Archive | Other animals RSS feed for this section

Four Females And A Film Festival

5 Mar

cinema co 1

I cut this MDF woodblock a couple of months ago and got round to printing it today, using Cranfield Caligo Safe Wash relief ink in black onto Japanese Hosho paper, using a Japanese bamboo baren instead of a press. It’s my interpretation of the logo of local independent picture house Cinema & Co.

It’s a great place that supports local culture in many ways including giving artists free space to show our work. They don’t charge commission, all they ask is for artists to make a piece of work relating to the cinema. So here’s mine.

IWD

There’s a fantastic evening coming up on March 12th to celebrate International Womens’ Day. From 5.30 to 7.30 there’s the launch of an exhibition by four local artists (above) – Sally Davies, Esther Ley, Patti McKenna-Jones and me (FREE with home-made cake).

Feminista

And that’s followed by the Feminista Film Festival from 7.30 to 9.30 (info and tickets here). This series of shorts tells the most inspiring stories about women and girls around the world, from America, Syria, Greenland and more. Here’s the trailer….

 

 

 

Finally ….. Again ……

28 Jan

prints

I know I said a few days ago that I woudn’t post any more Mari Lwyds until next year, but then I found the little lino I cut before Xmas and forgotten about. So I printed up a few today at Swansea Print Workshop, using Caligo Cranfield Safe Wash ink in black onto Hosho paper. I used the back of a wooden spoon to take the print.

 

And Finally….

25 Jan

Mari Port Talbot

Here’s the last of the Mari Lwyds I sketched at the recent Gower Wassail. This one’s from Port Talbot, the Cwmafan Mari who was bedecked loads of bows. That should be the last of the Mari Lwyds until next New Year …..

The Dim Mare

24 Jan

Mari Gwyr

It’s been Mari Lwyd season here in Wales, an ancient tradition harking back to the worship of the Celtic horse goddess. There have been quite a few Maris stalking the area and they’re all different, they all have their own personalities. Here’s a quick sketch of Mari Gwyr, the Gower Mari. She’s plainer than most and her strange headgear, a cross between a beret and a beanie, make her look a bit dim, in my opinion.

Here Comes Mayhem

23 Jan

Plygain 6

At the Plygain celebration over the weekend, after there had been plenty of Welsh carols sung and a break for tea and snacks, we had some surprise visitors. Some local Wassailers accompanied by the Coppertown Mari Lwyd (Mari Trecopr). We moved quickly from traditional Xmas hymns to Mari-led mayhem.

Plygain 5

The Mari Lwyd arrives with her companions and knocks on the door to be let in. It’s the job of the people inside to keep the mischieveous Mari out so there’s a battle of wits and rhyme – a sort of ancient rap battle – until the Mari and her gang are let in. This frisky Mari tried to knock back a glass of mulled wine!

This wonderful evening of Welsh tradition was led by David Pitt (who inhabits the Mari) and Margot Morgan, who organises the Aderyn Du (Black Bird) Brynmill Community Choir.

The Cheeky Mari From Pembrokeshire

18 Jan

Mari benfro

This is another sketch of a Mari Lwyd I did last weekend at the Hen Galan festivities in the Gower Heritage Centre. This Mari came all the way from Pembrokeshire and her keeper knew who she was when she was alive – she was a stallion! But he’s been reincarnated as a Mari Lwyd, linking back thousands of years to the Celtic goddess Epona, or Rhiannon in Welsh mythology. Each of the Mari Lwyds is different, they have their own personalities and Mari Benfro (Pembroke Mari) is exceptionally cheeky and lively.

 

A Dead Horse In A Sketchbook

14 Jan

mari 2 2020

Husb and I went to the Gower Wassail and Mari Lwyd festival last weekend, where there was a gathering of Maris. Normally they’re jumping around the place, up to mischief, but this one had been propped up against a pole and was sat quietly, so I had a chance to draw her in more detail than normal. The sketch on the right was the first and I made her face way too long. I know that horses have long faces anyway, but this one was foreshortened and the drawing on the left is more accurate. Some people might think it a bit strange that people choose to keep company with dead horses, but it’s what we do in these parts 😀

To find out more about the Mari Lwyd tradition in Wales, please click here

Hen Galan Hapus – Happy Old New Year

13 Jan

Mari cas gwent

Today (January 13th) is Hen Galan, the Welsh Old New Year, based on the archaic Gregorian rather than the modern Julian calendar. And there’s a long tradition in Wales of welcoming in the Old New Year with fun, festivities, feasting and a dead horse. As you do. She’s called the Mari Lwyd (Grey Mare) and is a modern incarnation of the ancient Celtic horse goddess Epona, also called Rhiannon in Wales.

mari 3 2020

Grey and white animals were prized in pre-Christian times for their ability to flit between this world and Annwn, the Otherworld, which isn’t like the Christian Heaven and Hell. That’s why Christianity almost wiped out the tradition, by the mid 20th century there were only a handful of Mari Lwyds left in Wales, where there had once been hundreds. But now she’s coming back and Husb and I went Wassailing on Saturday and there were six Mari Lwyds prancing around and making mischief. The one at the top is Mari Cas-Gwent (the Chepstow Mari Lwyd) and the bottom one is Mari Benfro (the Pembrokeshire Mari Lwyd). They’re all different.

Anointing The Apple Trees.

11 Jan

mari 4 2020

 

In two days on January 13th it will be Hen Galan, the ‘old’ New Year in Wales, which is heralded by the tradition of the Mari Lwyd (Grey Mare). It’s a pre-Christian custom rooted in the worship of the ancient Celtic horse goddess Epona, known in Welsh culture as Rhiannon.

 

mari 1 2020

 

Husb and I went to the Gower Wassail festival today, which included a parade of Mari Lwyds by torchlight, with lots of music and shouting to ‘wake up’ the apple trees in the orchard, and to anoint their roots with cider. It’s an ancient ritual meant to encourage a good apple harvest next year. Here’s Husb getting dressed as a Mari – traditionally although the Mari is female, the person inside is a man, although these days there are women puppeteers as well. You can see the horse skull on the floor.

Knitting For Wildlife

9 Jan

knitting for wildlife

 

I’ve just started knitting a Joey pouch to fit a small kangaroo rescued from the Australian fires. There’s an international group on Facebook co-ordinating the making of pouches, nests, beds, baskets, bird jumpers, bat wraps, koala mittens and hanging bags and there’s a local group too for the Swansea area. I’m knitting this with some spare pure wool (DK in the UK, 8 ply in Australia) and a set of 4mm knitting needles. There’s a list of instructions in the Files section on Animal Rescue Craft Guild Facebook page for knitting, crochet and sewing. If you have a few hours to spare, maybe you’d like to make one.

 

knitting for wildlife header

%d bloggers like this: