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Hardback | 128 pages | Size 250 x 250mm |
Publication 20 April 2023 | ISBN 9781802584455
A uniquely personal and charming collection of 53 original artworks depicting life in rural Wales from 1930-1944, painted retrospectively from memory by artist Eironwy Llewellyn whilst in her seventies.
The jaunty, naive style is intended to convey her early life as remembered ‘through the eyes of a child’, with the various scenes charmingly recalling life as it was lived during this period. Each painting is accompanied by commentary by the artist on its context and subjects, creating a uniquely personal and insightful record of the bygone traditions and community activity of rural Wales.
These artworks and writings have been compiled by Eironwy's daughter, Sara.
'It’s an odd thing, discovering the first fourteen years of your mother’s life in full colour and with so much written detail when she’s not there anymore! So began my own Herculean task: to curate, collate, capture, compile and edit the prolific, bursting-at-the-seams work of Eironwy.
Painted retrospectively from memory whilst in her seventies, this collection presents a pictorial diary of a forgotten time from 1930-1944 of a Welsh childhood lived on the farm and by the sea.
I can sense in them her intense relief at dropping the pretence of her adult life – trying to be a good middle-class wife, mother, teacher, friend, enduring the boredom of conformity, the suffocation of her wild, free spirit.
A trained, highly skilled sculptor, here she was coming to the last stages of her life and giving two of her worn-out fingers, in all their workish glory, to the ‘establishment’ and deliberately painting in a contrived naïve style. Her dazzling chosen colour palettes and pelted brushstrokes are grounded in emphatic emotion pouring out of her very being – who she really was, at last revealed!
Producing this book has been heady stuff for me, the messenger of that surprising Welsh Mam of mine. The title, Earth Meadow, is my choice, an instinctive one for something simple on the surface but complex and layered, joyous and sometimes quite dark. The paintings and their accompanying stories have already resonated with thousands of individuals around the world, from different generations and all walks of life. Through Earth Meadow I hope they will reach and be enjoyed by many more.'
- Sara Llewellyn