Autumn in Pembrokeshire

Autumn in Pembrokeshire
Marijke Braaksma

Again, in this vivid and vigorously-painted scene, Braaksma introduces us to a Wales which is, at once, ancient and modern: it is full of evidence of past social and economic activity, overlain by the necessary urban litter associated with modern communications and travel.

This dark red, abundant, landscape - warm, fruitful - swirls round an inlet, which threads its way into the land. There is a suggestion of a harbour and harbour wall. There are several sheltered inlets around the coast of SW Wales - Solva, Porthgain, Abereiddy, Cresswell Quay - which were once busy commercial centres, hubs of slate quarrying, coal-mining, brick-making and lime burning, with industrial works, homes for workers and registered shipping which traded these essential materials with the rest of Britain and with Europe. Of all this, only skeletal evidence remains. Today, most communications - of people, goods and information - are via small, narrow roads, sometimes with passing places. Thus, has everything changed.

But this need not be read as a pessimistic commentary on change. Notwithstanding the comprehensive transformations faced by such places and communities, Nature remains triumphant. The abundant crops and the approaching winter are both heralded by the flying crow. But this crow is celestial in colour, rather than black, and is thus offering a promise of benediction, not of ultimate darkness.

Acrylic on paper
Size Unframed:
15ins x 22½ins
38cms x 57cms
Size Framed:
23½ins x 31ins
59.5cms x 78.5cms
Signed with initials and dated [20]09, lower left

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