Plas BrondanwSusan Williams-Ellis
Foundation (SWEF)

01766 770590

Past Events

Below are some of the events that have happened at Plas Brondanw since 2022

Penny Hallas

Artist’s Talk with Penny Hallas
'Seeing Through Landscape'

19 June 2024
"I would describe myself as an inter-media artist. Whilst drawing is at the heart of my practice, I use video, projection, photography, sound, painting and sculptural elements, often in the form of found objects. I regularly participate in collaborative performance with poets, dancers, musicians, artists - in art spaces and in the landscape.

Whatever the media, my work revolves around a fascination with internal states of being: alive to the promptings of chance, fantasy and emotion, it seeks out correspondences between the material world and the hidden crannies of the psyche.

This talk is part of the Hafod residency series, in collaboration with Noelle Griffiths. These talks are free to attend, and there is no need to book.

Penny Hallas will also offer a workshop 'Seeing through Landscape: make a myriorama' on the 30 June 3-5pm at Oriel Caffi Croesor.

Circo Arts

Circo Arts Live Performance Drawing Workshop
with Wanda Garner

8 June 2024
Join artist Wanda Garner for a dynamic afternoon of drawing bodies in motion!

Performers from Circo Arts community circus will be acting as models for this workshop, performing a sequence of movements choreographed specially so that the pose can be held and repeated several times, whilst you attempt to capture the gesture in spontaneous, quick drawings. Whilst undoubtedly a challenging exercise, this kind of practice is great fun and can result in wonderful, gestural drawings (or if not, it’s very good practice anyway!) This workshop is likely to appeal to people who have some experience of drawing from life, but anyone who fancies having a go is very welcome. Wanda who is an experienced teacher will be giving some pointers and encouraging you to try new approaches. Bring your own portable sketch books and pencils/ graphite/ charcoal and be prepared to have fun!

Drawing Workshop at Portmeirion

Drawing Workshop at Portmeirion
with Ruth Koffer

6 June 2024
Allow visual storyteller, Ruth Koffer to support you to draw around Portmeirion. Ruth will offer exercises and suggestions for freeing up confidence and working with your inner critic. Focus will be on developing freedom of expression over accuracy of drawings. Suitable for all artistic abilities and all age groups. Children and teens welcome if accompanied by an adult.

Ruth Koffer will be exhibiting her work inspired by Portmeirion with us in Brondanw in October. You can see more about her work and her teaching methods here:

Mr Pollock comes to Plas

Mr Pollock comes to Plas
Lecture Evening & Toy Theatre Performance

1 June 2024
We are delighted to invite you to enjoy an evening in the company of Alan Powers and David Powell of Pollocks Toy Museum in London, invited to Plas Brondanw to coincide with Wanda and David Garner’s exhibition, which is on the theme of pantomime, performance and identity.

The evening will open with two lectures, ‘Secrets of the Victorian Pantomime’ by David Powell, and ‘Toy Theatre Revived: from Diaghilev to Dirk Bogarde and beyond’ by Alan Powers. This will be followed by a short interval for refreshments, and the second half of the evening will consist of a toy theatre performance of Jack the Giant Killer (complete version) published by J. K. Green in 1854 and reissued by Benjamin Pollock, based on an original production at the Royal Olympic Theatre, 1843.

David and Alan will also be leading a children’s workshop making toy theatres on the same day and will be offering an abridged version of Jack the Giant Killer at 12:00 in the afternoon for families with children.

Tropical reef

Family Workshop
Stop-Motion Animation with Lucy Donald

30 May 2024
In this workshop you will make your own imaginative sea creature/monster puppet, inspired by the underwater paintings of Susan Williams Ellis. You will then bring your sea monster to life in a short animation, using your phone.

Stories will develop as characters move across the screen and meet each other, and when sound effects are added.

This workshop is suitable for children of all ages and their parents or guardians, but younger children will need more help and support with some aspects of the workshop. Every family will need a smartphone to work on, download the free “Stop motion studio” app before coming to the workshop.

You can see an example of an animation Lucy Donald has created with this technique here:

Lucy Donald

Artist’s Talk
with Lucy Donald
'Mokuhanga Inspired Woodcuts based on Welsh Pottery with a Welsh Pop Culture Twist'
This talk is part of the Hafod residency series, in collaboration with Noelle Griffiths.

