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Volunteers needed to help re-discover map of Wales sculpture by Welsh artist Paul Davies

13 Jan 2024 2 minute read
Copyright: Huw Jones

People on and around Anglesey are invited to join volunteering events at the Llyn Alaw reservoir in February, to help rediscover a huge sculpture by artist Paul Davies.

The events emerge from an ongoing collaboration between Welsh Water, Isle of Anglesey County Council’s Countryside and AONB Unit and Bangor University researcher Dr Sarah Pogoda from the School of Arts, Culture and Language.

Sarah is looking into the work of Paul Davies – best known for his “Welsh Not” performance at 1977 Eisteddfod – and the Llyn Alaw site in particular, working closely with local authorities and the artist’s family.

Groundbreaking work

Sarah explains: “Paul initiated the commission from Welsh Water in 1987 in context with the then European Commission’s “Year of the Environment”.

Paul, Art and Design students from Coleg Llandrillo Menai (then Gwynedd Technical College) and local volunteers joined forces over months for building the sculpture, using only local materials. It is one of the first major works of so-called “land art” in Wales and the UK.”

Volunteering poster

The sculpture has been overgrown by bramble, gorse, and undergrowth for more than a decade.

Cultural heritage

Alwyn Roberts from Welsh Water explains: “We’re delighted to play our part in bringing this piece of cultural heritage back to life. The area – and with it the sculpture – fell a bit off the public visibility since Alaw Fishery closed a number of years ago, but we hope that through our common efforts we will bring the sculpture back to be enjoyed by visitors to the site, as it is an important piece of local heritage.”

Owen Davies, AONB Community Warden at the Isle of Anglesey County Council, has been taking the lead for clearing the sculpture from its overgrowth and organising the volunteering event for February this year.

Owen explains: “We look forward to working with local schools and communities to help revive this historic artwork at Llyn Alaw using hand tools such as garden-loppers and bow-saws. This will be challenging and rewarding work given the current condition of the sculpture, so please, we need many helping hands!”

The volunteering event will take place from February 2-3, 10:00am – 4:00pm.

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