LAUNCH: Mametz, War Correspondents and ‘The’ English Channel

WAR (19 July – 2 November 2014) is the third exhibition in a series at MOSTYN that looks at the history of the building, as well as the town of Llandudno, set within a wider context. In the gallery vitrines, which hold the historical content of this exhibition, is a copy of Owens Sheers’ poem, Mametz Wood, written in 2005. This poem, inspired by a visit to Mametz Wood, in turn, inspired his recent, acclaimed play ‘Mametz’ for National Theatre Wales.

As the exhibition reveals, the 38th (Welsh) Division of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which, as the 14th (Service) Battalion, was formed in Llandudno in November 1914, played an important role in the Battle of the Somme. In July 1916, the 38th was ordered to take the heavily defended Mametz Wood. The fierce fighting in this area brought about, through intense shelling, the total destruction of Mametz village. After the war, the people of Llandudno (including returning survivors from the 38th (Welsh) Division) contributed generously to the fund for the reconstruction of the village of Mametz.

To make this local connection resonate strongly in this commemorative year, LLAWN02 will create a performative intervention at MOSTYN that will involve the Llandudno members of Blind Veterans UK (a charity founded in 1915, to support Service personnel blinded in WWI) and host an extract from Helen Chadwick’s War Correspondents (a song cycle based on interviews with journalists in places of conflict) plus a reading by Marc Rees, Festival Curator, of Mametz wood, by Owen Sheers. At 19.30, the Launch will move to Haus of Helfa, at 26 Augusta Street, for a Private View. Then, a vintage coach will transport everyone to The Grand Hotel for the final part of the evening, which will feature a change of mood in the shape of the formidable Dame Aggiss – the Vivienne Westwood of the contemporary dance World – who will perform an extract of her celebrated solo The English Channel, in Langtry’s Bar.  Please see separate event The  English Channel for full details and further images.

Then, sit back, relax and plan your weekend schedule so that you see as much of LLAWN02 as possible.

Mametz Wood