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Press releases

Art historian and museum director Professor Ann Sumner honoured as Fellow

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Art historian, exhibition curator and museum director Professor Ann Sumner has been honoured as a Fellow of Aberystwyth University.

Professor Ann Sumner serves as an external consultant on the University’s School of Art Museum and Gallery Advisory Board.

She was Head of Fine Art for Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales from 2000-2007, and Director and Professor of Fine Arts and Curatorial Practice at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Birmingham from 2007-12, before being appointed Head of Cultural Engagement at the University of Leeds.

Educated at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, she undertook her PhD at Newnham College, Cambridge.

She began her career at the National Portrait Gallery in London, and held curatorial positions at the Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Harewood House Trust and the Holburne Museum, University of Bath. She was recently appointed Chair of the Methodist Modern Art Collection.

Professor Ann Sumner was presented by Professor Robert Meyrick, Head of the School of Art and Keeper of Art on Tuesday 17 July 2018.  The full conferral presentation is available below, in the language in which it was delivered.

Presentation of Professor Ann Sumner by Professor Robert Meyrick:

Canghellor, Is-Ganghellor, darpar raddedigion, gyfeillion.  Pleser o’r mwyaf yw cyflwyno Ann Sumner yn Gymrawd Prifysgol Aberystwyth.

Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, prospective graduates and supporters.  It is an honour and a privilege to present Ann Sumner as a Fellow of Aberystwyth University.

As an art historian, exhibition curator and museum director, Ann has been associated with many of the UK’s leading cultural institutions.  As an early career researcher she worked at the National Portrait Gallery in London and Dulwich Picture Gallery where she began as a specialist of seventeenth-century British painting and miniature painting.

There followed periods at the Holburne Museum in Bath and Manchester University’s Whitworth Art Gallery before her appointment as Head of Fine Art at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff. She served the Museum for eight years before becoming first female Director of the internationally-renowned Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Birmingham. Since her tenure as Barber Professor of Fine Art and Curatorial Practice, Ann has been Director of the Birmingham Museums Trust, Executive Director of the Brontë Society, and Head of Cultural Engagement at the University of Leeds.

In an advisory capacity, Ann is Historic Collections Adviser to the Harewood House Trust and sits on the Steering Committee for the Tercentenary of furniture-maker Thomas Chippendale. She is also part of the Steering Group marking the Centenary of Mitzi Cunliffe, an American sculptor in Manchester. As well as advising Derby Museums Trust on their Joseph Wright of Derby displays, she is newly appointed Chair of the Methodist Modern Art Collection. Importantly for Aberystwyth University, Ann serves as external consultant on the School of Art Museum and Gallery Advisory Board.

Ann studied History of Art at the University of London’s Courtauld Institute and gained a PhD in History from Newnham College, Cambridge. Her research raises awareness of once influential now forgotten or marginalised artists and collectors, and enriches our understanding and appreciation of European art history.

Ann’s first major exhibition for the Holburne at Bath marked the bicentenary of Thomas Gainsborough. One of her most significant research projects was for the National Museum of Wales exploring the work of pioneering eighteenth-century Welsh landscape painter Thomas Jones. Thomas Jones: An Artist Re-discoveredtoured to the Whitworth in Manchester and the National Gallery in London and was accompanied by a scholarly monograph published by Yale University Press.

At Cardiff, Ann made an important contribution to the history of art and art collecting in Wales. In 2007, she was co-curator of the Museum’s centenary exhibition Industry to Impressionismwhere she focused on the Davies Sisters of Gregynog as collectors of Impressionist paintings. With the National Gallery, London, she curated an exhibition and researched a monograph on French Impressionist painter Alfred Sisley and his time in England and Wales. A similar project followed on John Brett, A Pre-Raphaelite on the Shores of Wales. She is currently working on now little-known Welsh landscape painter Penry Williams.

Anyone who knows Ann, will know that aside from art history her great passion is lawn tennis. There have been times when the twain have met. In 2011, she curated for the Barber Institute a hugely successful exhibition Court on Canvas: Tennis in Artand just recently has completed for Routledge a chapter on International Tennis Art.

