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Prominent Aberystwyth artist gifts paintings to National Art Collection

The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth has been gifted three iconic works by the celebrated local artist Mary Lloyd Jones.

The Aberystwyth based artist is well known for her vibrant, abstract, dynamic and expressionist Welsh landscapes and is heavily influenced in her works by the cultural and geographic history of Wales.

Born in Devil’s Bridge in 1934, she trained at the Cardiff College of Art in the 1950s, after which she returned to her beloved Ceredigion landscape, which has always had a deep influence on her works, as can be seen in the emotive ‘Ponterwyd/Gaia’ work, one of the recently gifted works to the library.

“The subject of my work is the natural world and my own identity, clouds, shadows, rocky strata, field patterns and wildernesses,” said Mary.

Throughout the summer, there will be an opportunity to see this work on display in the Gregynog Gallery at the library.

As the other gifted paintings, two triptych oil works, ‘Barclodiad y Gawres’ and ‘Bryn Celli Ddu’, were created especially for an exhibition of the artist’s works in the library’s iconic Gregynog Gallery in 2006, it is fitting that they have found a home there.

The two works are based on the carved, linear designs created by the Celtic Britons on the prehistoric stones ‘Barclodiad y Gawres’ and ‘Bryn Celli Ddu’ on Anglesey, showing the roots of the Welsh language.

‘Barclodiad y Gawres’ and ‘Bryn Celli Ddu’ which were created especially for an exhibition in the Gregynog Gallery in 2006.

Within these works, the artist conveys her thoughts and emotions of belonging to a minority culture and language. As she researched the papers of the Welsh scholars Sir John Rhys and Iolo Morgannwg, which are housed at the library, whilst preparing for the works, she felt it would be a fitting home for the paintings.

“I have tried to show through colour interaction the extraordinary atmosphere and mystery of the stones, and to make a connection with a way of living more than 4,000 years ago,” said Mary.

“Ancient literature and poetry have the highest cultural status in Wales. Poets often expressed in words that which I wish to convey in my compositions. Building a bridge between the visual arts and the art of literature and poetry is something which I try to achieve.”

Morfudd Bevan, the library’s art curator said: “We are tremendously grateful to Mary Lloyd Jones for her fantastic support of the library. The National Library is home to a number of iconic works by the highly respected artist and we are delighted to be able to build on this collection further with this generous gift of works.”

Pedr ap Llwyd, the library’s chief executive and librarian, added: “We as a library are constantly growing and developing our collections and we are delighted to be adding these exciting and valuable works to the National Art Collection.

“We are extremely fortunate of the exceptional friendship and support of the talented artist Mary Lloyd Jones and her work conveys important aspects of Wales and its culture. I look forward to welcoming people to see these wonderful works at the Gregynog Gallery throughout the summer.”