Monday, 30 November 2009

St Andrew - a day for Scotland

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

Heritage and Traditions

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

The Brunswick Presents.....

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 -

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Artists Book for Charity - Emily Prosser fund

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

The charity auction is part of a fundraising event with musicians and performers organised by Swansea singer-songwriter Niki Stitch 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

Friday 13th

I am not particularly superstitious but I'm looking through the catalogue of the film-maker Alfred Hitchcock. A lot has been written about his work and signs that are contained within. He has left behind some interesting film of his own thoughts on his work and that coupled with watching and forming our own opinions is possibly the best way of forming our own views. I'm way behind with updates to my visual diary partly because my time has been occupied with other things that have taken priority. I'll be participating in a joint exhibition of art work in Swansea in January which is exciting plus I'm hoping to go on an art trip to Berlin with our MA group also in January which will give a lot of inspiration to my art practice. I've never been to Berlin before and now is a good time to be there with the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall very much in our minds and all that symbolises to the world and especially to the people of Berlin where families were split apart when the wall went up in 1961. I guess it's easy to build our own personal walls and cut ourselves off from people but sometimes we need to be on our own and if we don't like our own company it is going to be difficult to enjoy the company of other people.

When I go off on my own it is usually to take photographs which I am planning for this week-end.