gwestiwn roeddech chi eisiau i'r—?
Was there a question that you wanted—?
Would you like any of the witnesses to respond to that? I think Dafydd wanted to.
I'm just challenging the—
Dwi'n fwy na hapus i ymateb i hwnna, mewn un ystyr. Beth arall sy'n rhan o'r prosiect yma, ond sydd tu allan i'n sgôp ni, yw'r syniad yma o beth sy'n cael ei gyfeirio ato fel anchor site. Nawr, mae hwnna'n cael ei arwain yn uniongyrchol gan y Llywodraeth. Un o'r ystyriaethau a'r trafodaethau rŷn ni wedi'u cael fel grŵp prosiect llywio—ond dwi'n tanlinellu bod hwn y tu allan i'n sgôp ni—yw fe allai fod yn fendithiol o ran edrych ar gaps, o bosib, yn y ddaearyddiaeth. O dderbyn ein bod ni'n bwrw ymlaen gyda'r prosiect yma sydd ledled Cymru, fe allai helpu fanna petai e'n rhywle fel yng Nghymoedd y De, er enghraifft, sydd ddim ar hyn o bryd yn rhan o'r daith. Fe allai hwnnw fod—
I'm more than happy to respond to that, in one sense. Another thing that's part of this project that is outwith our scope is this concept of what's referred to as an anchor site. Now, that's led directly by the Government. One of the considerations and the discussions that we've had as a steering group—but I emphasise that this is outwith our scope—is that it could be beneficial in terms of looking at possible geographical gaps. Taking that we are proceeding with this project across Wales, it could help there if it were placed somewhere like the south Wales Valleys, which currently isn't part of the journey. That could be—
Gyda miliwn o bobl.
And there's a million people there.
—yn fendithiol. Ond, efallai fyddai'n rhaid i'r Llywodraeth, wrth gwrs, ystyried a fydd yna gost ychwanegol, a chost go ddifrifol, buaswn i'n meddwl, oherwydd bydd angen i'r anchor site fod yn fwy; bydd rhaid iddo fe gael lle i storio. Hynny yw, mae yna lot o ystyriaethau. Ond mae'n anodd i ni ymateb yn fanwl i hwnna oherwydd mae y tu allan i'n sgôp ni, ble mae'n cael ei arwain. Ond efallai y byddai hwnna'n ateb rhywfaint o'r gofid sydd gennych chi, dwi ddim yn gwybod.
—beneficial. But, perhaps the Government may have to consider that there would be additional costs involved, and quite substantial costs, I would have thought, because the anchor site would need to be larger; it would need to have storage space. There are many considerations. But it's difficult for us to respond in detail to that because it is outwith our scope and led by Government. But perhaps that would allay some of your concerns.
Ond dwi eisiau herio hynny achos, ie, mae tu fas i'r sgôp, efallai, ond chi yw'r arbenigwyr; chi yw'r bobl gyda'r wybodaeth a chi sy'n cadw'r casgliadau yma. A dwi yn meddwl, yn lle aros i'r Llywodraeth neu ryw gytundeb gyda'r pleidiau yn y dyfodol, efallai, i ddweud rhywbeth, y gallwch chi, fel ein sefydliadau cenedlaethol, actually fod yn proactive a sôn am hyn hefyd, achos buaswn i ddim yn dibynnu ar wleidyddion i wneud hyn, achos bob tro rŷch chi'n sôn am yr heriau rŷch chi wedi'u disgrifio nawr, Dafydd, mae gwleidyddion jest yn mynd i ymateb i'r pethau sydd yn rhwydd.
I want to challenge that, because, yes, it is outwith the scope, perhaps, but you are the experts; you are the people with the expertise and the knowledge, and you keep these collections for us. I think, rather than waiting for the Government or some agreement with parties in future, perhaps, to say something, you, as our national institutions, could be proactive and could be talking about this too, because I wouldn't depend on politicians to do this, because every time that you talk about the challenges that you've just described, Dafydd, the politicians are just going to respond to the easier points.
Yr unig beth byddwn i'n dweud yw fy mod i'n gwybod bod y gwaith yna'n bell lawr y trac, fel petai. Dwi'n gwybod bod yna waith comisiynu wedi digwydd, ond dwi ddim yn gwybod y manylion oherwydd nad yw e wedi dod ar draws ein sgôp ni. Felly, dwi'n ymddiheuro, ond fedraf i ddim rhoi mwy o fanylion ar hwnna.
The only thing I would say is that I know that that work is quite a long way down the track. I know that some commissioning work has happened, but I don't know the detail because it isn't part of our scope. So, I apologise, as I can't provide you with further information.
Na, digon teg.
No, fair enough.
Dealladwy. Roedd Carolyn Thomas eisiau dod nôl mewn.
That's understandable. Carolyn Thomas wanted to come back in.
Yes. There's a question that's not been covered, really. How will this dispersed model link with other policy areas, such as education and health? So, we have schoolchildren visit certain areas—they love to come to St Fagans, with the wonderful areas.
Thank you, Carolyn. When we were doing the preparatory work for the digitisation of the collection, we consulted across Wales and we talked to over 900 people, and we also consulted with WJEC and a whole range of teachers just to understand what was required and what was most useful to them. The feedback that we had at the time was very welcoming of the initiative and being able to use the collections in a way, but just to have not strict lesson plans but just support and resources for teachers to be able to adapt those for their approach to the delivery of the Cwricwlwm i Gymru. So, that's very much centred in the work that we're doing. We've had a learning officer develop the digital material, and as we move forward with the physical delivery, there will also be a learning officer to support the galleries to develop their programmes, and to work with schools and a whole range of people through formal and informal learning. So, it's very central to the approach that we're taking.
Diolch. Oedd unrhyw un eisiau ychwanegu unrhyw beth i beth mae Kath wedi dweud? Na. Rydych chi'n hapus. Ocê. Mi wnawn ni symud at Tom Giffard.
