Ghost Parade

Construction of the placard screen - image by Warren Orchard

“The scene was strange and beautiful. Old and new, history and the future, art and community mingled together around the magnetic symbol of a once discarded, useless object given a creative lease of life.”
Elisabeth Mahoney, The Guardian

Ghost Parade was a large scale, collaborative event which marked the arrival of Adain Avion in Ebbw Vale, at Dusk on 1st July 2012. The event involved outdoor projections, archival moving images and mass participation, with music provided by Ebbw Valley Brass.

Part carnival, part surreal protest, Ghost Parade celebrated a decade of transition in Ebbw Vale. This collective endeavour took place 10 years, almost to the day, since the closure of the Steel Works, an occasion marked by the remaining workforce who staged a symbolic march out of the gates.

Ghost Parade participants carried phantom placards and banners. At points along the route, the placards became a moving, choreographed screen, on which a brief sequence of archival film was shown. When the parade reached its destination the placards were roughly reconfigured to form a large cinema screen. Once construction was complete, the screen was used to show a short film work.

Central to Ghost Parade was the participation of the public. The artist worked closely with local groups, individuals and organisations to realise the project. Please see Credits & Acknowledgements for a full list of (known) participants.

Ghost Parade was commissioned by Adain Avion, Wales’ Artists Taking the Lead project under the Artistic Direction/Curatorship of Welsh artist Marc Rees. Adain Avion is part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival.

More information, reviews and images are on the Ghost Parade Facebook Page.

More about Ghost Parade

Archive Films

This page features a few of the films used in Ghost Parade: Archive Sequence This was the main archive sequence used during the event. It includes footage of protests against the gradual closure of the Steelworks, community events in Ebbw Vale and the surrounding area and footage of the Steelworks themselves. Materials were very kindly contributed by The Ebbw Vale Works Archive Trust , BBC Wales Cymru Archives and the Ebbw Vale Institute. Demolition Sequence The sequence showing the demolition of one of the blast furnaces; the chimneys and then the Pickle Line. The Pickle Line was one of the last structures to be demolished, in July 2002. Chimney films were contributed by [...] Read more about Archive Films

Reviews of Ghost Parade

Elisabeth Mahoney, The Guardian, Tuesday 3 July 2012 **** (4 stars) "If the mood in Swansea was jubilant, the move to Ebbw Vale initially echoed a more sombre history, arriving a decade on from the closure of the local steelworks, once the largest in Europe and for generations the town's main employer. The opening event, on a drizzly evening, was Ghost Parade, a procession devised by artist Stefhan Caddick. A large crowd gathered at dusk as the plane arrived, many holding placards as they proceeded towards the old works, just as others did when the site closed in 2002. But this procession was different. The placards, carried by children and people in fancy dress, were blank; the m [...] Read more about Reviews of Ghost Parade

Credits & Acknowledgements

Lots of people have been involved in Ghost Parade, and without their help the project wouldn't have happened. I've tried to list everyone, but if I've missed anyone, please let me know. A special mention goes to Glyn Walters, Archivist at Ebbw Vale Institute and Barrie Caswell from the Ebbw Vale Works Archival Trust for their advice and support and for allowing me such generous access to their archival materials. Archival materials were also used with the kind permission of BBC Cymru Wales. Special thank yous to Gwenda Richards at BBC Llandaff and to Angela Jones at ITV Wales for helping to source materials. Pickler Films Pickler Films were contributed by BBC Cymru Wales, James [...] Read more about Credits & Acknowledgements