National tour for artist's tribute to Welsh hymn writer

By Cambrian News reporter in Feature

A CEREDIGION artist has organised a national tour for one of his paintings because he feels that Wales’ most important hymn writer deserves more recognition and that the Welsh nation should celebrate the birthday of one of its most influential figures.

This year marks 300 years since the birth of William Williams, Pantycelyn, and Ceredigion-based artist Wynne Melville Jones has produced a painting of Williams’ farmhouse home as his own way of celebrating one of the most influential figures in the history of Welsh religion and culture.

“It had been on my mind for some time to produce a painting of this iconic farm and this year was clearly the opportunity to do it” said Wynne.

“The painting was inspired following an ad hoc visit to Pantycelyn, near Llandovery in Carmarthenshire, in February in what turned out to be a memorable and inspiration day.

“I had childhood memories of visiting Pantycelyn, and on closing my eyes tight I have an image of the familiar farmhouse carved in my memory over the years, but in order to proceed with the painting I needed more, and I got it.

“Pantycelyn has remained in the same family over the centuries and the present owner, Cecil Williams, is the sixth in line to Williams himself. The exceptionally warm welcome by the Williams family was a special experience and when I explained my intention the immediate request was for a copy of the painting to be hung permanently at Pantycelyn.

“It was an artist’s dream come true.

“The painting features an image of the traditional farmhouse with elements of some symbolism and an abstract representation in the foreground in an attempt to convey the poet’s inspiration and the overwhelming spiritual experiences of a lonely pilgrim as he travelled all over Wales on horseback."

William Williams wrote over 1,000 hymns mostly in Welsh and some in English.

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