Thank you. Did anybody want to add anything to what Kath has said? No. You're content. Okay. We'll move to Tom Giffard.
Diolch. Can I just talk about funding? What arrangements do you envisage for ongoing revenue and capital funding of the national contemporary art gallery, and how does that differ, perhaps, from current Welsh Government budgets in that area?
I'll talk on behalf of Amgueddfa Cymru. The funding that we have in place, which has facilitated the digital work and is facilitating the lending model, and the support needed for that, takes us up to 2025. There is a question, as we move forward, as to how we continue to maintain that level of service. Dafydd has already mentioned that both the creative director and the project director will be looking at opportunities for commercial exploitation, but we will have to think about how we're able to maintain that post 2025.
That was what I was going to come on to, the commercial income. So, what—
Forgive me, Tom—I think Pedr wanted to come in on this before we come back to that. Is that all right?
Mae o'n gwestiwn da. Mae'r gyllideb yn sicr tan ddiwedd Mawrth 2025, ond liciem ni gael sicrwydd bod arian refeniw yn mynd i ddod i'n sefydliadau i gynnal yr oriel i'r dyfodol. Os nad ydy'r arian yna yn dod i'n cyrff ni, bydd gwasanaethau eraill yn gorfod dioddef, mae'n bosib, ond rydym ni'n hyderus ac yn gobeithio y bydd y cyllid hwnnw ar gael ar ôl Mawrth 2025.
It's a good question. The funding is certainly in place until the end of March 2025, but we would like to have an assurance that revenue funding will come to our organisations to maintain and sustain the gallery in future. If that funding isn't forthcoming to our bodies, other services will have to suffer, potentially, but, certainly, we are confident and we are hopeful that that funding will be available post March 2025.
Diolch. Thanks, Tom.
Thank you. In terms of commercial income, then, which we touched on, what's the plan? What do you envision as the role of the potentiality of increased commercialisation? What would that look like in reality?
That's something that we haven't really been focused on at Amgueddfa Cymru, because our work has been on the lending model and the digitisation at present. So, I'm not going to try and give you an answer that is ill prepared. I think there are opportunities, of course, in terms of how we use the artwork, the works we create on the back of that, but I think I'd rather take the time to speak to both the creative director and the project director and come back to you, to really map out what those commercial opportunities are.
Tom, before we move on, I think Llyr wanted to come in on that point.
Efallai fy mod i'n gwbl anghywir, ond mae dibyniaeth ar y pwrs cyhoeddus yn rhywbeth, pan ŷch chi'n edrych ar orielau cyfatebol ar lefel rhyngwladol, sydd yn angenrheidiol—hynny yw, mae'n afrealistig i feddwl bod modd i orielau fel hyn fod yn hunangynhaliol yn llwyr.
I might be entirely wrong, but I assume that a reliance on the public purse is something that, when you look at other similar galleries at an international level, is necessary. It's unrealistic to believe that these galleries can be entirely self-sustaining.
Ie, dwi'n credu bod hwnna'n bwynt teg. A hefyd, beth sy'n bwysig iawn inni ar hyn o bryd, wrth gwrs, yw does dim rhaid i unrhyw un dalu i weld a mwynhau y casgliad cenedlaethol, ac mae hwnna'n rhywbeth pwysig inni gadw.
Yes, I think that's a fair point. Also, what's very important for us now, of course, is that nobody has to pay to see and enjoy the national collection, and it's very important that we keep that.
Diolch. Roedd Pedr eisiau dod i mewn ar hyn, a wedyn gwnawn ni fynd nôl at Tom.
Thank you. Pedr wanted to come in, then we'll return to Tom.
Ac os caf fi ychwanegu hefyd bod modd copïo i lawr ac argraffu llawer, llawer o'n casgliadau digidol ni yn rhad ac am ddim hefyd, felly mae'n anodd gweld potensial cynhyrchu incwm drwy atgynhyrchu eitemau o'n casgliadau cenedlaethol. Mae'n holl feddylfryd ni ar ddarparu gwasanaeth am ddim i'r cyhoedd.
And if I could also add that one can print much of our digitised collection free of charge, so it's difficult to see the potential for income generation in reproducing our national collection. All of our thinking is around providing a service free of charge to the public.
Diolch, Pedr. Nôl at Tom.
Thank you, Pedr. Tom.
Finally on funding, do you think that the dispersed model that you're pursuing is more amenable to potential commercial income? Or the points Alun made in favour of this anchor site—would that not be something more amenable, to lend itself better to commercial income?
We're working as a partnership, and we mustn't forget Amgueddfa Cymru's role here as a host gallery and llyfrgell genedlaethol's role as a host gallery. I think, together, with that critical mass, that there is potential for some commercial exploitation. But I'll be very clear that that's not going to be sufficient to be able to fund this; it will not make the project sustainable in and of itself.
I'm going to move on to the digitisation programme, which we've touched on. Just as a broad overview, because I know it's been touched on numerous times, where is that at the moment, how far along the path are we?
On 23 June, we launched Celf ar y Cyd. The website went live, and I'm delighted to note that it's had a really positive response. If I can just take a step back and refer to the consultation that we did back in 2020 with a range of communities and organisations across Wales, we really tried our best to listen and respond to what was emerging from that consultation. There was a huge appetite for contemporary art to be platformed in this way. What was really interesting was the appetite to see behind the scenes, to have the artist talks, see what curators and the conservators were doing. So we've tried to embody that within the site. So, there are 30,000 images that are available to see—some images have never been seen in public before. But it isn't just a big digital dump, if you like—it's not just about the images. There's material there in terms of different curatorial voices. We're using what we call community curators—so, not the professionals, but people who are responding to those works of art—and incorporating them in terms of the content. There are articles, interviews with artists. So we've tried to make it as rounded as possible, and it's not just looking at the image, but exploring a little bit more deeply.
