Hud Afon Arth (The River Arth’s Magic)

Philip Huckin, Cyril Jones, David Austin

Gwasg Gwynfil, 2015

The first title in a series of publications, each focusing on a particular magical, spiritual location in Wales and each exploring the area through the senses of an artist, a poet and a writer. In this volume, Philip Huckin, Cyril Jones and David Austin record and reflect upon the creative magic and emotional response that inspired them as they walked through the ancient valley of the river Arth in Ceredigion.

Image of 'Brother's Bridge 2' by Philip Huckin

Hud Afon Arth brings art, poetry and history together to portray a vibrant living landscape in all its cultural depth. This book transports you on a journey along a relatively short, but dramatic section of the River Arth above Aberarth in Ceredigion, West Wales. Philip Huckin has portrayed his own journey through a series of amazingly detailed and striking drawings. Cyril Jones, the celebrated Welsh poet, has recounted his own journey through poetry. Both artist and poet have worked closely together as the project developed with art inspiring poetry and this in turn inspiring art. Poetry and drawings have absolute parity, neither being the servant of the other. The entire work roots itself in the initial journey of discovery when artist and poet first undertook the walk along the valley together. Inspiration was both literary, with Cyril taking the lead, explaining the subtleties of the Welsh language and its poetic forms, and visual, as Philip shared ideas and their realisation. Ideas flowed in both directions in a constantly running stream of their own.Image of an extract from 'The Small Cow House 1' by Philip Huckin

Recently, Philip and Cyril have enticed David Austin to accompany them along the same route. He too, has been inspired by the art, the poetry and the landscape. With his accompanying essays he brings the art and poetry into a sharper and more focused perspective.

This is a book to dip into, to read over, to return to often. An inspirational book upon which to reflect. A book which can transport strangers deep into the world of the River Arth, as well as take those who know it well back to the heart of their roots.

The Authors

Cyril Jones – A native of Pennant in the Arth valley, Cyril won the National Eisteddfod Crown at Aberystwyth in 1992 and has had his work published in numerous poetry collections. Eco’r Gweld, his latest collection of poetry, was published in 2012. He tutors and lectures part-time at the University of South Wales.

Nawr mae’r hydre’n pydru ym mhobman; crinddail,
cen, yn ddrewdod melys. Afon Arth a’i chyfeiliant
yn fynd a dod wrth iddynt igam-ogamu

Philip Huckin – Philip moved to Wales to study Fine Arts at Aberystwyth where he began to study Welsh in a desire to draw closer to the landscape he was portraying: the names and the deep cultural history that pervades valleys, hills, villages, and man-made structures in Ceredigion.

Professor David Austin FSA/FRHistS/FLSW – David brings his expertise as a medieval landscape archaeologist to bear as he returns to the arts and literature. He has lived and worked in Ceredigion for nearly 40 years and has always loved the landscape, the more so as his understanding of it has grown over this period.