The Welsh Space Campaign launches ordinary Welsh people into outer space, by finding a cosmic context for Welsh culture, skills and traditions. A few months ago, young designer Hefin Jones started touring the last remaining wool mills in Wales and asked factory workers and craftsmen to help him make an astronaut suit.
English translation of launch countdown poem by chief bard Ceri Wyn Jones
The suit is made of the fabric woven in the last remaining wool mills in Wales. The astronaut boots are traditional Welsh clogs crafted by a traditional clog maker. The whole pressure system that will enable the astronaut to sustain life in outer space was built by a Welsh plumber.
Hefin asked Melin Tregwynt to participate and we gave him some St David’s Cross in Indigo and White which he’s used for the spacesuit.
The work is not solely about making a series of space garments, it’s also about catapulting these people into entirely new ambitions and dreams and discussing with them the possibility of sending local crafts and skills into space. “The project facilitates participatory speculation, in which the people are invited into the construction of cosmic objects, and their experience during this process allows them to speculate about the different possibilities of their skill.”
The following video is of his visit to Melin Teifi based at the National Wool Museum.
The aim of the designer is to reveal that Wales has the capacity to explore space, and to show that off-world culturalisation can be achieved through a collective communitarian effort; as a way to allow the people involved to reconsider their role and skill in relation to these cosmic contexts.
Even the emblem of the space mission is a pure Welsh reference: the tail of the red dragon that appears on the national flag: