The scent of Dic Aberdaron

Gwyn Williams

Test Bed | 18 July 2015 - 9 September 2015

‘The scent of Dic Aberdaron’ is a copy of a missing bust, presumed lost but very possibly held somewhere in secret.

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Dic Aberdaron (Richard Robert Jones, 1780–1843), also known as Dick of Aberdaron, was a self-taught Welsh polyglot, speaking fourteen or fifteen languages. A local hero on the Llyn Peninsula.

In the early 20th Century, a cobbler called Robert Rees Jones sculpted a bust of Dic Aberdaron – a bust that subsequently disappeared. The only record of this piece is of a couple of black-and-white photographs; one taken in 1908 and the other in the 1960s. Gwyn Williams’ latest installation in TestBed centres on the recreation of this lost bust of Dic Aberdaron.

Williams’ curiousity was further sparked when after completing his own sculptural of the bust he was sent a DVD of the documentary ar drywydd dic Aberdaronm / on the scent of Dic Aberdaron. During filming, the presenter received a tip-off. The bust had been discovered in a secret location, hidden amongst plant pots and garden gnomes in someone’s back garden.

In a quest to interpret these events in his work he makes reference to aspects taken from Indiana Jones, especially the last scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark, where the Ark is packed into a crate in a cavernous warehouse and lost once again. Williams’ installation includes plants and greenery that are a gesture towards the resting place of the original bust in an unknown back garden in Wales.

*Dic Aberdaron is the second most frequently depicted Welsh figure in art after Lloyd George.

Gwyn produces works in many mediums and not being restricted to one.

Gwyn lives and works in Clwt-y-Bont near Caernarfon.

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