Pupils at Ysgol Uwchradd Dyffryn Nantlle and Ysgol Gynradd Bro Lleu in Penygroes, Gwynedd took part in a Class Art event, an outreach project by The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, last week.
To celebrate the centenary of the birth of artist Kyffin Williams, some of his paintings, which are a centrepiece to the library’s collection of art, were transported to Dyffryn Nantlle for the day.
The paintings were used to inspire pupils during art workshops led by experienced artists – the first organised for years 12 and 13 at Ysgol Dyffryn Nantlle led by Eleri Jones and the other for years three and four at nearby Ysgol Gynradd Bro Lleu led by Catrin Williams.
This work is part of the library’s strategy to reach out to communities across Wales and support participation in cultural, educational and artistic activities for children and young people.
It is a significant contribution to the library’s commitment to support the Welsh Government’s programme, Fusion: Creating opportunities through culture. The library has received support from the Gwynedd Fusion Network to choose schools for the project.
Linda Tomos, the library’s chief executive and librarian, said:
“These paintings are a part of the thousands of treasures in The National Library of Wales that can provide access to the culture, history and heritage of Wales for children and young people.
“This event demonstrates how The National Library of Wales’ collections can stimulate creativity and inspire young people to learn and nurture new skills.”
By working with the paintings pupils from both schools were given the opportunity to learn more about the work and painting techniques of Kyffin Williams and to hear more about the artist’s life and the health problems he had to come to terms with throughout his career.
Dylan Owen, head of art at Ysgol Uwchradd Dyffryn Nantlle, said:
“In a crucial time for sixth class art students studying for A Level, we value all the support that enriches their education. The opportunity to work with Kyffin Williams’s original paintings, in the company of a professional portrait artist, gives students an invaluable experience.
“We are very grateful to the national library for allowing this access to its collections for the benefit of a younger audience – just as the artist himself would have wished, I’m sure.”
Gerallt Jones, head of Ysgol Gynradd Bro Lleu said:
“With rising transport costs, it is difficult to transport pupils to galleries, museums and libraries across Wales so that they enjoy the historical and artistic treasures of our country.
“So we are very grateful for this opportunity that enables Ysgol Bro Lleu pupils to work with the original pictures of one of Wales’ most prominent artists.”
Saran Edwards, Fusion Network co-ordinator, added:
“Providing experiences to excite young pupils with the art and culture of our nation is an integral part of the Fusion programme and this partnership between Gwynedd Council and The National Library of Wales is a great example of how resources can be combined to achieve this in disadvantaged areas.”