English

The Investiture of the Prince of the Wales at Caernarfon Castle made 1969 a particularly exciting year in Wales. And an exhibition held at National Museum Cardiff reflected the patriotic fervour of the investiture with the wonder and excitement of the first humans on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission with Cymru Yfory – Wales Tomorrow. It was held in the Main Hall and was the museum’s official contribution towards the celebrations of Investiture Year.

As the forward in the catalogue put it:

If a National Museum chooses to open its doors to contributions from the designer’s studio, the market place, the planner’s office or the research laboratory, no precedent is necessary. The Victoria & Albert Museum did these things excitedly in 1946 in the exhibition, Britain can make it . We saw then, after many drab years, a splash of enterprise and colour and an unexpected promise for the future.

For its main contribution to the year of the Investiture and of Croeso ’69 [a year long campaign to promote Welsh tourism and business built around the Investiture], the NMW has chosen deliberately to look beyond its ordinary boundaries and also to look into the future.

It has invited contributions from organisations of all sorts and the brief has been simple: that the ideas presented should be imaginative and for the future. They are not promises; they may not even be pleasant, but at least they refer to aspects of a possible future…

The exhibition represented a major break with the traditions of the Museum, it was showing that it had an interest not only in the past, but in the life of the community in the present and the future. The whole of the Main Hall was used – isolated from the rest of the Museum by hanging drapes and a magnificent inflated plastic ceiling. For the first time professional designers were commissioned to design and plan the exhibition; Alan Taylor [Senior Designer, BBC Wales TV] and John Wright [Principal of Newport College of Art] co-ordinated the design of exhibits contributed by over twenty organisations. The results were spectacular, an immediate surprise to every visitor who had known the Main Hall as a dignified setting for classical sculpture.

 

 

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Helo Cyfeillion y Gwanwyn,

Mae llwyth o gofnodion blodau wedi ei chofnodi i’r wefan! Mae’r Gwanwyn yn wir wedi cyrraedd.

Mae’r canlyniadau hyd yn hun yn dangos diwrnod blodeuo cyfartalog o 3 Mawrth i'r Crocws a 8 Mawrth i’r Cennin Pedr.

Y dyddiau blodeuo cyfartalog ar gyfer blwyddyn ddiwethaf oedd 10 Mawrth i’r Crocws a 15 Mawrth i’r Cennin Pedr. Felly, mae’r cofnodion blodau hyd yn hyn yn dangos bod ein planhigion wedi blodeuo yn gynharach eleni!

Mae’r graffiau yn dangos sut mae’r canlyniadau hyd yn hyn ar gyfer tymheredd, glawiad ac oriau haul yn cymharu hefo ganlyniadau diwethaf. Mae'r graffiau yn dangos bod y tymheredd yn is na blwyddyn ddiwethaf i'r cyfnod o Hydref i Ionawr, ond yn uchaf ar gyfer mis Chwefror. Rydym hefyd yn weld bod y glawiad misol yn llawer llai na diwethaf, ond oedd oriau haul yn uchaf o Hydref i Ionawr. Mae’n debygol bod mis Chwefror cynnes ac oriau haul uchel wedi arwain ar ein planhigion i flodeuo yn gynharach blwyddyn yma.

Diolch am eich sylwadau Cyfeillion y Gwanwyn. Rwy’n falch i glywed rydych yn mwynhau’r prosiect. Cadwch ati gyda'r gwaith called!

Athro’r Ardd

Eich sylwadau:

Sylwadau tywydd:

Ysgol Pentrefoelas: Mae hi wedi bob yn andros o sych. Ryden ni wedi bob allan yn chwarae bob dydd.

Carnbroe Primary School: It rained most days but it was not too cold. On Monday and Thursday the sun was out and the sky was blue, it felt like Spring. Still no signs of our bulbs flowering. Maybe next week.

Ysgol Glanyfferi: It is starting to feel like spring.

Arkholme CE Primary School: Our first crocus bulb has flowered and is looking good and healthy. We have also moved the plant pots into the sunlight so hopefully they will flower too. The daffodils from last year have grown also the weather has been improving and there has been more sunlight.

Broad Haven Primary School: The garden is looking lovely with the pots of crocus and daffodils flowering. On Thursday the temperature got up to 15.5 at lunchtime. Today (Friday) the sun has come out this afternoon. The children are very excited because their bulbs from last year which we planted in the bank are now starting to flower.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Hello, this week it has been cold and hot and it has been a really good week because we have had a delivery of two new trolleys and we even invested in a wormery which is a big hit with our foundation friends.

 

Sylwadau blodau:

Ysgol Pentrefoelas: Fy mlodyn yw y cyntaf I agor y flwyddyn hon,ond y llynedd nath o ddim agor o gwbwl.

Ysgol Pentrefoelas: blwyddyn dwytha mi ddaru y cenin pedr flodeuo ar y 21ain o Fawrth, 2016.

New Monkland Primary School: We noticed that our crocus plants started to grow slightly later than our daffodils. We were so excited to see them growing in our plant pots.

Ysgol Deganwy: All of them of grown and most people have taken them home.

