Rose Davies is a Swansea-based artist, a prolific explorer of different ways of doing art and materials. Her blog as Rosie Scribblah is fun and informative. Like other artists in Women’s Arts Association, she has projects, and her latest, following the path of the boar hunt (y twrch trwyth) in the Mabinogion, has resulted in Yr Helfa / The Hunt, her solo exhibition in The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir. I had been meaning to go to Ynyshir and the gallery for ages.
Ynyshir, a few miles out of Porth, is all Valleys stone and greenery, and the Workers is a light space made of the former library by artists Gayle Rogers and Chris Williams. There is no miners’ memorabilia here. Instead, it is rampant creativity of original minds, an art library, and has excellent tea and cakes. The blog https://scribblah.co.uk/2016/09/13/a-tidy-tea/ has fine photos of the cakes.
Rose was brought up with sagas and myths, and has been out in all weathers with prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams, tracking down the megaliths, the standing stones, across south Wales. Rose (below, back view) had chosen 30, in groups of six with a description of each stone’s place.
Some of the groups work really well together and, for places I knew, she has subtley captured their character. The Fabriano paper sheets were prepared, lots of them, with walnut ink, torn and stacked away, and then other media were added on site, after she selected one. In March and April, they combatted fierce gales and cold on the wild mountains and commons. It is a monumental project indeed.
Although the exhibition ended on 24th September, Rose’s work is available online through her site https://scribblah.co.uk/buy-scribblahs-original-art/ – and she will also welcome you, if your age is right, to sit as one of her 100 Baby Boomers (she has done 72 now). her sketchbooks were on show, with a video too.
There is always more to see at the Workers, including distinctive pieces by Gayle Rogers and Chris Williams’ dynamic wood sculptures, and other artists including Rosmarie O’Leary and Patricia Clifford.
There is a wall of small originals at a small price and a good selection of cards from work exhibited. They do classes too.
An enjoyable visit, and it was good to chat to Rose from whose blog I have learned a lot. In my experience, Ynyshir and the gallery are places people simply like.