It's encouraging to hear you've had some really good feedback on it so far. How are you measuring that feedback? I'm sure it's not purely about numbers. Carolyn earlier mentioned the importance of people in an educational setting, for example, engaging with it. So, what sorts of metrics are you using to look at how well received it is, and how popular, and so on?
We're still developing. It's important that that website has to be dynamic and it has to respond. What we've done in the last two weeks, since we launched, is we are going back to those 900 individuals, first and foremost, to check whether that site represents what they said, and that they can see that their views have—or haven't, maybe—been taken on board. So that's what we're using at the moment, but obviously, as the site develops, we will do something that's deeper and broader, if you like. But it is going back to the consultees in the first instance.
Okay. And then, as you say, that hopefully will inform the future direction of travel—would that be fair to say?
Absolutely. And I think what we've been keen to state—and it goes back to the point about relevance—is how we incorporate those different voices, that they're not just the standard curatorial voice. And if there are responses—. You can't upload things, but if there was a community group who wished to respond, or do an article or a blog, we will work with people to add new and different content. So that dynamism is really, really important.
And then, obviously, digitisation is not cheap, as you can imagine. So, how are you funding that at the moment, and how do you envision funding that? As you say, that work's ongoing.
I'm delighted to say that all of the relevant works within Amgueddfa Cymru's collection have been digitised. It wasn't cheap. There was an award of over £1 million from the Welsh Government to allow us to do that. So, that has been completed. Pedr may want to pick up how we'll be funding the library's collection, because that hasn't been onboarded yet, but we do expect to finish that by April 2025.
Pedr, ydych chi eisiau cyfrannu ar hwnna?
Pedr, did you want to contribute on that?
Ydw. Os caf i ychwanegu, felly, Gadeirydd, ym mis Tachwedd y llynedd y cawsom ni gyllid gan Lywodraeth Cymru i ddigido'r casgliadau nad oeddem ni wedi eu digido'n barod. Ond mae'r gwaith yn mynd rhagddo yn dda iawn, iawn ar hyn o bryd. Ac fel y dywedodd Kath, ein gobaith ni ydy y byddwn ni wedi cwblhau erbyn y dyddiad penodedig.
Yes. If I may add, Chair, it was in November of last year that we received funding from the Welsh Government to digitise the collections that we hadn't digitised to date. But the work is proceeding very, very positively at the moment. And as Kath has said, our hope is that we will have completed by the specified date.
Thank you. And one final question from me, which is an interesting one, I guess, to finish on, to think of: how suitable is online access for experiencing contemporary art?
It can never better being in the space with the real thing; I think we have to be realistic about that. And also, within our discussions—. Digitisation is not the cure for the common cold. However, I think that what we've learned is—. We've been able, as I say, to add—. Some 28,000 new images were created as part of this programme, and we were able to platform works that are so fragile and sensitive, they've never been on public display. So, there is a huge advantage to what we're able to show. There is, of course, a question around digital poverty, and we are aware of that. I don't think anybody's got a neat answer. So, there are strengths and weaknesses.
The other point I'd want to make is, going back to the galleries, I see this digital platform as the shop window for galleries and communities who want to begin to curate their exhibitions to make those choices for the works they want to borrow that they want to see within their communities. So, I do think there's real potential, but it's not a silver bullet. There are weaknesses in this. As I say, being in the space is quite special, isn't it?
Rwy'n gwybod fod Pedr eisiau dod mewn ar hyn. Dafydd, a oedd yna unrhyw beth roeddech chi eisiau ychwanegu hefyd? Na, rŷch chi'n hapus. Fe wnawn ni fynd at Pedr.
I know that Pedr wants to come in on this. Dafydd, is there anything that you wanted to add? No, you're content. We'll go to Pedr.
Dwi'n cytuno â Kath eto. Does dim byd tebyg i weld y llun, gweld y gwaith celf ei hun, ond, wrth gwrs, y fantais rydych chi'n ei chael o ddigido dydych chi ddim yn ei chael o edrych ar y llun ar wal sefydliad ydy'r holl fanylion hefyd a welwch chi ar y wê yn gysylltiedig â'r eitem celf yna. Nid yn unig ydych chi'n sganio—yn gwneud llun o'r llun—ond hefyd rydych chi'n gorfod rhoi metadata i mewn sydd yn disgrifio'r llun, rhoi ei gefndir hanesyddol o, ac yn y blaen. Felly, mae manteision hefyd i gael yr eitem wedi ei ddigido, sydd yn cynnwys yr holl fanylion perthnasol am yr eitemau hynny.
I agree with Kath once again. There is nothing like seeing an artwork in situ, but, of course, the advantage of digitisation and something that you don't get from looking at an artwork on the wall of an institution is that you get all of the detail, too, that you can access online that is related to that artwork. Not only can you scan and create an image of the artwork, but you also provide metadata that describes the artwork, gives it its historical background, and so on. So, there are advantages too to having that item digitised, and it'll include all of those relevant details too.
Diolch am hwnna, Pedr. Kath, rŷch chi eisiau dod nôl mewn.
Thank you for that, Pedr. Kath, you wanted to come back in.
Dwi jest eisiau ychwanegu un peth.
I just wanted to add one thing.
The other advantage that I should have mentioned is that, obviously, digital has no national and international boundaries. So, it really does give us an opportunity to platform Welsh art to international audiences, and I think that that's something important, as a by-product, to remember.
Diolch am hynna.
Thank you for that.
We've covered a lot of the challenges that are facing the project. Those challenges notwithstanding, can I ask you all to set out what your vision would be for what you would like this project to achieve?
Beth ŷch chi'n meddwl o ran y sialensau sy'n wynebu'r sector, ond hefyd y sialensau efallai sydd yn wynebu dinasyddion Cymru? Beth ydy eich uchelgais chi, neu beth fyddech chi eisiau gweld y project yma yn ei gyflawni?
