Pupils from Ysgol Gynradd Llanbedr had the opportunity to view the famous Salem painting by Sydney Curnow Vosper in the place that inspired the painting.

As part of the Masterpieces in Schools event – one of the outreach projects by the National Library of Wales – the painting was exhibited at Ysgol Gynradd Llanbedr, the school closest to the site of the chapel that appears in the picture, on Friday, 24 March.

As well as unveiling the painting at the school’s morning service so that the entire school had the opportunity to see it, Year 5 and 6 pupils participated in workshops.

Salem painting
Sydney Curnow Vosper was inspired by the chapel at Llanbedr (Picture supplied)

The children looked in detail at the techniques used to create the picture in a watercolour painting workshop based on the masterpiece. In a second workshop they looked at the Welsh costume, focusing on the paisley pattern of Siân Owen’s shawl.

Tesni Edwards, Year 5 and 6 teacher at Ysgol Llanbedr said: “Travel costs have increased substantially over the last two years, so it can be challenging for schools to take pupils to galleries, museums and libraries all over Wales. We are very grateful for this opportunity which will enable Ysgol Llanbedr pupils to come face to face with one of Wales’s most iconic paintings, and learn more about the collections of our most important institutions.”

Rhodri Morgan, head of education services at the National Library of Wales said: “It’s our privilege to use the National Library’s collections to offer unique and exciting experiences to the school pupils of Wales.

“Offering a workshop on the original painting by Sydney Curnow Vosper to the children of Llanbedr, a stone's throw away from the chapel that Siân Owen attended over a century ago, enriches their understanding of their locality, as they continue to celebrate the history of their surroundings.”

Ysgol Llanbedr children with the Salem painting
Ysgol Llanbedr children with the painting (Picture supplied)

Later in the year the library will invite all the pupils of Ysgol Llanbedr to Aberystwyth so that they can see where the painting is kept safely, and to learn more about the other collections at the National Library of Wales.

The Masterpieces in Schools project is part of the library’s strategy to reach out to communities across Wales and support participation in cultural, educational and artistic activities for children and young people.

These sessions will facilitate the school to align with the guidelines of the Curriculum for Wales guidelines, while supporting the learning and experience areas of the humanities, and the expressive arts, as well as presenting material that is relevant to the pupils’ cynefin.