19 April – 18 June 2011

What do the objects you own mean to you?

Over an eight week period, Oriel Myrddin Gallery invites four artists; Carwyn Evans, Peter Finnemore,

Becky Adams and Jools Johnson to occupy the gallery space with special objects that evoke intruiging stories.

Using objects both personal and particular and a spirit of experiment and happen-stance, each of this artist-led series will develop differently. Visitors and community groups will engage with each of the stages in order to explore the stories, history, memory and associations of objects.


Thursday, 26 May 2011

Ysgol Crosshands School

We had a school group in to work with Becky Adams yesterday, Ysgol Crosshands School - Year 6. Everyone brought in a special object and Becky bought in one of her artists books to share with the class - she looked like a magician unfolding all the hidden pages!

The children all had a fantastic day and produced the most amazing little keepsake boxes with a special book inside.

Mystery Object...

We've had a few interesting suggestions for what our mystery object might be...

Mousetrap, Crochet/knitting tool, Kettle descaler, instrument of torture for naughty nephews, cat scarer/bird scarer, plate holder, hair ornament...and cheese warmer (thank you Peter...!?).

Any more ideas?

Wednesday, 25 May 2011


Rolande Thomas – Arts Council of Wales Arts Development Officer based in Carmarthen brought this rather intriguing little object to contribute to our exhibition Project Object: Collect today.

He won’t tell us what it is except that it belonged to his Great Aunt in Swansea and may be Edwardian or somewhere up to the 1930’s.

SO…we’d like you to tell us what YOU think it might be! He’ll let the cat out of the bag after Saturday 4 June and he promises to let us have a picture of it in use…let us know or pop into the gallery for a closer look and leave your thoughts...

We’re curious to hear your suggestions!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Miniature Books - A Workshop with Becky Adams

Becky Adams ran a lovely workshop with us on Saturday in conjunction with her Project Object exhibition Memento. Becky asked people to bring a special object with them as inspiration for the project and everyone made tiny books which fitted inside a matchbox. Thanks to everyone who came along - a good day was had by all!

Tangled Parrot's Welsh Mix

Here is a link from Tangled Parrot's Matt and Iwan of the mix of Welsh music they played at Peter Finnemore's Groove Disco on 13th May. Thanks again for their enthusiastic participation - bendigedig!

Friday, 20 May 2011

The Red Shoes

What draws us to an object or to collect old things?

As part of Project Object, in her exhibition Memento, Becky Adams uses many of her own special objects in the gallery space and is using the gallery’s theme of overhead projectors to show old photographs of her own family and drawings of her Grandfather’s tools. One of the images she is showing however is of an unknown woman with a child sitting very formally in front of Victorian bathing huts. Whilst installing the show, Becky talked to us about why she may have been drawn to this image and by extension what it is in any object or image that attracts us to it. What part of our own psyche are we ‘projecting’ onto the object to which we are drawn?

Becky Adams is a collector of stories; they become an integral part of her life and are ingrained into the making of her work through a sophisticated use of stitch, vintage fabric and antique ephemera. Her work is a recollection of past experience and contemplates themes of memory, souvenir and the preservation of what could otherwise be lost. Connections are made between text, textile, stitch and narrative thread.

Becky Adams - Memento installation 

In the spirit of Project Object, Becky has been contemplating the challenge of the white space of the gallery, a quite different experience to her own working practice which is about the minute, the curious, the intimate and the cherished. She has brought with her a patchwork quilt which records her travels through the fabrics obtained or purchased in different locations, she will be sewing the fabric she has found in Carmarthen town into the quilt and inviting visitors to join in with the idea.

A tiny pair of children’s red shoes have also taken up temporary residence in the gallery – Becky’s own first pair of shoes - they have often featured in her work as an image. They remind us of Becky’s own story, and the little scuffs on the toes are the physical embodiment of her encounters and adventures; they remind us to value the little things of our lives and our own unique history.

Becky Adams

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Vulcan Sewing Machines...for the lucky little lady

Sian Conti - starting early on her dressmaking career

Becky Adams' installation in the gallery struck an immediate chord with one of our gallery staff. Sian Conti is our resident seamstress, she trained for four years in dressmaking at Carmarthen School of Art back in the day, but as can be seen from this photo, she started young - she's about 7 years old here and stitching away on a little Vulcan sewing machine very similar to the one Becky has brought in to the gallery.

Becky Adams' installation - part of Project Object: Memento

Project Matchbox

We had a lovely workshop in the gallery today with Becky Adams and students from Coleg Sir Gar in Ammanford. Everyone brought a special object with them and made a decorated matchbox to keep it inside.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011


Becky Adams has been with us again today installing her show Memento. Becky can't keep away from the sewing needle for long though and she brought her ongoing patchwork quilt with her, she finds a piece of material whenever she visits a new place to add to the project, a piece from Carmarthen will be added soon.

The Curious World of Becky Adams

Becky Adams - The Curious World of Becky Adams - Mission Gallery

If you like Becky Adams' work, not only can you see her lovely new installation at Oriel Myrddin Gallery, but also a solo show of her sewn objects, books and images at Mission Gallery in Swansea, The Curious World of Becky Adams runs until 22 May.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Goodbye Groove, Good Morning Memento

Becky Adams installing Memento

We really enjoyed having Peter Finnemore's vinyl collection with us, it went back home on Sunday and we welcomed Becky Adams to the gallery this morning to begin installing her show Project Object: Memento.

