Tag Archive: Ceiriog at The Hand


A Welcome in the Hillside

"Time Has Told Me" - Diana Baur via dianabaur.co.uk

“Time Has Told Me” – Diana Baur via dianabaur.co.uk

Far away a voice is calling,
Bells from memory do chime.
Come home again, come home again,
They call through the oceans of time.

It’s spring in the Ceiriog valley, the lambs are playing on new grass, the late daffodils are still nodding by the side of the road, and the hedgerows are just coming into leaf – and it’s time for part three of our Ceiriog exhibition at The Hand in Llanarmon D.C. Everyone has been really complimentary about the work that’s gone up since last year, and visitors and locals alike have certainly appreciated the local theme. We’ve made some unexpected sales, too, which has been a real boost.

For June, July and August, the mini-theme is – Ceiriog: Past, present and future. It’s another pretty broad theme – anything to do with the Ceiriog valley and its history, the way it is now, or what might happen in years to come. Some ideas that have already been circulating have focused on historic buildings and landscapes, the way places change from year to year, the way the generations change and so on. 

As we all know, the spring and summer is a busy season – weddings, walkers and day-trippers fill the village weekdays and weekends. There are loads of special events scheduled too – including a celebration in June for Martin and Gaynor’s tenth anniversary at The Hand!

Hopefully everyone will feel inspired – and if you’re inspiration is in need of a boost, well, there’s an excuse right there to come down to The Hand for a meal or a pint in the sunshine!

We’ll keep a welcome in the hillside,
We’ll keep a welcome in the Vales.
This land you knew will still be singing,
When you come home again to Wales.

“There’s a Welcome in the Hillside” (traditional)

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Snow above the Ceiriog

Snow! And plenty of it...

Snow! And plenty of it…

A small group of us – well, two – braved the cold and made our way up to the moors today above Llanarmon D.C. Still a bit grey overhead, with snow clouds low enough to mask the tops of the hills, merging the snow into the sky.

Armed with cameras and sketchpads, we made it as far as the woods at Tyn-y-Coed. Absolutely still, silent and beautiful up there – snow still clinging to the branches overhead, and carved into deep, fluted ridges across the road by the low wind.

Back down to the village to sit by the fire and work up some sketches – a handful of prints now a distinct possibility. Plenty of inspiration up there in the snow!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…

A brief break in the storm - cold but beautiful!

A brief break in the storm – cold but beautiful!

Everyone’s getting a real taste of winter today, and Llanarmon is no exception. The whole valley is under a blanket of snow – we’ve got 12cm at the moment up here in the village, and it’s still coming down.

Looks fantastic – and if anyone’s thinking of heading to the valley to grab some sketches or photographs for the “Ceiriog” exhibition at The Hand, this weekend would be a great time to come. I’ve been out today with a camera, and as long as things don’t get too arctic tomorrow, I’ll try and head out up onto the moors to do the same.

Intrepid souls are welcome to join me! Weather permitting, if I go out, I’ll be leaving The Hand at about 11am, heading either up Heartbreak Hill towards Penybryn and the Rhyd Caledwynt, or up the Llanrhaeadr Road to the footpath up the side of Pen y Glog.

Ceiriog: The Seasons

"First Snow at Hendre Quarry" John Swogger, 2012. My entry into the "Ceiriog: The Seasons" exhibition at The Hand.

“First Snow at Hendre Quarry” John Swogger, 2012. My entry into the “Ceiriog: The Seasons” exhibition at The Hand.

Hope everyone had a relaxing Christmas! With New Year rapidly approaching, it’ll soon be time for us to switch around our Ceiriog exhibition in The Hand, Llanarmon D.C. This has been one of our most successful exhibitions at The Hand to date – we’ve sold three works so far, and have had double that number of enquiries. Martin and Gaynor have reported that lots of people are interested in the exhibition and the theme. As you know, we’re keeping the Ceiriog theme running throughout the year, but “tweaking” it slightly every three months.

For January, February and March, our theme will be: Ceiriog: The Seasons, and we’re inviting Inside Out artists to submit art about the Ceiriog valley through the year: summer, spring, autumn or winter. It could be scenery, it could be portraits, it could be paintings of seasonal events like the sheepdog trials or Christmas carollers – whatever reflects the Ceiriog through the seasons.

As not everyone can make it down to Llanarmon immediately in January, Diana and I will be switching things around throughout January. If you would like to submit work to the exhibition, please make arrangements with myself or Diana, or bring it along to our next meeting in January. Remember that space in the dining room is limited, and so we will have to offer exhibition slots strictly on a first-come, first-served basis.

