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An exhibition celebrating Wales’ close relationship with the sea has opened its doors at The National Library of Wales’ gallery at Glan-yr-afon/The Riverside, Haverfordwest. Wales and the Sea is the third exhibition to feature at Haverfordwest’s flagship gallery and follows the success of Treasures and Kyffin Williams: Land and Sea.

With a coastline measuring almost six hundred miles in length, it isn’t surprising that Wales has a close relationship with the sea. In many ways the sea has shaped not only the coastline of Wales, but also the history and imagination of the Welsh people.

Using stories, objects and images from The National Library of Wales, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, this exciting partnership asses how the sea has influenced Wales’ landscape and culture.

Throughout the centuries, the sea has been an inspiration for many and continues to influence the Welsh in word and song today. Wales and the Sea explores how works by artists and writers, such as Kyffin Williams, John Dillwyn Llewelyn, J. Glyn Davies and Dylan Thomas, have been shaped by the coast of Wales.

But the sea has its dark side too, which becomes apparent through past shipwrecks, such as the Lusitania disaster. Among the featured exhibits is a lifebelt that saved Viscount Rhondda during the sinking of that very ocean liner in 1915. In addition, visitors will come face to face with some of Wales's most famous smugglers and pirates.

Some may say that winter is not the best season to enjoy the seashore, but there’s no need to battle the blustery wind and rain to catch a glimpse of these amazing objects! Come to enjoy works of art and photographs, along with nostalgic film clips under the shelter of the gallery at Glan-yr-afon / The Riverside, Haverfordwest.

Pedr ap Llwyd, Chief Executive and Librarian at The National Library of Wales said:

“Providing access to our national collections is an important priority for the National Library. Through the Wales and the Sea exhibition, visitors from Pembrokeshire and beyond will be able to view a variety of priceless and attractive items that show the special relationship between the Welsh and the sea with regard to our landscape and culture.Our collections belong to the nation, and an exhibition like this enables us to present a special selection of our collections so that the public can appreciate the wealth of our heritage and history.”

Paul Miller, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture said:

“Pembrokeshire is so inextricably linked to the sea, so it is only fitting that Wales and the Sea comes to the county. We’re confident that this exhibition, much like our own spectacular coastline, will prove a huge draw for visitors in the coming months.”

Mike Cavanagh, Head of Cultural, Leisure, Tourism and Registration Services at Pembrokeshire County Council said:

Wales and the Sea will add to an already diverse offer at Glan-yr-afon/The Riverside. The eclectic offer, which includes a library, gallery, visitor information and coffee shop, caters for the needs of our local library users, whilst being an attractive destination for visitors to Pembrokeshire.

“We’re sure that Wales and the Sea, much like the previous exhibitions, will be a ‘must-see’ for both residents and non-residents alike, as we approach the first anniversary of the venue’s opening.”

The National Library of Wales will also deliver a programme of exciting events and education activities to accompany this exhibition, including a talk from the Royal Commission on their new joint publication - Wales and the Sea.

Showing alongside this exhibition is The Story of Pembrokeshire, a permanent exhibition at Glan-yr-afon/The Riverside, focusing on the history, culture, arts and legends of Pembrokeshire.

Both exhibitions will run until Saturday 27th June 2020, as part of the ongoing partnership between Pembrokeshire County Council and The National Library of Wales at Glan-yr-afon/The Riverside.


Further Information

Elen Haf Jones
01970 632 534