A New Visual Arts Magazine for Wales
An Interview with Martin Allman creator of WAN
RH: So Martin, what is Welsh Art Now?
MA: WelshArtNow is a new visual art magazine for Wales. Published on a quarterly basis the first issue will appear in August 2008. The focus is on Contemporary Welsh art and culture, of the present time. The magazine will feature a wide range of art and many alternative views. So it’s about art, place and the present time.
RH: So why now?
MA: We thought it time that Wales had it’s own dedicated art press. We see WelshArtNow (WAN) as the magazine for the new Welsh art and culture.” Generally the climate seems to be such that Wales is seeking greater independence and wanting to do things in its own particular way and I think that extends to wanting greater cultural autonomy. You can’t be given that, you have to create your own unique framework in which that can operate. I see lots of that happening in Wales at the present, ARC or the new initiatives from G39 being cases in point, we hope we can add to the mix. Culturally I believe this to be a very exciting time for Wales.
RH: So what are your desires and aspirations for the magazine?
MA: Quick, disposable, and without pretensions a magazine would seem the ideal way to bring a new audience to Welsh art. The magazine aims to give Wales’s wide coverage to a diverse art scene. It’s not about talking the art up or down but trying to give and critical account and let the reader decide for themselves. Apart from reporting on the Welsh art scene the magazine will also host art specific to a magazine format, artists will be challenged to produce art that utilizes the magazine space in new and creative ways. I hope that the magazine will raise the bar for critical writing here in Wales and produce a fresh generation of writers . We hope to achieve a broad readership to include those, that though interested in art may not be directed involved in the art scene, the goal is to facilitate an ongoing dialogue between writers, artists and readers of the magazine.
RH: It is interesting that you cite initiatives such as this happening elsewhere in the UK, despite Wales being a small country it does feel that connecting with the various regions can be problematic. What is the WAN view of the arts landscape in Wales?
MA: I suppose, my ambition is to reveal Wales as it is, in its diversity, at the present time; so if you are metropolitan or east, west, north, or south we would like to hear your voice! One such feature will be called “A postcard from Wales” where artists submit a postcard from their particular locality in Wales. WAN is also meant to be fun; were working on a regular feature, the idea of ‘a centre fold’, nothing too lewd, but an opportunity for artists to explore ideas associated with sexuality. While other features will provide an entertaining insight to the Welsh art scene.
RH: How can people contribute?
MA: Many opportunities will start appear check out our website for updates www.welshartnow.co.uk