Archaeology Arts Film Outcomes Reports

Linda Norris ‘Fragment Dresser’


Linda Norris
‘Fragment Dresser’

Linda is a painter and glass artist based in Pembrokeshire and was commissioned alongside three other Welsh and Irish artists to create new work that spoke to the following themes:

  • Personal or collective pilgrimage or journeying
  • Sacred Places
  • Celtic diaspora, ancestral heritage and a longing for home
  • Creative Storytelling that connects North Pembrokeshire and North Wexford

Linda’s work centred around the idea of pottery sherds found in most people’s gardens that tell a story of domestic life and ordinary people.  Her initial proposal was to get people to send her found sherds with a ///what3words location tag and a story associated with them, however, as she began work it transpired that within the Republic of Ireland, these are considered archaeological artefacts and it would be illegal to do so. Instead, Linda started working with Welsh poet, Emma Baines, to run a series of in-person and online creative writing workshops to which participants brought along found sherds and responded with poetry and prose.


“Thank you so much for an incredibly fruitful set of workshops. The poetry we wrote is given a new fragility and dimension by your artwork.” Ali McGuire, workshop participant, Ireland.


The handwritten poems were then directly incorporated into Linda’s artwork, the Fragment Dresser. This exceptionally beautiful piece used glass combined with light projection to exploit the relationships between transparency and opacity achievable by sandblasting clear glass.

A video of Linda making the artwork:

Linday chose the dresser as it is an iconic piece of furniture central to domestic life in both Ireland and Wales. It is passed down through generations and is evocative of ideas about ‘home’ and ‘family’. The dresser is a repository for memory and shared experience and is also an item of cultural display.


A video of the final artwork:

Several offshoots of the project have emerged, including:

  • Bards ‘n Shards – a piece commissioned by Narberth Museum, creating ceramic pieces responding o the writing that took place in the creative writing workshops with Emma Baines
  • Shards Jewellery – making jewellery from found shards
  • Soil Collection – from archaeological sites to use in forthcoming work
  • Limpets – gilded 1000 year old limpet shells from the St Patricks Chapel archaeological site, excavated and discarded as part of the archaeological dig commissioned by Ancient Connections.


You can download Linda’s full report on her Ancient Connections residency below:

Click here to get in touch with Linda or to find out more about her work. 

Arts Film Outcomes Reports

David Begley ‘Small Finds’

Artist in Residence

David Begley ‘Small Finds’

David Begley is an artist, writer and arts educator who works through the mediums of drawing, painting, print, animation, video, sound, writing and gardening/nature connection.

David was commissioned in 2020 by the Ancient Connections Project to become our artist in residence, following the Exploring a Shared Past strand (diving into the history and archaeological connections between Wexford and Pembrokeshire) in a creative and participatory way.

David’s own journey started with a period of intense research which continued through the course of his residency…

“My research was extensive throughout this residency. It included foraging materials from hedgerows in Ferns to create a palette of medieval inks, developing techniques in using these, researching the history of medieval inks and manuscript making, illumination, quill making, reed pen making in order to make my own drawing tools and impart this knowledge to pupils of St Edan’s National School. I learned to carve spoons in the tradition of Welsh Cawl spoons by attending a private workshop with Welsh carver Osian Denman. I filmed and edited this experience, carved sycamore spoons, and used these in ink making”

Enthused by his research, David created a beautiful garden at St Edan’s National School. He then worked alongside children at the school delivering a twelve-week visual art, heritage and gardening project where pupils grew fruit, vegetables, medicinal and culinary herbs and flowers and used these as sources for drawing, painting, science and history lessons and workshops. Inspired by the medieval monk, St. Aidan, many of the plants chosen for the garden would have grown in medieval monastic gardens.

A 10,000 word illustrated account of this experience can be read here:

And an online exhibition of school children’s work can be viewed here:

David also produced a body of magical images entitled ‘Small Finds’ from the inks he created using foraged materials including oak gall, alder cone and elderberries. More images and information on how to purchase prints can be found here:

Small finds, a journey into ink’ is a documentary of his experience making these images and can be viewed here

You can download David’s full report on his Ancient Connections residency below:

Click here to get in touch with David or to find out more about his work.


