Unique artworks by the celebrated sculptor and blacksmith Angharad Pearce Jones have been placed in their new home in the Senedd, to be admired and used by visitors at the home of the National Assembly for Wales.
The four the sculptures, by the decorated Welsh artist, will be on permanent display in the Senedd and will allow people to connect and learn about the Assembly and the Members who represent them.
Three maps of Wales are part of the collection along with an updated version of the traditional Welsh dresser. All pieces were created using steel from Port Talbot’s TATA plant at the sculptor’s workshop near Brynamman, in keeping with her commitment to using Welsh materials and craftsmanship for her work.
Two of the maps will encourage people to discover the Assembly’s constituencies and regional boundaries, and the Members who represent them. The third map is a striking work of art which celebrates Wales’ landscape, as mountains, hills and valleys form waves on the surface.
A new appreciation of the landscape
Angharad Pearce Jones, who is originally from Bala, admits that the third sculpture of Wales, the largest of the three, is one of the most challenging pieces she’s ever worked on:
“Technically, the largest map is a challenge because of all the layers of sheet steel needed to build up the mountains and landscape. Each sheet is individually cut, and care is needed to find each piece and place them together to gradually build up the mountain peaks and form the valleys.”
The sculpture weighs a quarter of a tonne and measures two meters width by a little over two meters in height. It is set on wheels so it can be displayed in other parts of the Senedd, and people are encouraged to touch the steel, to feel the mountain ranges and follow the route of the valleys and the dramatic coastline.
“I feel that I’ve got to know and appreciate Wales anew, every inch of the country,” says Angharad, “I hope people will feel the same and appreciate the beauty of the land, the waves of the mountain ranges and the shape of the country in a way that isn’t possible on a map or sat nav.”
Welsh dresser of steel
The fourth piece Angharad has made for the Senedd is a Welsh dresser, but instead of oak she has used sheet steel from the TATA works in Port Talbot. The dresser is a multipurpose participation station. Objects and art can be placed on the shelves, or dangled from the hooks, and people will be encouraged to write comments and ideas and attach them to the dresser and surrounding steep framework.
Welsh dresser displaying messages by visitors to the Senedd
“I want the dresser to be used exactly as we do in our homes in Wales, to display the things that are important to us,” says Angharad about the inspiration for creating the dresser as a space for people to share ideas.
“I want it to host conversations by placing messages and artwork on it, and for it to be covered by notes and pictures to become a piece of art in its own right. It will look different from one week to the next, from one talking point to another, and on St David’s Day it will be draped in Daffodils.”
To mark St David’s Day this year, a craft activity in the Senedd will allow children and their families to make paper Daffodils to decorate the dresser. Also, the Assembly this year is encouraging people to share on social media what makes them #ProudofWales. Some of these messages will be displayed proudly to mark St David’s Day.
“Educate and spark new ideas”
The dresser and the maps will enrich the experience of visiting the Senedd, in addition to the guided tours, audio tours, art exhibitions and programme of activities which allow people to learn about the Assembly and about Wales.
Elin Jones AC, Llywydd of the National Assembly for Wales says; “As the sculptures are displayed in the Senedd, we look forward to seeing how people will interact with them. The purpose is that Angharad Pearce Jones’ unique sculptures will be used to educate people about their Senedd and spark new ideas.
“When thinking of new ways to engage visitors, it was important that Welsh craftsmanship was put centre stage, and we’re so very glad that Angharad has made these special works for the Senedd.”