Friday, 25 December 2009
Wishing everyone a Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for 2010! The Visual Diary is having a break and will return later in January to report on a visit to Berlin by the Swansea Met MA group which will include a visit to the Reichstag.
Happy Holidays everyone!
Saturday, 19 December 2009
Deb Fisher November 2009 (c) Rhys Jones
A friend, Deb Fisher, will be appearing in the BBC History Magazine next February writing about her history hero, the poet Siegfried Sassoon. Check that out for an interesting article! I have just completed a small photoshoot with Deb commissioned by the Beeb for this article - they needed a half-body shot. We all have heroes and people that we look up to and are inspired by and some of those can be our friends as well. Many friendships have ups and downs and some go through difficult periods especially if the friend in question becomes embroiled in contoversy and is seen perhaps as less than inspiring in a particular circumstance. It is important to stand by that person - whatever they have done is just a passing event whereas a friendship is for life and spans a whole collection of events. Maybe one day we ourselves may need that support.
Monday, 7 December 2009
The UN Climate Change Conference begins in Copenhagen today where our leaders have come together to negotiate a treaty which will be so important for the world in the years ahead. It is important that we don't get any more prevarication and fudges - there should be no doubt that we are in a period of serious global warming which is having consequences for all nations. Developing nations need the help of the wealthy nations - we all need to help each other. We can all do things individually to consume less, waste less and live our lives in without having every new gadget that comes onto the marlet. I'm not advocating a return to the harsh conditions that our parents endured - just think before we act. I'm a serious over-consumer so I'm going to commit to change - hope you guys will as well!
Monday, 30 November 2009
Scott Clan Tartan
My grandfather on my mum's side of the family was born in Dundee and our family are part of the Scott Clan. Today is a day for remembering the Scottish roots of my family which I have to confess I have been less close to than the Welsh roots but nometheless I am proud of them and I do feel affinity. The Scott clan originated from the border region and the name is very common in Northumberland as well as in the lowland region south of Edinburgh.
Sunday, 29 November 2009
Image : Penpont Artists open day Brecon October 2009 (c) Rhys Jones
Today is the 1st Sunday in Advent. This is traditionally a period of waiting and anticipation for the events that people in the Christian world over centuries have believed happened with the coming of a saviour. Not everyone believes in that but the idea of a mid-winter feast has gripped the imagination of everyone no matter what religion and all families have their own ways of celebrating by the keeping of traditions.
My younger son is working on a school project to trace his ancestry - the stories that have been handed down to us is that Matthew is distantly related to Fletcher Christian (Mutiny on the Bounty) on his mum's side of the family. On my side of the family, there is a connection to Thomas Sayers who was a pugilist and bare-knuckle fighter and in 1860 became world heavyweight boxing champion when he defeated John C Heenan of the United States. He is buried in Highgate Cemetery in London and his funeral was reported to have been attended by thousands.
Proving that connection has involved and is still involving research through public records of births marraiages and deaths, census returns and parish records and will involve a visit next year to the Isle of Man where many of the Christian family now reside. We have come across some very interesting discoveries about members of our family from generations ago and gained some insight to how they lived and their hopes and fears as human beings. Some sad discoveries have also been made. We wonder what research will be done on us in 100 years from now and what our descendents will make of blogs, facebook and all the other tools which have augmented the traditional pen and paper letters and diaries that people have kept in the past.
People leave their mark on the world in so many ways - some prefer to keep their deeds and how they are feeling secret and known to only a few close friends and some like to proclaim things to the world - people are free to chose and long may that freedom of choice prevail. People have a million ways to be happy and to be sad and the hope is that everyone will find happiness in their lives doing things their own way.
It is though one of the nicest things in life to share thoughts and words and enter in dialogue with others. It is this by this means that lasting friendships are formed in my opinion. If one doesn't hear from a person for a long period one can always think of that friend by the conversations and exchanges one has shared in the past - in extreme cases a lasting friendship has been formed in just one meeting in life.
Monday, 23 November 2009
A date for your diary after Christmas..Wednesday January 13th...The Brunswick Presents..Helen Finney and Rhys Jones. We will be the first exhibition of not only a new year but a new decade. The opening will be in The Brunswick, 3 Duke Street, Swansea from 6.30pm onwards. We will be providing light refreshments and the pub serves a good range of real ales. If you want to know more details please mail me - firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, 14 November 2009
If anyone is interested in contributing a piece of art to an auction to be held on 31 January 2010 at Monkey Cafe Swansea from 4pm onwards please contact me on email@example.com
The charity auction is part of a fundraising event with musicians and performers organised by Swansea singer-songwriter Niki Stitch www.myspace.com/nikistitch. The monies will be raised for the Emily Prosser Therapy fund so that Emily can receive regular alternative cerebral palsy treatment at an advanced clinic - join the group on Facebook if you'd like to.
