CEULAN MILL, Talybont, Ceredigion 2009

Notes on CEULAN MILL, Talybont, Ceredigion 2009

Once within the dimly lit ground floor, Ceulan Mill appears, as ones eyes adjust, an impregnable building with imposing machinery filling all three storeys to the brim with large heavy machinery, looms, and weaving frames, large wicker baskets of withered cones of wool. Ceulan Mill was closed in the 1950’s and it feels like very little has changed within and without the stone walls since then.

On the first floor, only three small windows allowing the sun light in, the floor space is heavy with solid machinery. It is dark and when surrounded with such heavy machinery crammed so close together it is also unnerving. The dimness makes the focussing of the camera difficult; I use a small touch to set the shutter speeds and aperture. A forty-minute exposure was used with these first initial exposures. A long wait for a photographer and gives me time to make notes. I feel calm and the still atmosphere helps me to relax. Outside I hear a babbling brook, birds singing, the day is bright, warm and spring-like.

These rusty dinosaurs within this mill no longer creak, groan, growl. They’re silent and still, their only movement is that of their slow corrosion. My eyes have long since grown accustomed to the dimness. The machinery is splendid – wheels, cogs, belts, gears, pulley’s, springs, rods, rollers, spinners, presses, chains, oil, wool, spanners, wrenches, dust and cobwebs. A stuffed heron lays on the ground on the first floor and also; a metal chest full of 19th & 20th century books (on Stalin, India, Arithmetic, Philosophy, Chemistry, Law, Communism, worker’s rights and how to better oneself!). More large baskets, clamps, drawing desks, broken chairs, tables, chests, all stand on an uneven floor and under a sagging ceiling.

The sun poured through the open windows on the first floor, flooding tiny areas and here the exposures were much shorter, usually around 4 - 16 minutes. Four hours was spend making around ten exposures onto sheet film. The slow process of photographing in such dark places makes the finishing images so much more satisfying.

MELIN CEULAN. Tal-v-bont. Ceredigion 2009
Ar Ian afon Ceulan saif Melin Ceulan, a fu unwaith yn brysur a llewyrchus. Wrth i'r llygaid ymgynefino a lled-dywyllwch y llawr gwaelod daw Melin Ceulan i'r golwg, yn adeilad cadarn gyda pheiriannau mawreddog, gwyddiau, fframiau gwehyddu a basgedi mawr o wlan yn llenwi'r tri llawr at y to. Caeodd y felin yn y 1950au a bu iddi aros yn wag ers hynny.

Mae'n dywyll, ac ynghanol yr holl beirianwaith trwm sydd wedi'i wthio benben a'i gilydd, ceir hefyd deimlad o anesmwythyd. Yn y tywyllwch mae'n anodd ffocysu'r camera; rhoddaf gyffyrddiad ysgafn i osod cyflymder y caead a lledu'r agorfa. Defnyddiwyd dadleniad o bedwar deg pum munud gyda'r lluniau cychwynnol hyn. Hir ymaros i'r ffotograffydd, a chyfle i mi ysgrifennu nodiadau. Teimlaf dawelwch, ac mae'r awyrgylch llonydd help i mi ymlacio. Y tu allan clywaf furmur y nant a thrydar yr adar, megis diwmod braf a chynnes o wanwyn.
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CEULAN MILL, Talybont, Ceredigion 2009

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