Daniel Hartill

My piece is based on the chairs awarded during the Eisteddfod ‘Chairing of the Bard’ ceremony. I incorporated imagery from the Mabinogion stories, particularly animals, to create a piece based on welsh folklore with a message of preserving our ancient connection to the natural world through the continuation of the traditional practice of hammer and chisel wood carving. This piece represents the culmination of work inspired heavily by old carvings found in churches and other objects of a religious or spiritual nature, particularly those found in rural parishes near my home in the Brecon Beacons, which often incorporate animistic pagan imagery into their typically Christian decorative carvings. My focus over the last three years has shifted towards the religious urge and the way religion drives people to create art, and I found this to be exemplified in the blending of Christianity with the native pagan beliefs in the UK. I feel like these beliefs and their respective representative practices are losing their relevance in a modernizing world and yet they are a fundamental part of us. In a place like Wales, with its rich cultural identity, I feel the preservation of our links to the past is vital.

The chair was made from an antique which I intervened on, reconstructed, and added to. The materials are Oak and Lime wood, both commonly used in old and contemporary wood carving. I am currently exploring possible applications of my skills outside private commission, such as installation at historic sites and restoration.


Mae fy ngwaith yn seiliedig ar y cadeiriau a ddyfarnwyd yn ystod seremoni cadeirio’r bardd yn yr Eisteddfod. Ymgorfforais ddelweddau o storïau’r Mabinogi, yn enwedig anifeiliaid, i greu darn yn seiliedig ar lên gwerin Cymru gyda neges o gadw ein cysylltiad hynafol â byd natur trwy barhau â’r arfer traddodiadol o gerfio pren â morthwyl a chŷn. Mae’r darn hwn yn cynrychioli penllanw’r gwaith a ysbrydolwyd yn helaeth gan hen gerfiadau mewn eglwysi a gwrthrychau eraill o natur grefyddol neu ysbrydol, yn enwedig y rhai a geir mewn plwyfi gwledig ger fy nghartref ym Mannau Brycheiniog, sy’n cynnwys delweddau paganaidd animistaidd yn eu cerfiadau addurnol Cristnogol nodweddiadol. Mae fy ffocws dros y tair blynedd diwethaf wedi symud tuag at yr awydd crefyddol a’r ffordd y mae crefydd yn sbarduno pobl i greu celf, a gwelais fod hyn i’w weld yn y cyfuniad o Gristnogaeth â’r credoau paganaidd brodorol yn y DU. Dwi’n teimlo bod y credoau hyn a’r arferion a gynrychiolir ganddynt yn colli eu perthnasedd mewn byd sy’n moderneiddio, ac eto maen nhw’n rhan sylfaenol ohonom. Mewn lle fel Cymru, gyda’i hunaniaeth ddiwylliannol gyfoethog, dwi’n teimlo bod cadw ein cysylltiadau â’r gorffennol yn hanfodol.

Gwnaed y gadair o hen ddodrefnyn, y gwnes i ei newid, ei ailadeiladu, ac ychwanegu ato. Coed derw a phalalwyfen yw’r deunyddiau, a ddefnyddir yn aml mewn cerfiadau pren, hen a chyfoes. Ar hyn o bryd dwi’n archwilio ffyrdd posib o ddefnyddio fy sgiliau heblaw ar gyfer comisiynau preifat, fel gosodiadau ar safleoedd hanesyddol a gwaith adfer.

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