10 July 2023
More “forgotten” works by Jonah have come to light after their owners contacted us via the Oriel Jonah Jones ‘Tell us about lost work’ link.
The first owner (who prefers to remain anonymous) has three works by Jonah. One is a maquette in slate for the sculpture ‘Bethel’ which he made in 1983 for Margam Park (this was unfortunately destroyed by a falling tree in 1988). The second is a polished round slate with three marble pieces upon it and is inscribed “Brevis esse laboro, obscurus fio” – “Struggling to be brief I become obscure”, a line from Horace’s Ars Poetica. The third piece is a water colour entitled ‘Ardudwy’ dating from around 1988, showing Bryn Cader Faner, a favourite subject of Jonah’s. Below it is a painted inscription in medieval Welsh from the second branch of the Mabinogi.
Meic Birtwistle alerted us to a fine water colour inscription with background landscape of a poem by Gwyn Williams, ‘Wild Night at Treweithan’, dated 1984. It was presented to the poet (1904–1990) on the occasion of his 80th birthday by Yr Academi Gymreig (the Welsh Academy), the association for Welsh writers. Gwyn Williams was Meic Birtwistle’s father-in-law.
We are very grateful to the owners for allowing us to report on the “rediscovery” of the work, and to Meic Birtwistle for supplying the photograph above of ‘Wild Night at Treweithan’.