A Million Moments is the first project in a series of explorations across Cardiff's arcades and shopping centres, undertaken by artist Jennie Savage.
Cardiff boasts the highest concentration of arcades in the entire country, an exceptional and often overlooked feature of the City. These Victorian shopping arcades are a considerable asset to Cardiff's commercial landscape: these architectural delights are home to a wealth of small, independently run shops and businesses. One of these is the artist-run space g39, who initiated this, the first artist residency in Wyndham Arcade. Jennie is developing the project further with Safle to offer a lasting impression of all of the Cardiff arcades throughout and beyond the radical changes to our city centre landscape.
The first arcade in the project is Wyndham Arcade, in which Jennie Savage will be screening the film A Million Moments. This site-specific film seeks to re-construct and make visible the Arcade through the stories, narratives and histories the artist has discovered during her residency. Wyndham Arcade was built in 1886 and is the second oldest of Cardiff's Victorian arcades. Having evolved from a medieval right of way on the banks of the River Taff it has had a chequered and colourful past, from sex shops to Russian bears, oyster sellers to rugby stars, flop house slums to professional hockey players. The traders' community has seen many changes, whilst the Arcade itself has aspirations for a future on the doorstep of the impending St David's 2 development.
Jennie's work considers the ways in which we experience an image in relation to the act of listening to a narration:
âIn 2006, whilst on a residency in Quebec, I began using narrative structures, voice-over narration and the creation of sonic environments in relation to the act of looking. The result of this was a body of work called Out in the world: An Exploration of the View. This site-specific audio piece and film comprised still images, which invited viewers to look out of the window whilst listening to a walk through the landscape.â