This year the Workhouse will again be on show as part of the Cadw’s Open Doors programme of heritage open days. The date is Sunday 25 September.
Much of the ground floor of the building will be open to view, along with the attractive grounds and garden. People can visit the new Workhouse History Centre, opened this May, and view the highly praised film ‘Ghosts of the Workhouse’: for those who missed the opening a film of it will be showing. Visitors can try their hand at picking oakum: a traditional workhouse task. A special highlight will be a retrospective exhibition in Oriel Y Dolydd of works by the widely respected artist and sculptor John Lavrin, now based at Pontrobert. There will be live music in the afternoon by Café Lola. Some of Y Doydd’s tenants will be opening their workshops, and there will be chance to learn about the activities of the Llanfyllin Workhouse Green Hub. Guided tours will be offered and refreshments served. The Workhouse will be open between 10.00 and 5.00 and admission is free.
John Lavrin: A Life in Painting
Between Saturday 24 September and Sunday 2 October Oriel Y Dolydd will be showing a very special exhibition of works by the distinguished artist and sculptor John Lavrin, spanning six decades.
John Lavrin, a former child prodigy whose artist mother, Nora Fry, encouraged his talents, had his first exhibition at the age of nine. He went on to study painting at Chelsea and the Slade Schools of Art towards the end of the 1940s- he is now 85 and still tending his large garden in the hills above Pont Robert; as a younger man he divided his time between London and Dalmatia, having married a local woman whose father was a prominent Croatian sculptor- he became his assistant.
John is a prolific artist whose self-built house is packed with paintings and sculpture: People and animals interest him primarily; he describes himself as a draughtsman first and foremost, and his colour is muted; this adds to their strength.
Since moving to Wales in 1993, local figures have been prominent, in paintings and in anecdotal three-dimensional pieces featuring local characters, such as “Market day”, reproduced here.
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