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And the Match was Drawn

The dramatic draw which set England on the way to winning the Ashes in 2009 has been commemorated by a new art installation at Cardiff’s SWALEC Stadium. 16 Sep 2011

Lluniau/Photos: Huw John Agency

Artist Feddie Yauner
with ICC Cricketer
of the Year Jonathan Trott
Photos: Huw John Agency
And the Match was Drawn
Don Bradman may have written his famous coaching manual, The Art of Cricket, but one of the special features of the memorable inaugural Ashes Test in Cardiff in 2009 was the bringing together of art and cricket by artist Freddie Yauner.

Yauner won the commission to be artist-in-residence for what proved to be a nail-biting five days, and asked spectators to draw their interpretation of the famous urn. He gathered over 500 drawings from spectators and has now turned those drawings into "And the match was drawn", a series of fencing panels at the SWALEC stadium.

His work has been unveiled on the balcony of the home dressing room, which was occupied by England players as Monty Panesar and Jimmy Anderson held firm to secure that thrilling draw in the first Test of the 2009 npower Ashes series.

To many people, this hard-fought draw was the start of England’s journey to their current status as the world’s number 1 Test match team, and now the panels have been celebrated with the return of the England team to play India in the final One-Day International of the summer.

"I am delighted to have been given this opportunity, and very pleased with the results," said Yauner. "The 2009 Ashes was a fantastic event to be at, and hopefully these panels will be a reminder that will encourage further Test matches to come to Wales. I really enjoy the fact that the Ashes is such a huge match being played for such a small prize, but that prize signifies a huge amount to both teams.

"I think mixing art and sport is an exciting proposition, and the art of cricket is something that I’m very passionate about. Sport is right up there with the arts, as a physical artform. The great thing about the visual arts is that we get this opportunity to reflect, whereas sport is always in the moment. In that reflection, you can add extra narratives and remember moments, but the beauty of sport is that it is played in the moment, so that’s where the two combine really nicely."

A graduate of the Royal College of Art and now lecturer at Northumbria University’s School of Design, Yauner initially came to prominence in 2008 after creating a piece of art which broke the world record for the greatest height attained by a slice of toast popping out of a toaster, as part of his degree project at the RCA. He has since seen work going into prestigious collections such as Museum Of Modern Art in New York.

The Ashes commissions also included a vessel by Laura Thomas which was presented by the Welsh Government and the Arts Council of Wales to the Powerhouse Museum Sydney, Australia. The Ashes commissions were made possible in a collaboration between the Welsh Government, Glamorgan Cricket, England and Wales Cricket Board, and the Arts Council of Wales.

Arts Director at the Arts Council of Wales, David Alston, said: "Freddie Yauner came up with a winning proposition to engage spectators in the creation of a special work. The magic of the occasion has now found an imaginative, more permanent form on the home team balcony and in the ground. It is a great reminder of the resilience on the field and support of the crowd which made for a great day."

Glamorgan Cricket Operations Director, Simon Lee, continued: "Everybody at Glamorgan has special memories of the 2009 Ashes Test match and we are very grateful to Freddie for creating such a vivid and evocative reminder. The SWALEC Stadium is the ideal venue to watch cricket and these panels will only enhance its beauty and the enjoyment of all our spectators."

Housing, Regeneration and Heritage Minister, Huw Lewis, said: "I’m pleased that the Welsh Government through the Major Events Unit was able to support this project. Hosting the Ashes was yet another example of Wales’ capability to host major events and certainly worthy of having a permanent reminder of the occasion. The project is also an innovative way of bringing sport and art together and I look forward to seeing the finished product."

For further information please contact Sian James on 029 2044 1344 or email sian.james@artswales.org.uk

For further information on Freddie Yauner please visit www.freddieyauner.co.uk

To view detail of the installation, click the "Gallery" link at the top of this page.

Registered Charity Number 1034245