Celebrating the Artists behind the Welsh Language Music Scene: Swyn Sain (The Sights of Sain) at Ara Deg

Swyn Sain (The Sights of Sain) handbook front/back cover

Words by Melanie Xulu

From the 25th to 28th August, music and arts festival Ara Deg takes place at Neuadd Ogwen, a community arts centre in Bethesda, on the edge of Snowdonia in North Wales. Curated by Gruff Rhys, the festival is a celebration of music from Wales and beyond – this year’s acts include BCUC, This Is The Kit, Ryley Walker, Carwyn Ellis and Snapped Ankles, amongst others.

As part of the festival, an exhibition celebrating some of the pivotal artists, movers and shakers involved in the Welsh music scene of the 1960s and 70s is to be shown.

The exhibition will showcase works from four artists who helped shape the visual aspects of the Welsh language rock and pop landscape (including the distinct visual style of Sain Records’ most iconic covers) through their photography, designs and illustrations.

Poster artwork by Stuart Neesham

To accompany the exhibition, a handbook/zine will be available to purchase. The result of which is a beautifully presented 40+ page colour zine, with the cover designed by featured artist Jac Jones (taken from the album cover for Brân‘s second album Hedfan.) Inner design is by Pete White, and features contributions from Garry Stuart, who photographed the mystical album cover for Meic Steven‘s extremely rare third album Gôg (1977), “progtographer” Robert Eames, poster artist Stuart Neesham (who also designed the logo for Welsh language Christian Rock band Yr Atgyfodiad), Colorama‘s Carwyn Ellis, and Wermod wizard Rhys Jones.

The handbook boasts a selection of exclusive never-seen-before photos, Garry Stuart’s first-hand account of the Gôg photoshoot, an extract from Stuart Neesham’s self-printed literature, as well as a series of posters created by Neesham in his Enfys studio from gigs, concerts and events from 1972-1976 which have reprinted for the first time ever.

On Saturday 27th August at 1pm there will be a Q&A with Jac Jones, Stuart Neesham, Robert Eames and Garry Stuart. Handbooks will be available through the Neuadd Ogwen website at a cost of £4 plus p&p.

More info at: https://neuaddogwen.com/en/

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