How the West was Won

I have occasionally blogged on the joys of Aberystwyth and its place as a University town in the far west of Wales. The story is that its railway line escaped axing in the Beeching era, not because the line was profitable but because it ran through five Labour held parliamentary constituencies.
It is a nice place to visit, not just because we have family there but because of its indomitable spirit of activism despite the efforts of the City fathers.
This spirit is exemplified by the sign I saw in a car window.

Does it mean that Aber is overrun by ravening hordes who will smash a car window in search of stale (or otherwise) food. No, it means that if due to idiosyncrasies in the licensing laws, the pie shops close before throwing out time at the local bars, then there is no profit to be found scavenging in the parked vehicles looking for left over sea gull food.

Dragon Arts

Wales is renowned for its artistic genes. Artists and bards spring up everywhere. After all Aberystwyth boasts my son in law as a sculptor in residence.
Last month the Ceredigion coast experienced some late spring gales and among other detritus a tree washed up on the beach.
If as Michaelangelo  said “Every block of stone has a statue inside it.” then every piece of wood harbours an artistic expression that wishes to
emerge like the butterfly from the cocoon.
So it was with no surprise that one morning we discovered that the tree trunk had been transformed into a dragon complete with (dead) 
spider crabs for eyes.
As can be seen, my grandson is a true native of Wales and shows no fear of dragons!

 

Aberystwyth

Mid Wales Art CentreAt the week end I went to Aberystwyth to stay with my older daughter and her family. These weekends always promise to be gentle day fest. We seem to get a lot of not much done, but we enjoy ourselves and clock up a pleasant time. One of the highlights was to travel to Caersws in Powys to visit the Mid Wales Arts Centre run by Cathy Knapp. Cathy’s centre is home to a unique permanent collection of large scale enamel murals and sculptures by the late world renowned Polish born artist Stefan Knapp. Richard Brown (my son in law) collected some of his works which had been exhibited there and we transported them back to Aberystwyth where they will be displayed in the Gas Gallery on Park Avenue. The Gas Gallery was launched at the end of June and is entirely self-funded by artists from the area, with volunteers staffing it on a daily basis.  It is situated in the Old Gas Showrooms on Park Avenue – a building which has been empty for some years The new venture marks a triumph for the group known as Celf Ceredigion Art, who have spent many years negotiating with Ceredigion County Council to turn some of the town’s many empty buildings into exhibition spaces. The project is a one year pilot and sees the group working in partnership with the council as they work to promote the best art the area has to offer. Full marks to the Ceredigion County Council for their initiative in recycling an otherwise empty building which was going to waste. Richard will be taking part in the Ceredigion Art Trail 2013 Richard’s web page can be found on http://ceredigionarttrail.org.uk/richard-brown-2012/
More details of the Gas Gallery can be found on http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/wales/posts/Local-artists-win-long-campaign-for-new-gallery-in-Aberystwyth