Previously unseen images from photographer Dewi Glyn Jones’ series of marketing projects commissioned by the National Eisteddfod of Wales between 2009-’14 have been chosen for an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, Wales in Machynlleth, which opens on Saturday.
The exhibition, Llun o Eisteddfod Dewi Glyn Jones, will be opened by artist Eleri Mills at 12 noon and runs until August 8. MOMA WALES is open from Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm.
Dewi’s work is also included in the Lle Celf Exhibition at this year’s National Eisteddfod, which is being held in Meifod from August 1-8.
He was awarded the Ifor Davies Award in 2005 at the National Eisteddfod of Wales for work in the Visual Arts Exhibition that conveys the spirit of activism in the struggle for language, culture and politics in Wales.
Work chosen for the new exhibition was inspired by his discovery of a photograph in the book ‘Llun o Eisteddfod’ by Christine Gregory, who herself was commissioned by the eisteddfod to record the festival held in Caernarfon in 1979.
Whilst browsing the book and to his utter astonishment, Dewi stumbled upon two familiar faces, a picture of himself and his father perusing the artwork in the visual art pavilion 30 years ago. What made this more poignant was that his father had died only a few months before Dewi saw the photograph.
Christine’s photograph shows two figures facing but unaware of each other, separated by a display panel that splits the image in two halves. On the right, Dewi’s father studiously ponders a picture whilst on the opposite side Dewi, as a young boy, observes another picture. Rather than looking at the content, Dewi is absorbed by his own reflection in the glass.
The serendipitous discovery of Gregory’s photograph, with its layers of coincidences and meanings, struck a deep emotional chord, inspiring Dewi to select hitherto unseen images from his Eisteddfod projects to form this body of work.
“The photographer looks through his lens and sees himself and we, the viewer, in turn see ourselves in the images,” said Lucinda Middleton, Richard and Ann Mayou Fund curator at MOMA WALES. “Observation and self-observation are key themes and Dewi’s photography is as much about self-reflection as it is a commentary of others.”
“The photographs are more than momentary vignettes and snap-shots of individuals on the maes. These are images of our culture and community and together they archive the collective memory of a nation, united as a family for one week every year on a few acres of green land.”
Dewi currently lives in Pontllyfni, near Caernarfon and works on various photographic projects within the public and private sector industries, including his continual commitment to his own personal exploration within lens-based media.