Having never completed an artist residency, I didn’t know quite what to expect or how the
two weeks would unfold. I was very excited to begin exploring the beautiful landscape
around the Mawddach and to build upon an existing body of work, focusing on the many
waterways and mythical llyns of Eryri.
However, the beginning of my residency took an unexpected turn; with only two days in, I
tested positive for COVID! Luckily before this, I was able to explore the llyns around the
Cadair Idris range, even involving a quick swim in its ice cold Llyn y Gadair and plein air
studies of llyn Cau. Cut to two weeks later, and Scarlett and Jake very kindly arranged for me
to return to complete my residency.
My sick-leave afforded me time to reflect over my two days spent up Cadair Idris and being
present within its landscape. Having also come across many of the intriguing tales tied to
this mountain and its llyns, upon returning to my residency later in the month I decided to
centre my work around this particular location. Using ink and watercolour I explored ways
of capturing the heightened feeling of being present within this eerie and mythical
Tales of a bottomless lake, home to a water dragon, and a hunting ground for a Lord of the
celtic underworld fuelled the inspiration for the watercolours I created. Having spent time in
these mountains and swimming in the dark inky depths of its llyns, it was easy to see how
the landscape could lend itself to the lore that has been woven into its very fabric.
Watching the estuary and its surroundings every morning from the studio window
proved incredibly inspiring. The stillness and peace of the Mawddach allowed me to focus
on my creative practice, without the usual distractions which comes with my usual working
day. I especially loved observing the transition of the estuary’s tides throughout the day.
This created an ever-changing landscape as the tides, currents and winds interacted
together across the estuary. Documenting these evolving scenes in my sketchbooks, I aim to
carry this work forward under the theme of “mapping the Mawddach”.
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