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Page last updated at 10:46 GMT, Sunday, 23 January 2011
Nefyn artist turns Welsh sayings into pictures

Illustration of Cān di-bennill mwyn i'th nain, fe gān dy nain i tithau (If you sing a sweet song to your gran, she will sing to you)
Illustration of Cān di-bennill mwyn i'th nain, fe gān dy nain i tithau (If you sing a sweet song to your gran, she will sing to you)

A young illustrator who counts Paul McCartney among her clients is taking part in an exhibition based on well-known Welsh idioms and sayings.

Niki Pilkington was inspired to pick the topic after finishing college in London and returning to her home village of Morfa Nefyn on the Llŷn Peninsula.

"Idioms are an imperative part of the Welsh language and are in danger of disappearing," she said.

"This series of illustrations aims to bring these idioms alive once more, at least for a little while."

Her 26 works are displayed at the Llanbedrog gallery at Plas Glyn y Weddw, near Pwllheli, Gwynedd.

She said: "This is exciting for me, as it's allowing me to explore my heritage through illustration."

But she has not left her London fashion degree days behind her. Instead of the traditional Welsh farmer or mother characterising the sayings, she's opted for fashionable women she has spotted in Paris, where she spends part of her time.

"In Cân di-bennill mwyn i'th nain, fe gân dy nain i tithau, which means if you sing a sweet song to your gran, she will sing to you, I didn't just draw a grandmother," explained Niki.

"I had in my mind what images I would like to draw, and worked those round the idioms.

"My degree was in fashion and illustration and I wanted to continue drawing upon the two."

Artwork for teg yw edrych tuag adref (It's pleasant to look towards home)
Niki Pilkington hopes to exhibit more of her work in Paris

Other sayings she has used include Tasa'r Wyddfa'n gaws (If Snowdon was made of cheese) and Teg yw edrych tuag adref (It's pleasant to look towards home).

Thanks to the work she has put in on her blog and online portfolio, she has done work for Paul McCartney and illustrated a book by Kevin McCloud, presenter of Channel 4's Grand Designs series.

"A lot of people contact me through the website and I do one-off images for them," she said.

"I do the pencil work first then sometimes use childish things like felt tips, inks and highlighters - my work isn't too serious. And you can be more creative with magazine commissions.

"It's nice to see my work published, but it's good to do personal portraits too - keep a nice mix."

The exhibition runs from Sunday until 3 April and also includes work by Elfyn Lewis and Gareth Parry.




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