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Spectacular open-air event comes to Caernarfon’s Y Maes in March

13.8 billion years of history will be celebrated at a spectacular open-air event in Caernarfon next month. 

From March 30 – April 5, the iconic Y Maes landmark will be transformed into a vast canvas at night by the video artists behind the 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. 

About Us is a free event combining awe-inspiring live performances, multimedia installations and is the first project to open UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK – a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of creativity taking place across the UK this year. 

Created by 59 Productions, The Poetry Society and Stemettes, About Us will feature beautiful performances from three Welsh choirs – Côr Dre, Côr Eifionydd and Côr Kana – alongside winning entries from the About Us nationwide poetry and Scratch animation competition for 4 to 18 year olds. 

After being chosen by a panel of judges including National Poet of Wales, Ifor ap Glyn, broadcaster Rachel Riley and many more, the work of three talented young people from Wales will star in the historic event. 

One of those is 10-year-old Faith Lydall, from Cardiff, who started writing funny rhymes in lockdown to make her classmates smile. Her winning poem ‘My Feet are Made of Stardust’ was inspired by times stargazing with her dad on Caerphilly Mountain. 

Welsh-language speaker Meredydd Davies, 14, from Ceredigion, chose the impact of climate change for his winning poem, ‘Rhew.’ With a keen interest in history and geography, Meredydd was encouraged to express his knowledge through familiar images. 

Meanwhile, 16-year-old Vindya Prabhu from Carmarthenshire took first place in a coding competition with a Scratch animation project reminding people that stars are the basis of all life.  With aspirations to work in medicine, Vindya was encouraged by her Year 9 teacher to learn Python and has since taken on a number of STEM learning opportunities. Vindya hopes that her winning project ‘We’re All Stars’ will help people to learn about star cycles in a fun and interactive way. 

Mathematician, author, broadcaster, and About Us competition judge, Rachel Riley, said: The entrants showed a great range of imaginative ideas and creative ways of expressing themselves through their animations – it was a brilliant showcase of STEAM in action”. 

Ghislaine Boddington, Co-founder / Creative Director of body>data>space and Stemette Futures Trustee was also on the About Us judging panel. She said: “The entries were a set of energetic responses to the topical issues of today – a blend of art and science enabling communication and widening access to many.”

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About Us comes to Caernarfon from 30 March to 5 April 2022. At night, About Us will transform the landmark Y Maes into a vast canvas combining awe-inspiring live projection-mapped animation with poetry, music, and beautiful live choral singing to create a unique spectacle. 

Positioned across the Square, a raft of freestanding plinths containing dynamic theatrical lighting and LED screens will offer the counterpoint of the human-scale narrative against the vast cosmic scale imagery of the video projection.

Acclaimed musician Nitin Sawhney CBE has composed the original score which will be performed as part of the live shows by Côr Dre, Côr Eifionydd and Côr Kana. 

By day, pop-up multimedia installations will open from 10am to 5pm to showcase the creativity of local children and young people with poems and Scratch animations created in schools’ workshops in Caernarfon and the surrounding area. Earlier this year, eight local primary schools took part in bespoke coding and poetry workshops, delivered respectively by Stemettes, The Poetry Society and local poets, showcasing the meeting points between science, technology and poetry. The schools that took part were: Ysgol Bontnewydd, Ysgol Gynradd Maesincla, Ysgol Gynradd Rhosgadfan, Ysgol Llandwrog, Ysgol Rhostryfan, Ysgol Santes Helen, Ysgol Y Gelli, and Ysgol Yr Hendre.

All About Us events are free and unticketed. To find out more, visit: aboutus.earth