Through uncovering forgotten or marginalised artists and artworks, Ann offers a new appreciation of important figures, historical practices and artefacts and advances our understanding of the personal, professional and institutional forces that shape and maintain our artistic heritage. Rediscovering and re-evaluating, uncovering the past, piecing together a trail of clues, makes accessible work hitherto excluded from the canon due simply to a paucity of information or lack of exposure to the artists and collectors and their practices.

Today we celebrate Ann’s many and varied achievements as one of our foremost art historians and exhibition curators, and in particular mark her contribution to the history of Wales’ visual culture.

Canghellor, Is-Ganghellor mae’n bleser gen i gyflwyno Ann Sumner i chi yn Gymrawd.  

Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, it is my absolute pleasure to present Ann Sumner to you as a Fellow of Aberystwyth University.

Photo:  Aberystwyth University Chancellor The Rt Hon. Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd with Honorary Fellow Professor Ann Sumner

Graduation 2018 – https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/graduation/

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Press releases

Aberystwyth University gives a lift to the helicopter heroes

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Wales Air Ambulance has been selected as Aberystwyth University’s Vice-Chancellor’s Charity of the Year for 2018-19.

Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor, made the announcement on Tuesday 17 July at the first of this year’s graduation ceremonies.

The charity was chosen following a nominations and voting process involving students and staff across the University.

Announcing the name of the charity, Professor Treasure said: “The Wales Air Ambulance provides a vital lifesaving service across Ceredigion and the whole of Wales, and its operation relies entirely on charitable donations. The University students and staff look forward to working with the Wales Air Ambulance team over the coming year.”

Wales Air Ambulance Charity chief executive Angela Hughes said: “It’s an absolute honour for Wales Air Ambulance to be nominated as Aberystwyth University’s Vice-Chancellor’s Charity of the Year, and we look forward to working in partnership with the University to help raise vital funds for Wales’ lifesaving helicopters.”

“Last year Wales Air Ambulance crews undertook 77 missions in the Ceredigion area – around six every month. It is only through support such as this that our helicopters can keep flying and saving lives.”

Each year the Vice-Chancellor’s Charity of the Year appeal seeks to raise as much funding as possible for a worthy cause, and provide a fundraising focus for staff, students and the community.

Aberystwyth University’s Graduation Week 2018 takes place over four days, from Tuesday 17 until Friday 20 July, in the Great Hall at Aberystwyth University’s Arts Centre.

Photo:  Aberystwyth University Vice-Chancellor’s Charity of the Year 2018-19: Left to right:  Aneurin Roberts, Wales Air Ambulance Community Co-ordinator for Ceredigion; Morfudd Williams, Wales Air Ambulance volunteer and Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Aberystwyth University Vice-Chancellor

Wales Air Ambulance – http://www.walesairambulance.com/

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Press releases

Welsh poet and playwright Professor Menna Elfyn receives Honorary Fellowship

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Award-winning poet and playwright Menna Elfyn has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of Aberystwyth University.

One of the foremost Welsh-language writers, Professor Menna Elfyn writes with passion of the Welsh language and identity.

Her work, which has been published for four decades, includes fourteen volumes of poetry, many children’s books and anthologies, stage plays, adaptations and scripts for television, radio plays, libretti, and several television documentaries.

She is the most translated of all modern Welsh-language poets, her work having been translated into over twenty languages.

She was the Welsh-language Children’s Poet Laureate in 2002-03.

Professor Elfyn is Director of the Masters Programme in Creative Writing at University of Wales Trinity Saint David and a Literary Fellow at Swansea University.

Professor Elfyn was presented by Mr Eurig Salisbury from Aberystwyth University’s Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies on Tuesday 17 July 2018. The full conferral presentation is available below, in the language in which it was delivered.

