Today, 12 September 2019, pupils from Cysgod y Foel Federation Schools in Gwynedd took part in the Masterpieces in Schools event - one of the National Library of Wales' outreach projects.
As part of the project, which is a partnership between the Library and Art UK, a maquette of the Tryweryn Monument by John Meirion Morris was exhibited to all pupils at Ysgol Bro Tryweryn and Ysgol Ffridd y Llyn.
The sculpture was originally created as a 'sketch' design for a large permanent memorial which was to be located on the shores of Llyn Celyn, as a way of commemorating the drowning of Capel Celyn during the 1960s. Although never erected, the statue continues to stimulate local and national discussion.
Older pupils from both schools joined for a special art workshop, led by experienced artist Iola Edwards, daughter of John Meirion Morris.
This activity is part of the Library's strategy to reach out to communities across Wales, and support participation in cultural, educational and artistic activities by children and young people. It is a significant contribution to the Library's commitment to support the Welsh Government's programme, Fusion: Creating opportunities through culture, and the project was supported by the Gwynedd Fusion Network, who assisted in selecting the schools for the project.
Pedr ap Llwyd, Chief Executive and Librarian of the National Library of Wales said:
"This small sculpture by John Meirion Morris, the Tryweryn Memorial statue, is among the thousands of treasures at the National Library of Wales that can offer children and young people access to the history, culture and heritage of Wales. This is a piece of real significance, not only within the context of drowning Capel Celyn village, but its impact on our history and development as Welsh people. The workshop at Ysgol Bro Tryweryn is an example of how the collections of the National Library of Wales can be used to stimulate creative work, and inspire young people to learn and develop new skills. ”
Rhian Llwyd Dafydd, Head of Cysgod y Foel Federation Schools said:
“We are extremely grateful to have this wonderful opportunity to see John Meirion Morris' masterpiece at the school. It is a record of history that is very close to all our hearts. In addition, it will be a privilege to work with Iola Edwards, daughter of John Meirion Morris, who will enrich this wonderful occasion. Thank you to the National Library of Wales for organizing the event and for the sponsorship and support of Art UK. It is a great privilege for the older pupils of Cysgod y Foel to be a part of this special activity.”
Iola Edwards, Artist and Workshop Leader for Masterpieces in Schools 2019 said:
“As a family, we feel honored that my father's work has been chosen to be part of this exciting project.
"I am also looking forward to seeing and encouraging the children's responses to the Tryweryn Memorial during the art workshop, in a school that is so close to the history of the drowning of Capel Celyn."
Members of the local community were also given an opportunity to see the masterpiece which was exhibited at Ysgol Bro Tryweryn after teaching hours until late afternoon.
Following the Masterpieces in Schools day, pupils from Cysgod y Foel Federation Schools will visit the National Library in Aberystwyth to attend further workshops on the drowning of Capel Celyn, organized by the NLW Education Department.
Elen Haf Jones
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About The National Library of Wales
The National Library of Wales is the biggest library in Wales and serves as the nation's memory. As a legal deposit library it has the right to receive a free copy of everything published in Britain and Ireland. Around 4,000 new publications are collected every week that add to The National Library's collection of:
The National Library of Wales provides its services free to all Welsh citizens and it does not discriminate on the basis of ability or inability to pay. It welcomes children and young people to use its services, either by visiting the Library in Aberystwyth or accessing its resources and services on-line. The Library also delivers workshops in communities across the whole of Wales that meet the requirements of the curriculum in Wales as regards content and skills, and present the Library’s collections to young people, parents and teachers. This work is delivered in partnership with local authorities, education advisors, and individual organisations and schools with the aim of ensuring that as many children and young people in Wales as possible can benefit from the Library’s rich collections.
About NLW Education Service
The NLW Education Service was established in 2002. Its main work is to:
About Masterpieces in Schools
In 2013 Art UK launched Masterpieces in Schools with the aim of bringing children face-to-face with great works of art inside their classroom, breaking down traditional barriers to art. A range of masterpieces were loaned to schools by renowned artists including L. S. Lowry, Monet and Turner.
Following its success, Art UK announced the return of Masterpieces in Schools in 2018, as part of the sculpture project - the largest ever sculpture documentation project undertaken in the UK to date. Once again, artworks will come out of artist studios and the nation’s museums and galleries, and into schools, as sculptures are loaned for the day. The initiative also facilitates relationships between schools and collections in the area.
The Masterpieces in Schools programme is being made possible thanks to generous grants from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
About Art UK
Art UK is a cultural education charity on a mission to make the art in UK public collections accessible to everyone, for enjoyment, learning and research.
We enable global audiences to learn about the UK’s national art collection. We digitise artworks, tell the stories behind the art and create exciting opportunities for public interaction with art, both online and offline.
Our sculpture project is an ambitious initiative to digitise the UK’s national sculpture collection. Over 100,000 sculptures – located inside galleries, museums and public buildings and outdoors in parks, streets and squares – will be displayed on the Art UK website. By the project’s conclusion, the UK will become the first country in the world to create a free-to-access online photographic showcase of its publicly owned sculpture.
About The National Lottery Heritage Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, The National Lottery Heritage Fund invests money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.
About the Stavros Niarchos Foundation
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is one of the world’s leading private, international philanthropic organisations, making grants in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and sports, and social welfare. Since 1996 the Foundation has committed more than $2.5 billion, through more than 4,000 grants to non-profit organisations in 124 nations around the world.
About R K Harrison
R K Harrison designs insurance solutions for private collectors, museums, gallery owners and art dealers. We are proud to provide insurance cover for the sculpture project, in particular the Masterpieces in Schools initiative.
Hiscox is a global specialist insurer, headquartered in Bermuda and listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:HSX). We are proud to provide insurance cover for the sculpture project, in particular the Masterpieces in Schools initiative.
Cysgod y Foel Federation Schools:
Ysgol Bro Tryweryn School:
A primary school located about a mile from Llyn Celyn. The sculpture will be shown to all the school's pupils during the morning assembly, and Year 5 and 6 pupils will take part in the art workshop to follow.
Ysgol Ffridd y Llyn School:
The memorial sculpture will be displayed in front of all the school's pupils during the morning assembly, and Year 5 and 6 pupils will travel to Frongoch to take part in the art workshop at Ysgol Bro Tryweryn.
About John Meirion Morris
John Meirion Morris was born in Llanuwchllyn in 1936, and is known as one of Wales' foremost sculptors. He studied at Liverpool College of Art and after a period as a teacher in Llanidloes and Leamington Spa School of Art, traveled to Africa to lecture at Kamasi University in Ghana. He was heavily influenced by that country's spiritual culture, reminding him of the values and traditions of Wales. After two years there, he returned to his homeland and lectured on sculpture and education at Aberystwyth University for over a decade, before leaving to concentrate on his artistic work. He returned to the education sector for a period as head of the Art Department at the Bangor Normal College, retiring in 1990.
About Iola Edwards
Iola Edwards was born in Ghana in 1967 when her father (the Welsh sculptor John Meirion Morris) worked at Kumasi University. She was brought up in Aberystwyth and Llanuwchlyn, her ancestral home. She studied Art as part of her teachers’ training at Normal College, Bangor, using her skills to develop children's creativity through the arts in schools.
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