The gallery is beginning to fill with beautiful old objects that have special significance for Becky and she'll also be using overhead procectors to project images and drawings. Becky's trademark moths are beginning to appear, attracted to the lights...

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Naming names...

Gallery Manager, Meg Anthony's very precious and much 
loved home-made teddy, Nu Nu

Here are the objects brought in for Project Object: Collect by some of the Oriel Myrddin Gallery staff.

Artist, Louise Bird is one of the desk staff at the gallery - this original
commemorative moon-landing mug reflects her fascination with all
things cosmic!

This scythe belongs to Carmarthenshire County Council
Arts Development Officer, Phil Alder, a reminder of days
small holding...hmmm...we're hoping Phil's not trying to
tell us something sinister about funding cuts...!
The little horse was brought in by Artist, Osi Rhys Osmond

Chris Ozzard is a poet as well as working for the gallery, 
this charming little small press publication is from 
1960 New York.

This is my favourite teapot. I acquired it at a church jumble sale in about
1982 - I had to ruthlessly fight an old lady for it! Victory was MINE!

Disco Groove

Peter Finnemore

Friday night was disco night at Oriel Myrddin! Peter Finnemore played a set from his collection of Welsh 1960's and 70's vinyl and Matt and Iwan from The Tangled Parrot, a new music venue, cafe/bar and record shop just around the corner in King Street, played a Welsh themed set including more contemporary music. Great fun had by all - thanks to all who came along!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011


Perlau yn y parc yn Ynghaerfyrddin...

There are some fantastic images in Peter Finnemore's show Groove. His collection of Welsh related 45 rpm vinyl is on display until 4 June. Here's a few covers just to whet your appetite.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Project Object: Collect is now open!

The Collect part of our Project Object series of shows is now open in the studio space upstairs at Oriel Myrddin Gallery. Thanks so much to those who have loaned the gallery their special things and shared their stories for the show. It is amazing how emotionally charged the objects become in conjunction with their histories. The show will run until 4 June and there is still a few spaces for your objects if you would like to contribute.

This object is a 'Pele Mond Tool' used to make fuel for the fire in the Gwendraeth valley in the 1950's and 60's.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The vinyl bones of a nation...

Photo: Gareth Hugh Davies

"I’ve been collecting 45 rpm vinyl records for many years, the criteria for my collection is that each individual record is culturally specific to Wales. This is an archive of kitsch imagery and popular song, democratic and inclusive of all musical styles. The majority collected because of the details within the record cover photographs and back cover text rather than for the musical content or style. The photographs are rich in historic detail about people and portraiture, landscape and place. Some are surreal and strange. Personal favourites include: Y Pelydrau, windswept and cheerful, stockined legs with optical illusion skirts posing on Trawsfynydd Lake with the nuclear plant directly behind them. Yr Awr, floral dressed 70’s heartbreakers posing on Swansea train station. Y Pedwar Caballero, 4 badass Mexicano farmers from Caernarfon “Their record brings a new sound to the Welsh ‘pop’ scene. Here is an attempt to unite rhythmic ballads with songs to which one can dance”. 

These packaged artefacts are cultural relics, archaeological markers of cultural history. Iorwerth Peate founder of St Fagans would approve of their redefined status as vernacular folk art. They are preserved time capsules, unselfconscious folk art that reveal an era of yearning to express cultural identity and to celebrate Welshness. Nostalgia, the na├»ve, innocence, the idiosyncratic, passion and celebration of amateur values are all here. The records are full of living history with personal and group biography, stories, dreams, hopes and fears. They become triggers for memory and emotion. This grouping becomes an historical archive delineating a cultural period between Jac a Will (circa 1958) until the late 70’s. The musical themes and lyrics express the cultural values of the nation. A cultural shift takes place from conformist values; the nostalgic and sentimental - celebration of nation, land, family, community and bible, to a bold and confident political, individualistic, self expressive and psychedelic themes as sung by Huw Jones, Dafydd Iwan, Heather Jones, Tebot Piws and Meic Stevens. Music in Wales as evidenced here is expansive in style, form and expression. It is a plural and multicultural activity with Paul Robeson, Iris Williams and Shirley Bassey contributing to the Welsh musical tradition. This installation is about modernism in a specific cultural and marginal context. Telepops Y Cymro is about Wales becoming modern and expressive. Here are the vinyl bones of a nation singing for its survival and with open voice singing itself into existence and self-awareness." Peter Finnemore May 2011

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Peter Finnemore: Groove

Peter Finnemore in the gallery today

Artist, Peter Finnemore has been with us in the gallery today hanging the second part in the Project Object series of shows, Groove. We're delighted that Peter, who lives near Llanelli in Carmarthenshire, is delving into his collection of Welsh related 45 rpm vinyl records to exhibit in the gallery. The collection has been underway since the 1980's and the focus is mostly on the 1960's and 70's. Peter sees these records as democratic markers of cultural history, as ‘vinyl bones’, and as vernacular folk art; many of them relate specifically to Carmarthen. 

Throughout the day, we've been treated to gems from the collection on an original Dansette record player (thanks to artist, Jacob Whittaker for loaning it for the duration of the show).

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Adieu Altro - Greetings to Groove

We dismantled Carwyn Evans' show, Project Object: Altro today.  We have so enjoyed having Carwyn's work with us. The gallery is ship-shape and all ready for our next artist to join us, Peter Finnemore and Project Object: Groove.