Well that was a fine evening! This afternoon I finished early, locked the workshop and had an early shower, then shaved, dressed and off to a charity event at “Gorwelion”, a local venue on the outskirts of Bala where friends gathered for an auction of local artwork donated to raise funds for a local arts and heritage centre.

 

The Cause…

 

We are very fortunate in Bala, to have an intimate little arts and heritage centre in an old chapel, immediately adjacent to a large public car park and just a few seconds walk off the High Street. Based in the old Capel Plase (pronounced plass-ay) and now known as Cantref, the centre hosts exhibitions of local artists’ work and of cultural and social heritage. However, the current constrictions on public finds has meant that the grants which usually fund the running of the centre, are no longer available. Thus a call went out to local artists to each donate a piece of work and for the collection to be exhibited locally and then sold at auction.

 

The Venue…

Gorwelion is now privately run as a functions venue on the outskirts of Bala, although it was initially developed a couple of decades ago as a rural life centre. The venue contains some old agricultural buildings which have been linked together with contemporary buildings using primarily timber and stone, but also with huge walls of glass looking out over an inner courtyard and garden. The collection was assembled and hung several days ago and has been available for all to view since then, with posters appearing here and there, and a campaign on social media with lots of us sharing and commenting to boost the circulation.

The Event…

So tonight, we all gathered. A friendly group of 40 or 50 people from all walks of life. I had donated a walnut shallow bowl with an inscribed border, bearing the words, “Sawr y pridd sy ar y pren”. Non-Welsh speakers will doubtlessly struggle with this short sentence, which is written, in fact, in the structure of a strictly metered form of Welsh poetry known as Cynghanedd. This is an arrangement, line-by-line, of repeated stress, alliteration and rhyme, and if you can read our cynghanedd, you will no doubt spot the various elements within it. The line is very dear to us at Pren. It was written by Gruff Antur, a local poet who spent some time in our shop, then went away and wrote the words as a slogan for our window. Gruff also supplied us with a poetic translation of the line, which reads, “Timber bears the scent of the earth”, which sums us up wonderfully.

Our little inscribed walnut bowl amongst a few other donated pieces.

All in all, there was about 50 pieces on view, with just a few of them not meeting the reserve. the event was a great success and I was very pleased that a few people were bidding for the bowl, that it fetched a very good price and is staying locally. It was an enjoyable evening and whilst I don’t know what sort of target the organisers had in their minds, but I suspect that they will all be very pleased with the outcome.

Here’s a look at just some of the artwork on sale…

 


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