Ignite Cymru

What is Ignite Cymru?

Ignite Cymru is a project run by Christmas at Bute Park with support from the Welsh Government to help develop skills among local creatives, launching in 2022.

Our 2023 trail featured surround-sound audio by local young composers and stunning installations by locally-based visual designers Citrus Arts.

Molara Adesigbin and Grace Priest were 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 completely revised and newly extended trail coming to Cardiff city centre this Christmas.

As part of her installation, Molara recorded 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 was a beautiful set of 8m angel wings which have been painted under the direction of Molara by RWCMD set design students. The wings incorporate fabric patterns from many nations where people suffer war and persecution.

Explaining the vision for her 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.”

Meanwhile Grace, who is a graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD), will be used the opportunity to kick start her career in visual production. Grace currently works in lighting and video productions both locally in Cardiff and across the UK. The installation is being designed to reflect the natural surroundings of Bute Park and her exhibition is to sculpt the already provided surroundings, highlighting the tree that sits at the centre.

Grace said: “I work in theatre mostly, which is all backstage and dark, so it’s really nice to be outside and immersed in nature. Working outdoors is a welcomed challenge to continue to grow and develop in a different setting. Having seen the joy brought to those passing through the light trail in its previous years I am hopeful that my exhibition will do the same.”

Attendees at Christmas at Bute Park also enjoyed live music performances by Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) students for the first time.

Jonathan Daglish, a RWCMD student from last year’s project, shared his experience: “Writing for the installations at Christmas at Bute Park proved to be an invaluable experience, and we were glad to share our work with the wider Cardiff community.”

Deputy Minister of Arts, Sport, and Tourism, Dawn Bowden, expressed her delight in the project: “I’m delighted that we can work again with Ignite Cymru to deliver some fantastic training and skills opportunities in the creative sector which will prove to be an invaluable platform for people looking to start or further their careers.

Roxy Robinson, Creative Director at From The Fields, which produces the trail, expressed gratitude to the Welsh Government for their continued support:

“We’re hugely grateful to the Welsh Government for their continued support in ensuring the Ignite Cymru scheme we first introduced to expand our network of locally sourced creatives and producers in 2022 will now be able to continue until at least 2025. Through additional funding and greater access to local skills, we’ll be expanding even further on the relationships we’ve established so far for the benefit of more young people, students, volunteers and creative practitioners in Wales than we’ve been able to previously

Partners in our Ignite Cymru programme include:

  • Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama 
  • Citrus Arts 
  • Event Wales