Presentation of Professor Menna Elfyn by Mr Eurig Salisbury:

Ganghellor/Ddirprwy Ganghellor/Drysorydd, Is-Ganghellor, ddarpar-raddedigion, gyfeillion. Pleser o’r mwyaf yw cyflwyno Menna Elfyn yn Gymrawd Prifysgol Aberystwyth.

Chancellor/Pro Chancellor/Treasurer, Vice-Chancellor, prospective graduates and supporters. It is an honour and a privilege to present Menna Elfyn as a Fellow of Aberystwyth University.

Ers dros bedwar degawd, mae Menna Elfyn wedi bod yn un o feirdd amlycaf Cymru ac yn un o leisiau mwyaf blaenllaw’r genedl ar y llwyfan rhyngwladol. Mae’n llenor hynod doreithiog ac mae ei gwaith wedi ei gyfieithu i dros ugain o ieithoedd.

Daeth ei phedwaredd cyfrol ar ddeg o farddoniaeth o’r wasg y llynedd, sef Bondo, casgliad o gerddi Cymraeg wedi eu gosod ochr yn ochr â chyfeithiadau gan rai o feirdd Saesneg gorau Cymru. Mae’r gyfrol honno a chyfrolau dwyieithog eraill, yn ogystal â chorff sylweddol o waith yn Gymraeg yn unig, yn dyst i’w dawn hynod gynhyrchiol ac i’w mentergarwch wrth feithrin cynulleidfaoedd hen a newydd.

Mae Menna’n wyneb ac yn llais cyfarwydd ar lwyfannau gwyliau llenyddol ar hyd a lled Cymru ac ar draws y byd, ac fe gydnabuwyd ei llwyddiant yn Sardinia yn 2009, pan dderbyniodd wobr ryngwladol am ei chyfraniad i farddoniaeth.

Hi oedd Bardd Plant Cymru 2002–3. Bu’n gyfarwyddwr cwrs am radd Meistr mewn Ysgrifennu Creadigol ym Mhrifysgol Cymru y Drindod Dewi Sant ers deunaw mlynedd, ac fe’i penodwyd yn Athro Barddoniaeth ac Ysgrifennu Creadigol yn 2014.

Bu Menna’n golofnydd i bapur y Western Mail ers yn agos at bum mlynedd ar hugain. Mae hefyd yn ddramodydd ac yn gofiannydd. Cafodd ei chofiant i Eluned Phillips, Optimist Absoliwt, ei gynnwys ar restr fer Llyfr y Flwyddyn 2017, a bydd fersiwn Saesneg o’r gyfrol honno’n cael ei gyhoeddi eleni. Eisoes eleni, daeth o’r wasg ei llên-gofiant, sef Cennad.

O’r cychwyn cyntaf, mae Menna wedi rhoi lle canolog i’r difreintiedig ac i lais y ferch yn benodol yn ei gwaith fel bardd ac fel ymgyrchydd. Yng ngeiriau Ceridwen Lloyd Morgan:

‘Mae’n anodd meddwl am unrhyw fardd arall yn y Gymraeg sydd wedi gwneud cymaint â Menna Elfyn i gyfleu a dadansoddi profiadau a theimladau merched (a phobl o bob math) … yn ddigyfaddawd ac eto’n dyner.’

Menna Elfyn is a poet and playwright who writes with passion about the Welsh language and Welsh identity. She has published fourteen collections of poetry and her work has been translated into twenty languages.

As well as being one of Wales’s foremost poets for over four decades, Menna has routinely shared her work on the international stage, and was awarded an international prize in Sardinia in 2009 for her contribution to poetry.

She is the director of a Creative Writing Masters course at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, and was appointed Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing in 2014. She was Bardd Plant Cymru (Welsh Children’s Laureate) 2002–3, and has been a columnist for the Western Mail since 1994.

Language, feminism, and giving a voice to the oppressed have always been at the heart of Menna Elfyn’s work as a poet and activist. In the words of Carla Manfredino:

‘If there is a poet addressing important issues about language today, it’s Menna Elfyn … [her] poems are a quiet call for the reconciliation of diversity, a reminder that cultural nuances are what make life meaningful.’

