Haus of Helfa, Tedder Carpet, Llawn, Llandudno, 2015

Haus of Helfa Residency @ Llawn O2 Art Weekend The Presence of Absence curated by Marc Rees, 26, Augusta Street, Llandudno, Conwy LL30 2AE

‘Tedder Carpet’

A site specific installation in direct response to a three month period of research on the buildings 26, Augusta Street known as  ‘Tedder House’ and the Tabernacl’ Upper Mostyn Street.

“Lisa Carter   produced The Tedder Carpet - a room occupied by suspended plumb-weights, hanging from ceiling to almost touch the floor. They referenced the architectural limbo of the site, with the plans to develop the house themselves suspended, but they were arranged in a grid pattern to echo the Tedder ‘low-level marking methods’, used to plan for saturation ‘carpet’ bombing during WW2.

These plum-lines with weights that resembled bombs, took up very little volume within the room, though the installation almost filled it and rendered the heart of the space inaccessible, a very understated comment on the results of such bombing. As the audience moved around the structure, the nylon suspension lines swayed and the weights moved slightly, bringing to mind that instant before impact… serene yet chilling…” Remy Dean

 

From 1963 until 2004 26, Augusta Street housed the Royal Airforce Association’s; Llandudno branch. It was  renamed Tedder House after Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder (1890-1967). Lord Tedder served under Eisenhower as the Deputy Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force.  Working closely with RAF Bomber Command and the US Strategic Air Forces in Europe, Lord Tedder was influential in shaping 1944 -1945 bombing campaigns in which he applied his strategy – nicknamed the ‘Tedder Carpet’- of supporting land forces using concentrated carpet bombing over specified areas of 1000 yards by 300 yards.

Encouraging the room to make its own drawing, the shadow of the carpet found on the floorboards has been measured, using the Cartesian method of gridding a space with line and plumb bobs. Archaeologists frequently employ this device to comprehensively ensure the location of all artefacts of historical interest are recorded and preserved in a marked out area.  The ‘Tedder Carpet’ bombing strategy systematically caused destruction within a specified site. The plumb bobs have been positioned to suggest the formation of  both the aircraft and bombs. Rumble and dust generated by the room’s walls whilst installing the drawing has been brushed onto the ‘Tedder Carpet’.

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Lewis Edward Valentine (1 June 1893 – March 1986) a Welsh politician and Baptist pastor at Y Tabernacl, Upper Mostyn Street Llandudno, along with Saunders Lewis and  DJ Williams carried out an arson attack in 1936 on the RAF bombing school in Penyberth, North West Wales. It was a turning point in Welsh language politics and the first time since the Glyndwr revolt that violence was committed in the name of Wales.

 

 

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