THE WORK of west Wales artist Philip Huckin is set to go on display at a Llandeilo gallery this weekend.

When Philip moved from Lincolnshire to Wales to study for an MA in Fine Art, he fell in love with the country.

Painting and drawing the Welsh landscape, mainly around Aberystwyth, left him with what we call in Wales as ‘hiraeth’ – a longing for a place whose absence makes life complete.

And Philip is hoping his latest exhibition at Fountain Fine Art in Llandeilo will inspire people to visit the Ceredigion landscape so they too can experience its magic and beauty.

The exhibition, which runs from Saturday, November 14 until Saturday December 5, contains a selection of work, in a range of media, focused on the Ceredigion landscape, including a collection of work produced during the last 18 months showing the changing seasons in the river Arth valley.

The river runs close by Philip’s studio and is an outstanding example of the remodelling of a landscape to conform to the aesthetic principles of the picturesque, a cultural movement which was at its height at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century.

The Arth valley also provided the inspiration for the book ‘Cwm y Wrach’ (‘The Witches Valley’), a story for children by Meilyr Siôn, and several illustrations produced for the book, which Philip drew, are also included in the exhibition.

Meilyr grew up in the Aberaeron area and now works as a freelance author, presenter, and actor. Over the years he has appeared in a number of stage shows, including The Lion King and television shows such as Holby City, Pobol y Cwm and Teulu.

But he’s recently turned his hand to writing and his new modern adventure story centres on an old legend who comes to life in Aberaeron. It tells the story of 11-year-old Daisy, and her family after they move from North Wales to run a gardening centre in the area.

It’s the first time Philip and Meilyr have collaborated and Meilyr admits he’s delighted with the finished product.

He says: “I knew Philip personally and was well aware of the work he’s done previously, especially in Gwasg Gwynfil’s Hud Afan Arth (The River Arth’s Magic). His drawings are very atmospheric with great attention to detail but, at the same time, they are not too complex but still of an extremely high standard.

“When you look at his work from afar, you wonder if it’s a photograph and then when you get closer you see that it isn’t – it’s a wonderful, quality piece of art.”

Meilyr has always been interested in Welsh folklore and wanted to write a book with a modern-day twist.

“I’ve always been interested in folklore and mythology and there are so many in Welsh history. There is a plethora of folk tales that used to freak me out as a kid but it was almost fun to be scared. The illustrations by Philip are just absolutely wonderful. I didn’t have to explain anything to him. He just knew what the book needed.”

The book will be officially launched at Philip’s solo exhibition at Fountain Fine Art, Llandeilo at 12pm on Saturday, November 14.

The exhibition runs from Saturday, November 14 until Saturday December 5.