Large Plate and Slate Placemat | By Rhiannon Gwyn
Large etched slate placemat and large plate embedded with pieces of slate
Plate: dia. 25 cm
Slate: dia. 30 cm
About the series 'Yr Aur o dan yr Eithin’ / ‘The Gold beneath the Gorse’
The title of this body of work, ‘The Gold beneath the Gorse’, is taken from the Welsh proverb 'Gold under gorse, silver under bracken, starvation under heather'. The gorse and bracken soils were valuable enough in the context of Welsh hill farming to inspire the proverb which refers to the prosperity of the uplands in the early modern period. With the same appreciation for the endowment of the land, I use slate, clay and gorse which to me are all forms of gold that embody the rich textures, histories and memories of a place.
About the Maker
'My practice explores a sense of place and the notion of having a deep involvement with the landscape. I am interested in how materials can act as identity markers; influencing the way in which we view ourselves and the world around us through the imprinting of emotion and memory onto our surroundings.'
'I work primarily with slate to create a narrative that reflects my own sense of identity through exploring the connections between the landscape of my home in North Wales and myself. Approaching my work intuitively I allow my emotional resonance with the landscape to form the pieces, whilst simultaneously deliberately guiding and manipulating the material’s natural characteristics.'
'This involves exploring the full potential of slate by incorporating it with ceramic processes to create objects that depict forms of the land as part of a circular process whereby having been personally shaped by the surrounding landscape I form and shape its raw materials.'
Rhiannon Gwyn graduated with a first class Artist Designer: Maker degree from Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2019. Her work has already won several awards including The National Trust’s ‘One To Watch’ award at New Designers, London.
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