Giant Shirley Bassey statue unveiled at Caernarfon Castle

Dame Shirley Bassey statue

A 20ft tall Dame Shirley Bassey statue in a Boudicca pose has been unveiled at Caernarfon Castle.

The reveal of the golden Bassey's Cry, by artist Marc Rees, marks the start of a three-day celebration of arts, culture and creativity in Wales.

The Get Creative Weekend, supported by BBC Wales, Arts Council of Wales and What Next? aims to encourage people to try something new.

Mr Rees said: "The statue is meant to jolt people into action."

The sculpture stands on a glass balcony in the walls of the castle, looking out over Gwynedd.

Created in the likeness of Dame Shirley, the sculpture has a hole where her heart should be.

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Media captionArtist Marc Rees said: the statue is meant to "jolt people into action"
Image copyright Wales News/Arts Council Wales
Image caption The Bassey's Cry sculpture took 600 hours to create
Image copyright WalesNews/Arts Council Wales
Image caption The statue is sculpted from polystyrene, hard coated with fibreglass, filled with body filler and sanded to a smooth finish

The reason, Mr Rees said, was because like a body needs a heart, society needs art to flourish.

"I thought it would be brilliant to combine two very powerful female icons; one historical and one cultural," he added.

"The statue is a call to arms to protect the arts and a rallying cry for people to use their creativity."

Arts, cultural and voluntary organisations, groups and societies from across Wales are staging events and offering activities over the next three days, including the chance to play a Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ in Tywyn.

Image copyright Getty Images/Wales News/Arts Council Wales

There will be drama sessions in Prestatyn, Denbighshire, a sketchbook walk in Carmarthen and dance classes in Aberystwyth.

Circus workshops will be held in Cardiff and there is a chance to work with ceramics in Porth.

The weekend kicks off with a free event at Galeri, in Caernarfon, on Friday and you can find out what is on in your area here.

The Get Creative Weekend comes as new research published by the Arts Council of Wales shows 41.2% of 1,000 adults surveyed in 2015 participated in arts activities once a year or more - the highest rate since 2009.

The survey also shows 88.5% of 1,019 young people questioned participated in arts activities once a year or more - the highest level since data collection stated in 2007.

Image copyright Wales News/Arts Council Wales
Image caption Artist Marc Rees, who was born and lives in Wales, works in a number of different disciplines

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