I am also pulling together an artists book to be sold around this event to raise additional funds. If you are interested to have your work included please send me a 300 dpi jpeg to the same email address.
Friday, 13 November 2009
When I go off on my own it is usually to take photographs which I am planning for this week-end.
Thursday, 27 August 2009
Matfield Village CC v George Sherston's XI
Played at Matfield on July 22nd 2009
The fourth annual cricket match between Matfield Village and George Sherston’s XI took place in the idyllic setting of Matfield Village Green in the Kent countryside near Tonbridge. The match is played each year in memory of Siegfried Sassoon. The match was once again honoured by the attendance of Dennis Silk, Vice-President of the SSF and former President of the MCC.
The 1906 Flower Show Match is described by Sassoon in ‘Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man’ as being “the match of the year” and to play in it for the first time “was an outstanding event: words were inadequate.” In 2009, those same words still apply as this match is considered one of the highlights of the sporting year by the players of both teams.
As usual the teams gathered before the match for a pre-match lunch in ‘The Wheelwrights Arms’ – some of those in attendance had also played in the golf match the day before. Both events are the brain-child of Bob Miller who has again been the driving force of pulling the team together.
The weather in 2009 was a somewhat unsettled affair – periods of sunshine in the opening period were interspersed with period of cloud, which eventually gave way to some light drizzle during the Sherston innings. Whatever the conditions, both teams adapted well and resolutely continued until close of play at 7pm. Matfield went into bat first as in the 2008 match. A spirited display by the opening bowling pair of Jones and Bull and some fine fielding by the Sherston XI saw the first two wickets fall for just 35 runs. The good form shown by the Sherston team continued despite resistance to the bowling attack from Mills and Danby in the Matfield batting line up. The players thought an early tea might be on the cards when the ninth Matfield wicket fell for 98 but the last wicket partnership by Wilkin and Cooper had other ideas and admirably contributed a further 57 to the Matfield run total, finally ending on 155 when Wilkin was lbw to Southwell for 23 leaving Cooper unbeaten on 34.
Tea is always a highlight of a village cricket match and the spread provided by Matfield was no exception and much appreciated by both players, match officials and spectators. The 2009 match tea of delicious sandwiches, light snacks and a vast array of cakes with an accompanying cup of tea was taken in the pavillion on the edge of the green. In 1906 a Luncheon tent was provided and Sassoon describes the somewhat different and slightly humorous food preparation of lunch that day : “the brawny barman……sharpened the carving-knife on a steel prong with a rasping sound that set one’s teeth on edge while predicting satisfactory slices of lamb and beef, to say nothing of veal and ham pie and a nice bit of gammon and bacon.” A grace was said by the Rector of Rotherden who was known for “the strident and obstreperous bellow to which he gave vent when he was trying to bluff a village umpire into giving a batsman out “caught behind”.
In the 2009 match, fortified by the splendid tea, Matfield took to the field to try and outwit the Sherston batting line-up. During the Sherston innings, the weather took a turn for the worse but the team stuck to their task and the runs started to appear on the scoreboard at a good scoring rate. Barford and Lawson put on 45 for the first wicket. Lawson was bowled by Knott for 20 and Barford was eventually out for 65 bowled by Cooper. There was good support from the rest of the Sherston batting line-up, with notable contributions from Southwell and Heard who contributed 17 runs each. A late burst of sunshine after the rain not only saw a rainbow appear in the darkened sky over the village green but also a final flourish from the Sherston team and they scored the winning runs for the loss of 5 wickets.
The final presentation ceremony was very honoured by a visit from Derek Underwood fresh from his duties at Lords in his role of MCC President where he hosted The Queen for lunch during the 2nd Ashes test England v Australia. The winning captain Julian Hill was presented with the commemorative plate by Dennis Silk followed by the presentation to Matfield of a photograph of the teams who played in the 2008 match : a gift from the Siegfried Sassoon Foundation. Dennis Silk read ‘Everyone Sang’ and recounted how he first met Siegfried at a match between Cambridge University and Worcestershire in 1954 and said how much his friend would have relished the match played in 2009 on Matfield Village green. Derek Underwood wound up a memorable day with a short address and everyone dispersed with a promise to convene again next year. The match series now stands at 2-2 so there is everything to play for next year to take the lead in the series!
Monday, 24 August 2009
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Sunday, 12 July 2009
January 2010 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of the pioneers of photography, John Dillwyn Llewelyn. We were talking last night at the opening of 'Facing the Future' Open Photography exhibition that it would be fitting to have the anniversary celebrated in some way in Swansea.
Photography was only available to those prominent families who had the wealth to pursue this medium, but it has now developed into an activity in which everyone can participate for a modest outlay on a simple digital or even film camera.