29 May 2024
"I am a painter, printmaker, sculptor and teacher. I am a free-lance Education Co-ordinator at Elysium Gallery and also work with other venues in Swansea providing art workshops for all ages and abilities.

I have used Cambrian, Llanelli and Nantgarw pottery as a starting point for series of watercolours and woodcuts. This work examines the fashion of Chinoiserie and appropriation of designs from other cultures to create fantasy lands depicted on domestic ware. During my Hafod Studio residency I plan to make work based on Portmeirion pottery".

Artist’s Talk with Chris Bird-Jones

Artist’s Talk
with Chris Bird-Jones
'Through Glass'

This talk is part of the Hafod residency series, in collaboration with Noelle Griffiths. These talks are free to attend, and there is no need to book

15 May 2024
I am intrigued by the way light plays with our perception of everything we encounter and the transience of these moments.

Recent work focuses on the universal spoon form, our interaction and relationship with it and the responses the form evokes. Working with the phenomenal nuances of refracted light and shadow, I enjoy movement - particularly natural cyclical bright or subtle light flitting across a surface. Glass is my medium of choice."

Eckphrastic Poetry Evening

Eckphrastic Poetry Evening

2 May 2024
Our resident poets, Suzanne Iuppa and Aled Jones Williams will read from the work they have created during their time here with the open exhibition, and there will be an opportunity for people who have attended the workshops (or people who have written poems for the work from their own head and past) also read their work if they wish.

Social Dreaming Workshop

Social Dreaming Workshop
with Phil Luffman

30 April 2024
Phil Luffman, one of Oriel Plas Brondanw’s current exhibiting artists who is responsible for the two ‘stuffed shirts’ installations in the Open Exhibition, will be facilitating a Social Dreaming group within the creative surroundings of the exhibition. He is a member of a long established Social Dreaming group were free association can promote imaginative thinking and creative action. An explanation of the process will be given at the beginning of the workshop. (Please see the description below)

Social Dreaming
Social dreaming is an opportunity to share one’s dream with others in a Matrix. The focus is on the dream and not the individual dreamer.

The dreamer recounts her/his dream to others in the Matrix, but the dream is not only his/her dream for it captures the social, political, institutional, and spiritual aspects of the dreamers’ social environment. The meaning of the dream develops through the use of free association and amplification to give form to echoes of thinking and thought that exist in the space between the minds of individuals and the shared social environment.

The Matrix is the web of feelings, emotions, thinking and thought that is present in every social relation, but unattended and unacknowledged. The Matrix mirrors during the daytime the unconscious processes that create dreaming in the night. It provides a social container, or space, in which the potentialities of dreaming can be explored to apprehend in infinite. (Lawrence,W.G. (2003) " Experiences in Social dreaming”)

Aled Jones Williams

Poetry Workshop
with Aled Jones Williams

23 April 2024
Aled Jones-Williams is one of our resident poets for the Open Exhibition on the theme of Transformation. Aled is a leading writer and well-known playwright, who won the Tyddewi eisteddfod crown in 2002, but he is not a conventional poet. He has a wealth of experience in leading creative writing workshops, and it is a great pleasure for us to be working with him on this exciting project. Aled will lead this workshop responding to works of art in the exhibition, setting a number of tasks to encourage you to formulate your own poetic responses to works of art in the gallery. Experienced poets as well as complete beginners are welcome. This workshop will be through the medium of Welsh.

Artist’s Talk with Andrew Hladky

Artist’s Talk with Andrew Hladky
'Image as Organism'

17 April 2024
"I am a British/American artist who grew up in England, before moving to the USA in 2015. My work is deeply bound up with ideas of nostalgia, and how a nostalgic connection to the landscape can contribute to the ways we view ourselves.

I make sculptural paintings using oil paint and sharpened bamboo sticks. The sculptural forms that result grow out into a very uneven surface, ranging from the bare panel to 10” or more in depth. They resemble burnt trees or ruined habitations, as well as the constructions of insect or animal life, such as webs, nests and burrows."

This talk is part of the Hafod residency series, in collaboration with Noelle Griffiths. These talks are free to attend, and there is no need to book.

