Cheryl Beer

Cheryl Beer
Award Winning Creative Director making social change through the mediums of sound, story & mantra

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Behind the Scenes!

You know, being a film maker, singer, song writer, installation artist, author, director, editor, performer & musician isn't all
as glamourous as it may seem!!!

Was up at the crack of dawn yesterday doing all the little things that make a big difference, like the dreaded IRONING!!

And today, we were up at the crack of dawn to go and pick up the van ... we've been loading it all day! It's like a jigsaw puzzle!

Days and days of work for under 2 hours of perfromance! It will take us longer than that to drive to Trevethin, St.Cadoc's church from our home in Carmarthenshire!

And today, you've guessed it, my old friend stress has come back with a vengeance!! He's attached to my back whispering panic-y things in my ear just now. I take a deep breath and say with a smile,' what will be, will be' but stress knows me well, and he's a persistent so and so who will not rest until he has drained me of all sleep and rational thinking!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

#thedragontree JEEPERS CREEPERS!!! I'M TRENDING!! well, almost!

I put my show reel from The Dragon Tree, called Mad Man, on Youtube on Saturday and then I asked all my facebook friends to share it, tweet it & help me to reach out to
a cyberspace audience!
IN 5 DAYS!!!
I am utterly and totally blown away to have a piece of my work, that I have written, performed, filmed, directed, edited & produced ...
an idea in my head that I have made real,
reaching out across the world!!!
Thankyou so much to absolutely every person that has shared & tweeted, re-shared & re-tweeted
 Mad Man ...
If YOU would like to help me too, then please feel free to share or tweet this link
with your chums.
Thanks muchly
Chez xx

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Buy your copy of The Dragon Tree Concept Album on Bandcamp

Thank You Pressies!

Big thank you to everyone who has written to me thanking me for The Dragon Tree experience, from a Dad who can't believe his son's input, to audience members who have been compelled to email. I am absolutely blown away!

Had to show you this lovely little thank you gift of flowers and a welsh doll from Johnstown Primary School Eco Council, who performed the Dance of the Ribbons at Altwallis Wind Farm, NBGW and St.David's Cathedral.

Good Luck Cards

Just wanted to say thankyou so much everyone for all the lovely Good Luck Cards that I've received throughout the tour. I can't put them all up on here but this one is from Jo Day Lewis, one of my oldest and dearest friends, we met in what seems like another lifetime when we were fresh faced teenagers training to be Learning Disability nurses!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

The Dragon Tree Show Reel!

Here's a 4 minute clip of the Dragon Tree film for you to get an insight into the full film. Please feel free to share this from youtube with your chums ... would love it if you did.
Thanks a squillion!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Dragon Tree & The Goddess

Had a wonderful afternoon tpday with Carol Lovekin who has very kindly lent me her beautiful hand made banner for The Dragon Tree in Trevethin 28th February at St.Cadoc's Church 6.00pm. T'is the banner she kindly lent us for Celtic Womenfest last Summer, so I'm very excited to be taking her Goddess on a new adventure! The banner will hang behind us on the stage.

Carmen Jones of Trevethin

I'm also planning to hang Sam Collins' Dream installation from the lighting rig so that it hangs over the pews above the audience heads.
Then my arts installation will be on stage with me and the other musicians.
I'm being joined by Amanda Painting on piano and the Ukulele lads form Swansea Ukulele Group as well as Sam Collins and some of the chidlren from Bigyn Primary School are also coming to Dolphin Dance.
I'm so excited to go back to Trevethin. It holds many happy memories for me from when I was Artistic Director of Carmen Jones of Trevethin with TSP Voices and many community groups. It is a beautiful church that transforms into a theatre space.
After the live performance we will watch my Dragon Tree film on the big screen.
Be fabulous to see you there folks!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Dancing ribbons with the Eco Council

I had an email today from Miss Brunt, the teacher who has been leading and co-ordinating the children from Johnstown Primary School Eco Council in their ribbon dance, based on the work they did with Fiona Winter when we filmed at Altwallis Wind Farm, whilst taking part in the live performances of The Dragon Tree.

The children have a gift for me and would like me to call in tomorrow to pick it up.
They would like me to bring my guitar and perform my Dance the Ribbon song ..

So that they can dance for the other children and show them what they have been doing with me.
Sounds like it will be fun.

Dragon Tree Dream Installation

This wonderful Dream Installation was made by artist, Sam Collins. I gave her all the magical things that caught my eye on the beach during my research for The Dragon Tree and she has woven this beautiful piece of art work, with a hand made woollen mermaid hanging centrally.
This is Sam Collins below, far left, with her daughter Amie in the middle and me on the right.
We are in The Court House where the Dragon Tree Bi-lingual Installation lived for the weekend during the live performance and film exhibitions. Thanks both for keeping the fire burning and helping with all the tidying up at the end!

I was able to commission Sam as part of my Dragon Tree Installation via my Individual Mainline Grant from The Arts Council of Wales.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Film Exhibition in The Round Tower

WOW! Another AMAZING experience today!
A new one for me!
Oriel asked me to leave behind the Dragon Tree film and they showed it today in
The Round Tower.
It really is a very calm and serene space.
And the receptionist told me that about 30 people have watched it today!!
While I was at home unloading the van and car, having my lunch and then leisurely driving 2 hours back along the coast to St.David's to pick up another van and car load ... people were watching the Dragon Tree! My film! WOW!

