THE life and times of an award-winning bard from Trawsfynydd was commemorated at the opening of the National Eisteddfod.
An idea by Gwawr Wyn Roberts from the Gwynedd Council’s Community Arts Unit to mark the centenary of Hedd Wyn’s Black Chair was the original catalyst for the opening ceremony on Anglesey last Friday.
The performance of ‘A Oes Heddwch?’ in the Eisteddfod’s main pavilion was the culmination of a special partnership of various organisations, schools and performers from the local area and beyond.
The original idea led to creating the partnership and obtaining funds from the Arts Council of Wales, Gwynedd Council, the Isle of Anglesey County Council and the National Eisteddfod.
Gwawr Wyn Roberts said: “I thought that this year’s Eisteddfod should be a way to mark a century since the death of the poet Hedd Wyn, and the Eisteddfod of the Black Chair at Birkenhead in 1917. As everyone knows, Hedd Wyn, as he was known, was killed in the summer of 1917 during the First World War before finding out that he had won the Chair at the National Eisteddfod.
“This story of the Bardic Chair shrouded in black cloth has become an integral part of our history, and the young poet from Trawsfynydd came to represent the generation lost during the Great War.
“As a council, we are very pleased that the initial idea has led to such a special opportunity to mark the centenary in such a creative way."
The aim of the project was to raise awareness of this important centenary, organising workshops which would not only tell the tale but could also stimulate ideas to inspire the creative team. A series of community workshops were held over recent years which included workshops at Yr Ysgwrn, Hedd Wyn’s home, ‘A Oes Heddwch?’ workshops with Cwmni’r Frân Wen, Hedd Wyn Talwrn and a Hedd Wyn History Hunt.
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