Archive | 21:59

Cairns, Castle And Garlic

2 Jun

Tair Carn 1

Back to hunting the wild megalith in South Wales with archaeologist Dewi Bowen and film maker Melvyn Williams, visiting Neolithic monuments on the Trail Of The Boar, a legend from The Mabinogion. Today we took off to Tair Carn Isaf (the Three Lower Cairns) near Carreg Cennen Castle in Carmarthenshire. The cairns were a hefty walk from the road, steeply uphill over rough ground but worth the effort for the spectacular 360° views. The first and largest cairn we came to has been enhanced with a small rock sculpture perched on top. I like the way that modern people interact with the ancestors by adding to the cairns and even making new ones alongside the old.

I drew onto a piece of Fabriano paper I had previously prepared with charcoal, acrylic paint and my own home-made walnut ink. I drew with Daler Rowney artists’ soft pastels. I don’t want to do representational drawings when I’m out with the ancestral stones, rather I want to express my feelings about the place, to create my own personal impression.

Here’s  a bit of trivia. The castle name, Carreg Cennen is Welsh for Leek Rock – the area is covered with wild garlic, or Ramsons, which was apparently the original Welsh leek. We could smell it for miles around as we travelled to the castle for tea and cake after our trek.

Dewi is researching his new book on Neolithic / Bronze Age monuments. His previous book on the stones of Ancient Siluria (South East Wales) can be found here. Melvyn is recording a documentary about our experiences. Some of Melvyn’s short films can be seen here. I’m currently working on a series of expressive drawings of ancestral sites and if you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

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