What do you think are the challenges that face the sector, but also the challenges that perhaps face the people of Wales? What's your ambition, or rather what would you like to see this project achieving?
Uchelgais y project yw i ddemocrateiddio'r casgliadau a rhoi cyfleoedd i gymunedau ledled Cymru gael access i'r casgliadau. Dyna ran o'r uchelgais sylfaenol. Byddwn i yn dymuno gweld bod yna rwydwaith o orielau sydd yn hygyrch, sydd yn sustainable, sydd yn gryf o ran cynlluniau busnes ac ati, ac sydd yn croesawu cynifer o gymunedau, lle bynnag maen nhw yng Nghymru, i gael gweld y casgliadau cenedlaethol. Dwi'n meddwl hefyd ei bod hi'n gyfle i ni gomisiynu o'r newydd hefyd gwaith yn ymateb, felly a fydd yn cyfrannu tuag at y sector gelfyddydol yn y ffordd hwnnw, yn ogystal â rhoi gofod i'r casgliadau.
Dwi'n meddwl bod yna elfennau pwysig ofnadwy yn ymwneud â chymunedau ac addysg. Byddwn i'n moyn gweld fod yr orielau sydd ynghlwm â'r project yn gryf iawn yn eu gwreiddiau gyda'r gymuned a gyda'r byd addysg. A hefyd, byddwn i'n gobeithio bod yna frand sydd yn gryf, sydd yn ddealladwy, a fyddai'n dod â sylw mawr i Gymru. Dwi'n meddwl fod yna gyfle fan hyn i gyfrannu i'r economi twristiaeth, a hynny mewn mannau o gwmpas Cymru yn hytrach na jest yn y sefydliadau fel y maen nhw ar hyn o bryd. Dwi'n meddwl mai dyna lle ddechreuodd y project. Dwi ddim yn gwybod os wyt ti eisiau adio rhywbeth i hwnna, Kath.
The ambition of the project is to democratise our collections and to provide opportunities for communities across Wales to have access to these collections. That's part of the fundamental ambition. I would want to see a network of galleries that are accessible, sustainable, strong in terms of their business plans, and so on, which welcome as many communities, wherever they are in Wales, so that those communities can view our national collections. I think it's also an opportunity for us to commission work anew that would contribute to the arts sector, as well as providing space for our collections.
I think there are very important elements related to communities and education. We would want to see the galleries involved in the project being very strongly rooted in their community and in their relationship with education. And I would also hope that there would be a strong, well-understood brand that could attract great attention to Wales. I think there's an opportunity here to contribute to the tourism economy, and to do so in areas across Wales rather than in the national institutions as they currently exist. I think that's where the project's starting point was. I don't know if you want to add anything to that, Kath.
Dwi'n cytuno gyda beth ddywedaist ti, Dafydd. Mae yna gyfle i ni wneud rhywbeth unigryw fan hyn, rhywbeth arloesol. Mae'r model yn un gwahanol ond mae'r cyfleon o fewn y model yma yn gyffrous tu hwnt. A mynd nôl i bwynt Dafydd fod hwn yn ffordd ddemocrataidd iawn, dwi'n credu'n gryf yn hynny. Ie, mae e'n wahanol, ond mae'n gyfle i ni wneud rhywbeth gwahanol iawn. Hefyd, jest i godi ar bwynt Dafydd, wrth i ni gael y casgliad ledled Cymru, byddwn i'n gweld, fel roeddet ti'n sôn, Dafydd, cyfle i ysbrydoli creadigrwydd o'r newydd hefyd o fewn ein cymunedau, boed trwy gelf, cerddoriaeth neu jest hunaniaeth, efallai, trwy'r gwaith yma. Mae yna lawer o bosibiliadau yn fanna.
I agree with what you said, Dafydd. There is an opportunity for us to do something unique here, something innovative. The model is a different one, but the opportunities that the model provides are very exciting. Going back to the point that Dafydd made that this is a very democratic way forward, I believe very strongly in that. Yes, it is different, but it is an opportunity for us to do something very different and unique. And just to note further to Dafydd's point, as we disperse the collection across Wales, I would see that that would be an opportunity, as you said, Dafydd, to inspire creativity anew within our communities, be that through art, music or just identity through this work. The possibilities are manifold.
Byddaf i yn dod at Pedr, ond mae Alun eisiau gofyn rhywbeth i Kath, dwi'n meddwl.
I will come to Pedr, but Alun has a question for Kath, I think.
I've heard Ministers time and time again saying this is unique to Wales, it doesn't happen anywhere else in the world. Well, sometimes there's a good reason for that, of course. I'm not convinced that being unique is actually always a good thing just because it is. I'm not convinced by the arguments you're putting forward this morning, if I'm quite honest with you, because I'd hoped to be, as it happens. But the more I hear of the arguments, the more frustrated I feel that we are missing an opportunity here to actually do something special for our country—really something special for Wales. And instead of actually saying, 'We want to create an institution'—. Because you can talk about democratising the arts as much as you like, but unless you actually create something where people can actually see them, not on a screen, but stand in front of them, you're not doing that. You're not doing that, not really. It's not being delivered. [Interruption.] Yes, but it's not being created, is it? That's my question.
On that point, can I just come in? There are people that you consulted on this—900. What was the age range of the 900? What was the background? Were they from varied socioeconomic backgrounds, ages—male and female?
We made every effort to try and make it representative and not go into the same old, same old. So, a range of organisations, groups of young people, Disability Arts Cymru—across the piece. And, as I say, the WJEC. I could give you the full list of who we consulted with. We also included artists as well and creative professionals, so we tried to ensure that that consultation profile was as diverse and as representative as possible, but I'm happy to provide the full list, if that's helpful.
Thank you for that.
