Cheryl Beer describes herself professionally as a woman who wears many hats and explains. “The core of who I am is a singer-songwriter but I am also a film maker, have my own record label, run a Community Publishing Company and currently am the Creative Director for the Story Telling Weekend at the National Botanic Garden of Wales on the 25th and 26th of this month. It’s all been a very natural progression and everything I do has recently accumulated in creating events like the Story Telling Weekend. We have a team of 14 amazing volunteer storytellers from all over Wales who will be telling stories through the different genres of art. One of the volunteers, Greta Gillman from Carmarthen, has just published her first book at 90 years old. That’s inspirational! We also have a Story Gallery Blog which includes all the artwork from the children who have taken part in Story and Marketing Workshops in Bigyn Primary School, Johnstown Primary School, Ysgol Caer Felin and Ysgol Y Ddwylan nbgwstorygalleryforchildren.blogspot.com.
Cheryl first came to Wales as a student. “I immediately felt completely at home. Your roots are sometimes far beyond this lifetime. Wales is such a beautiful place and the outdoors is very important to me. I love to look out and see as far as the eye can see; no buildings just hills and an ever-changing canvas. It’s the most inspirational place to be and I feel blessed every day I wake up. Yesterday a Red Kite was dancing away right outside my window whilst I was doing my cash flow – you wouldn’t get that in a city,” she laughs.
“West Wales in particular is a real creative hub where people get together and have great connections. I am very passionate about the National Botanic Gardens too, it’s a magical place. All the volunteers are incredible. I am the least green fingered person ever, whatever the opposite of green-fingered is. I do try to do my own thing in the garden but it never goes well. My garden is home to my shells, feathers and stones. It’s a very personal space and I love feeding the birds, they are an absolute joy to have around and they deserve their food. How on earth do they cope in the snow with their tiny little legs?”
Having just returned from an European Tour, Cheryl is now planning her UK tour. “I’m just confirming dates,” she explains. “It’ll be my own music. I have two new releases, the album Snow Tracks, which was the Welsh Icons Editors Choice Album of 2011 and a track from that album called ‘Humans’ which has been shortlisted for the Sony Online TV Gr8 Women Award. I believe the power of song is in sharing it with other people. I’ll also be performing at a lot of the Festivals this year with ukulele; just ukulele and voice.”