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Giant blanket in mountain 'hug'
Giant blanket knitted by Ann Jordan
Ann Jordan's giant blanket laid out on the Gower before it was finished

A massive hand knitted blanket "hugged" a mountain in the Brecon Beacons National Park on Mother's Day.

Swansea Met student Ann Jordan, from Killay, has spent 1,500 hours knitting the 20 ft blanket from 12 miles yarn.

On Sunday 14 March it was finally laid out at a Bronze Age burial chamber on the Black Mountain after being carried along an old coffin route.

The former midwife's ambitious Cwtch project has taken two years to come to fruition.

The mature student hopes it will help change the way people think about farming families and Welsh communities.

She has knitted 140,000 stitches over a year for her creation.

Ann Jordan knitting the blanket
Knitter Ann Jordan say the blanket "tells such a wonderful story"

The project explores the relationship between the artist and an earthy landscape - celebrating the cycle of life, death and rebirth.

Ann said it has been a "wonderful experience".

"Whilst exploring my own personal relationship with the Black Mountain I have met and learnt so much about the history, culture and of the people who live and work in the area.

"One of the things which I find really fascinating is how this blanket tells such a wonderful story.

She said there are so many stories attached to the coffin route.

"This route plays an important role in our Welsh history - it's enchanted me and I hope that it will enchant others who come and walk along it to see the installation."

Image shows Swansea Met artist Ann Jordan with the blanket sitting  on top of the Black Mountain
Swansea Met artist Ann Jordan with her blanket

The origins of the old coffin route date to the 19th Century when men from the farms around Llanddeusant left and walked over the Black Mountain to find work in the quarries and coal mines.

It was the mid 19th Century, the time of the Rebecca Riots, and also when wool had reached rock bottom prices.

When the men died their bodies were carried home over the Black Mountain and they were laid to rest in their home churchyard.

The bodies were always wrapped in blankets because centuries before, a parliamentary act decreed that all corpses should be buried in one to try save the British wool industry from foreign imports.

Andrea Liggins, Dean of Faculty at Swansea Met's Dynevor Centre for Art, Design and Media, said: "Ann Jordan is an artist who impacts upon a place, not with a sharpness or a loud crash, but with gentleness and warmth, just as the title of her new work suggests, 'Cwtch'."

In an earlier work, 'Transfusion', Ann wrapped Swansea's former Dynevor School with a giant red ribbon.

National Eisteddfod

She was also part of the Fourth Plinth art project in Trafalgar Square.

The meeting place for the ceremonial laying of the blanket is at St Simon and St Jude Church in Llanddeusant at 1115 GMT after an all night vigil by Ann.

There will be a service at which the 8kg blanket will be blessed before it is carried six miles along the coffin route to the Carnau y Garreg Las burial cairn.

The blanket will be on display there until 25 April and will also be exhibited at the Welsh Wool Museum and Swansea Met.

It is also entered for the National Eisteddfod of Wales.




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