Wednesday, 8 January 2014
Mule stirs up another "Language Row"
The Mule has once again made an attack on the Welsh Language by gibing a misleading byline
With a Title
Eisteddfod winner deterred by festival's language policy
They then have the byline
An award-winning artist crowned at last year’s National Eisteddfod says she “would hold back” from competing at the festival again after drawing criticism for her use of the English language.
So you may be drawn to think that it was the winner of the Bardic Crown for fre first which together with the Chair are the big prizes at the Eisteddfod.
Instead as you read on you find that the story is about University of Wales Newport graduate Josephine Sowden was awarded the prestigious (sic) Gold Medal for Fine Art at the Denbighshire and District 2013 National Eisteddfod of Wales.
The young Cardiff-based artist received £5,000 for her performance video entitled The Lilies of the Field and described the honour at the time as “the most exciting thing to have happened to me.”
But the National Eisteddfod’s decision to award its fine art prize to a video filmed in English was later called a “dangerous precedent” by Welsh language campaign group Dyfodol i’r Iaith (A Future for the Language).
So the row is about an artist who uses video feling she would be dtered from entering because she would have to use Welsh in her video.
So basically its about someone having to put a bit more work in her project.
The Gold Medal is an important prize but it is hardly the top one and this loks more like an artist seeking publicity rather than a problem with the all Welsh policy.
Robyn Tomos, the eisteddfod’s visual arts officer, said he hoped artists would not be deterred from entering the competition.
He said: “If there is any question, I would advise artists to get in touch. Let’s discuss what the possibilities are.”
Mr Tomos said the use of spoken or printed words in art works was relatively recent.
He added: “When the language rule was established in 1950 at Caerphilly, we had paintings in frames and sculptures on plinths so it didn’t arise then.
“It’s only a recent thing, with recent practice.”
But is there any reason why the rule should be changed to accommodate those who can't be bothered to do a little bit of extra work and use the Welsh Language?