Tag Archives: Iron Age

Drawing The Stones

13 Mar

I’m continuing to work on a series of drawings of ancestral monuments across South Wales and here are the drawings I’ve done so far on my travels  with archaeologist Dewi and film maker Melvyn. I’m chuffed with the range of the drawings and the way my work is developing into a more expressive style over the weeks. And it’s looking likely that I’ll be exhibiting these and the others I’m planning to do sometime in the Autumn. Watch this space!

Carreg Jack

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

 

 

The Liminal Place

12 Mar

iron age

Out and about visiting ancient sites in and around the Rhondda Valley, we stopped on the way from Hirwaun to Treherbert to look around the Hendre’r Mynydd Iron Age settlement. It’s a bit more modern than the ones we’ve been visiting, probably less than 3000 years old. My travelling companion, archaeologist Dewi Bowen, described it as a ‘liminal’ place, at the boundary of two different environments, teetering on the very edge of an upland clearing with an immense drop into the valley below.

iron age 2

Now there are two things I don’t normally do, landscapes and abstracts and here I have drawn an abstract landscape! The settlement is made up of low-lying rock walls forming circles and swirls in the rough grass; there’s no single significant thing to draw such as a standing stone or a tomb so how to approach a subject like this? I’m not interested in doing a topographical drawing, or realism, I want to tap into something deeper that means more to me and this is what I ended up with. I drew an outline of the rock formations as they lay across the site in white conte crayon across a piece of Fabriano Accademica paper that I had prepared with walnut ink, sponged on to achieve a light background wash and then dribbled with the original full-strength ink.

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

The Vastness Of Time

19 Feb

Carreg Jack

I was out and about with archaeologist Dewi Bowen (left) and film maker Melvyn Williams (middle) yesterday, following a Bronze Age route to visit 4 sites of ancient stones. I was planning on drawing them all but this one turned out to be a bit on the short side and I couldn’t get any inspiration from it, to be honest and as it was so cold I didn’t want to stick around and draw it. Sometimes you just don’t find a connection with the subject matter.

Carreg Jack 2

Then I turned round and saw this! The spectacular Llansteffan Castle at the top of the hill. Glorious. So then I started thinking about combining the two images sometime. But not in the cold on the beach in the wind. It’s a sofa job with Adobe Photoshop.

This standing stone is ‘Carreg Fawr Nant Jack‘, which translates from the Welsh as ‘The Big Stone at Jack’s Ford’. Although it looks small now, there’s a lot of it under the sand and in the past it stood on pasture land where it would have been much taller. There’s a huge timescale captured in these two photos. The castle is almost a thousand years old, but was built on the site of a much older Iron Age fort, about another thousand years earlier, and the Bronze Age ‘Carreg Fawr Nant Jack’ could be a couple of thousand years older again.

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