Tag Archives: long barrows

Hostility

13 Jul

Overgrown stones

This is my 6th month travelling around South Wales, following the legendary Trail Of The Boar Hunt from The Mabinogion and drawing the Neolithic monuments on its track and up until now we’ve only had the weather to contend with. But on our last day out we had a miserable day of relentless hostility directed at those looking for their ancestral heritage. The first site we visited was accessible via a public footpath according to the Ordnance Survey Map except the path had been blocked off with barbed wire and had disappeared anyway under a thicket of thorny undergrowth and as we were trying to find a way through the landowner appeared and started shrieking at us. So we left quickly without visiting the stone. Onto the next site which had some standing stones a few metres off the road in a field which strictly forbade access and the stones were so overgrown with grasses, red campion and giant hogweed that they could barely be seen. Then to a long barrow at the end of a long and winding public footpath that had been planted over with crops – if we’d trampled the crops we would have been guilty of criminal damage and if we’d skirted around the outside of the field, we’d be trespassing. And finally a stone in an open and public place – except it had been removed from it’s original setting and relocated. Hostility takes many forms.

 

I have been travelling across South Wales with Rhondda-born archaeologist Dewi Bowen and Swansea film maker Melvyn Williams, hunting the wild megalith, accompanied by my portable drawing board, portfolio of Fabriano paper and a bag full of assorted artist’s materials.  Dewi is researching his latest book on Neolithic monuments and Melvyn is making a documentary film of our literary and artistic adventures. All the work I’m doing will eventually be featured in a solo show in The Worker’s Gallery in the Rhondda Valley in September. If you want to know more, please click here.

If you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

A Subtle Intervention

12 Jul

long barrow 1

We went to find a long barrow hidden in a field of corn. There was supposed to be a public footpath but it had been planted over so we walked around the edge of the field until we reached the elevated ground in front of a copse of trees where there was a raised area covered in bracken, very different from the land around it. I’ve noticed that many barrows we’ve visited are barely indistinguishable from the land in which they lie, but they tend to have different plants growing on them which gives them a distinctive colour and texture to the rest of their surroundings. So although they are not large and obvious like standing stones and ceremonial circles, they exert a gently disruptive influence over the landscape, a subtle intervention.

long barrow 2

 

I have spent the past few months travelling across South Wales with Rhondda-born archaeologist Dewi Bowen and Swansea film maker Melvyn Williams, hunting the wild megalith, accompanied by my portable drawing board, portfolio of Fabriano paper and a bag full of assorted artist’s materials.  Dewi is researching his latest book on Neolithic monuments and Melvyn is making a documentary film of our literary and artistic adventures. We are following the legendary trail of the boar hunt, y Twrch Trwyth from the Mabinogion, recording the Bronze Age ancestral stones that those ancient hunters might have encountered.

All the work I’m doing will eventually be featured in a solo show in The Worker’s Gallery in the Rhondda Valley in September. If you want to know more, please click here.

If you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

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