Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales has appointed a craftsman to create the Chair for the National Eisteddfod in Cardiff.
The Chair for the 2018 Eisteddfod is sponsored by St Fagans National Museum of History to celebrate the Museum’s 70th birthday. Chris Williams from Pentre, Rhondda, will have the honour of designing and building the Chair. Chris is a sculptor who works mainly with wood, and his work is inspired by both terrestrial and astronomical landscapes.
Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales has an extensive collection of Eisteddfod chairs and related objects, and the Museum’s collections have inspired artists and makers over the years. The Museum would like to see a connection with St Fagans in the design – perhaps inspired from the collections, the buildings or stories and memories.
Elements of the Chair will be created at Gweithdy, St Fagan’s new sustainable building that champions the creative skills of generations of craftspeople, and a place where visitors of all ages can experience traditional skills first-hand.
St Fagans has championed crafts in Wales since it opened in 1948, and sponsoring the chair for the National Eisteddfod in 2018 is a fitting celebration which continues the Museum’s tradition of supporting Welsh craft and makers.
Nia Williams, Amgueddfa Cymru’s Director of Learning and Engagement said:
“We are delighted to appoint Chris and we look forward to seeing the process developing over the next year. Chris will create elements of the Chair at Gweithdy, and visitors to the Museum will be able to follow his work as he creates the Chair.”
Chris Williams said, “In the past I have relished the opportunity to visit St Fagans Museum to do some real life practical research. Whether it’s to simply view the furniture collection or to take patterns to inform my own designs, the collection has always been easily accessible.
“When I saw that next year’s Eisteddfod chair was to be commissioned by St Fagans I felt the project fitted in really well to my current practice and the work I was doing around traditional iconic Welsh design.
“I am looking forward to making the 2018 National Eisteddfod chair and will be spending some time researching the Museum’s collection and drawing from the expertise there to inform my design. The chair will be made in my workshop in Ynyshir in the Rhondda and at St Fagans where I will be delighted to discuss the commission with the visiting public.”
Building work continues at St Fagans National Museum of History as the site undergoes the biggest redevelopment project in the history of the Museum. This has been made possible by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Welsh Government and other supporters. St Fagans was awarded the largest grant ever given by the HLF in Wales in 2012 to help tell the stories of life in Wales over 200,000 years and more.
In October 2018, new galleries will open in the main building and Gweithdy, combining Amgueddfa Cymru’s history and archaeology collections for the first time. The range of objects on display will cover a 240,000 year time span including items from the collection which have never been on display before.
Llys Llywelyn, one of the courts of the Princes of Gwynedd, will also be completed in October 2018. The reconstruction of the great hall from Llys Llywelyn in Anglesey, north Wales, built around 1200, will provide one of the most exciting and challenging reconstruction projects attempted in Wales. Once completed, schools from across Wales will, for the first time, be able to stay overnight at the Museum.