Gwlân / Wool - Aberystwyth University at the National Eisteddfod
The artist Ruth Jên with a print which is inspired by sheep ear markings
30 July 2015
The artist Ruth Jên, from Talybont in Ceredigion, will discuss her latest work ‘Gwlân’ (Wool) in a conversation with the broadcaster Dei Tomos at Aberystwyth University’s stall at the Montgomeryshire and the Marches 2015 National Eisteddfod on the morning of Tuesday 4 August at 11 o’clock.
Ruth, who is well-known for her series of images of Welsh women, has recently completed an MA degree in Art at Aberystwyth University School of Art.
Her work concentrates on traditions associated with sheep shearing and ear marking in the hill farms of north Ceredigion, specifically Gwenffrwd farm between Penrhyncoch and Ponterwyd, in the shadow of the Disgwylfa.
She was inspired by the tradition of making woollen blankets in Talybont, a village which was once an important centre for weaving, and for three years she has been documenting the work of tagging lambs’ ears and shearing day and the associated social traditions.
A 5 minute film made as part of her work, concentrating on the shearer’s physical movements while working, can be seen at the Aberystwyth University stall throughout the week of the Eisteddfod.
In a review of the work, published in the local community newspaper, Papur Pawb, Catrin M S Davies said: “What’s exciting about the latest work is that Ruth has not only documented, but has proceeded to celebrate the traditions and give an artistic status to the everyday practices of sheep farmers – a group of people who are normally invisible and incomprehensible to the inhabitants of cities and towns. Promoting the work and life of these people has a deep significance in Ruth’s work.”
A full list of events at Aberystwyth University’s stall at the Montgomeryshire and the Marches National Eisteddfod is available at http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/eisteddfod/.