Kathryn Campbell Dodd + Sally Moss

 

16 Mehefin // June, 6pm

Join us at Oriel Myrddin Gallery on Thursday 16 June at 6pm for drinks and a private viewing of Kathryn Campbell Dodd’s Cragen Beca I’R GAD! exhibition.

Set against the backdrop of the Cragen Beca Parade, Kathryn will be in conversation with Oriel Myrddin Gallery trustee, curator + lecturer Sally Moss, reflecting on her journey as an artist during this immense project. 

Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Lon y Lan // Church Lane, Caerfyrddin // Carmarthen SA31 1LH

Cragen Beca I’R GAD!

Arddangosfa // exhibition

7 Mehefin // June – 2 Gorffennaf // July 2022

Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Caerfyrddin // Carmarthen SA31 1LH

Ar y cyntaf o Fai 2022, ar ganu chwyth cragen o wal Eglwys San Pedr, cychwynnodd Parêd Cragen Beca yn y glaw o Oriel Myrddin a’i phrosesu i Sgwâr Neuadd y Dref.  

Mae Cragen Beca I’R GAD yn ail gyfle i weld cymuned yn dod at ei gilydd i ddathlu hanes a diwylliant Cymru a gweld y pared yn ei chyfanrwydd. Wedi’i gomisiynu’n arbennig gan Kathryn Campbell Dodd o Gragen Beca a’i ffilmio gan yr artist/gwneuthurwr ffilmiau Jacob Whittaker, mae Oriel Myrddin Gallery yn falch iawn o gyflwyno’r ail gipolwg hwn ar ddiwrnod gwirioneddol hudolus.

Yn cynnwys ffotograffiaeth o’r diwrnod gan Abby Poulson a Jason Thomas.


On the First of May 2022, on the sounding of a single conch shell blast blown from the wall of St Peter’s Church, the Cragen Beca Parade set off in the rain from Oriel Myrddin Gallery and processed to Guildhall Square.

Cragen Beca I’R GAD is a second chance to view the bringing together of a community in celebration of Welsh history and culture and see the parade in its entirety. Specially commissioned by Cragen Beca’s Kathryn Campbell Dodd and filmed by artist/filmmaker Jacob Whittaker, Oriel Myrddin Gallery are delighted to be presenting this second glimpse and what was a truly magical day.  

Featuring photography from the day by Abby Poulson and Jason Thomas.

Sweet Harmony Community Choir

We’re delighted to welcome Sweet Harmony Choir to the Cragen Beca Parade!

Created and led by Maya Waldman, Sweet Harmony was born in April 2014 with an eager and committed group of 40 singers.

The groups main emphasis is on enjoying the learning and singing of beautiful songs together. They sing a rich variety of music from folk song to Blues, Gospel and the occasional popular classic and contemporary songs too.

They have performed at The National Botanical Gardens, Narberth A capella Voice Festival, Carmarthen Inter-faith day and Carmarthen White Ribbon Walk.


Rydym yn falch iawn o groesawu Sweet Harmony Choir i’r Parêd Cragen Beca!

Wedi’i greu a’i arwain gan Maya Waldman, cafodd Sweet Harmony ei eni ym mis Ebrill 2014 gyda grŵp eiddgar ac ymroddedig o 40 o gantorion.

Mae prif bwyslais y grŵp ar fwynhau dysgu a chanu caneuon hardd gyda’i gilydd. Byddant yn canu amrywiaeth gyfoethog o gerddoriaeth o gân werin i Blues, Gospel a’r caneuon clasurol a chyfoes poblogaidd achlysurol hefyd.

Maen nhw wedi perfformio yn Yr Ardd Fotaneg Genedlaethol, Gŵyl Llais A capella Arberth, Diwrnod Rhyng-ffydd Caerfyrddin a Thaith Rhuban Gwyn Caerfyrddin.

