“I will be moving to the National Botanic Garden of Wales in my caravan, which will serve as an artist studio and alternative space where people will be invited to have a brew of tea and share ideas and stories.”

Owen Griffiths is creating a public performance and vernacular structure in collaboration with the volunteers, staff and visitors of the National Botanic Garden of Wales. By weaving local tree stories and timber materials into his residency, the project explore contemporary political issues of land and sustainability through the relationship between the trees and people in the Carmarthenshire landscape.

Owen is a graduate of the School of Walls and Space at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. In 2014 he was a British Council Fellow and in 2016 was awarded Cultural Ambassador for Wales.His work is connected to redeveloping a new sense of urban vernacular, community and collaboratively-led research focusing on issues of land, food, social justice and civic design.

In Wales there is a tradition of ty unnos (one-night house) which dates back several hundred years and suggests that if you were able to build a house on common land, with a fire smoking out from the chimney, the land was then rightfully yours. The idea of a one-night house appears throughout the world, mostly as folklore but sometimes in customary and even statutory law. In the spirit of ty unnos, in particular how the urgency can created material limitations and the need for community involvement, Owen aims to create a temporary structure, shaped by conversations and collaboration of the communities who live and work in and around the Botanic Gardens.



Owen Griffiths’s first working drawings for Ty Unnos, watercolour on paper, June 2017.

This project forms part of the Tree Charter Art Residency Programme

Ty Unnos – Art & Heritage, Health & Wellbeing

The Charter for Trees, Woods and People will guide society towards a future in which trees and people stand stronger together. Help give it strength: Sign the Tree Charter

Principle 3 of the Tree Charter
Celebrating the cultural impact of trees

Principle 5 of the Tree Charter
Better protection for important trees and woods

Read all 10 Principles and sign your name 

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