The natural beauty of the Cambrian Mountains has for centuries inspired artists, and writers in both Welsh and English.
The landscape is resonant with deep Welsh language cultural history, and with the mythology of King Arthur and the Mabinogion. Wales’ best known mediaeval poet, Dafydd ap Gwilym, is purportedly buried at Strata Florida – his poems are evocative of the environment of his surroundings.
Several writers working through the medium of English have associations with this area – P.B. Shelley at Cwm Elan; R.S. Thomas at Eglwys Fach; T. Harri Jones at Llanafan Fawr; Ruth Bidgood at Abergwesyn. All of these poets used the inspiration of the natural world around them in their writings.
Contemporary artists find inspiration in the history and landscape of the Cambrian Mountains. Mary Lloyd Jones, born at Pontarfynach is an internationally recognised painter who interprets many sites in the landscape in an energetic, abstract, visionary style.