Dwi'n mynd i ddod at Pedr, ond os oes unrhyw beth rydych chi eisiau ei ddweud i ymateb i beth mae Alun wedi'i ddweud, mae croeso i chi ei wneud, neu dwi'n gallu mynd yn syth at Pedr. Ocê, gwnawn ni fynd at Pedr i ymateb i'r cwestiwn gwreiddiol, ond croeso i chi ddweud unrhyw beth hefyd yn ymateb i beth sydd newydd gael ei ddweud.
Thank you. I will come to Pedr, but briefly, if there's anything you wanted to say in response to Alun's questions, or we can move immediately to Pedr. Okay, we'll invite Pedr to respond to the original question, but you're also welcome to say anything in response to what's just been said.
Mae o'n ateb i'r cwestiwn ac i sylw ac i bryder Alun, hefyd. Dwi'n gweld ac rydyn ni fel llyfrgell a gweddill y partneriaid yn gweld hwn fel cam positif iawn ymlaen yn darparu gwasanaeth sydd ei angen yng Nghymru am yr union resymau mae Kath a Dafydd wedi'u dweud. Ond, wedi dweud hynny, dwi yn gweld hwn fel cam gwbl, gwbl, angenrheidiol yng nghyd-destun sefydlu oriel gelf genedlaethol. Dwi'n barod iawn, Gadeirydd, i gael trafodaeth efo chi ac Alun i ni fel llyfrgell rannu ein gweledigaeth ni ynglŷn â'r oriel gelf genedlaethol efo chi, tu allan i'r cyfarfod yma, mae'n bosib.
I'll respond to the question and to Alun's comment and concerns. I see and we as a library and the rest of the partners see this as being a very positive step forward in providing a service that is necessary in Wales for the very reasons that Kath and Dafydd have outlined. But, having said that, I do see this as an entirely necessary step in the context of the establishment of a national art gallery. Chair, I am more than happy to have a discussion with you and Alun so that we as a library can share our vision on that national art gallery, possibly outside of this meeting.
Byddwn i'n croesawu hynny'n fawr iawn.
I would welcome that.
Diolch am hynna, Pedr. Os nad oes unrhyw beth pellach roedd unrhyw un eisiau ei ychwanegu, rydyn ni'n ddiolchgar iawn i'r tri ohonoch chi am eich tystiolaeth y bore yma. Bydd transgript o'r hyn sydd wedi cael ei ddweud yn cael ei ddanfon atoch chi er mwyn i chi wirio ei fod yn gofnod teg. Efallai y bydd un neu ddau o bethau technegol y byddwn ni eisiau ysgrifennu atoch chi i'w gwirio hefyd, ond rydyn ni'n rili ddiolchgar am eich amser. Diolch am fod gyda ni y bore yma. Diolch yn fawr iawn.
Aelodau, byddwn ni nawr yn cymryd egwyl fer tan 10:40. Diolch yn fawr iawn eto. Gwnawn ni aros i glywed bod ni'n breifat.
Thank you for that, Pedr. Unless there was anything that anyone wanted to add, I'm very grateful to the three of you for your evidence this morning. A transcript of what has been said will be sent to you to check for accuracy. Perhaps there are some technical issues that we will want to raise with you in writing for you to check, too. But I'm very grateful to you for your time, and thank you for joining us this morning. Thank you very much.
Members, we will now take a short break until 10:40. Thank you very much once again. And we'll wait to hear that we're in private session.
Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 10:23 a 10:41.
The meeting adjourned between 10:23 and 10:41.
Croeso nôl. Dŷn ni'n symud yn ôl at ein sesiynau y bore yma am yr oriel gelf gyfoes genedlaethol, a dŷn ni yn mynd i glywed nawr gan grwpiau buddiant. Dylwn i ddweud, cyn inni fynd at y tystion, ein bod ni wedi derbyn ymddiheuriadau y bore yma gan Hefin David. Gwnaf i ofyn i'r tystion gyflwyno eu hunain ar gyfer y record. Fe wnaf i fynd at Sandra yn gyntaf, sydd gyda ni yn yr ystafell. Sandra.
Welcome back. We move to our next item on the agenda this morning on the national contemporary art gallery, and we're going to hear now from interest groups. I should say, before we go to witnesses, that we've received apologies this morning from Hefin David. I'll ask the witnesses to introduce themselves for the record. I'll go to Sandra first of all, who is joining us in the room. Sandra.
Sandra Harding, chair of the Contemporary Art Society for Wales.
Diolch yn fawr iawn, a wedyn fe wnaf i fynd at Chris nesaf.
Thank you very much, and then I'll turn to Chris next.
Hi. Chris Delaney. I'm the development officer for the federation of museums and galleries.
Diolch, Chris, a fe wnawn ni fynd at Alfredo.
Thank you very much, Chris, and then we'll turn to Alfredo.
We might be having a little bit of technical difficulty here. Alfredo, can you hear us okay?
I can hear double speaking, two people—[Inaudible.]
Right, okay. Do you want to introduce yourself for the record?
Yes. Alfredo Cramerotti, Mostyn director, a national contemporary art museum in north Wales.
Lovely. Okay, we'll go straight to questions, and I'll go first to Alun Davies.
How do you define contemporary art?
I would define contemporary art as being art that is current, that is being produced now by artists that are alive and working.
So, not art that was produced—
I can hear, actually, double everything. It's just kind of doubled up.
Oh, okay, what we'll do, we'll just see if—. Some technicians are going to get in touch with you, Alfredo, and we'll just see if we can try and sort that out now.
So, not art that was created a century or so ago.
Well, obviously, the contemporary art is seen in a context of earlier work, but 'contemporary' tends to be current.
So, not art that was created 100 years ago.
No, not for contemporary, not for the use of the word 'contemporary'.
I'm interested, because we're talking about a contemporary art gallery, so we need to know what we're talking about. Wales has a number of national collections, the vast majority, as far as I can see—or most, anyway, shall we say—of which is historical. So, you would very clearly differentiate between art as being produced today by living artists in whatever medium and that which was produced, say, prior—you know, in the past.
