Yma/Absennol -Presence/Absence Marged Pendrell

Merched Chwarel

Documentation has played an important role in my artistic process. I need to witness, reflect both visually and contextually alongside my more practical experiential approach.

This project ‘Merched Chwarel ’has given much to reflect on personally and even more within its collaborative context. It was interesting to see how differently the four of us engaged with these journeys and although we interacted and discussed throughout we remained, in most cases true to our own processes.

In order to digest the conceptual content of these quarry visits I have to relive aspects of the journey, maybe it’s the storyteller in me.

A sunny January day and an opportunity created by Jwls to have a guided tour of Penmaen mawr quarry, the only working one in our choice of quarries(hence being guided) and a granite not a slate quarry. Penmaenmawr translates as ‘The Head of the Great Stone’ and its location on…

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Of Slate, Granite and Keeping my Feet on the Ground. – Lisa Hudson

Merched Chwarel

Our next two walks were in the dis-used slate quarry of Dinorwig, and the working granite quarry of Penmaenmawr. These two walks were separated by only seven days, and are connected in my mind by their contrasts.

We began on a grey still day in Nant Peris, in Lindsey’s cosy kitchen, at the bottom of the valley, on flat gentle terrain. It felt safe, nestled and protected by towering steep sides. The villiage church and the graveyard also had that gentle sense of nurture and protection, a sense of strong community. The headstones were well tended, with clasped hands engraved and soft grass wrapped around the feet like a blanket.

We crossed a road, through a gate, over a stile and came across a river, – so many boundaries – to the edge of the quarry tips. There was a mound of old slate carts rusting under the bracken, neglected…

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A quarry from two directions – Marged Pendrell

Merched Chwarel

As a group we had decided to each host a visit to a quarry that we had an affinity with or had worked in previously. For each of us the quarry landscape is a familiar one but I wasn’t expecting the varied histories and personal experiences that we shared during these collaborative journeys.

Approaching Dinorwig quarry from both directions gave an insight into its massive scale both physically and emotionally. I hadn’t taken many steps before I came across my first ‘found object’ –

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This was the last thing I had imagined coming across, and an object which was an antithesis of such an environment .At this early stage, I was totally enveloped by the scale  and this small intimate yellow duck, which had the essence of children and play,  brought a softness as a strong contrast to the mountains of grey /purple slate.

The physicality of human achievement however…

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Merch y Chwarel, gan Julie Williams (Jwls)

Blog newydd o Merched Chwarel, gan Jwls Williams.

Merched Chwarel

Dyma fi wedi cael fy magu yng nghysgod y Graig, sef Chwarel Penmaenmawr lle bu’n Taid, hen daid a mwy diweddar 3 o frodyr fy nhad yn gweithio.

taid-a-hen-daid_chwarel-gwyn-taid

Y mae chwareli yn rhan o fy hunaniaeth, ac yr wyf wastad wedi mynegu hyn trwy gelf; fy mherthynas unigryw a  lle, a phresenoldeb trawiadol chwareli o fewn y dirwedd.

chwarel-gwyn_0008chwarel-gwyn_0009
Merch y chwarel yn wir – ond beth yw arwyddocâd hyn heddiw ?

Wel, mae’r ffaith nad oeddwn erioed wedi ystyried y cwestiwn  yn ddiddorol yn ei hun rywsut?  Heb aros i sylweddoli’r anomaledd, dyma fi ymhlith hanes- dynion?
Y mae cychwyn ar y daith ‘Merched Chwarel’ yn agor gymaint o ddrysa a chwestiynau yn barod:
– o safbwynt fy hun, fel merch chwarel.
– ni’n pedair, ein grŵp a’n cysylltiadau a’n profiadau gwahanol, a’r bwriad o rannu a cyd-weithio.
– Pha rôl oedd gan ferched mewn hanes cyfoethog ein chwareli ?

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Ffin/Boundary. Marged Pendrell

A thought invoking blog by Marged Pendrel for Merched Chwarel.

Merched Chwarel

Walking  the National Park Boundary  around the quarry town of Blaenau Ffestiniog for a previous   project ’ Ail Wneud/Ail Ddyfeisio – Re Take /Re Invent’ left me thinking of other boundaries that exist in this quarry landscape, in particular the gender boundaries.

What role, if any, did women have within the context of these slate quarries?

Our group, Merched Chwarel had similar questions and so a R&D phase of our enquiry began.

My research brought to light Kate Griffiths who, in 1909 both instigated the setting up, running and teaching of 23 children in a remote quarry school in Rhiw Bach village quarry.

plate-1-rhiw-bach-school Rhiw Bach School

She is the only woman mentioned in the quarry history of Bleanau Ffestiniog and I became curious. Her journey to and from Rhiw Bach (one of the remotest of the Blaenau quarries) during the spring and summer months, was where I invited Merched Chwarel…

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