Simon Whitehead

Mae’r artist symud Simon Whitehead wedi gweithio gyda mi i ddatblygu symudiadau gyda thri pherfformiwr a fydd yn gwisgo gwisgoedd Cragen Beca ar gyfer ffilm artist a fydd yn cael ei dangos ochr yn ochr â’r gwisgoedd yn Amgueddfa Sir Gaerfyrddin, Abergwili o 14 Mai.

Yn wreiddiol yn Geograffydd, hyfforddodd Simon mewn Dawns yn Llundain ac Efrog Newydd ar ddechrau’r nawdegau. Mae ganddo ddiddordeb yn y ffordd y mae pobl bob amser yn symud mewn gohebiaeth â grymoedd, bodau a deunyddiau eraill a bod dawns yn ffordd o ddod adref ar y ddaear gyda’n gilydd – nid ydym byth yn symud ar ein pen ein hunain. Mae Simon wedi teithio’n eang gyda’i waith a thros y 10 mlynedd diwethaf mae wedi canolbwyntio ei ymarfer yn nes at adref. Mae’n aelod o Maynard Abercych CIC, artist rhyngddisgyblaethol ar y cyd sy’n cydweithio ar raglen o weithgarwch dawns yn gysylltiedig ym mhentref Abercych gorllewin Cymru. Gyda’i gilydd, maent yn rheoli dawns Twmpath/pentref, yn gweithio drwy breswyliadau dawns barhaus, gweithdai, partneriaethau lleol a rhyngwladol.

Mae yng nghanol PhD (Ymarfer fel Ymchwil) a ariennir gan yr AHRC ym Mhrifysgol Glasgow. Mae’n meddwl am syniadau ecolegol Posthuman mewn perthynas â choreograffau o gyffwrdd ac effaith. Mae Simon hefyd yn therapydd Craniosacral.

Simon has lived and worked in rural Wales for the last 28 years. He currently lives in Abercych with his partner/ dancer Stirling Steward and his 2 daughters.


Movement artist Simon Whitehead has worked with me to develop movements with three performers to wear the Cragen Beca costumes for an artist’s film which will be shown alongside the costumes at Carmarthenshire Museum, Abergwili from 14 May.

Originally a Geographer, Simon trained in Dance in London and New York in the early nineties. He is interested in how humans are always moving in correspondence with other forces, beings and materials and that dance is a way to become at home on the earth with each other – we are never moving alone.

Simon has travelled widely with his work and over the last 10 years has focussed his practice closer to home, he is a member of Maynard Abercych CIC, an interdisciplinary artist collective that collaborate on a programme of engaged dance activity in the village of Abercych west Wales. Together, they manage the Twmpath/village dance, work through ongoing dance residencies, workshops, local and international partnerships.

He is in the midst of an AHRC-funded PhD (Practice as Research) at The University of Glasgow, he is thinking about Posthuman ecological ideas in relation to choreographies of touch and affect. An artist book is emerging out of this work. Simon is also a Craniosacral therapist.

Qwerin

Rydym yn falch iawn o groesawu Qwerin i’r Parêd Cragen Beca! Bydd Qwerin performio yn Sgwâr y Neuadd, Caerfyrddin ar ddiwedd yr parêd ar Dydd Sul 1 Mai 2022.

Mae Qwerin yn berfformiad dawns gyfoes sy’n estyn ffiniau’r ddawns werin Gymreig. Gan gymryd ysbrydoliaeth o ddiwylliant clwb Queer a llif patrymau clymog dawnsio gwerin, mae Qwerin yn ddawns werin Gymreig gyda thwist.

Roedd Qwerin, wedi ei gomisiynnu gan y Consortiwm Celfyddydau Awyr Agored Cymru a hynny drwy galwad AgorAllan 2021 cwmni ArticultureCymru.


We are delighted to welcome Qwerin to the Cragen Beca Parade! Qwerin will perform in Guildhall Square, Carmarthen at the finale of the parade on Sunday 1 May 2022.

Qwerin is a contemporary dance performance that extends the boundaries of traditional Welsh folk dance. Taking inspiration from Queer club culture and the weaving, flowing patterns of folk dance, ‘Qwerin’ is a Welsh folk dance with a twist.

