A visual journey around Ceredigion past and present …

Welsh Books Council

A visual journey around Ceredigion past and present … - 28 February 2016

On World Book Day this year, Thursday, 3 March,Gomer Press will launch  Ceredigion: At my Feet / Wrth fy Nhraed.
Talented photographer Iestyn Hughes will present his new book at the Drwm in the National Library of Wales at 7pm.

His striking pictures take us on a personal journey around Ceredigion looking at past and present images of the county. We travel from coast to uplands, through towns and villages in good times and bad, through the eyes of an adopted 'Cardi' whose love for his county is visible in every frame …

Iestyn Hughes, who lives in Bow Street, says that "Our formative years (mine were spent in Anglesey) are incredibly important in forging a sense of belonging and community, and I lacked such an emotional bond with Ceredigion. So the idea of a photographic project based on Ceredigion formed in my mind. At the very least, it would get me out of the house and at best, it might help me feel less of a stranger to the place. I upgraded my camera gear, put on my boots, and began a long process of wandering here, there and everywhere, getting acquainted with parts of the landscape and some of the people around me …"

According to Iestyn, capturing the county is "like trying to paint a portrait of a bored teenager who won't sit still. The best I can do is to offer a glimpse of a 'then and now', with or without the blemishes, some of it real, some of it imagined and idealized, some of it lost forever, in the hope of leaving an impression. After all, as details, words and images fade away, all that remains is an impression. I just hope it's an interesting and lasting one."

"It is a visual journey – a combination of past impressions, formed from pictures I saw and was sometimes captivated by as a curator over many years, and a contemporary pictorial record, a moment in time that anyone can experience for themselves now, if they travel thoughtfully around the county."

"Many of the places I've photographed are easy to reach by car. As you turn the pages, you're taken, more or less, on a journey eastwards to the remote uplands, then clockwise around the county, popping inland now and again, up the coast from the Teifi right up to the Dyfi, sometimes setting foot in neighbouring counties, then home sweet home again, back to Aberystwyth."

Iestyn adds that Ceredigion is "like a flower waiting for sun, it bursts open with life in the glow of any social event! Those I met at carnivals, races, theatrical performances, food festivals, farmers' marts, livestock sales, village shows, young farmers' rallies, eisteddfodau, elections, Welshlanguage classes, choral evenings, society meetings, protests, seaside cleanups, lectures, and myriad gatherings, proved to me that Ceredigion is alive and brimming with people who care for its heritage and who are passionate about securing its future. It's the Cardis, more than any particular spot on the landscape, that have left the most abiding impression."

Ceredigion: At my Feet / Wrth fy Nhraed by Iestyn Hughes will be launched at the National Library of Wales on 3 March at 7pm.
Spaces for the launch are limited, so please contact Gomer Press in advance if you wish to attend (elen@gomer.co.uk / 01559 363090).

Iestyn Hughes will also be signing copies of the book in Aberystwyth on Saturday, 5 March, at
Siop y Pethe at 11am
and Siop Inc at 2.30pm.

It's an ideal gift for all Cardis and a wonderful souvenir for visitors to the county.

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