Cockling The Labyrinth

14 Aug

Back in 1987, the Rosehill Quarry Project was turning an overgrown disused quarry on the outskirts of Swansea’s city centre into a nature reserve and community park. One of the things that was built there was a Cretan labyrinth. It was cut into the turf, revealing the red ash surface of the old tennis courts and filled with cockle shells, a by-product of the local shellfish industry in nearby Penclawdd. Every summer local people and labyrinth enthusiasts meet up to recut the edges of the labyrinth’s path and lay down new cockle shells. The drawing shows a stylised sketch of the labyrinth with Dewi Bowen sitting on a seat looking on. I drew with conte crayons onto paper that I had prepared with my home made walnut ink.

The labyrinth was conceived and built by Bob Shaw and Dewi Bowen; Dewi came along today, 34 years after its creation, to talk to us about how it all happened. It’s great that so many people turned up to cut back the overgrowth around the labyrinth’s edge and to get stuck into “cockling” the paths, especially as we couldn’t do it last year because of the Covid19 lockdown. I found a quiet space perched above the action to draw from.

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left and to see the complete image.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

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