Qwerin was comissioned by Wales Outdoor Arts Consortium through Articulture Wales’s by Open Out 2021 callout.

Sesiwn Werin y Baedd

Dewch i gwrdd â Sesiwn Werin y Baedd ar y Parêd Cragen Beca ar Dydd Sul 1 Mai 2022!

Criw anffurfiol o bobol lleol i Gaerfyrddin sydd yn cwrdd unwaith y mis yn nhafarn Pen y Baedd ar Heol Awst yw Sesiwn Werin y Baedd. Fe ddown ni at ein gilydd er mwyn chwarae cerddoriaeth werin Gymreig – does dim rheolau o ran oedran, nifer na chwaith pa offeryn i chwarae, yr unig reol yw mai cerddoriaeth werin GYMREIG gaiff ei chwarae, ac mae ein nosweithiau yn gwbwl ddwyieithog Cymraeg a Saesneg. Mae croeso i unrhyw un ymuno – dilyn ein grwp facebook a dere draw!


Come and meet Sesiwn Werin y Baedd at the Cragen Beca Parade on Sunday 1 May 2022 ! Based in Carmarthen, the crew will be playing as we parade, and then perfoming more songs in Guildhall Square at the parade finale.

We call ourselves Sesiwn Werin y Baedd, meaning The Boar’s Folk Session, since we meet up once a month at the Boar’s Head tavern on Lammas street. We’re a crew of local people who enjoy playing Welsh folk music – indeed that is the only one rule we have – we welcome all ages, any number of people, playing whatever instrument as long as the music is WELSH folk. Anyone is welcome to join us – make sure to follow our group on facebook and come over!

Educate, agitate, organise

An exhibition of radical history posters // arddangosfa posteri hanes radical

Ochr yn Ochr Prosiect Cragen Beca, rydym yn dangos arddangosfa o bosteri hanes radical rhwng 25 Ebrill – 7 Mai yn Oriel Bevan Jones yn Ynghaerfyrddin ar y llwybr o’r Parêd Cragen Beca.

Bydd oriel yn agor yn arbennig ar diwrnod parêd, Dydd Sul 1 Mai 1-4pm.

Diolch i’r Arts Care // Gofal Celf am eu cefnogaeth o’r arddangosfa, mae Shaun Featherstone a Josh McPhee, ‘Just Seeds’ am cyfrannu casgliad o bosteri o’r cyfres Celebrating People’s History.

Oriel Bevan Jones, Stryd y Brenin, Caerfyrddin SA31 1BS


Alongside the Cragen Beca project, we’re showing an exhibition of radical history posters from 25 Abril – 7 May at Oriel Bevan Jones Gallery in Carmarthen along the route of the Cragen Beca Parade.

The gallery will open especially on parade day, Sunday 1 May 1-4pm.

Thank you to Arts Care // Gofal Celf for the generous support of the exhibition, Shaun Featherstone for curating the show and Josh McPhee from Just Seeds for kindly donating a collection of posters from the Celebrating People’s History series, many of which will be on show.

King Street, King Street, Carmarthen SA31 1BS.

Please check the gallery channels for opening times.

Cragen Beca a Talog

Rhoddwyd Cregyn Rebeca i Amgueddfa Sir Gaerfyrddin, gan ddisgynnydd y perchennog gwreiddiol, Gwynfor Phillips yn yr 1980au ac roedd hanes y gragen hon yn rhan o’r ddogfen a’i gwasanaeth.

Cragen Beca – Hanes byr

Pan oeddwn yn blentyn cadwyd “Cragen Beca” o dan glo mewn cwpwrdd pren bychan, wedi’i guddio y tu ôl i soffa ym mharlwr fy mam-gu yn Nhalog. Ar un adeg bu ei chartref yn dafarn y “Castle Inn”, lle y bu ei thad a’i thad-cu yn dafarnwyr, ac ymhen amser etifeddodd hi y cartref.