'Contemporary' tends to be used to be linked with artists that are operating now, but, as you've pointed out, the collections, the national collections, have built up over the years, and seeing contemporary work in that context can only enhance the work that you see, and I'm sure my colleagues who've talked this morning from the national gallery, et cetera, would have had more to say on that, linked to their own collections.
Sure, but, from my perspective, we're trying here to identify something, and a concept and a project. So, if you say, contemporary art is today, but also that that influenced it from 100 years ago, you're not actually seeing anything at all, are you? You're not actually defining anything as contemporary, except that we've got this today, but we could also, if we wish to, extend that definition to include anything that we would wish to include.
No, contemporary art—. My understanding is that contemporary art is art produced by artists who are living, who are current. But, as I say, all artwork is seen in the context of what has gone before, and that's where our national galleries do such a fantastic job in presenting contemporary art in different contexts.
But you're very clear about what contemporary art is, and it is not the past; it's the present. We just need to clarify that for the record. I don't want to put words into your mouth, so I'm anxious that you accept my interpretation of what you're saying—or not. So, if we're talking about creating a means of accessing art that is being created today, where is the starting point? Where are we, in terms of—? In your view, where are we today in terms of accessing art, contemporary art?
Well, obviously the focus today is on the galleries that we have in Wales, and that's the obvious place to start for collections of work that are held in places where they are looked after, where they can be presented, where the public can see them, where people can have access. That's why the contemporary art society was so pleased to see what came out of the Welsh Government's current recommendations, in that works of contemporary art are, according to what's been recommended, going to be seen by more people, and that is something surely to be applauded.
Yes, assuming it's true. But my question, with due respect, Ms Harding, was: where are we today? Where is our starting point?
Well, as I say, I go back to the contemporary art society—. Perhaps I ought to explain. We're a charity. We started in the 1930s. Our aim is to foster and promote an engagement with and appreciation of the visual arts among the people in Wales. We do that in many ways. We arrange visits to galleries, talks. We give awards. But we also gift works of art. Over 900 works of art have been gifted by the Contemporary Art Society for Wales to public galleries across Wales, and they've done that since the 1930s. It's a distributed collection, and so, with that in mind, we are just so pleased that those works of art that the contemporary art society has gifted to public galleries, more of them will be seen by more people.
Alun, would you like Chris or Alfredo to come in on this or do you want to—?
I just wanted to clarify the answer to this question. It's: so, where are we today? I accept what you're saying about access in the future and the rest of it, and I've got no issue with any of that, and, quite frankly, I'd expect the contemporary art society to say that they welcome a contemporary arts gallery. But where are we today?
Well, we are with a structure of galleries that I hope will be able to share what they have in a better, more effective way because of what is being pushed—
But where are we today? Do we have the access to contemporary art that you would anticipate from a relatively small European country, in relative terms? Do we have that access today?
Well, we have access via the national institutions, but we can do better, and surely that's what the discussion's about.
Okay, but we need to start—know where the starting point is. But, okay, fair enough. Let's go to the others.
Chris, would you like to comment on Alun's line of questioning with this?
Yes, certainly. Just to sort of think about an example, I've worked in museums from about 1975, and our museum in west Wales was basically a member of the contemporary art society. So, we were collecting works that they provided and contemporary art from before my period, but certainly from the 1970s. So, the working definition was: living artist and work that, really, I suppose, started from about 1945. So, that was the terms of it. Quite clearly, some of the artists that I was collecting, or I had given to the museum collection, are dead now. That's the whole thing about contemporary art, that it's fluid, it's changing. I suppose, because they're dead, it could be considered to be—[Inaudible.]—art, but most museums across Wales and museums and galleries will have collections of contemporary art and still collect contemporary art.
In terms of where we are and what the current situation is, then, basically, from a museum point of view, there are something like 100 accredited museums in Wales, and I would say that probably something like 40 of those would actually have galleries, and those galleries would show a variety of exhibitions, which would include contemporary art. So, places like—[Inaudible.]—museum has a very nice gallery. It has its own collection of contemporary art; it shows its own very nice collection of Augustus and Gwen John, which, if you like, is historic art, but it also shows contemporary artists from around that community, from around Pembrokeshire, and that sort of scenario is reciprocated, I think, right across Wales. Storiel in Bangor are doing exactly the same, and Wrexham Museum, again, Pembroke Museum, they all do that kind of work. Does that clarify what you—
The purpose of a local museum is to do exactly that, though, isn't it? It's to tell the story of that locality. We've relatively small museums in each one of the towns I represent, which try to tell the story of that town, but there's a material difference, though, between that local institution and a national institution, which looks to collect works of a national character.
And I think international character—
Yes, and international character.
Can I come in? Sorry, it's just to respond to Alun Davies as well. Because it's a good question, 'Where are we, today?' Today, we have actually a very interesting ecosystem for arts in Wales. We are very dispersed. I'm in north Wales and you're in Cardiff, and it's five hours away. I run a contemporary museum, effectively, which doesn't have a collection, because we're not mandated to collect contemporary art, but we are mandated to produce and present to the public contemporary art, and we are internationally known. On Saturday, the Financial Times was doing a review of our exhibition here, just to name one. So, to me, this idea of a distributed model of a national gallery of contemporary art Wales is interesting, because it allows us also, as a non-collecting institution, to basically gather knowledge and expertise and share it with the public.
I think we do have also another maybe—[Inaudible.]—example across the border in England. Forgive me for bringing England into the picture, but that's the reality. If you think about the Tate, the Tate is basically a national museum of contemporary art that is dispersed among four different venues. You have, actually, the Britain for British art, the Modern for contemporary art, Liverpool and Cornwall. They share administration, they share marketing, they share logistics, they share, actually, the whole operation, administration and finance and whatever. They have, each of them, individual programmes, which are curated by individual teams, but sharing actually the whole collection they host on behalf of the nation, and that's a good example. If we have to do it as one, I think, we have to—. There is a lot of goodwill that needs to happen, but we can pull it off, and we can really make a difference for the people living in Wales.
