Inspiring coal

05 July 2013

Mary Lloyd Jones
Mary Lloyd Jones

Aberystwyth based artist Mary Lloyd Jones’ latest work will look at the landscape, bed rocks and coal seams of the South Wales valleys thanks to the help of the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences (IGES) at Aberystwyth University.

Mary is currently undertaking work on ‘Discover the Valleys’, a project which seeks to inspire people and to take a fresh look at the landscapes of the south Wales valleys by creating iconic posters and works of art by ten different artists.

She has always been interested in archaeology, geology and landscapes, all of which feature heavily in her art work. The first markings made by man on rocks and sculptures have captured her imagination and will naturally follow through into the work she will produce for the valleys project.

With her studio in the Old College at Aberystwyth University, Mary has made the most of geological maps and satellite images at IGES which she feels creates a fresh and different perspective on her artwork.

She explains, “I’m extremely fortunate to have the University on my doorstep. The Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences is a great asset when it comes to my work because I get to see rock formations for example from a different viewpoint, which always helps when creating new works of art.

“The valleys, in particular, is an intriguing landscape full of interesting seams, layers, sandstone, siltstone and claystone which clearly show in the maps and creates this wonderful design. I’ll gather ideas from these maps and then create a piece of art that reflects Welsh traditions, the relationship with the land and the awareness of history.

“It’s a powerful subject and one which I am very proud and honoured to have the opportunity to work on. I very much look forward to see and discuss the work of the other artists and all the work on show later on in the year.”

IGES cartographer and map curator, Antony Smith says, “It’s always a pleasure to work with Mary and a refreshing change to supply maps & satellite images for their artistic inspiration. It’s fascinating to observe her skill for creating artwork from different source material and exciting to see the end product of all her hard work.”

Mary Lloyd Jones moved into her new studio in the Old College in January 2013 and before that was based in one of Aberystwyth Arts Centre’s creative units.

She is a well-established artist and was made an Aberystwyth University Fellow in 2009.  Mary has drawn and painted the world around her since childhood, and has been exhibiting her work since 1966.

Devised by the Valleys Regional Park partnership and funded through the Interreg IVB WECAN project in conjunction with the Arts Council of Wales, ‘Discover the Valleys’ is taking inspiration from the iconic Shell poster campaigns of the mid-twentieth century. 

Dr David Llewellyn, Valleys Regional Park co-ordinator, expressed his delight at having Mary involved, “Over 150 artists expressed a desire to be part of the project and we are very excited indeed that Mary, whose bold vibrant works take their inspiration from the Welsh landscape, was one of those selected.”  

Ten artists have been chosen to produce artworks that will be used in a poster campaign and a major exhibition is planned for October 2013 at Bedwellty House in Tredegar. More information can be found here


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Esther Eckley, Communications and Public Affairs, 01970 621571 / 07854 438090 /