Artworks breathe life into Old College
From left to right: Pro Vice-Chancellor Rhodri Llwyd Morgan, Ceredigion County Council Leader Ellen ap Gwynn, Director of Development and Alumni Relations Louise Jagger, Mary Lloyd Jones, Vice-Chancellor April McMahon, Pro-Chancellor Gwerfyl Pierce Jones and Aberystwyth Town Councillor Brendan Somers outside the Old College.
22 October 2015
At a special event to mark Founder’s Day, renowned Welsh artist Mary Lloyd Jones presented Aberystwyth University with new banners to celebrate and promote the rebirth of its iconic Old College building.
The remarkable artworks, which bear the slogan ‘New Life for Old College’, will be permanently positioned on the seafront for all to see, a constant reminder of the major new initiative which aims to renovate and revitalize the grade one building and create a new artistic and cultural hub for the university and town.
Mary Lloyd Jones is already known to many in the area and beyond, and has worked from a studio based in Old College for the past two years. One of her artworks, consisting of thirteen 13ft high banners that reflect the progression of Welsh bardic tradition and culture from earliest times through to the present day, hang in the quadrangle of Old College and have attracted many admirers.
Explains Mary: “I love Old College and am keen to help as much as I can to bring it back to life. I feel that this building - with all of its eccentricity and soul - can provide an inspiration for everyone, but crucially can play a major role as an interface and connecting force between areas such as geology, science, archaeology and language, and the visual arts.
“Beyond that there are many potential synergies, especially if one is able to create international residencies. We have great connections already with China and Chinese visitors love the building.”
Mary was inspired by the idea of creating a genuinely creative hub that encompasses a variety of functions, including performance spaces, shops and studios and which can act as a catalyst and forum for new initiatives and ideas.
She adds: “Knowing all of this I thought it would be fun to have some banners that would reflect this and act as a rallying point and reminder of what we want to achieve. The plan is that we will have English and Welsh versions, not only on the sea front but a single large square banner to hang in the main entrance.”
Louise Jagger, Director of Development and Alumni Relations said: “We are very grateful to Mary for her continued support of the New Life for Old College project through her gift of this unique and inspirational artwork which will resonate with all the supporters of the project in Aberystwyth, in Wales and around the world though our community of 60,000 alumni and friends. The artwork is a symbol of our ambition as a community and will serve as a highly recognisable and valuable visual representation of our aims for a wide range of audiences.”