Queen Street Gallery

A New Centre of Art – Queen Street Gallery

Recently I have been involved in the Queen Street Gallery,  a new gallery and the first of its kind in Neath. The gallery widens the reach of art in the Swansea Bay area and includes well established as well as emerging Welsh and international artists in different fields of practice.

Queen Street Gallery

Queen Street Gallery opened in June and is proving a popular addition to the centre of Neath. Just down the road from the train station, it is an easy place to get to and has its latest exhibition opening tonight from 6 – 8pm (Friday 7th September 2018). Carole and Peter Evans have a retrospective exhibition of their painting – closely observed cameos of everyday life. Both Carole and Peter were born in Neath and both have exhibited throughout Wales, London and The Cotswolds.

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from Joy Revision

A Centre of Art – Swansea 4 – Two Small Galleries

There are many galleries in Swansea these days, some quite big and some quite small. Elysium Gallery is one of the small ones but is part of a large artists organisation in the city with close connections to Swansea College of Art and running a substantial collection of artists studios and events.

Sophie Harding

The exhibition, “Paint to the Teeth Bone”, that has just finished at Elysium featured three emerging artists currently students at the college. I look forward to seeing how each of the artists develop their work but I was particularly taken by Sophie Hardings work on figures.Continue reading

Titus Barker

A Centre of Art – Swansea 3 BEEP Painting Biennial

The third focus of my attention in my walk around the art of Swansea was the BEEP Painting Biennial. This work was in several venues in the city but the bulk of it was exhibited in the College of Art throughout August and into September – it finishes this weekend so if you have the opportunity, I can recommend it.

Katie Beth Avey

I have picked out some of my favourites below but the there were many more I liked and the exhibition could have been half the size and would still have satisfied (unless, of course, my favourites were not included).Continue reading

N. S. Harsha

A Centre of Art – Swansea 2 The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery

Last week I took a day to walk around some of the art currently showing in Swansea. The city is teeming with it – all sorts both international and local. For many years now the arts scene in Swansea has been good but in recent years it has been growing even stronger. So I will be posting each day this week with a different aspect of the work we enjoyed on our tour from one gallery to the next.

N. S. Harsha

We started at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery where N. S. Harsha had his largest exhibition in the UK to date. He was winner of the Artes Mundi prize in 2008 and one of the works was an installation made for the Glynn Vivian. The whole exhibition was impressive and the installation was powerful in its use of mirrors – I became one of the people painted on the floor looking up at the mirrored ceiling. It has a strange and disorientating effect.Continue reading

Swansea Festival of Stitch

A Centre of Art – Swansea 1 Festival of Stitch

As a tapestry artist and weaver I was keen to see as much as I could of the second biennial Swansea Festival of Stitch 2018 and managed to get to several of the city wide venues. My first port of call was Swansea Museum where some of the best quilting was to be seen.

Judy Stephens

The first four photos below are from the museum with others being from the Waterfront Museum, the Leisure Centre and the Grand Theatre. The festival is over now but there is much more art to look at in Swansea and I will be doing so over the rest of this week.

tapestry weaving

Dumfries 3 – Sound and Weave

The most important reason for me to visit Dumfries was to check out Gracefield Arts Centre and the space in which I would have work in an exhibition later in the year. The British Tapestry Group exhibition “Sound and Weave” is now on at the arts centre and runs there until 29th September.

Gracefield Arts Centre

My tapestry is experimentally interactive with light sensors embedded in the weave – the sensors trigger different field recordings layered over a looping background soundscape when they are cast into shadow by, for instance, the viewer’s hand or body.

“Experimental” is the key work here and it proved a challenge to calibrate the sensors to react at their optimum in a space with lighting quite different from my studio. In this instance I am happy for the interactivity of the tapestry to be sensitive to the changing ambient light as much as the gallery lighting and human intervention, but in future venues I will provide my own lighting with a view to a tighter control of the sensors.

