National Geographic : 1983 Jul
lived among the farmfolk for generations. "Such people are known as the gwerin," he says. "They're tied to their land and to a stubborn culture that produces poets today as it has done over the centuries." His Celtic passion thunders and broods on canvas, in stark landscapes and portraits that compel respectful silence. If there is a strong element of melancholy in his work, it may be because he knows of the con stant battle of man against an often unre sponsive soil. Simon Jones might be a Kyffin Williams portrait come to life. He is 69 and raises sheep in a lonely valley called Cwm Cyn llwyd, where English is spoken only as a courtesy to guests. Interrupting his study of a long computer Lush parcels of farmland, kept green by abundantrain,carpet the Vale of Conwy, where the native tongue still dominates. In south-centralWales (above) elder Welshmen fear thatfuture generationswill allow the languageto die.