Ganghellor/Ddirprwy Ganghellor/Drysorydd, mae’n bleser gen i gyflwyno Menna Elfyn i chi yn Gymrawd Prifysgol Aberystwyth.

Chancellor/Pro Chancellor/Treasurer, it is my absolute pleasure to present Menna Elfyn to you as a Fellow of Aberystwyth University.

Aberystwyth University Honours 2018

Nine individuals are being honoured by Aberystwyth University during the 2018 graduation ceremonies, which take place at the University’s Arts Centre from Tuesday 17 July until Friday 20 July.

Six Honorary Fellowships will be presented to individuals who have, or have had a connection with Aberystwyth or Wales, and who have made an outstanding contribution to their chosen field.

One Honorary Doctorate will also be presented; recognising an individual who has been outstandingly successful in their field, or who has a long record of renowned research and publication.

Two Honorary Bachelor degrees will be presented. These are presented to individuals who are members of Aberystwyth University staff without an entry-level degree in recognition of long-service, contribution and dedication to the Institution; and members of the local community who have made a significant contribution to Aberystwyth and the area.

Honorary Fellowships:

Honorary Fellowships will be presented to:

  • Professor Ann Sumner – art historian, exhibition curator and museum director
  • Bonamy Grimes MBE – web entrepreneur and co-founder of flight price comparison website Skyscanner
  • Euryn Ogwen Williams – broadcaster and seminal figure in Welsh media
  • John Dawes OBE – former international rugby union player and coach
  • Professor Menna Elfyn – award-winning poet and playwright
  • His Honour Judge Milwyn Jarman QC – leading judge.

Author and scholar the late Professor Meic Stephens was presented with an Honorary Fellowship of Aberystwyth University on Thursday 3 May 2018 at a special ceremony in Cardiff. Sadly, Professor Stephens died on Tuesday 3 July 2018.

Honorary Doctorate

An Honorary Doctorate will be presented to technology entrepreneur and software designer, John Thompson.

Honorary Bachelor Degrees:

An Honorary Bachelor of Science Degree will be presented to retired Station Manager of Aberystwyth Fire Station, Eric Harries, who organised and led 50 humanitarian missions to Eastern Europe to help the innocent victims of war.

An Honorary Bachelor of Arts Degree will be awarded to Sue Jones-Davies, actress and singer, town councillor and former Mayor of Aberystwyth.

Photo (top):
Professor Menna Elfyn, Honorary Fellow of Aberystwyth University

Left to right:  Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University; Professor Menna Elfyn, Honorary Fellow of Aberystwyth University; Miss Gwerfyl Pierce Jones, Pro-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University

Graduation 2018

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Press releases

Morgan the flier ready to “take the chance” with the Ospreys

Posted By Robert Lloyd

As he prepares for a return to the Ospreys this season, Wales sevens sensation Luke Morgan says he’s a “totally different player” to the teenager who previously spent time with his home region

The 26-year old from Bridgend was confirmed on Monday as the eighth addition to the Ospreys squad for next season and will report to Llandarcy Academy of Sport later this month following his involvement in the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco this weekend.

Having represented the Ospreys at age-grade level and making one Anglo Welsh Cup appearance for the region before embarking on a sevens career, it marks a welcome and hard earned return to the 15 a side game for a player who has established himself as one of the world’s leading finishers in the shortened version.

With 131 tries from 202 matches in the World Sevens Series, along with a further 10 from two appearances at the Commonwealth Games, Morgan is Wales record try – and points – scorer in sevens.

“It’s great to be given this opportunity” said the former Bridgend Athletic winger.

“I’m excited about the prospect of joining up with the Ospreys again later this month and doing my best. It’s my home region and hopefully I’ll take the chance I’ve been given.

“I’m going back there a totally different player to the one who was there as a teenager, someone who has played at the top of the sevens game and shown consistently what I can do in the sport.

