On the side of the Gwynedd Council car park in Caernarfon, something has appeared to bring colour and interest to the grey concrete wall we all know. 'Gorwelion a Gobaith’ (Horizons and Hope) is the name of the new large artwork that has been installed on the 29th of June 2023, created by the artist Teresa Jenellen.
The work is inspired by Ellen Edwards, but this is not a portrait of Ellen; rather, a portrait of a girl with purpose and hope, looking towards the horizon and beyond - towards things that are yet to come, things that are possible in the future...
Almost two hundred years ago the town of Caernarfon was bustling with industry, and Ellen Edwards became one of the town's most important pioneers. She trained over 1,000 sailors in a dedicated Navigation School and her pupils travelled from far and wide to receive her valuable teaching and guidance on a number of essential subjects for their careers.
It is clear Ellen has been an influential teacher across north Wales and beyond. Among her pupils are some from Caernarfon, Llanfaglan, Ynys Enlli and Bangor, and a few individuals from abroad as well, including Prussia and Sweden.
"I use a lot of symbolism in my work and I see the starling as a messenger, like the one that carried Branwen's message in the Mabinogion." says artist Teresa Jenellen about her work.
"The blue cornflower, which symbolizes knowledge, is painted red here, and magnolia flowers symbolize many things related to women including wisdom, strength and feminine energy. I consider the circle shape positive, without beginning or end, a symbol of the moon and everything that symbolises for women. The red colour of the ring and the frame gives balance to the red flowers and is also always associated with women."
This work is part of Canfas, a project led and managed by Galeri Caernarfon Cyf and funded by Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig. The concept is to give the whole community an opportunity to record its unique identity in the spaces and fabric of the town of Caernarfon, and an opportunity to hear voices that may not have been heard before.
Gwyn Roberts from Galeri said "Our story has been told by others and this is an opportunity to convey how we see ourselves in a visible, innovative and very different way. Not just looking back at the past, but being confident in an inclusive and innovative identity when imagining the future. Also, the project will improve the appearance and raise the environmental quality of the town and introduce light, greenery and nature to bleak, grey spaces that have been neglected and forgotten."
Carys Fôn Williams, Head of the Council's Housing and Property Department, said ''We are very proud as a Council to be able to offer the Victoria Dock car park to display work that celebrates the life and history of the maritime teacher Ellen Edwards. It is extremely exciting to see the first artwork as part of Galeri's innovative Canfas project bringing life and colour to this prominent building in Caernarfon."
Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government. It is also part funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and Gwynedd Council.