Tag Archives: David Pitt

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.

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.

Ready To Print

3 Jan

cut

I finished cutting a Mari Lwyd skull into my vinyl block. I’ll print it this weekend, using Japanese Hosho paper and Caligo Cranfield ‘Safe Wash‘ relief printing ink, with maybe a hint of chine collé.  I was going to do two skulls but I think the one at the back would make it too crowded so I haven’t cut it.

 

The Mari Lwyd (Grey Mare) is a manifestation of the ancient Celtic horse goddess, Epona – or Rhiannon in Wales, and might even be linked to the earliest cave paintings of shamen in their animal masks. She makes her appearance in the Welsh tradition during Hen Galan, or the ‘old’ New Year based on the Julian rather than the Gregorian calendar which is usually celebrated around the 13th of January.

You can order your own Mari Lwyd, a flat pack horse skull kit designed by David Pitt here….

A Flat Pack Mari Lwyd

2 Jan

Mari Lwyd 2020

Mari Lwyd time will soon be here and I’ve been doing a little lino cut to make some cards to celebrate. She’s a manifestation of the ancient Celtic horse goddess, Epona – or Rhiannon in Wales, and might even be linked to the earliest cave paintings of shamen in their animal masks. She makes her appearance in the Welsh tradition during Hen Galan, or the ‘old’ New Year based on the Julian rather than the Gregorian calendar which is usually celebrated around the 13th of January.

 

flat pack

A flat-pack Mari Lwyd kit designed by David Pitt and sold by ‘trac’

Horse skulls are a bit hard to come by these days, but if you want your own Mari Lwyd, you can order a flat pack horse skull kit here….

Visceral

19 Oct

RM2

 

Another drawing I did recently at a spoken word event at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, with Rufus Mufasa, David Pitt and Eleanor Shaw amongst others, using surrealist drawing  techniques. I did this drawing while listening to one of the contributor’s telling the story of her experience of giving birth. Her words created very powerful and abstract imagery and I worked with Daler Rowney pastels onto vintage paper. It was a visceral experience and not one I’m used to as I normally work directly from life. It’s good to be pushed out of my comfort zone.

 

Surrealist Drawing

18 Oct

RM6

A few weeks ago I did some live drawing at a spoken word event at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, with Rufus Mufasa, David Pitt and Eleanor Shaw amongst others. I normally work directly from life, but this time I let my hands be influenced by the rhythm and meaning of the words and music and just drew. This is similar to surrealist drawing and really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I did this – almost – automatic drawing while listening to one of the contributor’s story about her nervous breakdown. Her words were graphically visual.

Responding To A Story

12 Oct

DP1

 

I went to the Glynn Vivian art gallery last week, to do some live drawing at an event involving poets, storytellers and musicians. I normally draw directly from life but I went right out of my comfort zone for this one, allowing the words, music and spoken rhythms to flow into my hands and direct the marks I made onto vintage paper with Daler Rowney artists pastels. This drawing was done in response to David Pitt’s story about a caged songbird and a desert.

Two Birds With One Stone

28 Jul

Number 94

 

I managed to kill two birds with one stone this evening, simultaneously doing a sketch for tonight’s blog and reaching Number 94 out of my target of drawing 100 Baby Boomers. Husb and I went to Swansea Storytelling Club and I scribbled while listening to artist and performer David Pitt. David and I have been trying to find time for me to draw him for the Boomers series for ages and it happened quite by accident. Result!

 

And edging nearer by the minute – next Monday …….

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Blast From The Past….

29 Mar

elephant

Another blast from the past, from The Bagpuss Window, a semi-derelict artspace set up by Melanie Ezra and myself about 18 months ago. It only lasted 3 weeks but we, and lots of other artists and performers, did loads of arty stuff. Swansea Print Workshop lent us a portable etching press so I got stuck in with some paper drypoint plates and produced a small edition based on a little sketchbook drawing I did during my residency in Pakistan a couple of years ago.

Filmmaker Melvyn Williams made some short videos of what we got up to – here are a couple …..

First off, performance poet Rhys Trimble jamming with gong artist David Pitt.

 

And a quick blast of me…..

 

I have put my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

Spiral Labyrinth

6 Mar

labyrinth

Another blast from the past, here I am at The Bagpuss Window, a semi-derelict artspace set up by Melanie Ezra and myself about 18 months ago. It only lasted 3 weeks but we, and lots of other artists and performers, did loads of arty stuff. Here I am walking the spiral labyrinth installed by prehistorian Dewi Bowen and musician/puppeteer David Pitt.

 

Artist Hannah F Lawson used one of the windowless back rooms to create some light paintings, using various lights and Tai Chi movements. Filmed by Melvyn Williams.

 

And back to now, coming up from Wednesday March 8th, a new exhibition to celebrate International Women’s Day at Cinema & Co in Swansea.

wmd-invitation

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

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