 “The skills I can bring with me, speed, agility and finishing, can be used in the right way for the Ospreys. Yes, I’ve been away from fifteens for a few years now so that’ll be the first challenge for me, getting back up to speed with the technical and tactical side of the game and relearning parts of it. I’ll be straight into it after the World Cup in San Francisco this weekend and can’t wait to get started. Hopefully, I’ll be up and running straight away.”

At the Ospreys, Morgan will again team up with Sam Cross, his former Wales Sevens colleague, who linked with the Ospreys from the national set-up in a similar fashion last summer. Having watched Olympic silver medalist Cross make a big impact, over the course of the season, playing Champions Cup rugby and gaining full international honours, Morgan says that it is clear the pathway is working.

“Crossy came through the same pathway as me, via sevens, and has gone on to do really well with the Ospreys. It shows that there is a real opportunity for boys to come through the sevens to prove themselves and go on to reach the best level of the fifteen a side game, with a region and in Sam’s case, with the national team.”

With his focus firmly on international action this weekend, Morgan revealed that Ospreys Head Coach, Allen Clarke, has been in touch ahead of the big tournament in the States.

“We’ve spoken and he sent me a message on Monday morning wishing me good luck for the weekend”said Morgan.

“He said that he was looking forward to working with me when I come into the Ospreys. It’s an exciting opportunity for me personally and professionally so I want to finish on a high this weekend with Wales Sevens and then look ahead to the next challenge. I’m confident I can take this chance.”

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Latest news from the Brecon Jazz Club team

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Latest news from the Brecon Jazz Club team –

Hello everyone –

Thank you for a great turnout for Jazz Club July – and what an excellent REVIEW the ‘new generation’ musicians received as well as from you. Here

This mailing is to give you some ADDITIONAL INFO about Brecon Jazz – the Festival – about our talks and workshop topics – and also a NEW event, a ‘Dixieland’ Concert on Thursday 9 August at the Theatr. Read on…

Thursday 9 August, 7.30pm : Dixieland Jazz at Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon

– in association with Brecon Jazz Club. Tickets £10 or £20 with meal & drink.

‘Rhys Taylor’s Dixie Band’ Quintet, featuring Rhys Taylor on Clarinet and Sax.

Concert £10 (or £20 to include Curry Supper & Drink) from 5.30 pm at Waterfront Cafe. Food must be booked. Please support this event with the lovely Dixieland Band! Box Office 01874  611622 or via Theatr website www.brycheiniog.co.uk

Our Workshops and Talks at Brecon Jazz – 7 events and a lounge jazz duo

Talks, dance, harmonica, guitar, improvisation and more…learn something new

FRIDAY 10 AUGUST – special prices to get you started!

Two workshops starting at 2.15 pm

[1] SWiNG DANCE (practical): Muse Arts 60 mins

Led by Ann & Graeme Suitable for beginners, all welcome – £8

[2] UNDERSTANDING JAZZ (talk): Guildhall Civic Room 60 mins

Illustrated informative talk with Rod Paton – £8

Also on Friday at 2.15pm Trefor Owen and Andy Hulme

Jazz Guitar Duo – Ty Helyg Lounge 60 mins – £8


Three workshops starting at 12 noon

[3] GUITAR WORKSHOP (practical): Guildhall Civic Room 90 mins

Workshop & masterclass demo for players, leader Trefor Owen – £10

[4] JAZZ HARMONICA (workshop & talk): Wellington Suite 100 mins

Fascinating talk and also learn how to play, with Adam Glasser – £10

Harmonicas available to buy £15 at cost price.

[5] SWING DANCE (practical): St Mary’s & Tower Café 60 mins

Ann & Graeme. Suitable for beginners. All welcome – £10


Two workshops starting at 12 noon

[6] LATIN IMPROVISATION (talk): Guildhall Civic Room 50 mins

Trumpeter Maite Hontelé tells us about her approach to Latin improvisation – £6

[7] JAZZ IMPROVISATION MADE EASY (practical) : Wellington Suite 100 mins

Rod Paton of Lifemusic brings out the musician in us all! Bring your instrument

– reading not necessary if you can play a bit. All welcome. £10

FULL DETAILS on www.breconjazz.org

The music and concerts at BJF2018 go right through until Sunday night. Can’t decide what to book or when to attend?

