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Hunting The Wild Megalith

14 Jul

HUNTING THE WILD MEGALITH: A FILM, A CONVERSATION, AN EXHIBITION

Monday July 31st, 6.00 – 7.30, Cinema & Co, Swansea

Rose

Looking happy (not) with my drawing board

Mud! Gales! Snow! Lurking ponies! Scary cattle! More Mud! That’s what you get when an artist, a prehistorian and a filmmaker go out and about over the South Wales countryside hunting ancient stone monuments.

This collaboration between Dewi Bowen , Melvyn Williams and me began back at the start of 2016 when Dewi enlisted us to travel with him to Neolithic and Bronze Age sites to research his latest book, “Hunting The Wild Megalith”.

Melvyn

Filmmaker Melvyn Williams with the Bryn Maen Farm stone

Eighteen months later, this meeting of minds has resulted in my current exhibition at Swansea’s Cinema & Co, a short film by Melvyn and the bulk of the research done for Dewi’s book. On July 31st my exhibition ends but on that last evening, Melvyn will be premiering his short film, at 6.30 and then Dewi will be in conversation with Melvyn, from 6.50, about the age-old mystery of Welsh standing stones.

Dewi

Prehistorian Dewi Bowen lounges on an Iron Age settee

Here’s a trailer to give you a taste of what’s to come.

 

And the quirky and lovely Cinema & Co is showing cult 1970’s movie The Wicker Man from 8pm (please book tickets for the film online in advance).

 

And there will be cake!

Victoria Sandwich

 

For a limited period I am putting a new drawing of an ancient monument on my Artfinder gallery every day.  If you’d like to check them out, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

The Art. The Megaliths. The Film. The Rain!

29 Jun

 

Coming soon to Cinema & Co, an exhibition by Rose Davies, a film by Melvyn Williams, an illustrated talk by Dewi Bowen……..

 

 

 

For a limited period I am putting a new drawing of an ancient monument on my Artfinder gallery every day.  If you’d like to check them out, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

 

 

 

From Pakistan To Pentre Ifan: Art, Cake And Neolithic Wales

26 Jun

My solo show, “Yr Helfa / The Hunt”, is now on at Swansea’s quirky artspace, Cinema & Co throughout July and we’re finishing with a fabulous event on Monday July 31st from 5.30 pm featuring a film from Melvyn Williams, an illustrated talk from Dewi Bowen and I’ll be launching a new edition of a lino print made especially for the event.

I am exhibiting a series of drawings made of ancestral Bronze Age and Neolithic monuments in the field – mostly muddy fields – drawn on my journey across South Wales over the past 18 months with prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams. This body of work has its roots in a life-changing journey I made to Pakistan some years ago, where I became fascinated by rock carvings over 10,000 years old.

 

Back in February 2016 I started trudging through mud and slurry, fording turbulent streams and climbing over brackish hilltops through hail, rain and snow with Dewi and Melvyn to hunt down Neolithic and Bronze Age burial chambers, ceremonial circles and standing stones that lie scattered across the landscape of Wales. Coming face to face with these ancestral symbols both of a long lost culture and of continuity in a rapidly changing world has had a profound impact on me.

Please check Cinema & Co’s Facebook page for opening times during the exhibition.

 

 

For a limited period I am putting a new drawing of an ancient monument on my Artfinder gallery every day.  If you’d like to check them out, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

 

 

 

The Solstice Sunset

22 Jun

Llangynydeyrn 3

My second drawing done at solstice sunset on Mynydd Llangyndeyrn Mountain in Carmarthenshire using Daler Rowney soft pastels onto prepared canvas sheet. It was lovely being up the mountain at night after the searing heatwave of the past few days.

 

Llangynydeyrn 4

The standing stones were eerie and ethereal against the solstice sunset. The stone circle on Mynydd Llangyndeyrn is on the mythical trail of Y Twrch Trwyth, The Boar Hunt, a tale from the Welsh book of legend, The Mabinogion.

 

For a limited period I am putting a new drawing of an ancient monument on my Artfinder gallery every day.  If you’d like to check them out, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

 

 

 

Saturated Sunset

21 Jun

 

I went to Mynydd Llangynydeyrn Mountain yesterday evening with prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams to check out the Solstice sunset over the stone circle there. I know that Solstice is this evening, but we were hedging our bets in case there was cloud today.

