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Artists commissioned to re-examine legacy of Haverfordwest-born Thomas Picton

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National Museum of Cardiff

TWO new artists have been commissioned to examine the legacy of Sir Thomas Picton. The National Museum in Cardiff have commissioned two artists, Gesiye, and collective Laku Neg, in the hopes that the works will give a platform to those who were originally left out of Picton’s history. 

A portrait of Picton, done by Sir Martin Archer Shee, has been a part of the museum’s collection since 1907. The new works will be part of the ‘Reframing Picton’ project being undertaken by the museum, and the Sub Sahara Advisory Panel. 

Portrait of Sir Thomas Picton – by Sir Martin Archer Shee

The planned new works will look at colonial representations that existed in the National Museum’s galleries, and look at black experiences.

Sir Thomas Picton is a 19th Century slave owner and Governor of Trinidad, who had previously been labelled as a hero of the Battle of Waterloo, where he died following a gunshot wound to the head in 1815. 

Picton was known to abuse the slaves he owned, and was considered a tyrant whilst he was alive. 

Gesiye’s work will include her tattooing people as part of the project. Videos and photos of those will then be displayed in the museum. 

Gesiye

Gesiye, from Trinidad and Tobago, has said: “I envision this piece as a ritual, a healing opportunity for black Trinidadians to reconnect to self, to this island and to each other.

“This work is not an attempt to rewrite history, it is a disruption of the narrative that is so often held up as a singular truth.”

Laku Neg, which means ‘Black Yard’ in Creole, consists of people of Trinidadian heritage, who live and work in the UK.

Laku Neg

Their piece will be an installation that will include music and sculpture. It will be about victims of Picton’s regime in Trinidad, two girls named Louisa and Present in particular.

Laku Neg said they intend to provide an “ancestral work” that will present a “360 degree view of Welsh history”.

They added: “We aim to create an immersive installation, illuminating a story that did not make it across the Atlantic intact,

“In representing the Caribbean and its connection with colonial powers, we hope to prompt searching conversations about power, heroism and truth.”

Dr Kath Davies, the museum’s collections and research director, says she is looking forward to seeing the works on exhibition in the museum. 

“We hope that it generates conversation about how we share the different perspectives and histories of Wales in a modern-day museum,” she said.

Fadhili Maghiya – director of the Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel

Fadhili Maghiya, the director of the Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel, was called on by the museum back in 2020 to examine the future of the Picton portrait.

He said: “The deeper you look into history, any kind of history, the more facets of truth are revealed, 

“And it is important who does the looking, because we all come with lived and learned knowledge that shapes our vision.

“It’s no secret that history has rarely been written by people of colour.

“We are now in a time when we are taking ownership of our narrative and stepping from the footnotes of history into the centre.”

The commissions followed a callout to artists by the National Museum back in January 2021. Over 50 responses were received, the majority of which were artists that had a direct link to Trinidad.

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Community

‘KINDNESS WILL ALWAYS OVERCOME’

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Pupils at Pembrokeshire Learning Centre re-planting their garden with the members of the youth engagement programme at MAWW Fire and Rescue Service.

GESTURES of kindness towards a group of young people have been praised.

The Pembrokeshire Learning Centre in Neyland suffered vandalism in September, where vegetable patches planted by pupils were destroyed.

The discovery of the damage upset and affected many pupils who had worked hard to grow the crops.

On hearing about the vandalism, the youth service at Mid and West Wales (MAWW) Fire and Rescue Service contacted the PLC offering to help re-plant and restore the garden.

Graham Jenkins, Service Youth Team Coordinator for MAWW Fire and Rescue Service said they had worked with the PLC on various schemes in previous years and were ‘particularly saddened to learn that the school’s garden had been vandalised in such a way’.

“Our youth engagement work has been restricted during the pandemic, but we are delighted to help these young people to re-plant their garden and, in so doing, re-energise our youth engagement programme in Pembrokeshire,” he said.

Sian Williams is Headteacher at the PLC, a school for 11-16 year olds with complex needs. She said: “We were all shocked and dismayed at the needless damage to an area where the pupils and staff had worked so hard to make into an enjoyable place to spend time. However we were touched by the outpouring of support and offers to help rectify the damage.

“One of our previous learners kindly reached out to help by donating his Education Maintenance Allowance in order to repair the damage. In addition B&Q Carmarthen donated plants to replace those destroyed, aided by MAWW Fire Service who worked alongside pupils to restore the garden to its previous state.