Try ‘Sunday at Brecon Jazz’ – day stroller only £55 for six concerts

SUNDAY 12th AUGUST 2:00pm features the ‘ELAINE DELMAR QUINTET’ with Barry Green (piano), Jim Mullen (guitar), Simon Thorpe (double bass), Bobby Worth (drums). WHAT THEY SAY: “One of the evergreen singing stars…and as beautiful and talented as ever; she’s marvellous!” (Ronnie Scotts).  “Among the multitude of good jazz singers in Britain today, there is not one who can surpass Elaine Delmar…” (Dave Gelly, Sunday Observer).

SUNDAY evening 12 August is a unique chance to see vibes-led JIM HART’s CLOUDMAKERS Trio at  7:00pm in the GUILDHALL

Cloudmakers represents the culmination of a decade of musical development for Vibraphone virtuoso Jim Hart, who with his Trio combines accessibility with musical complexity, improvised and composed work. Now top names on the EU scene.

LINEUP: Jim Hart (vibraphone) Michael Janisch (bass), David Smith (drums).

WHAT THEY SAY: “One of the UK’s most creative new jazz artists” The Guardian.   “Jim Hart’s vibraphone work shows why this lovely instrument deserves more ears” JazzTimes Magazine.

SUNDAY 12th Aug 3.30pm, sees a fantastic HARMONICA JAZZ tribute ‘Toots Thielemans and Beyond’ from a top quartet

Adam Glasser leads on chromatic  harmonica with this brilliant lineup and a selection of jazz compositions associated with the legendary ‘Toots Thielemans and ‘harmonica jazz’.

LINEUP: Adam Glasser (Harmonica) Rob Luft (Guitar), Daisy George (Bass) and Corrie Dick (Drums)

WHAT THEY SAY: “A composer, keyboardist and harmonica player, Glasser is intense – his tunes are joyful, driving and danceable.” Jazz Times Review.

So we hope to see you in Brecon this year – why not come over for Sunday: Day ticket (6 concerts and free outdoor music) is only £55 pp. Buy online or FROM BOBBINS!

If you are coming over on Friday (10 August) or for the whole weekend, Friday @ The Festival starts at 2.15pm with Afternoon Jazz in Smaller Venues and a Friday afternoon welcoming public concert (free) put on by the Festival organisers. There are Workshops on Saturday and Sunday, a Cathedral jazz service on Sunday morning, a Carnival ‘Frazz’ parade on Saturday, market stalls and an outdoors visitor environment with the roads closed and the streets open. We are also helping to programme the outdoor stage, so expect jazz there too!

Please email us if you need any further details, have questions or need different information, or for any help in booking: www.breconjazz.org/tickets

Best wishes and thanks for your support

Roger and Lynne

Festival curators / Brecon Jazz Music Trust

and Brecon Jazz Club

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Blog posts

The firestarters have been at it again at Sandy Water Park

Posted By Robert Lloyd

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Back in May, I explained there’s an accident waiting to happen at Sandy Water Park woods (aka Coed Cefn Padrig) in Llanelli.

Evening and night-time visitors to the woodland have been setting fires for BBQs and drinking sessions.

The Wales Wildlife Watch team have done their best to tidy up the discarded bottles, cans and litter.

But the fires are still being lit on a regular basis.

On a walk through the woods this week, there were at least six different fire sites.

Mid and West Wales Fire Brigade repeated their warnings about fires during the current heatwave –

‘During these ongoing warm weather conditions please refrain from any controlled burning such as burning of waste, open camp fires and barbecues. Fire can spread quickly.’

See earlier story –

Accident waiting to happen at Sandy Water Park woods

And . . .

Update to story (May 31) –

Well done to the Wales Wildlife Watch team for Sandy Water Park work

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