A Pembrokeshire woman is joining forces with Wales’ flagship festive lights trail to help shine a light on people from all walks of life this Christmas.
Molara Adesigbin is one of two emerging Welsh visual artists chosen by Christmas at Bute Park to design and create one of its all-new installations, as part of a newly extended and completely revised trail coming to Cardiff city centre this Christmas.
Based in Preseli Hills, Molara will be joined by Cardiff-based designer Grace Priest in contributing to this year’s event as part of Christmas at Bute Park’s Ignite Cymru scheme, which is run with support from Welsh Government to help develop skills among local creatives.
Under the mentorship of lighting designer Elanor Higgins, the pair will be working to produce one installation each for this year’s trail.
As part of her installation, Molara will be recording voices spoken in different languages of people describing what it means to take flight in different ways - for example, asylum seekers, and the reasons why people may leave their homes.
Alongside the lights will be a beautiful set of eight metre wide angel wings which have been painted under the direction of Molara by Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) set design students. The wings incorporate fabric patterns from many nations where people suffer war and persecution.
Explaining her vision for the piece, Molara said:
“Whatever kind of project I’m involved in, I always look to bring multiple voices with me, and to shine a spotlight on some of the things in this world that I’m not really comfortable with, or happy with. I think we need to highlight the positives of all the different kinds of people living in Wales and how that enriches us in terms of our world perspective.”
Having welcomed almost 300,000 visitors since its debut event in 2021, Christmas at Bute Park takes visitors on a breath-taking tour of festive delight around one of the capital city’s most beloved landmarks, and is set to remain in place in the city centre until at least 2025.
The event has also deepened its commitment to providing employment and skills development opportunities to people in Wales through its Ignite Cymru initiative, and is now set to deliver over £160,000 worth of training across the next three years.
Visitors will also wander this year’s trail to surround-sound audio created by local young composers and benefit for the first time from live music performances from RWMCD students.
Roxy Robinson, Creative Director at From The Fields, which produces the trail, said:
“We’re absolutely delighted to be benefiting from the invaluable insight and creative input both Molara and Grace are able to bring to the Christmas at Bute Park trail as professional creatives based here in Wales.
“As a team, we were completely blown away by the ideas and the vision that both of them put forward through the Ignite Cymru application process, and we’re all really excited to see their ideas become reality as part of the 2023 Christmas at Bute Park experience.”
“Most importantly, we’re grateful to them in supporting From The Fields in creating an experience which is not only full of festive joy, but is also reflective of and relevant to the lives people of all backgrounds are living here in Wales too,” Roxy added.
“We’re also hugely grateful to the Welsh Government for their support in ensuring the Ignite Cymru scheme we first introduced in 2022 continues to help us build on the relationships we’ve established for the benefit of young people, students, volunteers and creative practitioners in Wales.”
From November 24, Christmas at Bute Park is back and bigger than ever, with an all-new layout and more than 2km of illuminations on offer.
Ahead of its third annual outing, the award-winning event is also introducing a new Christmas Village to its 2023 event, which can be accessed from the very start of the trail, and providing On and Off-Peak tickets for the first time this year too.