Anna Lewis

Parri, Luned Rhys

Gwladfa Luned Rhys Parri

Luned Rhys Parri applied to travel to Patagonia in Argentina in November 2014 to research the people and the place to inform a new body of work. She also worked with Welsh language schools in Patagonia during her time there. This new work formed part of Plas Glyn y Weddw's main exhibition in 2015, Patagonia 150.

Here Luned discusses her experience:

My trip to y Wladfa (the Welsh settlement in Argentina) in November 2014 was funded by Wales Arts International and Oriel Plas Glyn y Weddw. Arrangements were made beforehand for me to have access to Welsh homes there in order to gain a visual knowledge of the homes and lives of the settlement's inhabitants in the past and present.

Since I had never visited y Wladfa before I was not sure what to expect but I received an incredibly warm welcome to several houses. Seeing everything in the different homes was a very worthwhile and interesting experience - a far better experience than seeing images in a book or on television.

As I observed the various objects - dishes, textiles, articles from Wales, books etc mixed in with similar Spanish items, it became evident to me how important the two cultures are to the inhabitants of Patagonia - the Welsh and Argentinian culture.

As I was only in Patagonia for a fortnight, unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to visit the indigeneous people’s homes in this vast province.

I made a determined effort to get to know some of the women in y Wladfa through volunteering to work in the Welsh-medium schools - Ysgol yr Hendre, Trelew and Ysgol Feithrin Y Gaiman.

I took many different photographs of the houses and their inhabitants. Upon my return to Wales and having had the opportunity to browse through these photos, I endeavoured to describe what I saw in the form of a photographic collage which I set as a background to each piece of work, with the characters whom I met being created in a three-dimensional form. The work was exhibited in Oriel Glyn y Weddw during May, June and July 2015. A number of the people whom I met in Patagonia had the opportunity to see themselves in these pictures! Their feedback was very valuable to me!

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