News Story

The Jones Collective and Plastique Fantastique planned on spending this year in the forests and woods of Wales, sharing their artistic collaboration FRANK, a show about the real life of Frank Thomas, snake anti-venom factory worker, spoken word artist and bee-keeper. Like most people our plans had to change, and conversations under the canopy were traded for video calls and virtual connections.

Though we missed the trees, the time to think meant time to explore. Yena Young (Plastique Fantastique) and Buddug James Jones (Jones Collective) continued to collaborate, and reached out to experts to explore themes and topics pertinent to their collaboration. Thanks to funding from The German Embassy and the Goethe-Institut London their creative discourse was recorded and these conversations are now available as a podcast series.

Episode 1: NATURE – guest Dr Ruth Allen

Psychotherapist Dr RuthAllen joins us to talk about NATURE and the healing power of stepping outside.

Ruth Allen is an (eco)psychotherapist, facilitator and writer, based in the Peak District, UK. Ruth specialises in outdoor practice, nature connectedness and working with mind, body and movement inside and out. She is particularly interested in the relationships we have with each other, with ourselves and with the rest of nature, as well as the meaning we make of our lives. Her first book, Grounded, will be published in spring 2021. | Instagram: @whitepeak_ruth

Episode 2: GATHERING – guest Owen Griffiths

With Artist Owen Griffiths we explore the inherent optimism in GATHERING and what brings people together.

Owen Griffiths is an artist, workshop leader and facilitator. Using participatory and collaborative processes, his socially engaged practice explores the possibilities of art to create new frameworks, resources and systems. Griffiths explores climate, landscape, urbanism, social justice, food systems and pedagogy, creating projects and events that prepare us for the gentle work of the future.

He has been a British Council Fellow, Creative Wales Ambassador and has developed projects with Cultural Olympiad Wales,1418. Now, National Museum Wales, Social Services, Natural Resources Wales, Housing Associations HM Prisons Services, as well as Galleries and cultural organisations and local authorities.

In 2020 Griffiths developed Ways of Working a new community participation platform and company in order to work in ways he feels are urgent; speaking to climate crisis, localism and radical collaborative projects. |

Episode 3: SPACE – guests Steve McCloy and Bongani Muchemwa

Getting a new perspective, we talk SPACE with architects Steve McCloy and Bongani Muchemwa, where Bud discovers her dream home.

McCloy + Muchemwa is the design and architecture studio of Steve McCloy and Bongani Muchemwa. With our roots in Africa and now London-based, our studio’s work demonstrates an inventive exploration into design thinking.

As keen collaborators, we enjoy the opportunities for teaming-up with other organisations to tackle all manner of public projects… and preconceptions!

Our work is founded on a deep respect for the artistic process, for us each project should be as bespoke as it is innovative. We have a preoccupation with flipping perceptions, and want our urban and rural projects to re-imagine spatial logic, functionality and patterns of inhabitation, whilst also immersing and heightening the senses. We are committed to making affordable, understandable and evocative work – architecture, interiors, objects and landscapes.

Instagram: @mccloymuchemwa | Twitter: @mccloymuchemwa

FRANK is co-produced by the Jones Collective & National Theatre Wales in collaboration with Plastique Fantastique, and supported by Natural Resources Wales and Arts Council Wales.

Creative team

  • Bubble Podcasts by Jones Collective and Plastique Fantastique
  • Sound Engineer Sam Jones
  • Image by Yena Young / Plastique Fantastique

THE JONES COLLECTIVE is led by long term collaborators Buddug James Jones and Jesse Briton. Collaborating with people and communities particularly in rural areas, the Jones Collective explore contemporary social issues in Wales and the World.

Their multi-award winning bi-lingual production ‘Hiraeth’ premiered at the Edinburgh fringe in 2014 after winning the Ideastap Underbelly Award and garnered critical acclaim, “Undoubtedly this year’s find.” ★★★★ Evening Standard; “There are laughs and tears, both on and off stage, in a charming piece.” ★★★★★ British Theatre Guide, ‘Hiraeth’ subsequently enjoyed sold out rural tours of Wales, England, Scotland, and New Zealand reaching over 3,500 audience members.

Alongside developing ‘FRANK’ the Jones Collective have worked with Syrian Refugees while in residence at The Welfare, Ystradgynlais as part of Theatr Iolo’s Platfform and with communities in South Devon on an intergenerational project supported by Villages in Action.

PLASTIQUE FANTASTIQUE are temporary architecture specialists based in Berlin. Specialising in pneumatic installations as alternative, adaptable, low energy spaces for temporary and ephemeral activities, their work has been enjoyed around the world since 1999. In the past Plastique Fantastique have primarily explored the performative potential of urban spaces, and their collaboration with the Jones Collective is a significant expansion of their practise into rural and semi-rural environments.