Loch Ness monster spotted in Caerphilly

Campaign Series: Old Nessie in Caerphilly Old Nessie in Caerphilly

PEOPLE in Caerphilly maybe wondering what is lurking in the moat after a monster was seen in the water.

A sight normally associated with a Scottish loch caused a huge amount of excitement when a monster was spotted in the moat around Caerphilly Castle. The monster is believed to have escaped from a new art gallery in the town, where it was part of an exhibition entitled Barry's Zoo. The 20ft creature is the work of Rhondda sculptor Barry Lewis.

Barry is a prolific artist whose sculptures seem to be growing in size and imagination. He invented the monster with the emphasis on creating a visually engaging artwork that was accessible to a wide audience, and was site specific in terms of context and physical location. The historic Caerphilly Castle, surrounded by its moat, was a location the monster was obviously drawn to.

With recycling being central to the artists work, the monster in the moat and the 50 other sculptures on display in Y Galeri are all constructed from upcycled equipment. The monster is created from industrial toilet roll dispensers, a vast array of kitchen utensils and lots of spoons.

Barry's passion and understanding of animals and the construction of sculptures was a legacy from his grandfather. As a child growing up in Tonypandy in the Rhondda Valley he very much enjoyed spending time in his company. Barry's excellent practical skills led him to work on shop displays including Santa's Grotto and other window displays at Harrod's He went on to fulfill his ambition to become a carpenter specialising in wood carving and used his skills in theatre design making opera and ballet backdrops.

It was during this time that he started creating 'junk art' and realised that there was a market for his work, so gave up carpentry to make a living as a professional sculptor. His work has been exihbited around the U.K, Europe and as far afield as Australia. His sculptures are in the collections of various celebrities including Rhys Ifans, Rolf Harris and psychic Uri Geller, renowned for his spoon bending powers.

Y Galeri has been working in partnership with CADW and Caerphilly Town Management to bring the idea to fruition. The exhibition in the gallery has already generated a huge amount of interest. The fact that the monster has hot footed it down to the moat is sure to generate further interest, especially with the huge influx of visitors expected during the Big Cheese Event.

The monster in the moat will be in situ until mid August. Barry's Zoo exihibition, comprising of a whole menagerie of weird and wonderful animals, can be seen at Y Galeri, St Fagans Street, Caerphilly until July 29. Y Galeri is open 10am -5pm Tuesday - Saturday. ( Open all weekend during the Big Cheese)

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