Community Outcomes Pilgrimage

Pilgrim Product Development


Pilgrim Product Development

As part of Ancient Connection’s business support strand, we worked with a number of businesses in Pembrokeshire to develop new bespoke tourism products that linked in with the new pilgrimage route. Five businesses were supported to develop and test the following products:

Pilgrim Tokens

St Davids Cathedral designed and produced beautiful pilgrim tokens, pendants and pilgrim bags with the with the bee of St Aidan and the dove of St David forming the basis of their design. These are now for sale in St Davids Cathedral shop and the Ferns Medieval Experience.

 Click here to visit the St Davids Catherdral Online Shop.

Art Photography Book

Karel Jasper’s art photography book documenting her Creative Camino 2022 experience is now printed and distributed to local gift and bookshops in North Pembrokeshire.

To buy a copy of the book, Click here to visit Karel’s website.

Pilgrim Merchandise

Ditsy Puffin Designs have created a catalogue of pilgrim merchandise for a more budget market (e.g. mugs, pin badges, water bottles etc.) for sale in various outlets in Pembrokeshire and Wexford as well as online.

These are now on sale. Click here to visit Ditsy Puffins website.

International Walking Tour Product

Waterford Camino Tours have now developed a new guided pilgrimage product ‘St Davids Way’, along the Pembrokeshire section of the route, marketed to Irish and North American tourists.

Click here to see Waterford Camino Tour’s offering.

Pilgrimage On Wheels

North Pembrokeshire Trade and Tourism have developed a mini-bus pilgrimage aimed at cruise ship visitors and those who, for whatever reason are unable to access the new pilgrimage route on foot. It starts in Goodwick and ends at St Davids and visits many of the important spots along the pilgrimage route in between.

The product is now publically available and bookable on their website. Click here to view.

Archive News

Ferns Public Art Launch – Do the Little Things – everyone welcome!


Ferns Public Art Launch - Do the Little Things - everyone welcome!

Saturday 15th April 12-3 pm St Edan’s Cathedral Ferns

Do the Little Things is a new public artwork designed for two locations: Ferns, Wexford and St Davids, Pembrokeshire commissioned by Ancient Connections. Bedwyr Williams’ distinctive proposal was selected from a shortlist and has been realised with the support of Contemporary Art Society Consultancy.

Do the Little Things connects the two communities of Ferns and St Davids through the practice of beekeeping, which was practiced at monasteries during the early Christian period.

Three oversized skeps (traditional beekeeper’s hives) made from cedar wood are being installed in both locations. These living sculptures will contain bee colonies that are being cared for by local beekeepers and community groups, who will be harvesting and selling honey in labelled jars designed by the artist and local school children.

Bedwyr says: “I’m interested in objects that invite communities to become active participants to make the artwork whole. St David’s last words were “Gwnewch y pethau bychain” or “Do the little things.” This ethos has guided the development of my proposal, which is founded on the story of St David and St Aidan and steeped in the magic and history of these two intertwined locations.”

Sited in the grounds of St Edan’s Cathedral Church heritage graveyard, the work opens to the public on Saturday 15th April, from 12 pm. The launch event will bring community groups to the site for a Q&A with the Artist and local beekeeper from ‘Ferns Honey’, Joe Kelly; folklore and storytelling, and a performance of music and song by Melanie O’Reilly, David Creevy and the ‘Chord On Blues’ Ferns Community Choir, led by Mary Moulds.

The event is free and all are welcome.  Please book via Eventbrite (see link at bottom)

The launch of the Ferns’ twin bee skeps at St. Davids Cathedral, Pembrokeshire, took place last November, providing an opportunity to celebrate this extraordinary artwork for visitors to both locations, and an legacy link between Ferns and St. Davids.

Do The Little Things will also mark the beginning and end of the new pilgrim route between St Edan’s Cathedral in Ferns and St Davids Cathedral in Pembrokeshire – another legacy of the Ancient Connections project. Managed by The British Pilgrimage Trust, the Wexford-Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way will encourage low impact tourism in both regions and will open to the public in 2023. Similarly, sustainability and a respect for the environment are at the heart of the artwork, which is endorsed and supported by the local authorities of Wexford County Council and Pembrokeshire County Council, in partnership with the ERDF Ireland-Wales Programme, local organisations and community groups.

Bedwyr Williams is an internationally regarded artist who lives and works in Wales. Williams’ work often focuses on the stories of ordinary people and the intersections between their lived experiences and ancient mythologies. The artist is concerned with creating spaces for meaningful connections between communities and art and making.

