Arwyn Roberts' photographs of the Crown, sponsored by Merched y Wawr, during a year of activities as the organisation celebrates its fiftieth anniversary. The financial prize is presented by Perkins Furniture and Flooring, Caernarfon.
Created by silversmith, John Price, a former craft teacher and the designer of many fine Eisteddfod Crowns over the years, the Crown skilfully weaves the aims of Merched y Wawr and some of Anglesey’s most iconic locations together beautifully.
The Crown is presented for a free verse poem of no more than 250 lines, titled Trwy Ddrych (Through a Mirror). The adjudicators are M Wynn Thomas, Glenys Mair Roberts and Gwynne Williams.
The Crown’s band represents the Menai Suspension Bridge, the iconic structure linking Anglesey with the rest of Wales. But it also represents the concept of ‘bridging’ in a wider context – the bridging between communities, and the fact that the Eisteddfod is a link between Welsh speakers across the country, non-Welsh speakers and learners.
Every arch includes a small fresco, with each one representing different elements. The daffodil, emblem of the Crown’s sponsors Merched y Wawr, is in one arch, with Dwynwen and the Isle of Llanddwyn depicted in another, representing Anglesey’s link with the sea and religion. There are two triple harps in another fresco, representing the Harpists of Llannerch-y-medd, and the link with music over the years.
One of the island’s most attractive attractions, Melin Llynnon, is depicted within one arch, representing ‘Môn Mam Cymru’ – or Anglesey, the mother of Wales – the island which once produced food for the whole of Wales. Jonah Jones’ memorial to the Princes of Gwynedd, located in Aberffraw, can be seen in another fresco, with the final fresco representing Tlws Pant y Saer, the famous burial chamber from the Neolithic period, close to Benllech and a symbol of the fact that we are still here, safeguarding our nation’s treasures centuries later.
John Price said, “Although I’ve created a number of eisteddfod crowns over the years, the thrill when you’re chosen for a project is still there, as is the enjoyment of working on the first concepts before creating the Crown itself.
“It’s been a great pleasure to have been invited to create a Crown sponsored by Merched y Wawr, an organisation which has been so important to our language and culture over the past half a century. Coupled with such inspiration in Anglesey’s landscape and cultural heritage, I hope this Crown manages to reflect the contribution of both Merched y Wawr and Anglesey to Wales.”