Sara Rhoslyn

Artist Preswyl / Artist in Residency

Ebrill / April 2019



‘Having lived in a country that has been oppressed and continual threats to its language, I find the one thing that I identify with wholly, Cymraeg, my mother tongue to also be a cause of great fear, shame and inferiority.

My artwork documents the cariad I have in my heart for the language that is the stern foundation to my life, for without it I am not me. This body of work is the evidence of my persistence in the endurance of being judged, ridiculed and misunderstood. My gritty stubbornness that I shall build resilience against the damaging result of centuries of inequality and abuse.

It aims to tackle judgement by visually displaying the internal effects from being outcasted without fully understanding the depths of its reasoning, due to poor education, the confusion between generations, life experiences and differences but mostly through the lack of our ability to successfully communicate with one and other, in sharing knowledge on the history of Cymru, present issues in Cymru and the future of Cymru.

The slow unsuccessful attempts at wiping Cymraeg away have subtly divided us over the centuries. I aim to re connect us through visual communication, I strongly believe that visual language is Cymru platform of equality. Art can help Cymru to break down communication barriers.

There is no translation in art, we are as one in its presence. Art is a intimate experience it is not fully completed without the viewers response, the viewer holds great importance to its existence. Art does not tell you what to think, it merely encourages you to think and we think in the language we speak, there is no intimidation for the viewer, clearly a necessity to bilingual country. Art encourages your thoughts and your opinions, resulting in a new found confidence, especially apt in a nation with deep language inhibitions.

The evidence to this theory can be found in my ability to make the art that I make. A Cymraes whos often crippled by fear, shame and inferiority successfully and confidently communicating through visual art.

The emotional experiences regarding Cymraeg to many of us hold the same conclusions fear, shame and inferiority. Siaradwyr Cymraeg, non Cymraeg speakers to incomers, we are just people who happen to be living in Cymru a dwyieithog – bilingual country.

Therefore feelings of fear, shame and inferiority is our connection –

Yr Awen, the source of inspiration.
What if what we perceived as being our weakness is in fact our strength?

Capel Y Graig is a residency I will always hold dear in my career. Avi, owner of Capel is the key to its success, her welcome, kindness and generosity is to be much admired.
Our conversations, laughter and our new found friendship undoubtedly encouraged this body of work. Our thoughts and outlook regarding Cymraeg was similar regardless of the fact we grew up in different countries speaking different languages, having an openness and acceptance towards each other further confirmed this body of work, this, art works ability to re-connect the people of Cymru.

I long to be able to write this articulately in Cymraeg. It is true of most of the Cymry to have an inability to emotionally express thoughts and feelings in written text. It saddens me to the core and I’m desperately asking the question why?

My attempt at loosely translating the above paragraph with corrections in blue.

Mae ‘n o’n torri fy nghalon i fy mod I methu nad ydw i’n gallu ysgrifennu mor gystal yn Gymraeg ag ydw i yn Saesneg. Mae’n Ond mae’r diffyg yma i fynegi teimladau ysgrifenedig, yn fy mamiaith, yn wir hefyd i am nifer helaeth o Gymry Cymraeg y diffyg manegu yn, arbennig mewn ysgrifen, yn glir ac yn gywir, pam?. Er ein bod yn ystyried Cymraeg fel ein hiaith gyntaf, mae yna ryw wal yn disgyn i rwystro ni rhag trosglwyddo’r hyn ‘da ni’n ei deimlo mewn ffordd eglur a chlir yn ysgrifeniedig. Mae’r sefyllfa yma yn gneud i mi deimlo’n drist at fêr fy esgyrn, a’r cyfan dwi’n ei ofyn yw… Pam?

Pam mae’r gallu gini i medru yn Saesneg? Dwi yn gallu ysgrifennu yn Saesneg er mod i brin yn siarad yr iaith yn fy mywud bob dydd Ydio mo’r syml, neu mor gymleth a’r faith bod dim emosiwn yng nghlwn a Saesneg i mi? Mae Saesneg fel ryw persona i mi yn ysgrifenedig. A’i oherwydd y ffaith syml bod yna ddim emosiwn yn perthyn i mi yn yr iaith Saesneg, sy’n gneud hi’n haws i mi drosglwyddo syniadau yn yr iaith yna yn hytrach nag yn Gymraeg? Mae Saesneg yn teimlo’n saffach. Mae ysgrifennu yn Saesneg yn teimlo’n saffach i mi rywsut.

Ma’n brifio ag yn sioc i cyfadda hyn. M ae o mor boenus i mi gyfadde’ hyn, ac mae’r sefyllfa yn torri fy nghalon.

Dim digon da! ‘ Sara Rhoslyn