Thank you so much to The National Park and the wonderful team at Oriel Y Parc for supporting my work in this way. It has been so wonderful to work with them. This is the first time I have shared my creativity at Oriel Y Parc but I will, for sure, be going back there with future work.
In particular, thanks to Emma and Paula for believing in me when I went to initially visit them.

Film Exhibition at Oriel Y Parc

So blown away to have a packed out audience for my Dragon Tree Film Exhibition in Oriel Y Parc.
I should say here, that Oriel Y Parc is a truly beautiful space owned by The National Park. Stunning!
And it was absolutely awesome to exhibit my work alongside the fabulous gallery of other artists ... Diolch!

I sat next to Miranda who features not only in the film, but in the book and as she squeezed my hand, I had to hold back the tears!!
Such an emotional day!
So many people have emailed me today to thank me for the opportunity of sharing this journey with me ... genuinely now folks, THANK YOU because for me, my road would be a lonely place without you in it. You know, it is only today that I can feel anything. Yesterday, my friend BrĂ­d asked me if I enjoyed it and I said that I can't say yet ... well, today I can say ...

It was a very special experience and one that I could never have dreamt. Enjoy would not be the right word, more: moved by the wholeness of the experience.

When I put the plan together for The Arts Council of Wales over a year ago now, I had no idea that there would be a film in its own right in addition to the performances, I thought I would be making backing film images.
I had no idea I would perform in The Cathedral and bring all these guests who had consulted throughout the process, with me to share the space ... the original plan, was for a small gathering in The Court House.
Instead over 250 beautiful people came to this small village like City and left humming my tunes and telling my stories. Now then, that is totally WOW!!

Dragon Tree Installation at St.David's

It really is such a joy to watch people looking at your art installation and trying to work it out!

St.Cadoc's Church

 St.Cadoc's Church will be home to The Dragon Tree on Thursday 28th February at 6.00pm
I can't wait to go back.
It is a very special place to me indeed!
I was Artistic Director of Carmen Jones of Trevethin, a re-write of Carmen the Opera with TSP Voices & the community, funded via the wonderful team at Communities First.

So going back there to perform my owm work means the absolute world to me! Thankyou Arts Council of Wales for 'making it so'

Here's a link to Carmen Jones of Trevethin when we performed it in the church ... over 350 people were involved in the project! But TSP Voices were at the core, and I am hoping so dearly that they will all be there to support me next week!

The Dragon Tree Concept Album on BANDCAMP

If you would like to hear the whole film sound track ... to own it even ... then pop over to Band Camp .. here's the link. All proceeds going towrads funding my trip back to Belarus to work as a Volunteer in Residence at Zhodina Orphanage with Leaves of Hope. Thankyou and bless you for your support.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

The Dragon Tree at St.David's Cathedral


Setting the scene ...
how wonderful to see my beautiful Story Telling Chair in such an amazing place!

Then everyone started to arrive for a rehearsal.
This is Arts Care Gofal Celf
LegaC Contemporary dancers.
Before we started the performance, Laura Jenkins the Dance Development Manager for Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire, took me to one side, to thank me for giving the troop this opportunity. I had tears in my eyes, I can tell you. In my mind, my focus has been how beautiful the dancers will be in the aisles, and how wonderful to bring them from the studio, into the sea for the film and then to The Cathedral ... to share this journey with them, as they are start on their own creative adventure.
Working with Laura is AMAZING!! She is a wonderful ball of energy and I have total respect for her, her creativity and the way she has planted dance firmly on the map for ALL people of many ages and abilities. She choreographed the piece with Zosia Jo from Cardiff, and the girls have input too. They only formed as a group in October but you would never know and it has been magical to watch them grow in confidence and skill under Laura's wing.

Then everyone started to arrive. I was totally overwhelmed  to see so many people.

This is Amanda Painting our wonderful pianist with 3 of the Swansea Ukulele Group, Richard Gent, Geoff Coates and Specer Ripley. Don't they look dapper!

After my first track, Mermaid Scales, I did a solo spot on ukulele performing Mad Man.

After singing Women Build Fires, Mandy joined me on her piano and we performed my Hillside Giants poem  ... which runs into my Dance the Ribbons song, where we were joined by the children of Johnstown Primary School Eco Council in their welsh costumes

Then the Ukulele Lads re-joined me for my
Mr Blueface song ...


Mandy performed piano for me in my 600 Castles poem, which ran into Dolphin Dance, where we were joined by Bigyn Primary School
led by the lovely Sam Collins.
In Rock and a Hard Place, the children from Bigyn Primary came up with me to play percussion ...
For the last track Chasing Circles,
we all performed together
and some of the children got up to dance

What an absolutely incredible experience ...

Although it's only now I am home
that I can really take it all in!!

After the performance, we headed upto
Oriel Y Parc Gallery for my film ...
The Dragon Tree

Thank you so much to The Arts Council of Wales for funding me this year to write and produce the Dragon Tree. I could never have imagined a day like today when I set out on this journey nearly a year ago.
Watch out in my next blog when I'll show you what happened at The Dragon Tree Film Showing ...