For a period of over 15 years in the Victorian age, Swansea could rightly claim to be in the forefront of some of the pioneering activities to progress photographic techniques and knowledge and it is something well worth a celebration 200 years later!
Saturday, 11 July 2009
Crowded summer train
Party mood despite some rain
A large group of revellers
Drink-induced animation maybe
Sprawled in standard class posing
Planning their clubbing
No, and why not ?
It all changed in a second
Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile – who knows ?
Hand-held phone to one ear,
Stella Artois in the other
‘Michael Jackson’s dead’
Hell, man - you're kidding!
Pinhole in a shoe-box
Pinhole in a shoe-box
A rip in the canvas
The moment was frozen
The train just went on though
And talk talk returned
All change at Swansea, end of the line
And sadly as it turned out : it was
Don’t leave any baggage behind
Take valuables along
Memories of a hundred parties past
And a hundred more now to come.
Thursday, 9 July 2009
Image - 'Out Walking - Brecon Beacons' - December 31 2008 (c) Rhys Jones
I'm very pleased to be participating in Elysium Gallery's first Open Photographic Exhibition opening on 11 July 19:00 and running until 8 August. If you can get there, the address is 41 High Street, Swansea - well worth supporting Swansea's main independently run gallery!
Wednesday, 1 July 2009
Image : Hay Festival May 2009 (c) Rhys Jones
Monday, 29 June 2009
As usual with the Edinburgh Fringe anything can happen at short notice and usaully does so we may well end up doing something else as well but we're looking forward to what we've got so far!
Monday, 25 May 2009
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Tuesday, 14 April 2009
Monday, 13 April 2009
Friday, 10 April 2009
Friday, 20 March 2009
Exhibition of my work at St Donats Arts Centre 2007
I am trying to put some of my work on a new site - Wordpress seems a good place. Watch this space and hopefully it will take shape http://rhysjones56.wordpress.com/
My old website needs an overhaul but has a collection of archive images.
Thursday, 19 March 2009
Thursday, 29 January 2009
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
Image : Rocks off Port Eynon, Gower (c) Rhys Jones
Thanks to everyone who volunteered for the White Room. I have created a facebook group if anyone wants to add their name there. I will contact everyone individually to arrange a photo session. My normal PC and wireless network is out of service right now so I might be slower than usual in responding until I get it fixed.
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
So here's the deal....I'm looking for volunteers to take part in a project to explore identity, things that are important to us, how we see ourselves, how others see us, our dreams and fantasies, traces from our past, traces from a past life. I'm trying to explore this in photography. I've set up a project called the White Room. It will be a simply furnished room with a window, table and chair. I will take 3 images in this room as detailed below. I will set the whole thing up and will travel if necessary. This is be part of my practical work on the MA Photography : Contemporary Dialogues Programme at Swansea Metropolitan University I am on the Programme part-time over 3 years.
Sunday, 18 January 2009
Day 1 19.50 Aeroport de Nice, France
The midweek flight from London has disembarked a full passenger load
into the ambre-solaire scented atmosphere of a Cote D'Azur spring
evening. Amongst the holiday makers, business people, the glamorous
chic and the downright ordinary on the passenger list was a
silver-haired man who limped heavily across the tarmac to the waiting
terminal bus. He carried a brown, battered and shabby attache case, the sort to be found in only the best cold-war espionage films of the
1960s. Two hours earlier he had boarded the flight at London's
Heathrow Airport having transferred from a flight from Edinburgh the
The man had no other luggage and joined the long queue at Passport
Control. Within the next hour he found himself sitting behind a desk
in a suffocatingly small room interrogated by a man and a woman from
the French police service concerning the disappearance of his family,
a fire at his home, and the discovery of his luggage 5,000 miles away
with a vast quantity of money, drugs and evidence of a trail of crime.
The man had no recollection of how he came to be in this interrogation
room, no recollection of his family and home and no recollection of
his accumulation of items in his luggage.
Over the next 48 hours the interrogators will attempt to piece
together what information they can....................
Day 1 21.30
The female police officer switched on the recorder and spoke the legally obliged words in French to certify those present in the room and the time of recording. An interpreter who had been appointed with a lawyer to represent the man, confirmed the same in English to the man who sat silently and sipped a cup of expresso coffee which had been placed on the table in front of him together with a bottle of mineral water and a glass.
She continued in French “My name is Inspector Francine Laporte from the Nice Police Department and this is my colleague Sergeant Yves Lecombe. We need to ask you some questions. Would you please confirm your name, address and the reason for your business in the South of France ?”
The lawyer responded that his client had no recollection of his name or place of abode. The sergeant then read from the passport of the man which stated that the person to whom the passport had been issued was Frederick Thomas Lyle born April 30, 1928 in Dundee, Scotland.
