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Rhiannon ‘Divine Queen’ by David Petersen

David’s metal sculpture Rhiannon ‘Divine Queen’ can be seen on the Orangery lawns close to the pergola walkway.

‘Rhiannon’ was made for the 1992 ‘Garden Festival Wales’ at Ebbw Vale and was sponsored by British Steel and Burt, Boulton and Haywood. The catalogue for the public art programme for the festival includes the following information provided by David:

The work is a female deity, a combination of the Monoan Snake Goddess from Knossos and the Welsh Divine Queen Rhiannon. The materials used relate to the heavy industrial past of Ebbw Vale. Its manufacture involved all four elements earth, air, fire and water - enabling (according to the Celts) the fifth element - magic - to appear.    The two buckets (the dress) refer to the cauldrons often used by the Celts as votive offerings. The heavily riveted ‘grab’ becomes a bra for the two orbs, which in turn become the exposed breasts of the Minoan Goddess, and the bra straps become ribbons flowing in the wind.

David Petersen, the youngest son of Jack Petersen, the Heavyweight Champion Boxer, is probably most famous for the design and construction of the Memorial Dragon to the 38th Welsh Division at Mametz Wood in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The memorial, located on the site of the action in northern France, is of a large red dragon holding barbed wire, mounted on a stone plinth.
He is well known too, for winning a competition to make the National Millennium Beacon for the millennium celebrations. The large stainless steel sculpture was initially erected on the porch of Cardiff City Hall.

David worked in GKN steelworks in Cardiff before studying fine art at Newport College of Art. He is an elected member of the Royal Cambrian Academy and has served as chairman of the British Artist Blacksmiths Association. He has been a full time lecturer in several Art Colleges both here in Wales and London, and has lectured internationally in America, Canada, Russia,
Germany, Spain and France.

He is also known as a television presenter on historical and cultural topics; he was a Plaid Cymru candidate in the 1999 National Assembly election for the Brecon and Radnorshire Constituency and for several years David led the Welsh delegation to the Festival Interceltique de Lorient in Brittany.

He has run his own studios in Wales for many years and completed many sculpture commissions.

David’s metal sculpture Rhiannon ‘Divine Queen’ can be seen on the Orangery lawns close to the pergola walkway.

© Margam Country Park