An Italian Winter

December 31, 2011

Ok – so a new venture…  A post not about Llanwern!  I thought on this New Year’s Eve I might share what I have been up to with the Wista whilst on holiday in Lazio…  When I told Clive and Ken that the Housebound project was NOT GOING WELL (I think only having 2 images qualifies as a bit of a disaster) they both challenged me to make some work over Christmas.  So, I have been making a few  pictures that are to do with the Italian economy, the dependence on tourism along the lake shores and the Winter shut-down.

Predominantly featuring reflections, the images are meant to both show the present state of the property/business, but also to hint at their past – what they were involved with only a few months ago.  The reflections of lake/hills that appear somewhere in the shot also talk about the future – about how just as the water and rock are permanent features, so the tourists will return to enjoy them.

Possibly all a bit hackneyed… Nothing particularly original going on – but then, all art is theft.  Isn’t it?

I’m really getting into the idea of being a landscape photographer – reading for my essay has affirmed what I know already – there are not enough women out there getting their landscape pictures into the public domain.  Who knows if this is a phase or a fad, but I am enjoying it!

Here are a few pics taken in the places I am making the 5 x 4 images: just to give a sense of the area… They form part of my ‘research’ (that bit of the project where you wander around looking.)  I have no idea if they will work, if I will have enough or even if they will be used, but it has been good to spend a little time with my baby, concentrating on being all metaphorical.

Happy new year!

Bracciano - Lake shore.

Research II

Research iii

Research iv

Research v

Research vi

Research vii

Research viii


A democracy of education

December 1, 2011

Researching my Llanwern project just gets more and more interesting.  Well, for me anyway!  It now turns out that not only was Viscountess Rhondda responsible for ensuring women got to sit in the House of Lords, she also had an interest in progressive and democratic education.

Letters held in the National Trust archive detail how she was in negotiation with various bodies to try to find someone to accept the house as a ‘gift’ and use it as a Further Education residential college for adults, ‘along Scandinavian lines’.  This woman was so AMAZING.  What a shame that her dream did not become a reality.  The trail now leads me to the archives of the University of Wales… Could it be that the educational establishment that will finally award me my degree is actually the one responsible for the failure of Viscountess Rhondda’s inspirational project and ultimately the cause of the house being demolished?

Unfortunately, I don’t think I am going to be able to get up to Aber again before the hols, so this is piece of detective work that might have to wait for stage 2 of the project…

STOP PRESS: More exciting developments…  Mari who works in Parliamentary archives has given me the name of a History professor currently working on a biography of Viscountess Rhondda…  Check out Mari’s blog:

And watch this space for snippety updates about my contact with Professor John…

a couple of pics…

December 1, 2011

The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth

Lovely bits of history all tied up with string