At the ripe old age of 85, some may confuse my Grampy for someone who doesn’t remember an awful lot. How wrong you would be! I’ve always been curious about the place that I grew up: the place my family have lived since the 1700s. Coming back from Berlin I found myself in a sea of information about anything and everything from Nazi Germany onwards. Focussing on Power and Technology within a city helped me to narrow it down, but the thing that stood out was definitely street art and the more ‘primitive’ methods of communication.
My family have lived in Pentyrch for hundreds of years, and the stories handed down through the generations are still told with surprising accuracy, considering that these stories are almost as old as Pentyrch itself. I’m fascinated by the idea that even without technological advances and the bettering of worldwide communication, people communicated with each other just as well without the internet, if not better. Granted, there are numerous upsides to 21st Century ways of communicating, but there is of course the argument that we do in fact really communicate less than ever. We sit around the dinner table, phones in hands, simultaneously connecting to everyone on the globe. But are we connecting with each other? Do we tell stories? Exchange information face to face? Communicating with one another has become a bur of tweets, texts, status updates, likes and hashtags.
I keep returning to the brief, and the key sentence “Make the ordinary into something extraordinary.” Berlin is extraordinary as it is, with an extraordinary amount of history. I don’t see a way of communicating the events of Berlin’s past in a way that would be good enough, effective enough. Coming back to Pentyrch triggered a lot, and has pushed me into exploring it in much greater detail. I want to make ‘ordinary’ Pentyrch into a very extraordinary place indeed.