Posted: Thu 13th Jun 2024

The changing landscape of Yr Wyddfa exhibition opens in Chester this week

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

An exhibition by academics and students exploring Wales’s most famous mountain, Yr Wyddfa opens this week.

Titled “Retracing Footsteps – The Changing Landscape of Yr Wyddfa/Snowdon,” the exhibition will be available to the public from Saturday, June 15, at the Grosvenor Museum.

Attracting around 650,000 visitors a year, Yr Wyddfa is one of the world’s busiest mountains.

This exhibition sheds light on the long-standing fascination with reaching its summit.

Visitor books from the 19th century, kept at the summit hotel, provide a rich historical record of tourists’ experiences, expressed through prose, poetry, humour, and sketches.

This exhibition represents the second phase of a research project co-led by Dr. Cian Quayle, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Dr. Daniel Bos, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Chester.

It builds on Daniel’s extensive research into the 19th-century visitor books.

The project’s first phase was curated by Cian and exhibited at CASC in Castlefield Gallery New Arts Spaces: Chester last year.

The Grosvenor Museum exhibition will run until Sunday, September 15, expanding on the initial show by including a selection of paintings, prints, and drawings from the Grosvenor Museum’s art collection.

These works, related to the North Wales landscape and Yr Wyddfa, are curated by Cian alongside photographs he and recent BA Photography graduates Emma Petruzzelli and Jane Evans have taken.

International Relations student Ewan Lahey collaborated with Daniel to further research the visitor books, which are housed in Archives and Special Collections at Bangor University.

This project has also facilitated the digitisation of these historical materials. Additionally, BA Graphic Design student Eleanor O’Grady worked with Dr. Alan Summers to create a prototype Contemporary Visitor Book, a handmade artist-designed book that invites museum visitors to record their reflections, stories, and even drawings. This contemporary input will contribute to the ongoing research.

The exhibition’s preview event was opened by Tim Jones, Chair of Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park Authority. This event highlighted the team’s collaboration with the Park Authority to investigate the modern social and cultural experiences of the mountain, as seen at Hafod Eryri and Betws-y-Coed Visitor Centres.

A talk about the exhibition, featuring Daniel, Cian, and Alan, will be held during the University of Chester’s Festival of Ideas on Thursday, July 4, at 7 pm. More details can be found here.

Daniel expressed his gratitude, stating, “Cian and I would like to thank all the colleagues, graduates, and students who have worked with us on this exhibition. It has been a rewarding collaborative experience.”

The exhibition runs from 15 June to 15 September – Grosvenor Museum, 27 Grosvenor Street Chester

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