“We are hugely grateful, these offers restore your faith that kindness will always overcome.”

Jo Thomas, Teacher In Charge of the LRC, added: “We were so lucky to have the MAWW Fire and Rescue Service help us re-pot our garden, so it now looks good as new. We cannot thank everyone who offered help to us enough.

“It has made the young people in the PLC feel much happier because they were devastated at the damage children the same age caused, especially when they had worked so hard on the garden. All the children want to say a huge ‘thank you’.”

Local county councillor Simon Hancock said: “The ýoung people of the Pembrokeshire Learning Centre work so hard to cultivate their plants and improve their environment and it is shocking there has been this mindless vandalism. I am so grateful to the MAWW Fire and Rescue Service for their kind and timely support in putting things right.”

Cabinet Member for Education & Lifelong Learning, Cllr Guy Woodham also thanked the Fire and Rescue Service and the others who had helped stating: “When something as unkind as vandalising a school garden takes place, it is heart-warming when the community responds to address the wrong cause. I am very grateful for the continued support offered to the PLC by MAWW Fire and Rescue Service and all those who also helped restore the garden to its former glory.”

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Nigel Parlor runs Newport Marathon for Pembrokeshire NHS

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Nigel Parlor

WELL done to Nigel Parlor from Merlin’s Bridge, in Pembrokeshire, who is running the Newport Marathon to raise money for NHS mental health services in the county.

Nigel, who works for Network Rail, has been in training since June for the event, which takes place on October 24th.

As he pounds the course, Nigel is raising money for St Caradog Ward at the Bro Cerwyn Centre in Haverfordwest.

He said: “I have been suffering myself with anxiety and depression for the last year, so feel it is an appropriate area to support.

“I’m taking on the challenge of running the Newport marathon to raise money for my local mental health unit and to make people aware of the importance of talking about their mental health.”

Nigel, who has previously taken part in Long Course Weekend and other running events, added: “I am looking forward to the challenge and being part of a team to raise money for a worthwhile cause.”

To support Nigel, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nigel-parlor Nicola Llewelyn, Head of Hywel Dda Health Charities, the official charity of Hywel Dda University Health Board, said they wanted to thank Nigel for his fundraising efforts.

““The support of our local communities enables us to provide services over and above what the NHS can provide in the three counties of Hywel Dda and we are extremely grateful for every donation we receive,” said Nicola.

For more details about the charity and how you can help support local NHS patients and staff, go to www.hywelddahealthcharities.org.uk

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Pembrokeshire men run Newport Marathon to raise money for Glangwili

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Gerald and Bryan

COUSINS Bryan Hughes and Gerald Brace are running in the Newport Marathon to raise money for Prostate Cancer Services at Glangwili Hospital.

The pair are taking part in the ABP Newport Wales Marathon on 24 th October to say thank you for the treatment Bryan’s dad, Delroy Hughes, received at Glangwili Hospital after he was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in July 2019.

Gerald said: “When Delroy was diagnosed it was a huge shock and worry for him and his family. But thanks to the quick action and treatment at Glangwili Hospital, along with radiotherapy at Singleton Hospital, Delroy has now been given the all-clear.”

“Bryan and myself will be running in the Newport Marathon to raise as much money as possible to give something back to the Prostate Cancer Unit for the fantastic work they do,” added Gerald, who is a 51-year-old personal trainer and sports massage therapist from Sageston, Tenby.

Bryan, 42, a Track Section Supervisor for Network Rail, from Haverfordwest, has completed the Newport Marathon before, in 2018. Gerald has also already completed two marathons, back in 2014.

Gerald said: “Training is going well. We are both up to 16 miles and reaching the business end of the training with an 18 and 20-miler to do in the next few weeks!”

The pair, pictured with Delroy Hughes, hope to raise £1,000 and are holding a raffle in October to help boost funds.

If you would like to donate to Bryn and Gerald’s fundraiser, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gerald-brace

Nicola Llewelyn, Head of Hywel Dda Health Charities, the official charity of Hywel Dda University Health Board, said they wanted to thank Bryan and Gerald for their fundraising.

““The support of our local communities enables us to provide services over and above what the NHS can provide in the three counties of Hywel Dda and we are extremely grateful for every donation we receive,” said Nicola.

For more details about the charity and how you can help support local NHS patients and staff, go to www.hywelddahealthcharities.org.uk

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