Political Portfolio of work
The Tryweryn Memorial
In the first place, I saw a spiritual presence, a timeless sense of a nebulous image arising in my mind, such as a long shape in the poise of the beak of a large bird in my imagination - an experience which, as I have said, is usual for me when I start creating a sculpture. It seemed as if it was about to take flight. That was the image at the beginning; my task then was to further elaborate on it in my imagination. (continued on next slide)
The Tryweryn Memorial 2
In time, I began to see the bird's wing feathers as rows of heads singing, and even shouting, exactly as if they were protesting.
This immediately reminded me of the drowning of the Tryweryn valley. I felt that the image now not only had a strong spiritual sense, but that it also had a political and social significance: it was expressing our feeble position as Welsh people in protecting our country.
The 'Rhiannon' sculpture developed in a slightly different way. The initial stimulus, again, was to see the presence of a nebulous shape, similar to a long head and a long neck going down to the core of the image in the mind. In a matter of seconds, in my imagination, I saw the presence of the shape of a horse's head and a crowned head together in one metaphorical shape.
Instinctively the memory came to me of the tale of Rhiannon's suffering. I called the sculpture 'Rhiannon'.
Seeing a 'presence of a head' with a face and huge eyes and mouth, was the stimulus to creating the sculpture 'Bran'. I connected the image with the story about the giant Bendigeidfran in the story of Branwen daughter of Llyr. As a result, all the shapes - the head, the eyes and mouth - evolved even larger in my imagination! But the sculpture is not an interpretation of the legend
The sculptures 'Rhiannon' and 'Bran' were created about the same time. It is possible that strong patriotic feelings were part of my life at that time.
'The aim of art is to appeal to that ability in man called 'imaginatio' in Latin. We do not have a good word to translate it. Imagination is the common name, but that does not give the full flavour of the word. One word which conveys its full meaning is the theological word, "faith", which means the ability to sense, not with the eye but with the spirit ... And it is in that higher world that art shall live. The vision of the artist is a spiritual vision, and the words he uses, or the colors, or clay, or marble, are emblems in his hand to exhibit his own vision to his fellow men.' Saunders Lewis
The Empty Womb
A political portrait by John Meirion
The spiritual vision
Looking back on my sculptures over the years, I now realize that the strongest and most important motivation for me to create a sculpture was receiving a spiritual vision in the mind. Usually, visions come to me like some intuition, when I suddenly see the presence of a nebulous image in my mind, an image that suggests a certain spiritual force. Then, the imagination responds to the spiritual presence of that image, and to other features that can be there, such as legendary, social or political features. The most extraordinary thing is that all these images arise as if from somewhere in my subconscious.
Examples of my portfolio are included on this page. If you are using a mobile to browse my site you will need to view using a Desktop or tablet to view the images.