I don't know where you actually are, Alfredo, I'm afraid. You represent the Visual Arts Society, as far as I can see in my notes, but—
No. I'm director of Mostyn in north Wales, in Llandudno.
You're director of Mostyn, okay. Okay, thank you for that.
But I work internationally as a curator too, so—.
Yes, yes. But we're not talking here about establishing four or five Tate galleries, are we? We're talking about something that is on an entirely—
No. We're thinking of establishing one national gallery that is dispersed in 10 different venues.
But we're talking about a very different scale of activity, aren't we, in terms of what I can see in the paperwork in front of me. So, we're not talking about major galleries here; we're talking about relatively small-scale galleries.
No, the scale of the operation is similar, because you have a national collection that needs to be shared and you share it across a number of venues, with all sharing in the operation and logistics and administration and finance and marketing, but each with their individual character in terms of programming, education, learning, outreach, responding to their local purposes, still sharing a national relevant collection of contemporary art. That's what I'm talking about. The scale is similar. It's different in the whole configuration, if you want, but the project is very similar; it is different in Wales because we don't share across four, we share across 10 different venues.
We are going to come back to talking about the model more in a moment, but I know, Sandra, you wanted to come in.
Well, just because of the mention of the Tate going from one to four. I understand that the Tate also runs a network of galleries in addition, called Plus Tate, and that may be of interest to the discussion here. I understand that there are 30-plus galleries across England and Wales that, because of being linked with Plus Tate, collaborate on ideas and resources—just the kind of thing that could perhaps help the discussion in Wales.
That's very useful. Thank you very much. Alun, are you happy for us to move on and to come back to the model?
Yes. I think we're talking about things that are entirely different in nature, but yes, I'll leave it at that.
Ocê. Mi wnawn ni fynd at Llyr.
Okay, we'll turn to Llyr.
So, what involvement have you had in this proposal and this project?
Well, I'm very aware that it's been a long time brewing—2008, of course, I saw the report that came out at that stage and then, of course, the feasibility study in 2018, which, as a contemporary art society, I responded to. And, of course, that talked about the challenge, it talked about pooling resources, and it talked about improving access, and those are all things that the contemporary art society feels would be excellent for all the reasons that I've mentioned.
So, as far as involvement in recent years, we have close links with the national museum, Amgueddfa Cymru, and of course Celf ar y Cyd, so I've been feeding back details on that. We provide talks to our members, and we've made sure that the people responsible for Celf ar y Cyd have given an online talk to CASW members, just trying to make sure that everybody is aware of these very exciting developments.
So, are you engaging now directly with the independent chair and the staff members that have been appointed so far to develop the project?
I have not heard from them, but I'm very interested to see the developments.
Okay. And what about Alfredo and Chris?
Alfredo, do you want to go first?
I was part of a recent workshop in Cardiff with Ceri, who is the creative project director, but I didn't meet, actually, with the chair, so far.
And Chris? I think, Chris, you might be on mute. Okay, you're unmuted now.
I'm unmuted, yes. Museum services have been getting involved, but as an organisation, we've had absolutely no contact with anybody about this until we were invited along to this meeting.
In my case, there is Gillian and she is coming next week to the—[Inaudible.]—actually, Chair.
Yes, of course, and maybe your involvement is slightly different because of the sites that are being considered. So, to the other two, then, to Sandra and Chris: are you disappointed that you haven't had greater engagement, or do you feel that your views are being taken on board as the concept is being developed?
Well, I'm very pleased to have an opportunity on behalf of the Contemporary Art Society for Wales to respond to documents when they come out. And indeed, as I said, that's what I did in 2018, and I had a response from Welsh Government saying, 'Thank you very much for your comments, and we will involve you in future'. So, I was very pleased to have it noted that there was an interest from the point of view of the Contemporary Art Society for Wales, and I've noted what we've done as well as links with Celf ar y Cyd. We're always interested to know of developments. This is what we're about; it's about access to public arts, and I go back to those 900-plus works that we've gifted to institutions, public institutions in Wales. We want them to be seen; we want them to be shared; we want them to be enjoyed.
And Chris, do you concur with that? Are you content with your involvement, or your voice being heard?
As I said, the museums would have liked to have been more engaged in the federation. We're engaged in a lot of projects. This, I think, is being seen as a sort of contemporary art—[Inaudible.]—collections, but effectively, there are many museums across Wales that have contemporary art and art in their collections, but we've only fairly recently become involved as an organisation, as a strategic body, basically.
And in terms of the project's progress, are you pretty content that things are proceeding as you would like, in terms of timescales and that kind of thing?
Well, as I stated, it's been brewing. Sorry, were you talking to—?
Sorry, I—. No, maybe Chris, first of all.
Sorry, I was looking at you, Sandra, but that's fine.
I think in terms of picking up where we've got with this—[Inaudible.]—we're happy, but we're very keen to come on board and look at this basically from a collections point of view and particularly from a distributed national collections point of view.
Well, as I mentioned at the beginning, it feels, from our point of view, like it's been brewing for a long time. But I don't have clear details of what the timescale is at the moment, obviously—you will know more of that than I do. But we're all obviously wanting this to move forward for all the reasons that I think we share, mainly the access, fairness, et cetera. There are works out there and it's important, I think, that those works are seen by as many people in Wales as possible.
So, Alfredo, given your more direct involvement with the proposal itself, are things proceeding as you would wish or are things dragging?
Well, it has been a long time in the making for sure. I have to specify that I'm here on behalf of VAGW as well. I'm the co-chair of VAGW, which is the Visual Arts Group Wales, which is the network bringing together the 21 visual arts organisations in Wales; they're kind of the contemporary eyes, and this is actually the presence here as well at the Mostyn Gallery.
