A Wales-wide roadshow, which showcases new innovative artworks by contemporary artists commissioned in support of the interactive online Literary Atlas, opened at the National Library of Wales on Saturday 23 March 2019. The Cartographic Imaginaries exhibition will visit six venues across Wales over a twelve month period, and can be seen at The National Library of Wales until the 8th of June.
Literary Atlas is a joint venture between Cardiff University and Swansea University, in partnership with Literature Wales and the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD). The aim of the project was to plot locations, both real and imaginative, featured in English-language novels set around Wales.
12 books were specially chosen from hundreds of works of fiction. Researchers recorded all geographical references mentioned in these stories, allowing users to follow each plotline around Wales and the world. The interactive tool enables and encourages users to explore the locations and places that have shaped the novels and their characters.
To support the project, 12 artists were commissioned to create original artworks to reflect each book, and these are featured in the exhibition.
- John Abell - Revenant by Tristan Hughes (2008)
- Iwan Bala - Twenty Thousand Saints by Fflur Dafydd (2008)
- Valerie Coffin Price - The Rebecca Rioter by Amy Dillwyn (1880)
- Liz Lake - Shifts by Christopher Meredith (1988)
- Richard Monahan - Aberystwyth Mon Amour by Malcom Pryce (2009)
- George Sfougaras - The Hiding Place by Trezza Azzopardi (2000)
- Joni Smith - Mr Vogel by Lloyd Jones (2004)
- Amy Sterly - Pigeon by Alys Conran (2016)
- Locus - Sheepshagger by Niall Griffiths (2002)
- Rhian Thomas - Border Country by Raymond Williams (1960)
- Seán Vicary - The Owl Service by Alan Garner (1967)
- Cardiff University Student Project – Strike for a Kingdom by Menna Gallie (1959)
Pedr ap Llwyd, Chief Executive and Librarian at the National Library of Wales said:
“We are delighted to work in partnership with Literary Atlas in bringing the Cartographic Imaginaries exhibition to the Library, so that our visitors can experience the innovative outcomes of the project. This show is an opportunity to showcase works which interweave literature, geography and artistic interpretation - a reflection of the Library's own unique collections."
Professor Jon Anderson, of Cardiff University’s School of Geography and Planning, who led the project, added:
“I’m delighted that the artwork roadshow is underway and that these thoughtful and innovative reflections and representations of the chosen 12 novels’ key themes can be seen and appreciated by the people of Wales. I hope they find them as illuminating and thought-provoking as I did and that they evoke a sense of place and time.”
“We’ve seen a high-volume of visitors using the website and exploring the interactive map for each of the 12 novels and developing their understanding of the relationship between geography and literature.
Elen Haf Jones
01970 632 534