John Abell: 'Becca and her children'

Block print by John Abell. Hard Scrabble

We are delighted to announce the forthcoming exhibition Becca and her Children by John Abell at Newton House, Dinefwr.

John Abell: Becca and her Children.  18 January – 26 April 2020

In summer 2019, we commissioned Cardiff based artist John Abell to produce a new body of work interpreting Dinefwr’s association with an historic event, known as the Rebecca Riots that took place predominantly in west and mid-Wales between 1839 and 1843.

During 1839 the combination of poor harvests and increasing road tolls, gave rise to the enigmatic figure of ‘Rebecca’ in Carmarthenshire and beyond, who, supported by ‘her children’ or ‘daughters’, exacted revenge by smashing and burning the privately-owned Turnpike Trusts.  The fact that these scandalous night-time raids were undertaken by men dressed as women, meant that tales of the mischievous ‘Rebecca’ spread quickly given the sense of mystery that surrounded ‘her’.

At the height of the troubles, soldiers were dispatched to Llandeilo under the supervision of General George Rice Trevor (1795-1869), the son of Lord Dinefwr, whose imposing portrait hangs in the dining room of Newton House.

As ‘artist in residence’, John Abell worked on a series of paintings, engravings and linocuts inspired by both the place and by the Rebecca Riots, his work can be seen as part of a temporary exhibition (18 Jan – 26 April 2020) installed throughout the ground floor of Newton House.

John Abell in residence at Dinefwr

John Abell is represented by Arusha Gallery, Edinburgh, and his works are for sale.

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.