Mererid Hopwood remembers the artist, writer and activist Osi Rhys Osmond.

Osi Rhys Osmond

Spring 2015 seemed to insist on bringing to Wales more of a sense of an end than a beginning. We suffered more than our fair share of losses. Merêd, Bwlch Llan, John Rowlands to name but three, and then Osi. All of them giants in the field called culture, where identity grows.

In the months that have followed, if our family table has felt empty, we can be sure that the angels are having a feast. The conversation is oscillating between the convivial and controversial. Animated always. Osi is there in their midst listening, sketching each guest in turn, stopping to butt in, to hold forth, and to tell it as it is and as it should be.

Because that’s how he was.

On Wednesday, 4 March, with a little more than two days’ breath to spare, he took it upon himself to explain exactly what was supposed to be said in Moriah when the time came. The body was no doubt weak – but the mind? The spirit? With burning eyes he said: ‘You must tell them about my beliefs, about the principles’. And egwyddorion and argyhoeddiadau are difficult words to pronounce even in the best of health.

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