New Monkland Primary School: We were so excited to see our plants starting to grow and the class enjoyed getting to see the Daffodil in their plant pots.

St Robert's R.C Primary School: I like that it’s blue not purple.

Beulah School: :):D All of our flowers have flowered except one :( :P
We have enjoyed our project :D ;)

Carbrain Primary School: We have flowers. :)

Carnbroe Primary School: My daffodil opened on the Friday and it has a small flower.

Severn Primary: I like it cos it is little and cute.

Severn Primary: Sadly a football hit my daffodil and it fell off.

Severn Primary: When I saw my flower it was so beautiful and I was happy.

Severn Primary: I like it cos the colour yellow is bright and the colour of the sun.

Severn Primary: It was a long time you af to wait a long time to open the daffodil.

Severn Primary: For some reason my flower never grew.

Severn Primary: Thank you for the spring bulb project.

Ellel St John's CE Primary School: We think that the crocuses have been water logged because when we went to measure them they were all floppy and droopy.

St. Michael's Primary School: The daffodil has not produced a flower.

Carnbroe Primary School: It rained lots this week but we checked on our flowering bulbs every day. Many of our bulbs in the pots flowered. The daffodils and crocus in the ground also flowered, hooray!

Auchenlodment Primary School: Nearly all of our crocuses have opened, we're now excitedly waiting for our daffodils to bloom.

Our Lady of Peace Primary School: When we go out it is fun and when it is raining we get soaked.

Our Lady of Peace Primary School:  It was fun planting the flowers. I like Daffodil.

St Robert's R.C Primary School: I enjoyed looking after it and watching it grow.

St Robert's R.C Primary School: I enjoyed the whole experience

St Robert's R.C Primary School: I enjoyed planting it and taking it home.

St Robert's R.C Primary School: I liked watching the stages of growth.

St Robert's R.C Primary School: I had fun taking part.

Barmston Village Primary School: My doffodil is quite small but the flower is beautiful.

Barmston Village Primary School: My daffodil is very tall compared to some of the others.

Barmston Village Primary School: My daffodil is smaller than some others but I think my sign might have been in the way of the sun getting to the plant.

Barmston Village Primary School: We've noticed the crocuses have a different flower to the ones we planted in our village last year. Your crocuses have smaller pointier leaves than ours.

Barmston Village Primary School: My daffodil is only small and my crocus didn't grow. I wonder if I didn't plant my correctly.

Ellel St John's CE Primary School: We had 15 crocus' were open on Wednesday but when we checked on Friday there were 27 crocus'.

Ellel St John's CE Primary School: 8 of our daffodils are open and the tallest of them (When we measured them on Monday) was 250mm.

Broad Haven Primary School: We are delighted we have our crocus and daffodils flowering. But it was very rainy on Thursday.

Broad Haven Primary School: We have the double- first crocus and first daffodil!! The bulbs from last year’s project are now flowering in the bank by our garden.

Broad Haven Primary School: Yes ours flowered first. A purple crocus.

Ysgol Deganwy: all of the flowers have budded.

Standing on what felt like the top of the world and slowly regaining our breaths back, they were soon taken away again when looking at the awe inspiring landscape of Whiteford Sands in Swansea Bay.

Swansea Museum is working on a project called ‘The Lost Treasures of Swansea Bay’, which is funded by the help of the ‘Saving Treasures; Telling Stories’ project. Saving Treasures is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund which is acquiring archaeological objects for local and national collections, providing training for heritage professionals and volunteers and engaging local communities with their pasts.

Last week the museum teamed up with young people from Swansea YMCA, The National Trust and The Glamorgan Gwent Archaeology Trust to hike around Whiteford Sands in the Gower area of Swansea Bay. This walk was intended to give us an understanding of the changing landscape of Swansea Bay since the Bronze Age.

The Landscape

Corinne Benbow is a National Trust Ranger and she led the first half of the walk up a very steep hill in order to get the best viewpoints overlooking the beach and woodland areas.

Corinne explained that what we could see was quite unspoiled, she said: “You’re looking at quite an ancient landscape and it wouldn’t have changed that much since the Bronze Age.”

Pointing over towards the coastline, Corinne spoke about how the landscape has slightly changed over the years.

This piece of land is actually brand new and doesn’t belong to anyone as it has only appeared over the last twenty-five years; that’s because of the sand being washed in and building up. The new dunes get washed away and are then re-built back up; so it’s always shifting, but is basically the same as it’s been for thousands of years.”

Hidden Secrets

After a lunch break and water painting session of the landscape, we continued our walks through the woods, over the sand dunes and onto the pebbly beach. It was here where Paul Huckfield, an archaeologist from the Glamorgan Gwent Archaeology Trust, revealed some hidden treasures found on the beach.

Paul said: “We are currently stood on a prehistoric ground surface which was originally a forest. This dates back to the late Mesolithic, early Neolithic age at around 5000-4000 BC. As you can see the remains of the trees around you are still here.”

At a first glance you would assume the trees were drift wood washed ashore, but they were in fact, alder trees almost 7000 years old. Paul explained how the landscape which is currently a sandy beach area would have actually been a woodland area similar to the one we walked through. 

