Today, 6 October 2016, pupils at Ysgol Dolbadarn primary school, Llanberis were curators of a world famous masterpiece in a National Library of Wales project funded by the ScottishPower Foundation.
The prestigious painting of Dolbadarn Castle by Joseph Mallord William Turner - a centrepiece of the National Library’s important collection of art - was transported to Llanberis for the day, and exhibited at Ysgol Dolbadarn. This famous and precious painting was the focus of a series of workshops on landscapes delivered to pupils from Ysgol Dolbadarn and Ysgol Brynrefail secondary school by local artist and teacher, Dylan Roberts.
Unveiling the painting, Councillor Dyfrig Jones, a member of The National Library of Wales Board of Trustees: “This painting is one of thousands of treasures in The National Library of Wales that can provide access to the culture, history and heritage of Wales for children and young people. This event today demonstrates how The National Library of Wales collections can stimulate creativity, and inspire young people to learn and nurture new skills.”
Pedr ap Llwyd, Director of Collections and Public Programmes at The National Library of Wales added: “Our national art collections are key resources for supporting schools across Wales, particularly in those areas where children may not have opportunities to see great works of art. I am determined to ensure that the National Library's collections are fully exploited by schools to inspire and support learning and teaching.”
Pupils were able to work close-up with the painting and learn more about its history and context, and about the life of the artist, J. M. W. Turner.
The Turner oil painting was bought by the National Library of Wales in 1998. It depicts the moments when Owain Goch was captured by his brother Llywelyn Ap Gruffudd, before being imprisoned at Dolbadarn tower from 1255 until 1277.
Bethan Wyn Jones, Head Teacher at Ysgol Dolbadarn, said: “This kind of partnership is fantastic for the school, and provides an opportunity to raise the pupils’ awareness about the work and collections of our National Library. Bringing an important masterpiece to the school is an exciting way of boosting the children’s enthusiasm and their desire to learn about art in Wales. Dolbadarn pupils will definitely benefit from this invaluable experience, and we look forward to visiting the National Library of Wales soon to view other national treasures.”
Ann Loughrey, Executive Officer and Trustee ScottishPower Foundation, said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the students of Dolbadarn Primary School and Brynrefail Secondary School, and we are delighted to be playing a role in making it happen. The ScottishPower Foundation is committed to supporting young people in local communities across the UK in the advancement of their education, so we are thrilled to be involved.”