Title: “Aqua Libra Cantre’r Gwaelod”
Drawing completed using a drawing app on an iPad. The drawing has been baked on to a sheet of aluminium, 13x18cmThere’s an eccentric bookshop in Venice called”Libreria Acqua Alta”. Since it’s in Venice, the bookshop often floods out when the high tides
come. To protect the books form the rising waters, the owner places them in boats, baths and water tight vessels and lets these float on the waters
that enter the shop.
It ocurred to me that Venice is similar to Cantre’r Gwaelod (the Welsh Atlantis in what is today’s Cardigan Bay). Venice is slowly sinking into the waters.
Cantre’r Gwaelod was flooded when the drunken watchman, neglecting his duties, fell asleep and failed to close the floodgates in the dyke that separated
the town of Cantre’r Gwaelod from the rising tides.
I started the drawing in the bookshop in Venice, and completed it in Carmarthen.
I think the myth of Cantre’r Gwaelod is first mentioned in the “Black Book of Carmarthen”, the earliest surviving manuscripf written solely in Welsh and dating
from the mid-13th century. It’s name comes from its association with the Priory of St. John the Evangelist, Carmarthen. It’s location is near today’s Priory Street.