Updated: Apr 22, 2019
It is wonderful to see these incredible prints from the collection of Edward Twohig RE displayed at Aberystwyth School of Art. While biting my plate, I can go upstairs and gaze the work of Durer, Palmer, Haden, Degas, Whistler, and many more.
In 2018, as part of this touring exhibition, the current members of the RE were asked to make a print responding to the work of a past RE member. Jenny Ramkalawon of the British Museum selected twenty of these prints for a limited edition portfolio, now in the collection of the British Museum and HM the Queen. I was very happy when my etching responding to the work of Samuel Palmer, Eclogue I: your pastures all choked with rushes and mire, was included. The plate was bitten to Palmer's recorded biting times. It is a wild Welsh contrast to Palmer's passionately fruitful Kentish valleys brimming with rich sheaves of corn. Instead there are reeds, small streams, contrails and abandoned farms, but the moon still casts magic over it all and it is beautiful in a different way: tended by the weather instead of the farmer. It is a view of the Preseli hills behind my house, from the moor. The ruined farm is Hafod, the old place of rich summer grazing. Of course this is a typical incomer's view of 'wild Wales', to see it as picturesque, an unspoilt holiday destination, but it is not only this, and so the etching expresses my feelings as an incomer settling in Wales trying to find a home in the landscape and listen to its history and traditions. I also wanted to bring out an echo of the laments of the farmers dispossessed by returning soldiers in Virgil's Eclogues. It is not all idyllic.
Below is a photo of Edward Twohig's fascinating exhibition walk-round. Here I am afterwards beaming next to Edward and a beautiful etched portrait by Degas, and the bottom row shows my Eclogue etching with close-up details.