Is this your passport, monsieur ? The man looked at it and said that although he recognized the photograph, he could confirm no other detail in the passport.
The line of enquiry continued for the hour without any significant further progress.
Day 1 22.55
The tape recorder was switched off and the police officers left the interview room and walked along the sidewalk under the dim street lighting of a side road in centre-ville. They talked for a while then Laporte took a call on her mobile phone. They returned to the interview room, 35 minutes later.
Day 1 23.30
The tape recorder resumed and again confirmed those present in the room. The attaché case was placed on the table.
“Will you please open the case, monsieur ” asked the Sergeant.
The man carefully flicked the locks and opened the lid. He removed a panama hat, a pair of grey trousers, a pair of spectacles, a notepad and pencil and a post card of a painting by Picasso ‘Les Demoiselles D’Avignon’. The remaining clothing articles were tipped out in a single turn of the case : socks, pants, swiss army-knife, till receipts, a parking fine receipt and a bag of mint humbugs – the sort that used to be popular with kids back in the 1960s.
Inspector Laporte picked up the notepad and thumbed her way through the contents : notes about works of art, tickets to exhibitions, an entrance pass to a series of lectures on Cubism.
She looked at the occupation written in his passport ; Importer/Exporter. “Do you buy works of art Mr Lyle ?”
“I cannot remember”, he replied…..”I don’t think so”.
Inspector Laporte then turned another page in the notebook and found a key taped onto the page : the sort of key that might open a left-luggage locker. Also on the page was a reminder in a scribbled pencil note “Meet Greenock 7.45pm”
“Who is Greenock, monsieur?.........a friend, work colleague ?”
“I don’t know anyone by that name”, I am afraid. The conversation went on for another hour about each of the objects in the suitcase. The two police officers terminated the interview and told the man that they would be returning the next morning.
They walked outside and talked some more before getting into their cars and driving off into the sultry night.
Day 2 06.30
Francine Laporte’s three young children were sitting having their breakfast cereal, jam, hot chocolate and baguettes before she took them down the street to wait for the school bus. The red-chequered plastic table cloth was scattered with plates, jam, spilt sugar and chocolate powder and smeared with the grease from the butter dish. She picked up the cereal packets, milk cartons and the white packet of sugar and put them back into the kitchen cupboards and the fridge. She huuried the children out of the house and down to the waiting school bus. She kissed each child and then walked back to the house, unlocked the car parked in the street, and drove off to work. She drove along Boulevard des Anglais, switched on the morning news to hear that police in Liverpool were keen to interview a man in connection with the disappearance of a man last seen boarding a flight to London at Edinburgh International Airport. “Meurde, of course, why didn’t I think of that! Surely it is too much of a coincidence!”
Day 2 09.45
Laporte and Lecombe sat in the interview room. She was very animated after an early morning visit to the library. “Of course, it could be a total coincidence, but what name is in his passport ?” Lecombe replied “Lyle” but didn’t understand the connection with Liverpool. “Look at the postcard in his suitcase…the reverse…where is that painting now ?” “Yes, of course…the Tate Gallery, Liverpool….Tate…Lyle…sugar…is that a co-incidence ? But look here is another connection…Greenock….look at this article about renovation of the former sugar warehouses in the James Watt Dock in Greenock, Scotland! We need to speak with the police there.
Day 2 21.55
Laporte, Lecombe are sitting at the table in the interview room opposite Lyle and are showing him a series of press cuttings about a major renovation of the 120 year-old sugar warehouses in Port Greenock near Glasgow. Police have cordoned off a whole area and have employed contractors to excavate beneath the old warehouse floor.
Lyle is obviously not in the correct frame of mind to reveal his motives but one could almost feel that he wanted to lead the police to the scene of the crime but in a most bizarre manner employing almost too obvious connections.
“OK, that’s great for today” shouts the director. “We’ll resume tomorrow at 10am for the final script meeting before full rehearsals begin. We need to work a little more on those sugar connections. Great work, you three…I could almost believe I was in the interview room, myself. Love the French accents!”
Monday, 12 January 2009
Stephen Fry http://www.stephenfry.com/ - especially interesting are his pieces on Oscar Wilde short stories. Fry seems to me to embody all that is good about the use of modern technology.
Karina Westermann (Karie) has a literary blog which has been running since 2001. I read it in a former incarnation as 'bookish.dk' but now it is Fourth Edition and is a blueprint for all blogs in my opinion! http://www.fourth-edition.co.uk/
Anyway for the record here are the usage stats for this site over the last month :
United Kingdom (70.32%)
United States (14.84%)
Unknown (not sure what this can be - maybe Internet cafes) (8.52%)
Czech Republic (0.24%)