Some Trees and Snow
Author: Rob Cullen
Written in response to ‘Some Trees and Snow’ Ernest Zobole, (1978)
The painting is of an Ystrad, Rhondda night time view. And beneath the puffed white clouded sky the tree bloomed slopes of Glyncornel covered in snow is dissected by the New Road and studded by the orange reflection of neon on the white road and the elm trees planted at regular intervals. An old style green train runs like a long spangled snake along the valley floor. It could be going or coming to Cardiff. Or to and from the outside world. Each compartment is lit with the yellow glow of night time. Imaginations realm. Maybe it’s a dreamscape made unreal.
Between the road and the railway the river flows. The river is not shown but hidden by the suggestion of slag heaps. The valley floor is wide here. Once river meadows stretched from Ystrad to Pontrhondda and fields of hay, wheat and barley were grown. When I was a child between the river and the road the tumbled down stone walls still marked the outline of the Lilly White, an old mill. A mill race that still flowed deep and still. A place we dared each other to wade. Our shorts rolled as high as they could go. In the fluid murk, water-scorpions fed on tadpoles and dragon fly nymphs prayed on our toes.
But where did Ernie play as a child? Maybe the Lamb Woods in Bodringallt. Maybe always on the outside looking in. Always standing at the doorway as if he is neither here nor there. Maybe he plays in dream.