Conference Report: Word and Image

2017 Conference
Word and Image: The Second Modernist Network Cymru Conference
National Library of Wales/Aberystwyth School of Art, 12-13 September 2017
Emma West
Chair, Modernist Network Cymru (MONC)

On 12-13 September 2017, over 40 academics, curators, artists and enthusiasts gathered at the National Library of Wales to explore the connections between word and image in a range of modernist texts from Wales and beyond. The conference, the second organised by Modernist Network Cymru (MONC), had two aims: firstly, to bring together those engaging with (or making) literature and the visual arts; secondly, to bring those working on Welsh modernism into dialogue with works from other nations. The theme of Word and Image seemed a perfect way to bring together these different strands, not least because word-image crossovers seem especially pertinent to the art and literature of Wales. We could think of figures such as David Jones, Brenda Chamberlain and Margiad Evans who worked across art and literature, whether in poetry and painting or short stories and illustration, or texts such as Chamberlain and Alun Lewis’s Caseg Broadsheets, which juxtaposed modern poetry with experimental woodcuts. More recently, the photographer Aled Rhys Hughes and the Welsh National Opera have both produced multimedia responses to Jones’s prose poem In Parenthesis.

It was thus with great anticipation that the committee awaited the arrival of delegates on a stormy Tuesday morning in the National Library of Wales. Within a few minutes, the conference nerves subsided: the delegates were so enthusiastic and friendly that the area outside the Drwm was soon filled with excited chatter.


Accompanying Events

2017 Conference


Richard Pinkney, The Alphabet Twice, 1971

Please see below for information on exhibitions and activities taking place in Aberystwyth on 12-13 September. The Arts Centre, Aberystwyth University, and the School of Art, have both arranged to exhibit materials to accompany the conference.

National Library of Wales


  • Arthur and Welsh Mythology
  • Legends!
  • Cover to Cover
  • Fallen Poets: Edward Thomas and Hedd Wyn
  • Discover the Heart of Welsh Culture
  • Nanteos Cup

Weekly guided tours:

School of Art, Aberystwyth University 

Registration Open: Word and Image (MONC 2017)

2017 Conference

We’re delighted to announce that registration is now open for Word and Image: The Second Modernist Network Cymru (MONC) conference, to be held at the National Library of Wales/Aberystwyth School of Art on 12-13 September 2017.

Those interested can register via our Eventbrite page. So that we can confirm numbers with catering, registration will close on Friday 1 September 2017.

If you wish to attend after registration has closed, please get in touch with us at modernistnetworkcymru[at] and we will do our best to accommodate you.

We are grateful for the support of our sponsors, the Learned Society of Wales and Aberystwyth School of Art, for helping to make the conference and roundtable possible.

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