Andrew Hladky will also be offering a Workshop - 'Sculptural Paintings/Paint Sculptures' on the 21 April 3-5pm at Oriel Caffi Croesor.

Suzanne Iuppa

Poetry Workshop with Suzanne Iuppa

09 April 2024
Suzanne Iuppa is one of our poets in residence for the Open Exhibition on the theme of Transformation.

She is a poet and conservationist living in the Dyfi Valley, and the poems she will write with us this spring will feature in her first full poetry collection.

Suzanne has over ten years' experience of teaching creative writing in community settings, and this session will be equally enjoyable if you are already writing or you haven't tried poetry before. There will be a variety of prompts, time to spend with the art, and a chance to share your work in a thoughtful environment.

Film and Poetry Evening with Jennifer Leach
'Life Cycles, Time and Acceptance'

27 March 2024
Jennifer will show her recent film 'The River' and share her poetry and writings. The evening will close with a sharing of original poetry, so please bring along your work. Shorter poems will allow for more contributions. Jennifer Leach works through the medium of English, but you are welcome to share poems in any language.

The River : This is the central film of a 3-screen 30 minute film; a life story written for my dear friend Anne Latto, a storyteller and actor. Using the age-old metaphor of life as river, it is the reflection of an old woman looking back on her life, as she turns to face the great horizon. She follows the flow of memories, from source to sea. Good times, hard times, times to remember, times to forget... the film is an homage to life, friendship, spirit and memory.

This event is part of the Hafod residency series, in collaboration with Noelle Griffiths.

Artist Talk Jennifer Leach

Artist’s Talk with Jennifer Leach 'The River - art and life'
20 March 2024
Jennifer Leach is a Visual artist, poet, writer, storyteller, filmmaker, changemaker and Director of Outrider Anthems.

Outrider Anthems' vision is to emotionally engage communities through story and creativity in contemporary conversations about our relationship to Earth, Universe, societies and ourselves. We desire to invent and invest in new stories that generate challenge and balance.

This talk is part of the Hafod residency series, in collaboration with Noelle Griffiths. These talks are free to attend, and there is no need to book.

Life Drawing Sessions with Jane Muir

Life Drawing Sessions with Jane Muir
23/01/2024 - 12/02/2024 - 11/03/2024

We are pleased to be able to offer three all day life drawing sessions, in collaboration with Adult Learning Wales (ALW). These courses are funded by ALW, but we will be charging £20 per session to pay the model, this will be paid on the day of the session.

Plas Brondanw

Tony Russell – Talk
The Gardens of Clough Williams-Ellis (Plas Brondanw and Portmeirion)
28 February 2024

Writer, broadcaster and author of ‘The Great Gardens of Wales’ Tony Russell will present an illustrated talk on the gardens of Clough Williams-Ellis here at Plas Brondanw and at Portmeirion. Clough was best known as an architect, but he was also very interested in issues around landscape and planning. Gardens were central to his ideas about how buildings relate to their site, and how the site relates to the wider landscape. Many consider the gardens at Brondanw to be among his finest work.

An Introduction to Welsh Poetry

An Introduction to Welsh Poetry with Rhys Jones
Six sessions, starting 30 January 2024

This course is an introduction to Welsh poetry.

Its intention is to give an insight into the diversity and richness of the Welsh poetic tradition. We will read Taliesin's poems from the sixth century, up to T. Gwynn Jones at the beginning of the twentieth.

The focus is on reading one poem weekly, and there will be an opportunity to develop an understanding of the historical, social and literary context. There will also be an opportunity to look at the craft of the poets and some of the literary techniques they use. In addition, with support in class, you will cultivate the skills to formulate a personal response to these works.

The ability to speak and read Welsh is essential.

Christmas card by Susan Williams-Ellis

Plas Party
29 December 2023
You are invited to celebrate the holidays at Plas Brondanw, with music by Twm Morys and Gwyneth Glyn, and a chance to socialize and enjoy the warmth of the Plas at the end of the year. We are very grateful to the Clough Williams-Ellis Foundation for their generous contribution to the costs of hosting the party, which is free to attend. Everyone is welcome, whether you are an old friend or have never crossed the threshold before.

