‘Spirit of Ynyslas’ was my Degree Show Exhibition. Is there ever a right time to be thinking about your Degree Show; I think most students start to think about it at the end of their first year when they see the third year student’s own Degree Show. At that time, it’s almost impossible not to start dreaming. And that’s exactly what I did. But what to do?
It would come from my heart, be truthful and honest to my personal ‘artistic expression’. But it still needed planning; it also needed time to develop. I saw the third year exhibits and decided to find a text that meant a lot to me and to think around that. I thought of the poem by Edward Fitzgerald, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam but before I could formulate any ideas, I remembered another favourite; Jonathan Livingston Seagull, by Richard Bach. The text had influenced my late teens, giving me the confidence to believe in myself and to aim for my dreams without fear.
Neil Diamond had written beautiful words and music for the film of the book and sang of Jonathon being lost on a distant shore. I set out to find my ‘distant shore’. At the time, Coast was showing the Submerged Forest of Borth. We went to stay close by, for a special anniversary, and the owner of the hotel, Ynyslas Hall, told me of the legend of Cantre Gwaelodd, the lost land beyond the Submerged Forest. Although I was yet to know it, her words planted the seed for my project.
I had just got a new camera, a 6×6 Bronica, and for three days during a bitter cold February, John helped me set up my film & digital cameras with portable lighting & I took photographs of seagulls on my distant shore the Submerged Forest. There were no Seagulls to be found!
to be continued :