Why were they a secret?

Nobody knew these 7000 year old trees even existed until they were found between 2010- 2012 when the beach lost some of its sand and the trees came to light.

The Saving Treasures; Telling Stories Project is a partnership project between Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, The Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales (The FED) and the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Wales (PAS Cymru) promoting the portable archaeological heritage of Wales through acquiring finds made by the public. The project secured Heritage Lottery Grant funding in October 2014 through the Collecting Cultures programme and runs for five years.

It will help Swansea Museum to acquire and safeguard items of portable heritage with special significance to Swansea Bay for the people of Swansea. It will also enable the museum to work with local communities to engage with and explore these treasures and to find out more about Swansea Bay

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales has loaned 25 photographs from the John Dillwyn Llewelyn collection for the exhibition, A Moon and a Smile, which runs from 4 March to 23 April 2017 at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea. The exhibition responds to a period in the 1840s and 1850s, when Swansea was at the centre of early experiments in photography worldwide. In particular, the Dillwyn family circle was prolific in the development of photography, especially Mary Dillwyn and John Dillwyn Llewellyn.

Commissioned by the Glynn Vivian, the exhibition features new work by nine international artists including Helen Sear, Anna Fox, Sharon Morris and Sophy Rickett, alongside a display of 19th century photography by members of the Dillwyn family circle. The commissions have been created in response to collections held at Amgueddfa Cymru, National Library of Wales and Swansea Museum.

Amgueddfa Cymru’s involvement in the exhibition began back in February 2015, when Mark Etheridge (Curator: Industry & Transport) led a workshop on the photography of the Dillwyn Llewelyn family held at the National Collections Centre, Nantgarw. The workshop focused on the work of John (a Welsh pioneer in early photography), but especially the photography of his sister Mary Dillwyn and his daughter Thereza, two of the first female photographers in Wales.

This link is for the exhibition page at the Glynn Vivian 

You can find out more about John Dilwyn Llewelyn and the collection here

 

The Lure of the Archive symposium

To coincide with the opening of the exhibition, The Lure of the Archive symposium was organised by Falmouth University in conjunction with the exhibition A Moon and a Smile. Through presentations and discussions the symposium explored the challenges and strategies of artists, curators and writers in approaching and engaging with historic photographic collections and archives. Bronwen Colquhoun (Senior Curator of Photography) and Mark Etheridge participated in this symposium, and talked about both the Art and Industry photographic collections. The symposium was held on the 4th March 2017 at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery.

Speakers included exhibiting artists – Greta Alfaro, Anna Fox, Astrid Kruse-Jensen, Neeta Madahar and Melanie Rose, Sharon Morris, Sophy Rickett, Helen Sear, Patricia Ziad; and Helen Westgeest, Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History and Photography Theory, Leiden University; writer, curator and artist, David Campany Westminster University; Bronwen Colquhoun, Senior Curator of Photography, National Museum Wales; Mark Etheridge, Curator, Industry and Transport, National Museum Wales; Paul Cabuts, Director, Institute of Photography, Falmouth University; Jenni Spencer-Davies, Director, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Katy Freer, Exhibitions Organiser, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery and freelance curator Kate Best.

The Voices from the Archives series is based on recordings in the Oral History Archive at St Fagans National History Museum. Connected to the agricultural activities, demonstrations and displays at the Museum - they provide an insight into the lives and histories of farming people, the agricultural practices in the past, how they developed into contemporary agriculture.

Lambing in Pembrokeshire, 1984

March is lambing time at Llwyn-yr-eos Farm, the Museum’s working farm. Lambing in the past and present was described by Richard James, Portfield Gate, Pembrokeshire, south west Wales, in a recording made in 1984. Aged 79, he recalled lambing in an interview about his life in farming, but also described how it was being done on a farm in the area in the year of the interview. The following short clips are from the recording.

Pembrokeshire born and bred, Richard James had farmed at Lambston Sutton in the south west of the county. It stood between the large county town of Haverfordwest a few miles to the east, and the coastline of St Bride’s Bay to the west. The lowland coastal areas, warmer climate and lower rainfall made agriculture more diverse than in many other parts of Wales, with the keeping cattle and sheep and the growing of early potatoes and cereal crops. The coastal areas could be exposed to the winds and rain from the Atlantic Ocean though, and weather conditions could strongly influence lambing, to which Richard James refers in the first clip:

Richard James, Portfield Gate, Sir Benfro

When lambing was to take place was decided by when the ewes were put to the rams. Up until then the rams on the farm had to be kept separate from the sheep. It was always a concern that rams might break through a poor fence or hedge and cause lambing to start at the wrong time. Also, a ram of poorer quality or a different breed from another flock could also result in poorer quality lambs and reduced income. After mating, a ewe is pregnant for between 142 and 152 days, approximately five months or slightly shorter.

In this clip, Richard James describes at what time of year lambing took place on a local farm, and how it was being done by a farmer using a former aircraft hangar.

Richard James, Portfield Gate, Sir Benfro

The final clip is about working the day and night shifts:

Richard James, Portfield Gate, Sir Benfro