Yn ystod Terfysgoedd Beca (1839-46) rhoddwyd y gragen hon (Cragen Beca) i’r tafarnwr, sef fy hen hen dad-cu, ac fe’i defnyddiwyd ganddo i alw’r dilynwyr i gyfarfodydd cudd ac ati. Ef oedd y cynullydd swyddogol. O’r herwydd roedd ganddo ran bwysig iawn yn y Terfysgoedd oedd yn ei roi mewn sefyllfa o berygl sifil mawr. Pan ddaeth Terfysgoedd Beca i ben aeth yr awdurdodau ati i gorlannu pawb fu’n gysylltiedig â’r terfysgoedd. Cafodd llawer eu dal, carcharwyd rhai, trawsgludwyd eraill, ac aeth llawer o ddynion o Dalog i guddio mewn llofftydd ffermydd a hyd yn oed yn y coed a amgylchynai’r pentref. Mae’n amlwg y bu’r tafarnwr yn ofalus iawn trwy gydol y cyfan gan na chafodd ei amau hyd yn oed!

Dim rhyfedd felly y cafodd y Gragen ei chuddio mor ofalus – am ganrif gyfan cafodd ei chyfrinachau eu cadw mor dawel fel na fyddai fy mam-gu ond yn ei dangos ar adegau prin, ac ni fyddai ond yn sibrwd amdani hyd yn oed! Unwaith yn unig y’i clywais yn cael ei chwythu’n gyhoeddus, a hynny’n ddiarwybod iddi hi. Yr achlysur oedd llwyddiant ymgeisydd Rhyddfrydol mewn etholiad seneddol. Roedd fy ewythr wedi mynd â’r gragen o’i chuddfan a chwythu ei lawenydd o ben y bryn, gweithred ffôl ac annisgybledig a barodd iddo gael ei gosbi’n eiriol a chorfforol gan ei fam!

A dyma droi at darddiad Cragen. Byddai’r rhan fwyaf o haneswyr yn cytuno mai’r trefnydd athrylithgar y tu ôl i Derfysgoedd Beca yng ngorllewin Cymru oedd cyfreithiwr o Gaerfyrddin, Mr. Hugh Williams, brodor o Fachynlleth a briododd wraig o Sanclêr, gan weithio’n gyfreithiwr yng Nghaerfyrddin ond byw yng Nghydweli. Derbynnir fod ganddo dueddiadau radical a bod ganddo gydymdeimlad â’r Siartwyr. Ffermwyr a gweithwyr fferm oedd Merched Beca yn bennaf, y rhan fwyaf ohonynt yn anllythrennog, ac ni fyddai gan y rhan fwyaf ohonynt y gallu i drefnu ymgyrch guddiedig ond disgybledig iawn o’r fath. Roedd yn galw am feddwl craff, deallus i gynnull cymunedau gwasgaredig o ffermwyr rhwystredig iawn yn rym effeithiol, a phwy well na’r cyfreithiwr pragmataidd o Gaerfyrddin?

Mae’n ymddangos fod gan Hugh Williams frawd a wasanaethai yn gonswl neu’n Was Sifil yn Sierra Leone, a’i fod wedi’i leoli yn Freetown, a sefydlwyd yn wreiddiol yn Granville yn 1788 yn gartref i gaethweision o Affrica a ryddhawyd. Roeddent wedi dod o ynysoedd y Caribî a thir mawr America.

Yn ystod rhyfel 1939 – 45 gwasanaethais yn y Llynges Frenhinol, ac yn ystod un o fy ymweliadau â Freetown gwelais angladd brodor. Arweinydd y cynhebrwng oedd dyn a chwythai’r gragen dro, gan gyfeirio’r sain tuag at y môr. Roedd y sain yn ddigamsyniol, yr un sain “hwtian” adleisiol ag a glywais yn Nhalog flynyddoedd ynghynt! Buom yn siarad â’r dyn hwn a esboniodd mai’r traddodiad oedd hysbysu’r ysbrydion oedd yn byw yn y môr pryd bynnag y byddai enaid morwr yn dychwelyd i’w orffwysfan terfynol. Fe’m hatgoffwyd yn syth o dduw Triton yn chwedloniaeth Roeg a reolai’r tonnau trwy chwythu ei gragen dro.

