A photographer and an unopened, 65yr old bottle of ink,travelling and meeting Writers and Artists,celebrating in co-creation.

I was recently lucky enough to rescue a large and unopened bottle of “Coronation Blue” Ink-a quart in size, produced 65 years ago. This bottle had probably spent its’ entire existence at the back of a school or office stationery cupboard, gathering dust, just waiting to be used as the lifeblood of some young creative’s imaginative musings.

I couldn’t stand the thought of this bottle of as yet uncreated Art being thrown into a skip, so decided to build a collaborative project around it, by inviting as many Artistic friends as I could, to each take it in turns to take custodianship of the bottle and its’ contents, create something vibrant and meaningful with it, then pass it on to other like minds, so they may do the same.

My initial intention was to get all of the Art and Writing collected back here in Wales, and to have an exhibition based on the bottle’s journey and its’ meeting with creative minds, all over the world. I now realise that rather than just being the creator of the idea, I also want to create something meaningful in the project and intend to visit my fellow collaborators and photograph and interview each in turn, and ultimately intend to produce a documentary and book based on this global Art project.

I look at this bottle of beautiful indigo liquid and dare to dream of fabulous and as yet unborn works of Literature and Art, all waiting their time to be brought to life, to shine. Project “Coronation Blue.”




A bottle of ink came into the possession of photographer, and Helfa Gelf artist Roy Barry.
This bottle, filled with two pints of royal blue ink, and with the words….’Coronation Blue’ upon the label, was made in Treforest in the early fifties, probably shortly after queen Elizabeth ascended the throne.

1953. The year that Dylan Thomas was dying.

Unopened, sitting in the dark, and gathering dust for nearly sixty years, this bottle has waited until now to tell its stories. It waited until Roy found it.

He conceived the idea that it should be passed from artist to artist, allowing each to use it in their own way. Roy’s job would be to record the process.
In this age of global communication, our thoughts are transmitted electronically. Ink no longer has a place, it would seem. Using just one bottle of Treforest ink, could we still reach round the world? Could a global population of artists still communicate from this common fountain?

Dylan Thomas was only one of this land’s many writers. This is the land of story, poem and song. The Llangollen International Eisteddfod has been inviting musicians, poets and dancers from all over the world to perform here: to visit out country, and bring their songs, their poems, their stories – and to share ours in return. They’ve been coming for a decade longer than that bottle has sat, waiting in the dark.

It’s time to take the lid off again. And it’s time to write the invitations.