Please book via Eventbrite 

Archive Arts News

Ar Log performing St Davids Cathedral


Ar Log yn perfformio caneuon gwerin Cymraeg newydd yn Eglwys Gadeiriol Tyddewi

Ar Log yw un o grwpiau gwerin mwyaf hirhoedlog a mwyaf poblogaidd Cymru. Mae dawn gerddorol  anhygoel y band, eu lleisiau Cymraeg sensitif, a’u clocsio bywiog i gyd i’w mwynhau ar eu recordiau. Er bod yna lawer o gerddorion gwych yng Nghymru, dylai unrhyw archwiliad o gerddoriaeth y wlad ddechrau gyda, neu o leiaf gynnwys,  recordiadau Ar Log. 

Byddan nhw’n perfformio cyfres newydd o chwe chân werin Gymreig a gyfansoddwyd gan y cyfansoddwr Cymreig byd-enwog Paul Mealor gyda’r geiriau gan un o feirdd amlycaf Cymru, Grahame Davies.

 Ar Log oedd y grŵp proffesiynol cyntaf i fynd â cherddoriaeth draddodiadol Cymru i’r llwyfan rhyngwladol. Ffurfiwyd y grŵp yn arbennig ar gyfer gŵyl Lorient, Llydaw, ym 1976, ac wedi hynny treuliodd y grŵp saith mlynedd yn perfformio ar hyd a lled Ewrop, Gogledd a De America, gan greu enw rhagorol iddyn nhw eu hunain fel llysgenhadon pennaf cerddoriaeth Gymreig. Gyda deg albwm hynod lwyddiannus i’w henw, maen nhw’n dal i swyno eu cynulleidfaoedd trwy eu perfformiadau byw cofiadwy a bywiog.

Archive Arts News

Sift – exhibition at Oriel Y Parc and St Davids Cathedral Refectory


Sift – arddangosfa yn Oriel y Parc a Ffreutur Eglwys Gadeiriol Tyddewi

Yn agor ddydd Iau 23 Chwefror

4-5 pm Y Ffreutur, Eglwys Gadeiriol Tyddewi – Small Finds David Begley

5-7 pm Oriel Y Parc – Seán Vicary, John Sunderland, Sylvia Cullen, Linda Norris

Dydd Sul 26 Mawrth 2 – 5.20 pm Light Boats gyda Tracy Breathnach, Porth Mawr, Tyddewi

Teithiau arddangos i Swyddfa Cyngor Sir Wexford, Carriklawn 17 Ebrill – 19 Mai. Yn agor ddydd Gwener 14 Ebrill

Mae’n bleser gan Gysylltiadau Hynafol gyhoeddi agor arddangosfa o’r enw Sift yn Oriel y Parc a Ffreutur Eglwys Gadeiriol Tyddewi ar 23 Chwefror. Yn dilyn hyn, bydd y sioe yn teithio i dref Wexford, gan agor ar 14 Ebrill yn swyddfeydd Cyngor Sir Wexford yn Carricklawn.

Mae’r chwe artist, yn cynnwys John Sunderland, Sylvia Cullen a David Begley, sydd wedi eu lleoli yn nwyrain Iwerddon a  Seán Vicary, Linda NorrisTracy Breathnac sydd yng ngorllewin Cymru.

Mae’r arddangosfa’n plethu themâu teithio, lleoedd cysegredig, treftadaeth hynafol, adrodd straeon a hiraeth am gartref ynghyd trwy ffotograffiaeth, animeiddio, sain, celfyddydau cyfranogol, testun, stori, gwydr a golau. Mae’r artistiaid wedi’u hysbrydoli gan ganfyddiadau  ehangach prosiect Cysylltiadau Hynafol. Mae ymchwil hanesyddol, llên gwerin a chasglu straeon wedi datgelu cysylltiadau dwfn rhwng y ddau ranbarth yma ac mae’r cloddiadau archeolegol a’r arolygon geoffisegol yn y Porth Mawr ac yn Ferns, Wexford yn adrodd hanes teithio a chysylltiadau rhwng Wexford a Sir Benfro o’r cyfnod cynhanes hyd heddiw.

