After a short interlude, the remaining textile banners for the collaborative Cwch Caergybi are in.
We begin with three works on silk by the artist Sarah Holyfield, who lives and works near Llansadwrn, Ynys Môn.
The middle piece is of the Irish Sea.
‘Ancient sea farers travelling from Ynys Môn across the Irish Sea had a deep understanding of the way the water constantly flowed and changed. Photography enables me to capture complex currents and patterns, the light glistening and reflecting. The pure silk moves in the invisible flow of air.’
— Sarah Holyfield
These works on either side are based on a quote from the Holyhead creative Gillian Brownson.
Her poem “Salt, or Evelyn on the Shore” was written for the Ports, Past and Present project and I felt that including some of her work should be integral to the community boats cargo.
The full poem can be accessed here.
In the final section of the Cwch, there are works from three quilters from Holyhead.
The following contributions expand the collaborative element of the process beyond myself and an individual or group, to include a third party, in this case Alison Chapman who is a tutor with Addysg Oedolion Cymru / Adult Learning Wales. Alison runs patchwork-making courses in Holyhead.
The following banners have been made by students of her classes in Holyhead.
Those by Shân and Ruth are based on personal stories.
As a child, its awesome scenery was taken for granted.It was as a teenager that I saw its majesty for the first time, and this in stormy weather.
For the first time I thought of the many people that have been saved. How relieved the seafarers must have felt on seeing South Stack’s flashing light.
— Shân Thomas
“I dedicate this to all the seafarers who sailed the Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire route, and especially my husband Trevor “C” Watch, who sailed this route.
Lifelong friendships and loves were formed, and we met when I worked in the shore office “
— Ruth Williams
The last piece of work for Cwch Caergybi is ready to join the others and complete the cargo.
It was made by Dorothy Riley from Holyhead.
I have lived on Anglesey for over 50 years.
I live on the headland and watch the ferries sailing to Ireland and back.
This reminds me of the mail boats that sailed across when I first came to live here.
— Dorothy Riley
I really look forward to seeing them all installed together as one piece, carrying the creative responses of these talented women of Ynys Môn.
I thank you all very much for contributing such wonderful pieces for this community work.
It will eventually be installed permanently in a suitable venue in Holyhead.
There are a number of exhibitions planned this year for both Cwch Caergybi and Fflotila Caergybi, in various venues, with Amgueddfa Ceredigion (Aberystwyth) in May, Dublin in August and Holyhead (Ucheldre Arts Centre) in October.
Rosslare, Pembroke Dock and Fishguard will also host various Port Fest events with the calendar becoming available on the main Ports, Past and Present website in due course.