23 January 2015
8 St Fagans Street
1000 hearts ... for lovers
23 January 2015
Coming up in Caerphilly is 1,000 HEARTS ... For Lovers, a ceramic installation of vibrant red porcelain hearts celebrating St. Dwynwen's Day, the Welsh Patron Saint of Lovers' notably marked on January 25th.
The installation has been created by South Wales / London based artists Tracey Moberly and Philip Hughes to highlight the festivities based on the legend of St. Dwynwen - the Welsh St. Valentine. The main section of the installation begins at Y Galeri with similar displays placed in strategic areas across Wales where people can celebrate their Love. The legend is forged through the oral tradition basing itself on folklore and Celtic stories from the 5th Century on Dwynwen the daughter of King Brychan Brycheiniog (Brecon, South Wales) and Queen Rigrawst (the daughter of Severa Ferch Mascsen). (Sevra was the daughter of the Roman Emporer Magnus Maximus and the High King of Britain Gwrtheyrn ap Gwidol the High King of Britain).
Dwynwen had fallen in love and was engaged to Prince Maelon Dafodrill but her father King Brychan Brycheiniog was opposed to the union wanting her to marry someone else. Filled with anger Maelon raped Dwynwen who then fled to the woods in immediate search of asylum to weep away her sorrows. Falling asleep in the wood praying that she could forget Maelon, she was visited by an angel who gave her a potion of forgetfulness. This potion was meant to dispel the love that she felt for him and for the grave sin the Prince had committed - he was turned into ice. Her love was strong for him and upon seeing that he had been turned into ice she asked for three requests. Firstly that Maelon be returned to life and the living, that all the dreams of true lovers be looked after through her and that she would remain unmarried.
Dwynwen then left for the solitude of Llanddwyn Island off the west coast of Anglesey where she become a hermit until she died. The 16th century ruins of the church there stand on the original church - underneath which, Dwynwen is said to be buried. In 1903 a Celtic cross was erected near the ruins. Llanddwyn translated literally means 'the church of Dwynwen.' Dwynwen was famed for foretelling the destiny of lovers by means of ichthyomancy - divination by fish, which were found in the wells surrounding her. These wells were said to be the homes to eel-like fish which could predict affairs of the heart. Dwynwen's symbol is the crescent moon.
1,000 HEARTS ... For Lovers installation will be at Y Galeri, Caerphilly from 25th January until St Valentine's Day on 14th February.
The ceramic hearts are available to purchase - prices start at £5.
Y Galeri is open 10am - 5pm, Tuesday - Saturday.