In terms of the scheduling, it has been a really, really long time in the making. There were two feasibility studies, as we all discussed earlier. It seems now that it's coming to some sort of a concrete manifestation and that's really exciting, because, probably, it's a good way—it's a good point to be at, post pandemic, as well. Having this vision I think will be essential in terms of the outreach and education and learning work that each of the organisations of VAGW does with the local community—it's an exciting prospect.
Indeed, and as exciting a prospect as it is, does having that prospect mean that there are other things that you would like to do that you're not doing in anticipation of this happening, or is the fact that this is in the background holding you back on other things or, obviously, it's a prize worth waiting for, potentially?
Not at the moment because we just finished the investment review application to the Arts Council of Wales for the next four years. I think the main questioning would be: what would be the capital investment in terms of bringing to a minimum quality standard the environmental condition of each of the venues? That's something that will come out of this circular survey that the Rural Office Architecture is working on. But it's separate from the investment review, so it has its own timing, which we can't really rush at this point.
Ocê. Diolch yn fawr.
Ocê. Fe wnawn ni symud at Carolyn Thomas.
Okay. We'll turn to Carolyn Thomas.
Thank you. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this project, do you think? We've talked a little about the strengths—what you think—but what do you think are the weaknesses of it as well?
So, shall we go to Sandra first?
You're closer to the details, obviously, than I am. I'm sure there are major cost implications, but that is something that I'm sure you're looking at very closely. This, obviously, is a long-term commitment, so, it's not like project funding. It would have to be something for sustainable funding, and that, obviously, is something that would need to be tackled and very carefully.
The whole timeline and how that will work, obviously, is something that needs to be sorted out. But there are so many pluses to having opportunities for contemporary artwork to be seen in other places. I hope it's not going to stop at the increased access via the network. We've recently been hearing about things like pop-up exhibitions in shopping centres, in community centres. There was something recently—a Constable painting in Tyneside from the National Gallery was in a community centre; there was a lot of positive feedback. I'm just suggesting this: you're looking at some kind of structure now to get the contemporary art that we have within our institutions, within the hosts, as you'll label it, more widely seen, and I hope that that will be another step that you would consider as part of this.
And Alfredo, have you got anything to add to that, or Chris?
In terms of the potential weaknesses?
And strengths—the strengths that you haven't mentioned, or any—
I think we've already talked about the strengths, really; I don't want to repeat myself. In terms of the weaknesses, I think that a potential weakness is not to enforce enough the brand of the national museum, the national gallery of contemporary art Wales across the venues. That's something that needs to be carefully planned, because if we have to make this work, it really has to transfer the brand of the national gallery of contemporary art Wales across all of the 10 different sites. So, it is an amalgamation, it's a combination, it's a synchronisation, if you want, of the different brands' positioning. I'm talking about Mostyn, because that's where I work. We have an excellent international reputation. So, to have that kind of branding on top of our current branding, it needs to be carefully planned, and that is true for the other nine venues as well. So, I think that's a potential area that we need to pay particular attention to.
Okay, thank you.
And Chris, is there anything that you would like to add?
Yes, I think I'd just like to say that we see this as a very positive development, particularly, obviously, for contemporary art. Also, I think that, for Wales, it would work very well. I think that with the scale of the country, the size of the country, it would work very well and the knowledge we have of each others' venues and each others' collections is particularly keen and significant in creating this network. The weaknesses I would pick up on, though, are I think whether or not the network is large enough—geographically, could we have a few other venues involved. There are some very, very good galleries with very good collections. I'm thinking of Oriel Môn, for example, and we maybe need to look at the network to ensure that the network has a good geographical spread and maybe, actually, involves galleries right across the country, rather than these, if you like, groupings, which are to do with where galleries are at the moment and who are clients of the arts council. It may be that we need to look at a few more.
[Inaudible.] Forgive me, Sandra. Sorry.
Could I just add to that, just as a supplement to a response to your question, and that is about just being careful—a weakness—about the use of the terms? When I talk to some colleagues about the idea of the network, the host, the anchor, some of them, coming from an NHS background, said, 'Ah yes, well these labels have been used in the NHS and the anchor is always the one that holds the funding'. And I said, 'Okay, I'm not quite sure if that's what's implied in this model'. And, indeed, looking at the documentation, I'm still not clear about how the anchor will work, whether it's a purpose-built gallery, whether it's an add-on or whether it's an administrative hub. And, as I've talked to different people, people have come back with different responses. So, I just raise that. I suppose it's part of that initial point about how important the branding is and how important the terms used are, just to make sure that there's clarity.
Thank you, Sandra.
And Alfredo said, didn't he, about the branding, which will just combine everything together.
And just about linking to education and health and other services as well, how do you think that will happen?
Well, I'm hoping that all of these initiatives will allow people of all ages to tap into the contemporary arts. So, people will be able to visit and see the work and also, of course, because of the digital access, there will be much more in the way of starting points, particularly for people doing research, for students, for people of all ages who are interested in this particular area. Maybe it's worth me just mentioning the way in which something like Art UK can be used, which is just a fantastic model for being able to find out what's out there. Whether it's painting, sculptures—Art UK is brilliant. And something I've been looking at recently are the archives of American art in the Smithsonian. And, when you go into that, you find recordings of lectures, performances, interviews with the artists, and I see that in that particular institution, if an artist dies, they approach the executors, they go into the studios, they document all the work, and that is then available for all. It's a wonderful model that perhaps Wales could be aspiring to, under this project.
Thank you. Would anybody else like to add anything?
The Smithsonian is a huge institution. It's a huge institution. It's bigger than the Welsh Government. I don't think it's realistic to suggest that we're going to be able to in any way replicate that.
Sorry to interrupt there. But it just gives us another way of working, talking about being able to document the work in the studios. There are aspects of that that Wales could be considering at the time of developing this model.
Thank you, Sandra. Do Chris or Alfredo want to respond to Carolyn's question? And then I'm going to come to Alun after Carolyn's question.
And linking to other service areas, such as education and health.