One of the Bacon Sisters

“Abernant Ironworks”(ACVMS:1998.3418).

One of the Bacon Sisters

A poem by Rachel Carney in response to a set of sketches by the Bacon Sisters

Reflections on the Writing Process

“I was struck by the quiet and calm atmosphere of these pencil drawings, capturing the era before the mass industrialisation of the Valleys, and the fact that so little is known about these sisters, who had no idea that their drawings would be of such value in years to come. I like the sense of mystery, as it’s not always clear which of the sisters was responsible for each sketch, and the ghostly feel of these pencil drawings, the way this reflects the role of women in Victorian society – relegated to the background, with no real voice. These were outsiders, women who, despite their lack of voice, were privileged in having the time to sit and sketch, and I wanted to indicate that, however limited, they did have some control, some leisure and freedom, in their lives, which would not have been shared by the ordinary women who lived and worked in the Cynon Valley at that time.”

You can read about the Bacon Sisters on our blog.


About the Virtual Poet in Residence

This poem is part of a series written during the Coronavirus pandemic, in response to online exhibitions, and blog post research undertaken by artists and volunteers in partnership with Cynon Valley Museum. You can read more of  Rachel Carney’s work during this residency over on the Poet in Residence page. Rachel is a poet, book blogger and PhD student, and she’s also spent several years working in museums. Her PhD research explores the benefits of using creative writing in art museums, and she’s particularly interested in examining the writing process. You can find out more about her work and PhD on her blog.

The Cynon Valley Museum Trust, like so many others during this pandemic, have suffered a loss of income. We are working hard behind the scenes to fundraise as well as provide options to explore the Cynon valley’s heritage, art, and culture, through projects such as this Residency. If you enjoyed this and would like to support us more, please consider making a donation. You can do so by following this link.

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