Elan Calls: A Creative Companion Guide to The Valley, 2019
Commissioned by Elan Links. Published by Social Art Publications in both English and Welsh.
Completed as part of the Elan Links artist residency in rural Wales 2018, the book is a creative and psychogeographic exploration of the Elan Valley. Created through conversations with the landscape, its history and the people who live in the valleys: farmers, rangers, walkers, and the residents of Rhayader. The guide is for any visitor or resident of the Elan Valley to enjoy a creative way of exploring the area and thinking about history, nature, and people. Each location has been chosen to reflect the memories and stories shared through dialogues with residents. Following in the Welsh oral tradition the stories are meant to be read aloud to your walking companion. The guide is an invitation to explore the valley in a creative way while enjoying drawings, stories, and metaphors that bring the landscape to life before your eyes.
‘The word delightful is often over used and undervalued, but that is the word I would choose to describe ‘Elan Calls’ and the walks it describes. It is a delight and travelling with the book into the Elan Valley is an experience which re enchants and deepens the reader’s relationship to and experience of the landscape, however well they think they know it. The book gives us a playful, moving, insightful and beautiful journey into this ancient Valley. If you would like a different perspective on the world or if you simply feel the need to be re-inspired by life, this little book will give you that gift.’ – Cath Allan, Chair of Trustees, CARAD Community Arts Rhayader And District, Rhayader Museum and Gallery
‘This wonderful alternative guide to one of Wales hidden gems is a must to take on your journey around Elan. Rarely do you find someone who connects with the surroundings the way Marcelo has. It makes fantastic sense, right from the neuron type catchment picture providing an essential lifeline to Birmingham to the Walksman poem, here is someone who has researched so much in such a short time and blended exploration, history, nature, hardship and soul together perfectly with an element of fun (the Pythagorean sheep). Wonderful sketches marry up with your modern-day views imparting the change the dams brought to the landscape and how just like Bronze age man and the Romans the grasses now compete to tame Elan and claim it as their own. Pop this in your pocket, open your mind, see and touch something beyond the landscape in front of you today.’ – Jenny Phillips, Former Head Ranger, Elan Visitor Centre