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|THE ELVIS ROCK PAINTING OFF TO GRACELAND
May 23, 2016 - Cambrian News / Elvis Express Radio
AN ICONIC Welsh rock on a remote hillside in mid Wales is to have pride of place in Graceland, the former home of Elvis King of Rock, in Memphis Tennessee, which now houses
the Elvis Presley museum.
A new painting of the small hamlet of Eisteddfa Gurig by local Ceredigion artist Wynne Melville Jones features the famous roadside ‘Elvis’ graffiti and is known locally as the ‘Elvis
Now, a limited edition print of this original painting has been presented to the Elvis Presley Archive at Graceland in Memphis, the famous mansion and home of the world’s greatest
rock star which now houses the Elvis Presley museum and archive and attracts 700,000 visitors annually.
The ‘Elvis Rock’ is located on the A44 10 miles east of Aberystwyth, close to the hamlet of Eisteddfa Gurig near Pumlumon in the upper reaches of the Cambrian Mountains and has
been a popular roadside feature for travellers for over fifty years.
On a dark night in 1962 two young boys from Aberystwyth ventured out to the hills with a paint brush to daub the name Elis in support of Islwyn Ffowc Elis, the Plaid Cymru
candidate in the Montgomeryshire constituency. A by-election had been called following the death of local MP Clement Davies.
Soon after the election the name was changed to Elvis, assumedly by a fan of the world-renowned rock ’n’ roll entertainer. It is said that colleagues of the distinguished and good
natured politician and literary figure Islwyn Ffowc Elis felt at the time that the author was quite pleased to be put on the same stage as the King of Rock.
Wyn said: “With the graffiti on the rock having been undisturbed for half a century it is now regarded as a Welsh national tribute to Elvis and I feel that Graceland is the natural
home for this picture.
“I have personally been influenced by both giants associated with this rock. Elvis and his music was music was a central part of my youth culture and as a student I had the privilege
of knowing Islwyn Ffowc Elis personally and grew to appreciate his literary work during my college days at Trinity College Carmarthen where he lectured in the Welsh and Drama
The original painting, Eisteddfa Gurig – Elvis Rock is currently on show in the exhibition at Oriel Rhiannon Tregaron. The picture has been purchased last week by a private buyer
but it will remain on display at the gallery until the exhibition closes on 2 July.