A yw’n rhy annhebygol i dybio y cafodd Hugh Williams y gragen, a ddaeth yn “Gragen Beca”, gan ei frawd, a bod yntau yn ei dro wedi’i rhoi i dafarnwr y Castle Inn Talog i’w defnyddio gan y “cynullydd” i alw’r dilynwyr?

(A chan nad yw’r gragen yn gynhenid i Orllewin Affrica, a yw y tu hwnt i ffiniau posibilrwydd y daethpwyd â hi i Sierra Leone gan un o’r caethweision a ryddhawyd?

*Dyfalu yw hyn, wrth gwrs.

Cragen Beca and Talog

Cragen Beca was given to Carmarthenshire Museum in the 1980s by descendant of the original owner, Gwynfor Phillips. This evocative account of the shell was part of the accession documentation.

Cragen Beca – A brief account

When I was a child “Cragen Beca” was kept under lock and key in a small wooden cabinet, hidden away behind a settee in my grandmother’s parlour in Talog. Her home had once been the “Castle Inn” public house, where her father and grandfather had been inn-keepers and which she inherited in due course.

During the Rebecca Risings (1839-46) this conch shell (Cragen Beca) had been given to the inn-keeper, who was my great great grandfather, and was used by him to muster the rioters to clandestine meetings etc. He was the official ‘whipper-up”. His involvement in the Riots was therefore most significant and put him in great civil danger. When the Rebecca Riots ceased there was a general round-up of all who were connected with the risings. Many were apprehended, some were imprisoned, others were transported, and many Talog men went into hiding in farm lofts and even in the woods which surrounded the village. It is obvious that the inn-keeper had kept a very low profile throughout because he was not even suspected!

No wonder then, that the Cragen was so carefully hidden – for a whole century its secrets were so closely kept that my mamgu would only show it on rare occasions, and even spoke about it in whispers! Only once did I ever hear it being blown in public, and that was without her knowledge. The occasion was the success of a Liberal candidate in a parliamentary election. My uncle had taken the conch from its hiding place and trumpeted his joy from the hilltop, for which indiscretion and indiscipline he was verbally and physically chastised by his mother!

And now to the origin of Cragen Beca. Most historians would agree that the organising genius behind the Rebecca Riots in west Wales was a Carmarthen solicitor, Mr. Hugh Williams, a native of Machynlleth who had married a St Clears lady, practiced law in Carmarthen but resided in Cydweli. It is accepted that he had radical tendencies and was sympathetic to the Chartists. The Rebecca Rioters themselves were mostly farmers and farmworkers, most of whom were illiterate and quite unable to organise such a covert, but highly disciplined crusade. It required an astute, intelligent brain to bring scattered communities of highly charged farmers together into a viable force, and who better than the pragmatic lawyer from Carmarthen?

It transpires that Hugh Williams had a brother serving either as a consul or else a Civil Servant in Sierra Leone, and that he was stationed in Freetown, originally founded as Granville in 1788 as a home for liberated African slaves. These had come from the Caribbean islands and from the mainland of America.

During the 1939 – 45 war I served in the Royal Navy, and during one of my visits to Freetown I witnessed a native funeral. Proceeding the cortege was a man who blew a conch shell, the sound being directed towards the sea. The sound was unmistakable, it was the same reverberating “hoot” that I had heard in Talog years previously! We spoke to this man who explained that it was traditional to inform the spirits who dwelt in the sea whenever a fisherman’s soul was returning to his final resting place. I was immediately reminded of the god Triton in Greek mythology who ruled the waves by blowing his conch.

Is it too improbable to assume that Hugh Williams was given the conch, that became “Cragen Beca”, by his brother, and that he in turn gave it to the inn-keeper of Castle Inn Talog to be used by the “whipper-up” to summon the rioters?

(And since the conch is not indigenous to West Africa, is it beyond the bounds of possibility that it was brought to Sierra Leone by one of the liberated slaves? *)

*This is supposition, of course.