Aled Rhys Hughes
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Ffarwel Rock / Farewell Rock 
Yn ol / Back
Oriel / Gallery
Lluniau o enw yw’r rhain, nid lluniau o le.

Fel cân, mae enw lle yn deffro llu o straeon. Mae rhywbeth amwys iawn yn enw’r lle hwn: Ffarwel Rock. Heb weld llun o’r lle, mae modd dyfeisio llu o straeon amdano, yn dibynnu ar ein personoliaeth ni bob un, ac ar ein profiadau a’n hemosiynau, ar y lle rydym ar ein ffordd iddo, ac o ble y daethom, pa lyfrau rydym wedi eu darllen, pa gerddoriaeth rydym yn ei mwynhau. Mae fy nelweddau i yr un mor amwys.

Gwelais yr enw hwn gyntaf ar fap – ac mae darllen y map yn iawn yn gam cyntaf hollbwysig. Term glofaol a daearegol yw Farewell Rock; mae’n canu’n iach i’r glo sy’n brigo yn y fan honno. Roedd y glowyr yn gwybod pan gyrhaeddent y graig hon nad oedd dim diben twrio ymhellach gan mai dyma ddiwedd y glo.

Cyd-ddigwyddiad bendigedig ydyw bod Ffarwel Rock ar y Mynydd Du uwchben Dyffryn Aman, dafliad carreg o Gwmllynfell, y pentref lle magwyd fi, a dau dafliad carreg o Rydaman, lle rwy’n byw nawr. Fel cynifer o bobl, teithiais heibio i Dro’r Derlwyn, lleoliad Ffarwel Rock, ar yr heol dros y Mynydd Du o Frynaman i Langadog, gannoedd o weithiau. Serch hynny, ni chefais fy ysbrydoli i wneud delwedd yma nes gweld yr enw. Yr enw sy’n fy nenu, ac i ryw raddau, dyw sut mae’r lle’n edrych go iawn ddim mor bwysig â’r ddelwedd y mae’r enw’n ei chreu. Delweddau o ‘ddim byd’ yw’r rhain, mewn gwirionedd – os yw’r fath gysyniad yn bosib – er mwyn i ni daflunio ein dehongliad emosiynol ni arnynt. Wedi gweld delwedd o ddim byd un waith, rhaid edrych amdani dro ar ôl tro ar ôl tro.

Ers gweld yr enw, rwyf wedi bod yn dod yma’n wythnosol. Serch hynny, nid oes delwedd yn amlygu’i hun yn aml iawn; a dweud y gwir, dim ond rhyw ddeg o weithiau yn y pedair blynedd diwethaf yr wyf wedi llwyddo i weld y peth rwy’n edrych amdano. Ac wedi dweud hynny, mae pob delwedd yn wahanol am fy mod i’n wahanol bob tro yr af yno. Fel y dywedodd R. Williams Parry: ‘Hon ydyw’r afon, ond nid hwn yw’r dwr…’
These are images of a name, not a place.

Like a song, a place-name can stir many stories. There is something very ambiguous about the name of this place: Farewell Rock. Without seeing its picture, we could invent hundreds of stories about it, depending on our individual personality, and on our experiences and emotions, on where we are going and where we have been, what books we have read and what music we enjoy. My images are similarly ambiguous.

I first saw this name on a map, and reading the map correctly is the all-important first step. Farewell Rock is a mining and geological term; it bids ‘farewell’ to the coal which comes to the surface there. The miners knew when they reached this rock that there was no point digging further as that was the end of the coal.

It is a sublime coincidence that Farewell Rock is on the Black Mountain above the Amman Valley, a stone’s-throw from Cwmllynfell, where I was raised and two stone’s-throws from Ammanford where I now live. Like so many people, I have travelled past Tro’r Derlwyn, the location of Farewell Rock, on the road over the Black Mountain from Brynaman to Llangadog, hundreds of times. However, I was only moved to make an image here after I discovered its name. It is the name which compels me and, to some extent, how the place looks in reality is less important than the images which the name conjur. These are images of ‘nothing’ in many ways – if such a notion is possible – on which we project our emotional interpretation. Once one has seen the image of nothing, one is compelled to look for it again and again and again.

Since I saw the name, I have been coming here every week. But despite my gazing, an image rarely presents itself; indeed, it is only maybe ten times in the last four years that I’ve suceeded in seeing the thing I’m looking for. Furthermore, each image is different because I am different each time I go there. In the words of Heraclites: ‘You cannot step into the same river twice…’
black_square_footer Aled Rhys Hughes 2008 | aled@ffotog.f9.co.uk