We will be providing some drinks and light refreshments, but if you could bring something to share, we would be very grateful. If you would like to bring an instrument to jam after the official musicians have finished their set, that would be lovely. We now have a piano in the library, which is also available for playing.

Seasonal Workshop for Families

In the Time of the Holly King
Seasonal Workshop for Families
2 December 2023

To coincide with the storytelling event which takes place later in the afternoon, here is an opportunity to make your own wintery crown or table decoration using natural materials and traditional plants. Plas Brondanw staff will lead this session, and all materials will be provided.

Seasonal Story - Claire Mace

Seasonal Story - Claire Mace
2 December 2023

In the time of the Holly King: join storyteller Claire Mace for some seasonal stories from across Wales. Learn about the Mari Lwyd, Hunting the Wren and the Gower Wassail. The story will be told through the medium of Welsh, and bilingual families and those learning the language are very welcome to attend.

Dr Bleddyn Huws - Two poets and two cousins

Dr Bleddyn Huws
'Two poets and two cousins, Wil Oerddwr and T. H. Parry-Williams'
8 November 2023

Dr Bleddyn Huws is a senior lecturer in the department of Welsh and Celtic Studies at Aberystwyth University. He will offer a look at the work and relationship of the two famous poets, including a new discovery about a sonnet that was thought to be by Parry-Williams, but can now be attributed to Wil Oerddwr. This talk will be in the Welsh language, but higher level learners are very welcome.

Harvest Supper and Talk

Harvest Supper and Talk about the Croesor Valley
with Christine Mills, Siw Thomas and Ken Brassil
28 October 2023
As a celebration of the exhibition 'Sifting and Combing' by Siw Thomas and Christine Mills, the artists would like to invite you to a harvest supper. The supper will include a substantial stew, local cheeses and a dessert which will be served on ceramics created by Siw Thomas during her residency at Plas Brondanw. Archaeologist Ken Brassil will present a talk about the geology, history, people and culture of the Croesor Valley.

Proceeds to Plas Brondanw children's art workshops and to the Mountain Rescue Team.

The Poetry of the Princes
The Princes' Bards - Tutor: Rhys Jones

24 October 2023
Adult Education Wales in partnership with Plas Brondanw are offering this half day course free of charge.

The purpose of the course is to introduce the poets of the princes, and the hope is to make the poems easy to understand for a contemporary audience.

'Beirdd y Tywysogion' is the general name given to the poets who existed in Wales between around 1050 and 1300. They were a central part of the world of the Welsh princes, and a good number of the poems have been preserved to this day. As well as having an introduction to the historical, social and literary background of the poets, you will also have the experience of reading the work of some of them. The poetry of the princes gives us a unique insight into the life and thinking of the period, from individuals who were eyewitnesses to these exciting years.

History of the Princes

History of the Princes
Tutor: James Berry

23 October 2023
6SW A short 2 hour course that hopes to reveal exactly who the Princes were. To look at them in light of modern research. The course hopes to show that rather than being isolated they were very much part of a Europe wide aristocratic military elite, trying to build strong feudal kingdoms on a European model.

Gwilum Morus

Gwilym Morus and Osian Rhys

13 October 2023
We would like to invite you to an evening of music in the library at Plas Brondanw, with Gwilym Morus and another artist (to be confirmed). This will be an intimate evening with a small audience.

Gwilym Morus plays modern folk music using digital effects mixed with voice and guitar. His style has been described as 'passionate, dreamy and original'. Osian Rhys is a musician originally from Llanystumdwy, who performs folk songs under his own name, and as the lead singer of the alternative rock band, Gwaed.

He will perform a variety of songs in a stripped back style on an acoustic guitar.

Artists Talk, Exhibition Launch and Tea Party

Artists Talk, Exhibition Launch and Tea Party
with Siw Thomas and Christine Mills

23 September 2023
Come and enjoy afternoon tea at Plas Brondanw in the company of two artists who have been creating work in the house and gardens over the summer. There will be a question and answer session discussing the residency period and the work that has come out of it with Sian Elen and Seran Dolma, and tea and cake will be served on some of the crockery that Siw Thomas has created. There will be time afterwards to look at the exhibition.

Adult Learning Wales

Adult Learning Wales Summer School
21 August 2023
Art - History - Creative writing

Artist Talk
Manon Awst and Dr Sarah Pogoda

19 August 2023
An artist talk between Manon Awst and the academic and Avant Garde practitioner Dr Sarah Pogoda discussing the process of creating work for the exhibition ‘Wetland Dreams’ and the ideas that have developed as a result of the research work on bogs. The talk will be bilingual, in Welsh and English, and possibly also some German!

Children’s Workshops with Artists in Residence
Siw Thomas and Christine Mills
Firing and Felting

13 August 2023
An opportunity for children to have a go at felting with Christine Mills.

The clay pieces made during the previous workshop will also be fired during this workshop, and they will be available to take home the following week. Children are welcome to attend either one or both of these workshops.

Childrens workshops

Children’s Workshops with Artists in Residence
Siw Thomas and Christine Mills

4 August 2023
A chance for the children to have a go at some clay modelling. The clay pieces will be fired during the following workshop on the 13th August, but there is no requirement to attend both workshops.

Adult Workshops
Charcoal Drawing with Christine Mills

7 July 2023
This workshop will be outdoors if the weather is dry, and in the house if not. There will be a coffee break and a chance to discuss the work.

No experience is necessary. Materials will be provided but you are welcome to bring paper and charcoal if you have them.

Adult Workshops
Life Modelling in Clay with Siw Thomas

7 July 2023
An opportunity to experiment with depicting the human form in 3D, working from a live model. There will be a discussion at the start about figurative sculpture, please bring an image of a relief or a sculpture of a human form to talk about.

No experience is necessary. All materials will be provided.

Introduction to Alexander Technique with Pippa Bondy

Introduction to Alexander Technique
with Pippa Bondy

3 July 2023
The Alexander Technique is the art of "unlearning". It is a subtle method of releasing body and mind from old habits and attitudes. Improve your whole well-being and learn to manage and prevent tension, stress and pain. The technique helps you rediscover a more natural way of moving, enhances awareness and encourages a new sense of coordination, energy and freedom. It is widely taught as part of performing arts training courses, but is very beneficial to everybody.

Pippa Bondy MSTAT, has more than thirty years experience as an Alexander Technique teacher. For more information


Amabel: The Radical in the Plas, a talk by Prof Merfyn Jones. Available at:

Cyfrinachau’r traethau, a talk by Haf Llewelyn, availabel at:

Film: Sarah Nechamkin, artist of Ibiza, a film by Siân Cwper, available at:

Johnathan Powell

Talk by Johnathan Powell

Part of the Hafod artist-in-residence series

7 June 2023

‘Memory into Landscape’

Olga Lamas

Talk by Olga Lamas

Part of the Hafod artist-in-residence series

17 May 2023

’Nature / Culture’

Carys Wilson

Talk by Carys Wilson

Part of the Hafod artist-in-residence series

5 April 2023

'Walking and Thinking, Thinking and Walking'

Andrew Morrison

Talk by Andrew Morrison

Part of the Hafod artist-in-residence series

15 March 2023
Text as image - word-based artists' books and prints.

Open Exhibition Opening and Prizegiving for 2023 prize winners – 11th March 2023

Come and celebrate the opening of our annual open exhibition and to congratulate the winner of our emerging artist award which will be announced for the first time this year. The winner will receive £500 towards the cost of creating an exhibition to be displayed at Plas Brondanw in September the following year.

Utopias Bach Collaboratory – June 23 2022

The Utopias Bach monthly collaboratory was held at Plas Brondanw in June 2022, with the aim of reconsidering the role of the gallery, and blurring the boundaries between artist and audience. Everyone present on the day was invited to take part in an artistic production, by responding to invitations that had been placed here and there within the house, to write, draw, dress up, perform and collaborate. To know more about Bach Utopias go to: Utopias Bach Collaboratory – June 23 2022

See gallery

Felting workshop

Film: Sarah Nechamkin

Talk: Amabel The Radical in the Plas by Prof Merfyn Jones

Talk: Bob Owen Croesor

Still life workshop

Creative Writing Workshops

Felting workshop

Talk: Cyfrinachau’r traethau, a talk by Haf Llewelyn

Sail your boat

Family workshop 2022