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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Wednesday, February 28, 2007
    Tryweryn revisited
    Today I nominated the sculptor John Meirion Morris for the 2008 Artes Mundi visual arts prize. He asked me if I would, having read my very enthusiastic blog about his Bangor exhibition three years ago. Revisiting his website brought back to me the extraordinary power of his work, particularly perhaps in his Tryweryn sculpture, keeping us all in mind of the Liverpool Corporation's decision to flood Capel Celyn and the Tryweryn valley near Bala in 1957, an anniversary which has gone oddly unmentioned in this city so far this year.

    The faces in this sculpture (pictured here) might be expressing the horror and the terror of the people of that upland community, screaming at the destruction of their homes, or perhaps the protest of generations of Welsh people politicised by such monstrous acts of violence against them. But these contorted faces form the feathers of a most impressive bird, rising in mythic force to grace new skies, fish new waters. The symbolism is powerful and the sculpture never fails to impress. I hope John gets on the Artes Mundi shortlist. After all, the award and exhibition will be in 2008 - and no one concerned with artistic integrity will fail to see the connection between his work and the culture of the city of Liverpool...