“Ceiriog” at The Hand

New exhibition at The Hand in Llanarmon D.C., running from Oct.-Dec. this year.

As you know, the Inside Out group has been invited to exhibit in the dining room of The Hand Hotel in Llanarmon D.C. by Martin and Gaynor DeLuchi since 2008.

For the past five years we’ve run that exhibition along the lines of a “Current Work Show”, enabling artists to exhibit works from their current portfolio. Although we’ve always had a lot of interest in the exhibition (it’s even been mentioned in several reviews of the hotel), we’ve always known that visitors have liked the art more when it’s had a local flavour to it. We’ve also always known that it’s this art that generates more sales and more commissions.

So, after some discussions with Martin and Gaynor, we’ve decided to try something different at The Hand. For the next year, we’ll be trying out “themes” for each quarterly exhibition. Each theme will reflect the locality, season or region, giving the group the chance to showcase the paintings, drawings, prints and photographs they do inspired by this particular corner of the country.

Our first theme, from October to December this year, is “Ceiriog“. This could be taken as the valley, the river, or even the poet. We’re looking for any artwork that reflects this theme. Although the exhibition is open, space is limited. Please contact us through the blog or by email as soon as possible if you’d like to submit work. A photo and measurements of your work is essential, so that we can work out where to hang the piece. Work accepted for exhibition needs to be brought to The Hand no later than Friday, Sept. 28th (which gives you 2 1/2 weeks), as we will be hanging on Sunday afternoon.

As part of this revised programme of exhibition at The Hand, we will be doing more publicity for each quarterly show, with colour posters and press releases to local newspapers and organisations associated with The Hand. At the end of 2013, we will produce a catalogue of the year’s exhibition, for sale over the Christmas and New Year period.

Hopefully this will help us make the most of the exhibition opportunity Martin and Gaynor have so kindly offered us over the years.

Simply a line going for a walk

Saturday in Llanarmon D.C. – sunshine and sketching!

          “Drawing is simply a line going for a walk.”

                                                                          Paul Klee

What better way to make the most of a day of glorious sunshine, than to collectively heed Paul Klee’s advice and take our lines… for a walk?

From Llanarmon D.C. to Hendre Quarry is about 2 1/4 miles country walk through river-side forests, across little streams, over bridges and through cattle fields.

Starting from the Tithebarn Studios, where Diana was invigilating the Tithebarn Studios Group exhibition for Helfa Gelf, a small group of us walked from the centre of the village, up the hill leading out of the village past the Church of St. Garmon, with its Bronze Age burial mound and 2,000-year old yew trees. Leaving the road, we turned down the footpath that lead past the Old Ty Coch Barn, and through the bluebell woods of Coed Fedw. From the woods, the path lead through a sun-dappled pasture to a short lane leading to the village of Tregeiriog. Over the bridge to the other side of the River Ceiriog, then turning right at the bus shelter, we followed the road up the hill, past the Old Tregeiriog Cemetery, and down towards Pontricket Farm. There we left the road, following the tiny lane with its nine-foot high hedges on either side, back over the river, and up past Farthing Farm and into the quarry.

Hendre Quarry itself is a compact heritage landscape, full of old buildings, railway archaeology and evidence of the industries that once powered the Ceiriog valley. You follow the line of the old quarry tramway track down the hill to the entrance the quarry itself. The granite quarry is a truly impressive excavation into the hillside – totally hidden from view until you get down into it. From the quarry you can walk down past the crushing mill to the old gunpowder works, past the remains of the locomotive shed and the company offices. From the quarry, the Glyn Valley Tramway took the granite down to the Great Western Railway at Chirk and the Shropshire Union Canal at Gledrid (near where the roundabout is now).

Anyway, enough history – basically, this is all to hammer home that there’s tons of stuff to draw down at Hendre: ruined buildings, fantastic cliffs in the quarry, the rolling river with its ancient bridges – anything and everything an artist could wish for. Unfortunately, we’d started our walk a bit too late in the day to spend too much time at there this time – but we did have at least enough time to take some photos and some notes – and plan our return.

Anyone else fancy a day at Hendre Quarry before the summer vanishes completely? I’m happy to lead another walk down there – perhaps this time starting from Pandy (by Jan’s studio) so that we can spend more of our time sketching and painting. Now that we’re planning our “Ceiriog” exhibition at The Hand, it would give people interested in hanging works a chance to spend a day getting inspiration.

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