A strong friendship between celebrated illustrator Margaret Jones and Prendergast Community Primary School is continuing more than 20 years on.
In the early 2000s, the pupils and staff of Prendergast Junior School forged a strong relationship with Margaret when they studied her fantasy book, ‘Nat’.
A group of pupils met her at her home and interviewed her and during this visit, Margaret revealed that she had written a sequel to the book, but it had not been published.
Keen to find out what happened next, the pupils lobbied the publisher and encouraged Margaret to release the sequel.
A friendship began that enriched the pupils’ educational experience and brought them closer to Wales’ cultural heritage, inspiring them to write and draw.
When released, ‘Nat and the Box of Gifts’ was dedicated to the staff and pupils of Prendergast Junior School. The fondness Margaret felt for the school was evident when she gifted all the original artwork from the books to the school.
This art hung proudly on the walls of the new Prendergast CP School, when it opened in 2007.
Recently, the school contacted Margaret to enquire as to how these works of art can be shared more widely and enjoyed by the people of Wales.
Margaret’s son, Mark, visited the school to receive the artwork and he was keen for the school to retain some of the pieces.
Louise John, Headteacher of Prendergast CP School said: “We are thrilled that Margaret and her family would like us to keep some of the artwork as testament to the historic relationship between her and the school.
“The art will be a reminder of our ongoing commitment to promoting Welsh culture and literature. The retained artworks will continue to be proudly displayed at the school and this generous donation stands as a beacon of Margaret’s remarkable contribution to Welsh arts and literature.”
Margaret Jones, now approaching her 105th birthday, has been a pivotal figure in Welsh visual arts.
Her illustrious career blossomed later in life, as she began painting professionally at the age of 60. She is best known for her enchanting illustrations of Welsh myths and stories, which have played a significant role in defining the visual mythology of Wales.
Her works, characterised by their vivid imagination and intricate details, have captivated audiences young and old, bringing the rich tapestry of Welsh folklore to life.
It is hoped that artwork by Mrs Jones will be put on display at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth.