Urdd Eisteddfod 2024 first day winners announced

Wanesa Kazmierowska - announced as Main Artist
-Credit: (Image: Urdd Eisteddfod handout)

The first winners of the Urdd Eisteddfod have been announced. The Maldwyn 2024 Urdd Eisteddfod got underway today with tens of thousands of people expected across Wales to celebrate Welsh language, culture and the talent of the nation's young people.

And on the opening day Wanesa Kazmierowska from Swansea has been announced as Main Artist and Saffron Lewis from Pembrokeshire as the winner of the Art, Design and Technology Medal.

The ceremony this year is sponsored by The James Pantyfedwen Foundation. The Main Artist receives the Young Artist Scholarship of £2,000 thanks to the generosity of the late Dr Dewi Davies and his family for the most promising work from an individual aged between 18-25 years old.

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The Art, Design and Technology Medal is awarded for the most promising work from amongst the national winners of all the year 10 to 19-year-old categories.

Wanesa is 19 years old and studying for an Art and Design Foundation Diploma at Gower College in Swansea. Originally from Poland, she has been living in Swansea for more than 14 years. She has a confirmed place to study Illustration and Visual Media at UAL (University of the Arts London) next year and aspires to become a graphic artist/illustrator.

Wanesa said: “I enjoy experimenting with various mediums and artistic styles to broaden my skills, specifically printmaking, digital art, and gouache painting.”

She has had her art displayed in three galleries in Swansea, including the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. She was awarded a bursary from the Swansea Print Workshop and participated in a project celebrating the 50th anniversary of the South Wales Miners' Library. Her print, titled "The Descent/Descent," was one of the 20 selected prints and is currently exhibited at the Taliesin Arts Centre.

The adjudicators for the competition were Jo Munton and Kate Morgan-Claire. In their adjudication they said: “The field of entries was broad, and standards were high, everyone clearly has a love for their chosen creative field and the things that inspire them. Wanesa has great focus about her work and how she would like to develop it. She articulated her ideas with such clarity that it was easy to see that she has lots of potential as an artist. Her ability to rouse emotions and tell a story though her image of the miner and the canary made this work stand out.”

Saffron Lewis, winner of the Art, Design and Technology Medal, is an art and design student at Pembrokeshire College who will go on to study Fine Art at Cardiff Metropolitan University in September.

Saffron Lewis announced as the winner of the Art, Design and Technology Medal.
Saffron Lewis announced as the winner of the Art, Design and Technology Medal. -Credit:Urdd Eisteddfod handout

She said: “My love for the arts started at a very young age and throughout the years it has grown. Experimenting with various different media and artistic processes keeps my passion alive.

“The subject of my work is mainly organic and sustainable. I like to absorb the atmosphere of my surroundings to create energetic marks within my artwork. My practice includes a variety of media and I like to create interesting and unique pieces that have not been seen before; where the person who’s looking at the piece can create their own story.”

The Art Medal is given in memory of Elain Heledd who inspired pupils at Llanegryn and Llanbrynmair and the Main Artist trophy for the scholarship prize was given by Rogers Jones Fine Art Auctioneers.

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