The World of Gwdihw, Bardd of Conwy

Richard Gillan


Gwdihw, a little owl.  Etching by GwdihwHello.  My name is Gwdihw (pronounced Goody Who, Goody for short) and it means a little owl in South Wales.  I fly at twilight and dawn in Gwynedd seeing what tricks people are up to.  I like to help protect the local people and the landscape and make etchings of what I see.  I am also a Story Teller.  
Etching is a very magical process as all the elements of alchemy are used in the process;  earth, air, fire and water.  My plates are made of copper.  Etching is quite a spontaneous process for me.  My work has been called primitive and wild.  I like that.
Why do I etch?  I am inspired by the goddess Ceridwen.  She gave me a small sip of the brew of her cauldron of inspiration and this gave me the power to fly.  I had been very ill in Egypt and when they thought I was going to die in Cairo Ceridwen rescued me and brought me home to Conwy where I live with my husband in  the farm house of my childhood in the mountains.  Last year I wrote a book about this;  ‘Ceridwen’s Cauldron’.
Ceridwen inspired me and showed me many things, like shape shifting, love, healing, magic.  I became her Messenger and got involved with The Taliesin Festival in Conwy.  Every Lammas we celebrate her harvest of barley, making a procession through the streets of Conwy, singing and dancing.  Ceridwen is also connected with Glastonbury and the Chalice Well is said to be one of her cauldrons.
There is a famous book of Welsh myths called ‘The Mabinogion’ and Ceridwen helped me make images of other Welsh goddesses;  Blodeuwedd, Rhiannon and Arianrhod.  Other goddesses like Brighid, Arachne, Isis and Hathor are represented.   
Ceridwen holds the key to the Celtic Mysteries and I have been led a merry dance by her tricks and transformations.