Hafod: A Centre of Great Misfortune - Stuart Evans

I had been inspired to revisit Hafod the Thomas Johns estate above Devils Bridge.  Mainly to find the exact locations of the prints which hang outside my office at the museum.
Our three boys tumbled out of the car and ran down to the pyran cascade.  They waved at Jenny and I from the precipice above the falls.

Thomas Johns had attempted to make a picturesque wilderness here.  His only daughter Mariamne died young and this shattered his dreams.
Jenny spotted a bat catching insects.

I saw Isaac balance his way across wet boulders.  He fell.  I watched his leg fold back and slip towards a razor sharp slate.  I thought his knee cap was sliced.  The river ran red.  His scream filled the valley.  He straightened and put his weight on his leg.  I was in pieces.

Jenny pointed out the bat.

Please tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Stuart Evans and I work at Ceredigion Museum Aberystwyth as a display designer and technician. I am interested in the history of this area, the landscape, drawing and painting as well as photography and film making. More recently I have been interested in sound recording especially oral history.

What’s your story about?

The Hafod Estate, just above Devils Bridge, was once owned by Thomas Johnes, who planted thousands of trees on his estate and created walkways in the landscape during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. It is now open to the public and my story is about a visit I made with my family to view the dramatic waterfalls one Sunday afternoon.

Why did you choose this particular story?

Our visit to the Hafod Estate was a recent occurance and had a mix of artistic and historic interest.

What did you find most rewarding about the workshop?

Being able to discover the power of putting image and sound together to create a multi layered piece of work which communicated quite complex issues.

  • Aberystwyth University
  • Arts Council of Wales
  • Welsh Government
  • National Lottery
  • Ceredigion County Coucil

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