Archive for 2018

Frank Brangwyn’s British Empire Panels

March 9, 2018 6 Comments
Frank Brangwyn’s British Empire Panels

1          Introduction Most Swansea people are familiar with the British Empire Panels.  Many sitting through a dull patch in a concert in the Brangwyn Hall will have turned to ponder Frank Brangwyn’s enormous work.  In a few months’ time the Panels will get more exposure, as Marc Rees’s performance piece Nawr yr arwr / Now […]

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A Pointless trip

March 4, 2018 0 Comments
A Pointless trip

1    M4 The thermometer’s well below zero, but we’re bowling happily along, in light traffic.  Apocalyptic language in the news and weather reports – ‘Beast from the East’, amber warnings, trains cancelled before a flake has fallen – suggests the whole country lies under a thick layer of snow and ice.  On the radio […]

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Catherine Blake’s vision

February 23, 2018 0 Comments
Catherine Blake’s vision

Of all the astonishing visual images William Blake created, between the mid-1770s and his death in 1827, one of the most intriguing is a small sepia wash drawing (244 x 211mm) on a sheet of paper now in the Tate Gallery.  It’s usually known by the title A vision: the inspiration of the poet.  Since […]

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Swansea’s rebel women

February 18, 2018 7 Comments
Swansea’s rebel women

For all their strengths in the campaign to gain votes for women Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst were by nature autocratic.  In 1907 some members of their Women’s Social and Political Union took exception to their announcement that the WSPU’s annual conference would be cancelled in future and that they themselves and their inner circle would […]

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Photo of a gate

February 11, 2018 0 Comments
Photo of a gate

On the wall almost opposite the foot of the bed, my home for a few days last week, was a thick frame containing a mounted colour photograph.  Since it was one of the few unnecessary objects in the room, and the only occupant of its wall, I found myself giving it my full attention several […]

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Popeth yn Gymraeg, yn llythrennol

February 2, 2018 0 Comments
Popeth yn Gymraeg, yn llythrennol

Beth sydd ei angen er mwyn cyrraedd miliwn o siaradwyr Cymraeg erbyn y flwyddyn 2050?  Llawer o bethau, heb os, ond un ohonynt yw cynnydd mawr iawn yn y maint o’r deunydd yn Gymraeg sydd ar gael i bobl – pethau i’w darllen, i’w gweld, i’w glywed. Ystyr ‘ar gael’, y dyddiau hyn wrth gwrs, […]

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Dr Thurley crosses the border

January 28, 2018 10 Comments
Dr Thurley crosses the border

Last year Ken Skates AM, then the Cabinet member responsibility for culture, commissioned a museum director from London, Dr Simon Thurley, to make recommendations on the running of the National Museum of Wales.  (Technically the Museum’s latest English title is Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, a clumsy formulation which shows what trouble you get […]

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Orwell’s toads

January 20, 2018 3 Comments
Orwell’s toads

On 12 April 1946 the magazine Tribune published a short piece by George Orwell entitled Some thoughts on the common toad.  It’s not perhaps his most original essay – its central theme is the coming of spring, and how ubiquitous it is, even in the centre of a large city like London – but it […]

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A waxwork opens an embassy

January 13, 2018 0 Comments
A waxwork opens an embassy

Like many people – or at least like many non-Londoners – I was only dimly aware that the American government was building a new UK embassy in London, when Mr Donald J Trump kindly drew our attention to its imminent opening. According to a recent tweet it seems Mr Trump was planning to come and […]

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Morfydd Llwyn Owen a Ruth Herbert Lewis

January 6, 2018 2 Comments
Morfydd Llwyn Owen a Ruth Herbert Lewis

Faint o bobl sy’n ymwybodol bod un o’r mynwentydd gorau yng Nghymru i’w gweld oddi ar Newton Road, Ystumllwynarth?  Ac o’r rheiny, faint sy’n gyfarwydd â’r gofeb urddasol sy’n llechu mewn cornel anghysbell o’r fynwent, fel na fyddai ymwelydd sy’n troedio’r llwybrau yn sylwi arno?  Cyfeirio ydw i at fedd y gyfansoddwraig ifanc Morfydd Llwyn […]

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