The videos below show both my own tapestry “in action” and the other works in the exhibition. Thanks again to Dawn, the Arts Officer at Gracefield, and all the BTG people involved in setting up the exhibition. It will be my turn when it comes to Swansea in March 2019!

If the videos do not show below in your browser, please click the links below to view them on Vimeo.

INTERCONNECTION at Gracefield Arts Centre

https://vimeo.com/285860378

Sound and Weave at Gracefield Arts Centre

https://vimeo.com/286544845


rusty ring perspective

Iron Standings and Rusty Rings

Iron standings, rusty rings and other objects – these are from a short stretch of the Scottish shoreline which I was walking along last month and which includes two old, small harbour jetties.

iron standings

The colours and textures of rust are always attractive to me and in this location they also reflect the colours and textures of the surrounding rocks and lichens.

So far as I can tell these small ports are not used any more, althoughContinue reading

York Station

My Walk this Week – Skeletal Station Architecture

My walk this week is at the end of recent travels and depicts the skeletal architecture and structure of York railway station and more. The rib-like structures of the station design are fascinating and while all the photos were taken on my iPhone, perhaps that forced me to be more selective about the views and angles of the images I took.

skeletal station ribs

I found myself unexpectedly with time to spare due to a cancelled train, and so, apart from exploring the station, I also went to York Art Gallery for a lot at this year’s Aesthetica exhibition. It was very interesting but many of the exhibits were in video form and therefore less immediateContinue reading

twisting footbridge

My Walk this Week – A Day in Northampton

My walk this week is from a day trip we had to Northampton a few weeks ago. We were there for the opening of an exhibition in which my daughter (Hannah Duncan Creations) had be invited to take part – Enamel Today by the British Society of Enamellers. The exhibition is at 78 Derngate, the only Charles Rennie Mackintosh house in England.

Beckets Park

Apart from the obvious interest I have in my daughter’s work I also had an interest in the Northampton architecture, and not just the Rennie mackintosh house.Continue reading

Barbara Hepworth - Hieroglyph detail

Sculpture in Leeds

We didn’t have a lot of time to stay in Leeds on my walk this week but I still managed to take in some of the current sculpture exhibition at the Leeds Art Gallery. One of my favourites was this piece by Barbara Hepworth from 1953.

Barbara Hepworth - Hieroglyph

Barbara Hepworth – Hieroglyph

The title of the work, “Hieroglyph”, prompts towards an interpretation of the piece I suppose but not knowing the title at the time of initially viewing it, I didn’t think of it as being a hieroglyph. However, its language spoke to me in terms of surface texture and pattern, form and I guess, humanity and nature. The shapes of the hollowed out areas seem figure-like and looking through them to the other side had an essence of intimacy about it. I wanted to touch and caress its cool warmth! If such a contradiction in terms can be accepted, it is the only term I can find to express my perception of the piece while expecting the stone surface to be cool to the touch.

The Richard Long installation left me cool, if not cold. The impact of the work may come again from the contradiction (or should I say juxtaposition?) of the arrangement of the natural material and the space it is in, but for me it felt somewhat contrived.

The work that had the greatest impact on me, though I cannot say it was a particularly positive one, was the alabaster figure holding a bird to her shoulder by Woman and Bird by John Skeaping. The material had a strange effect on me and looking back at the VR shot I took of the room (see below), I think it may have been the sense that I was able to see inside the body at the same time as seeing its surface – I found it a bit disturbing. Again with this piece there was an element of contradiction – the apparent textures of the stone revealed through its changes in colour, pattern and internal structure was in contrast to its worked smoothness and  again there was the warmth of colour but the knowledge that if touched it the sensation would be of cold or coolness.

As with my previous post, if you click the VR image below on an iPhone or Android phone with the Google Cardboard Camera app installed, you will be able to view the full 360º of the space in virtual reality. On the linked image on your phone select the “Save to app” button and then fit your phone to the Google Cardboard device.

Leeds-sculpture.vr