Monday, January 19, 2009

I've finished my painting at last ... 'Hiraeth'

Here you can see the middle and completed stages of my painting I've mentioned in so many posts I can't remember. I last posted a picture of it when it was just painted pink. It seems that I needed to feel more homesick and a little depressed before I could finally finish it and express my genuine, heartfelt feelings. Felt totally exhausted when it was completed, but very pleased with the overall result, and a bit lighter in my heart too.

The word 'hiraeth' is from Welsh and I think it's quite difficult to translate exactly into English, but I love it because the sound of the word itself sounds like the breath of longing. The quote I used is part of the prose written by Val Bethell, and it's well worth checking the page out as she has produced a lovely slideshow to go with it. But the term really captures how I feel about my home country. I've used part of her work on the front of my painting and the rest of it is written on the side of the canvas (I've used an extra thick canvas, they're great because you can hang them without having to get them framed). It's almost a graffiti artwork with the quotes I've written around the sides! I've also written a few thoughts of my own which pale in comparison, and have used another quote which I found on the web. As they are so beautiful I just have to include them here:

"Hiraeth - the link with the long forgotten past, the language of the soul, the call from the inner self. Half-forgotten, fraction remembered. It speaks from the rocks, from the earth, from the trees and in the waves. It's always there. Yes, I hear it. Yes, I understand what hiraeth means." - Val Bethell

'Hiraeth - A longing or Homesickness. "It is difficult to define hiraeth - but to me it means the consciousness of man being out of his home area and that which is dear to him. That is why it can be felt even among a host of peoples amidst nature's beauty; like a Christian yearning for heaven." - D Martyn Lloyd Jones

Beautiful, beautiful words, they inspired my painting and healed my pain. Thank you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am Val Bethell. I am so, so pleased my words helped you. Hireath is so difficult to translate, as it is a feeling, a deep, deep feeling, the sort of thing that comes to you in those quiet moments that we should all allow ourselves. I live in Wales, and can't emagine living anywhere else, in a quiet, beautiful valley. What a lovely country this is, but so is our fantastic planet, we just need to love it a lot more.