Josef Herman Art Foundation
Research, Communications, Print, Design, Interpretation, Website Development, Mobile App Development
The Josef Herman Art Foundation is a charity based in Ystradgynlais in the upper Swansea Valley, working in partnership with organisations across Wales to promote and support the arts, education, human rights, and health and wellbeing concerns.
The Foundation was constituted in April 2003 to promote an appreciation of the life and work of the Polish emigre artist Josef Herman who who found sanctuary in Ystradgynlais after fleeing Warsaw during the second world war.
Herman is renowned as an artist that documented everyday life for the miners, farmers and metal workers that lived here. His time in Ystradgynlais inspired and left a lasting legacy on the people and culture of this small mining community nestled in the Swansea Valley. The charity was setup in his name to preserve his collection of artworks and to foster a wider participation in the arts and an understanding of human rights.
In 2020 the Foundation were awarded funding via the Heritage lottery Fund to create a Heritage Trail in Ystradgynlais to share their collection of artwork and stories to help inform post-industrial generations of this rich heritage.
The route begins at the historic Welfare Miners Hall which was at the centre of community life at the time, and which is now home to the Foundation and a collection of more than 150 of Herman’s original works. The trail then weaves its way around the town and surrounding countryside, taking in the places where Herman lived and worked and introducing the people and places that inspired his art, not just during the years that he called Ystradgynlais home, but throughout his long, illustrious career.
The Foundation engaged us to drive the project and design an app, research, write and design a brochure, map and signage. The project involved interviewing people connected to Herman and his time living in Ystradgynlais and recording their stories, artworks, images and ephemera. We met many inspiring people and were fortunate to learn more about the history of the post-war period in South Wales’ mining communities.
It was an inspiring project to work on and we are now working with the charity to develop new nature trails in the area and to refresh their visual identity and develop a new website. We will be launching the new site in early Summer 2022.