Residents of a Gwynedd care home are showcasing their artistic talents with a display of their work for visitors – and it has even uncovered a rare Welsh nursery rhyme.
The exhibition at Plasgwyn Care Home, near Criccieth, run by the award-winning Cariad Care Homes, displays a huge array of work done there from multimedia images to paintings, cards and decorations.
It has even unearthed a rare Welsh nursery rhyme recalled by 92-year-old Will Hughes from his childhood in Penrhyndeudraeth which was even unknown to other residents.
Will, from Blaenau Ffestiniog, who worked for over 40 years in the ICI explosives factory in Penrhyndeudraeth, said: “It has just stuck in my mind all my life and it came back to me from when I was in school.”
The poem reads:
Medd ffedog fy mam wrth frat fy chwaer
a gawn ni fynd gyda’r gwynt i Gaer
Eitha peth meddai’r lliain bwrdd’
Fydda torri’r lein a dianc i ffwrdd
Said my mother’s apron to my sister’s pinny
Can we go with the wind to Chester?
It would be quite the thing said the tablecloth
To cut the line and escape away.
Pauline Williams, a Welsh language TV producer and scriptwriter, is the activities co-ordinator at Plasgwyn and has been working with them for three days a week for almost four years.
Pauline, whose TV credits include Sombreros and Tipyn o Stad for S4C, said: “No-one could ever remember hearing it before, but Will’s memory is very clear and we have used it to create a lovely mixed media picture.
“We like to involve as many of the residents we can in our art, so they paint backgrounds and cut out shapes and there is a really diverse range of talents here.
“Will’s work is quite abstract and modern-looking, and another is of an image of Blaenau Ffestiniog with its slate roofs, sheep in the fields and mountains around an old picture of the town cut out from a newspaper.
“Another of the residents, Rhiannon Morris, who taught at Ysgol Eifion Wyn primary school in Porthmadog, is very good at cutting out and sewing and she did the shapes for a welcome sign saying ‘Croeso’.
“They have all worked together on some lovely seascapes and they have made greetings cards which sell for just £1 and some of their pictures have been bought by relatives as well with the money going into the residents’ fund for art materials and outings.”
Rhiannon, 88, was an accomplished musician on the piano, organ and harp who hadn’t been able to play for many years but can do so now with an iPad and a stylus and she also enjoys the art sessions: “We do all sorts of things with Pauline and it’s a combined effort so we all play our part.”
Will said: “I had never done any art before, but I have tried to show the slate roofs and the sheep in the fields and I’ve enjoyed it. I’d like to do something bigger now.”
His daughter, Jean Williams, said her dad loved to chat about his time in work and she said: “We’ve been trying to work out where he remembers the poem from and I think it may be from the eisteddfodau they used to hold in the cabbanau, the cabins in the slate quarries.
“We didn’t know he was such a talented artist, he has settled very well here, and Pauline is brilliant with the residents.”
Pauline added: “We are going to have the exhibition up here for a month and perhaps we can sell some of the paintings to family members and visitors.
“It would be nice to put some on display to the public locally as well because they are really interesting and often show something of the past through the memories of our residents.”
Cariad Care Homes Director Ceri Roberts said: “We love to give the residents the opportunity to get involved in activities and they really love the artwork.
“Pauline is so talented, she is very creative and has some great ideas, our residents really look forward to the days that Pauline is here and enjoy their activities with her and get a lot from them.”
To learn more about Plasgwyn Nursing Home please visit www.cariadcarehomes.co.uk