Meddai’r awdur Sylvia Cullen, sydd wedi’i lleoli yn Wexford:

Y môr sy’n ein cysylltu ni” – Dyma’r geiriau oedd fwyaf perthnasol i mi, wrth i mi ymchwilio ar gyfer y comisiwn hwn. Ysgrifennu a recordio pedair stori fer newydd mewn ymateb i nifer o themâu Cysylltiadau Hynafol oedd ffocws fy ngwaith. Cafodd y rhan fwyaf o’r cymeriadau a’r bydoedd a ddaeth i’r amlwg eu hysbrydoli gan fywydau a digwyddiadau’n gysylltiedig â’r dŵr sy’n cysylltu Sir Benfro a Gogledd Wexford.

Mae artist amlgyfrwng Seán Vicary wedi creu gosodiad fideo newydd ac meddai:

Mae fy ngwaith yn ymateb i fis a dreuliais yn gweithio ochr yn ochr ag Ymddiriedolaeth Archaeolegol Dyfed yn ystod y gwaith o gloddio mynwent ganoloesol gynnar sy’n cael ei bygwth gan erydiad arfordirol  yng Nghapel Sant Padrig, Porth Mawr. Rwyf wedi defnyddio delweddau symudol, recordiadau a wnes i yn y maes ac animeiddiad i fyfyrio ar y profiad hwn ac archwilio’r berthynas rhwng y prosesau archaeolegol ac artistig.

Derbyniodd Tracy Breathnach wahoddiad gan Gysylltiadau Hynafol i greu digwyddiad cyfranogol ar Draeth y Porth Mawr i goffáu pawb a gladdwyd ym mynwent ganoloesol gynnar Capel Sant Padrig. Cynhelir y digwyddiad rhad ac am ddim hwn rhwng 2 a 5.20 pm ddydd Sul 26 Mawrth ac mae ar agor i unrhyw un. Meddai Tracy: ‘Bydd y rhai sy’n cymryd rhan yn creu cychod helyg syml maint cledr eich llaw, wedi’i lenwi â bwndel bach o blanhigion brodorol i’w gosod ar y traeth er mwyn i’r llanw eu cario allan. Bydd gosod golau gyda phob cwch bach yn symbolaidd, gall gynrychioli meddyliau, dymuniadau, gobeithion a gweddïau dros y rhai sy’n byw a’r rhai sydd wedi marw’.

Archebwch le drwy’r ddolen Eventbrite yma

Mae David Begley wedi bod yn artist Preswyl gyda Chysylltiadau Hynafol ers 2020. Mae ei ymchwil i arferion ffermio canoloesol, Sant Aeddan o Ferns, planhigion meddyginiaethol, llawysgrifau canoloesol a gwneud inc, yn ogystal ag arferion ffermio ac iacháu cyfoes yn Ferns wedi ysbrydoli corff presennol David o waith Small Findings mewn lluniadu, peintio a fideo a fydd yn cael eu harddangos yn Ffreutur Eglwys Gadeiriol Tyddewi.

Mae Linda Norris wedi creu gosodiad golau a gwydr sy’n cynnwys dresel rithwir sy’n ymgorffori barddoniaeth a ysgrifennwyd gan gyfranogwyr o Sir Benfro ac Iwerddon ac a ysbrydolwyd gan ddarnau ceramig a ddarganfuwyd ac sydd wedi’u ‘sandblastio’ ar ddarnau o wydr. Meddai Linda:

Yn ei hanfod, mae’r gwaith yn ymchwilio’n ddychmygus i gysylltiadau dynol pwerus ar draws amser a thirweddau. Mae’r darnau bach hyn yn borth i fywydau a lleoedd eraill, ac mae teithio yno’n ein hysbrydoli i fyfyrio ar ein pennau ein hunain.

Yn ei gyfres o focsys golau o’r enw Unheimlich, mae John Sunderland yn dogfennu’r llwybr pererindod newydd o Ferns i Dyddewi, gan ddychmygu sut y byddai rhywun o’r cyfnod canoloesol wedi ymateb i’r tirweddau hyn, fel yr oedden nhw bryd hynny a sut y maen nhw heddiw. Mae wedi tynnu lluniau o olygfeydd sy’n crynhoi’r myfyrdodau hyn.

Archive News

Public Art Launch – Do the Little Things – everyone welcome!


Public Art Launch - Do the Little Things - everyone welcome!

Friday 18th November 3 – 5 pm St Davids Cathedral grounds 

Do the Little Things is a new public artwork designed for two locations: St Davids Cathedral, Pembrokeshire, and Ferns, Wexford.

