The exhibition, titled Becca and her Children, by John Abell represents the riots which took place in Mid and West Wales between 1839 - 1843. Running from 17 January to 26 April 2020, the exhibition, which will be held at Newtown House, presents a series of new paintings, linocuts and etchings made by Abell during his three-week residency at Dinefwr during September 2019.
‘History is an essential part of the present, and I immediately wanted the opportunity to respond to such an inspiring place through my artwork’. – John Abell
Responding directly to the rich and tumultuous history of Newton House, Dinefwr and in particular the Rebecca Riots, Abell’s body of work examines the daily life, beliefs and camaraderie of the Rioters as they rose up in protest against the Turnpike Trusts and the introduction of road tolls in rural Pembrokeshire, Cardiganshire and Carmarthenshire. During the Riots in 1839-1843, men disguised themselves as women to attack the tolls. They called themselves ‘Rebecca and her daughters’, likely inspired by a passage in the Bible where Rebecca talks of the need to ‘possess the gates of those who hate them’ (Genesis XXIV, verse 60). One of the linocuts sees the biblical Jessie Tree transported into rural Wales, rich with symbolism it further merges past and present, tale and history with its moving imagery.
Funded by the Arts Council of Wales and The National Trust the residency is part of the National Trust ‘People’s Landscape’ programme for 2019.
Private View: Friday 17 January 2020 6-8pm