 

I worked onto a pre-used canvas sheet that I prepared with gesso and some of my home-made walnut husk ink, using Daler Rowney artist quality pastels for the drawing en plein air. The stones in the circle, backlit by the disappearing sun, took on a dark and sinister appearance which is reflected in the work. The sunset was spectacular, with vibrant, saturated, unbelievably bright colours zinging across the sky, in stark contrast with the dark and sombre earthbound tones.

The vegetation around the site was lush and stood out against the dying brightness of the sky.

 

 

 

For a limited period I am putting a new drawing of an ancient monument on my Artfinder gallery every day.  If you’d like to check them out, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

 

 

 

 

Squished

12 Jun

squished

Our very last visit on our recent trip to Berlin was to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial church, which is in fact 2 churches. The newer church, built around the ruins of the older, has a spectacular – and huge – statue of Christ, designed by Karl Hemmeter, dominating the space. I had a quick scribble but underestimated how much space I needed for the spread of the arms, so I had to seriously squish them to fit into my A4 brown paper sketchbook. There was an organ recital going on when we wandered in so we, Husb, two great-nephews and myself, sat in the awe-inspiring space and enjoyed some classical organ music. Lovely.

 

Like Nana’s Range (might be distressing)

11 Jun

Crematoria

As Husb and I walked around the Saschenhausen Concentration Camp in Berlin last week (on a Sandemans Guided Tour) I sketched what I could on the move. It made it easier in some ways because I could detach myself slightly from my surroundings. A lot of the camp was destroyed by the Soviets after they took control of East Germany, but some parts remained, although badly damaged, like the crematoria that were used to destroy the bodies of the tens of thousands of people who were murdered here. Their bodies were originally shipped out in trucks to crematoria in the city, but one truck overturned and spilled bodies across a street so these crematoria were built so that the citizens of Berlin wouldn’t have to see such a distressful sight again.

All that’s left are a few small brick walls, the black metal ‘ovens’ and the metal girders that supported the brick structure. This was the point where I broke down. The ‘ovens’ look for all the world like the black iron range in my Nana’s kitchen when I was a child; happy memories of her kettle always bubbling away and goodies coming out of the little oven. Horror can look so ordinary and benign!

My parent’s generation lived through the war, many died on all sides. It is our duty to them to make sure it doesn’t happen again. These vile attitudes are on the rise once more in Europe. We have to stop them, we have to safeguard the future.

 

 

Just Like Home

9 Jun

Rain And Horror

Husb and I were in Berlin in a heatwave last week and we visited the Saschenhausen Concentration Camp in one of the Berlin suburbs. The temperature had been up to around 30° Celsius, way too hot for a bunch of gingery Celts but the skies grew dark and there was a sudden, very fierce, thunderstorm. Being Welsh, we just stood there in the pouring rain, just like home. Then we turned around and noticed that the rest of our tour group were all huddled for shelter at the side of one of the huts.

Concentration storm 2

I carried on drawing into my brown paper sketchbook. The rain spattered the conté crayons and made the drawing quite fuzzy, which I really like. It prevented me from getting bogged down in detail and forced me to take an emotional approach to the subject, three poles set into the concrete square that were used to punish the poor souls imprisoned in this hellhole.

My Hero

7 Jun

Kathe

Husb and I went to Berlin for a few days last week and spent an intense few hours at the Käthe Kollwitz Museum. I love her work and her life is an inspiration, she never relinquished her belief in social justice despite the enmity of both the First and Third Reich. I took a few minutes to draw from one of her bas relief bronze casts, using black, white and sanguine conté crayons into a brown paper sketchbook.

Never Forget

4 Jun

concentration camp

Husb and I spent a few days in Berlin this earlier this week and spent some time visiting the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp on the outskirts of the city. It was moving and chilling; I was shocked to discover that it was surrounded by a nice, middle-class housing estate. People turned a blind eye to the horror that was built in their midst. In these troubled times, with terror attacks by fundamentalists and calls for retaliation from extremists, we need to remember more than ever what can happen when intolerance gets out of hand.

Concentration storm

It wasn’t easy to sketch as we were moving more or less constantly as part of a guided tour (well worth paying for), but I managed some speed sketches and a few digital photos. There was a thunderstorm while we were there, the looming sky suited the place.

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