James Pantefedwyn Foundation

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Esyllt Angharad Lewis

Following a period in Cardiff studying Welsh and Philosophy and working as a translator, I received a grant from the James Pantyfedwen Foundation in September 2019 to study a Masters ‘course at The Glasgow School of Art. I was delighted to have the opportunity and support to follow my dream of studying art full-time, to have studio space, access to workshops and develop practical skills. Unfortunately, due to covid-19, I had to leave Glasgow in March 2020, with pressure from the art school to finish our studies online - but the grant enabled me to delay the study and return to Glasgow at a later date. The opportunity to contribute to, and promote, a creative community in Wales during the break in the course was invaluable; I started an art writing journal, contributed to the map of Cardiff's independent bookshops, continued working on Y Stamp projects, co-edited Cynfas, and developed creative ways of using language in my work with Peak Cymru.

I returned to Glasgow in the summer of 2022 to complete the course, having to prepare a new body of work in 8 weeks ready for the degree show. This was one of the most challenging and valuable experiences of my life, and offered me the opportunity to share Welsh culture and the Welsh language beyond Wales: https://gsapostgradshowcase.net/esyllt-lewis/. It is not an exaggeration to say that this course and the scholarship changed my life, giving me the confidence to pursue a career as an artist. The experience of leaving Wales and reflecting on the experience of being Welsh away from home has enriched my creative work and expanded my knowledge regarding the place of the Welsh language within the cultural family of the world.

I am currently working on a variety of freelance creative projects, including editing, writing and creating visual art, with a studio on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow. I am producing a written piece to accompany Mary Lloyd Jones’ exhibition in Aberystwyth in early 2023, and co-editing a volume of writing by women in Wales. The work produced for the degree show will be exhibited at Arcade/Gampfa in Cardiff in February 2022, and I shall be traveling to Malta in the Spring on a translation residency with Ulysses Shelter and Literature Across Borders.

My work can be seen on my website: www.esylltangharadlewis.com/  or on my Instagram account @esylltesylit