Original research in the visual arts
Between 1999 and 2001 I created a series of images concerning two saints from south-east Wales as prints, animation and installation. These images interwove specific examples of historical visual culture with the tradtions surrounding St Gwynllyw and St Tatheus (or Tathan). My more recent visual practice has been less intertwined with specific Welsh medieval narratives and more abstract, but I returned to the subject of saints, while working on research projects at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies from 2014–19.
These research projects were funded to transcribe, edit and publish medieval texts concerning saints in Wales: prose lives, poetry and genealogies. My role as a member of the project team was mainly to coordinate events and exhibitions, but it was also an opportunity to share some of my research into the imaging of saints in Welsh churches. Although very few medieval images of Welsh saints survive in stained glass and sculpture, they were depicted in stained glass and other media in churches from the mid-nineteenth century, and more commonly from the 1880s.
A book about this imagery, Welsh Saints from Welsh Churches, was finally published in February 2023 after many years of preparation. A smaller collection of images of a single saint was published in 2020. Depicting St David presents the imagery of Wales' patron saint from the mid-nineteenth century into the twenty-first century.
A further article on the imagery of St David was published in Seintiau Cymru, Sancti Cambrensis: Astudiaethau ar Seintiau Cymru, Studies in the Saints of Wales in 2022. This was published by the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies and also included an article on the surviving medeival imagery of saints in Wales. I appended this with a list of examples found in Wales.