The three giant bee hives made from cedar wood have been created by Bedwyr Williams, whose project has been realised with the support of Contemporary Art Society Consultancy.

These ‘living sculptures’ will house live bee colonies and Do the Little Things connects the two communities of St Davids and Ferns through the practice of beekeeping, reflecting the medieval story of St David and his friendship with St Aidan, who brought bees back to Ireland from Wales.

The bee colonies are being cared for by local beekeepers and community groups, who will be harvesting and selling honey in labelled jars designed by the artist and local school children.

Bedwyr says: “I’m interested in objects that invite communities to become active participants to make the artwork whole. St David’s last words were “Gwnewch y pethau bychain” or “Do the little things.” This ethos has guided the development of my proposal, which is founded on the story of St David and St Aidan and steeped in the magic and history of these two intertwined locations.”

Sited in the grounds of St David’s Cathedral, the first edition of the work opens to the public on Friday 18 November from 3 pm. The launch will include a Q&A with the artist and local beekeeper Gayle Twitchen, storytelling, and a performance of  the ‘Bee Song’ by children from Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi led by composer Sam Howley. The event is free and all are welcome.

Bees have linked St Davids and Ferns since the sixth century, when St David gifted a hive of bees to St Aidan to keep, after the monastery bees twice followed their favourite monk home to Ireland and had to be brought back” said the Very Revd Dr Sarah Rowland Jones, Dean of the Cathedral. “We’re delighted to welcome this striking symbol of the ties between us”.

Please register for the event so that we know how many people to cater for

Archive Arts Outcomes

Bedwyr Williams ‘Do the Little Things’ Public Art commission St Davids and Ferns

Arts Project

'Do the Little Things' Public Art Commission in Ferns and St Davids by Bedwyr Williams

Artist Bedwyr Williams was commissioned to create a permanent public artwork for St Davids and Ferns as a legacy to the Ancient Connections programme.

Inspired by the story of St Aidan, St David and the bees, Williams has created a series of giant beehives, three in St Davids Cathedral grounds and three in Ferns. These evocative structures are modelled loosely on the kind of traditional straw skep hives that St Aidan might have used in the care of St David’s bees.

Though much larger in scale and simpler in form, these skep sculptures house real bee colonies in conventional beehives, creating a living, working sculpture for both sites. Beekeepers in both communities have been active in the design of the skeps and are taking care of the bee colonies. In time, both Ferns and St Davids will produce their own honey, which will be harvested and jarred for sale at both sites and shared across the Irish Sea between the neighbouring communities.

The story goes that, on leaving St David, Aidan was followed by David’s bees three times to the ship as he attempted to return to Ireland. Each time St Aidan dutifully returned the bees to the monastery but on the third occasion Saint David, seeing St Aidan’s kindness, agreed for the bees to accompany him to Ireland. Williams feels that this story, whether truth or myth, is a nice motif for the connection between both sites.

By evoking or invoking this ‘story’ with a sculpture, which also has a practical use it’s possible to make these ancient connections feel tangible and relatable

The bees that inhabit the sculptures are producing delicious honey, which is sold at the Ferns Medieval Experience in Wexford and St Davids Cathedral Gift Shop in Pembrokeshire.

Bedwyr Williams

Bedwyr Williams is originally from St Asaph and is now based in Caernafon. He is widely recognised as one of Wales’ most significant contemporary artists and represented Wales in the Venice Biennale in 2013 with his installation ‘The Starry Messenger’. He works across a range of mediums in both gallery and public art settings, often employing wry humour and surrealism to explore culture through a different lens. For this project, he has worked closely with the  Contemporary Art Society, a consultancy specialising in support and delivery of public art projects. Bedwyr says: ‘As an artist I like turning to stories and myths for my inspiration and what I really enjoy is working with these tales in a playful relatable way’

“I’m interested in objects that invite communities to become active participants to make the artwork whole. I want people to become fully engaged in the artwork, doing the little things to bring the artwork to life, forgetting themselves and their daily concerns for a few hours. St David’s last words were “Gwnewch y pethau bychain” or “Do the little things.” This ethos has guided the development of my proposal which is founded on the story of St David and St Aidan and steeped in the magic and history of these two intertwined locations”.

Funded by: Ancient Connections

Dates 2021-2022