The horns were my first focus of attention as I walked round our local agricultural show. There are any number of these shows during the Summer and ours comes at the end.
The weather was good enough (dry) and the sheep were panting away in their stalls as they waited to go on show and be judged. If the winning feature were horns, I’d give it to these two fine pairs below in black and white.Continue reading→
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 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.
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.
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→
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.
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→
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.
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→
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.
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.
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.
INTERCONNECTION – interactive woven tapestry by Alastair Duncan
INTERCONNECTION – interactive woven tapestry by Alastair Duncan
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.
The River Nith in Dumfries, Scotland, is a fabulous river to watch in the sunshine as the excited water tumbles and tangles over the weir.
The river is tidal and before the weir was built a greater length of it was affected by both high and low tides, meaning any business that relied on its flow was beholden to the actions of sun and moon twice every 24 hours.
While in Scotland in June I both wanted and needed to visit Dumfries. I wanted to go there in order to visit the Camera Obscura I had so often heard about throughout my life. My father had seen it when a boy living in Dumfries and I thought it was about time I did too.
Dumfries is an attractive town on a sunny day and one of its enjoyable features is the River Nith – but more about that in my next post. The camera obscura is a fascinating contraption housed in what used to be a windmill. It is this fact that influenced the design andContinue reading→
A feeding frenzy of young swallows was one of the most impressive dramas of our stay on the South West coast of Scotland last month. The young birds were fledging and the aerobatics the parents performed to catch insects in flight for their offspring was utterly amazing. Time and time again they would wheel and dive and change direction so abruptly you would think they would leave their brains behind, let alone their stomachs.
These aerobatics went on for a day or two and then the young ones took to the sky and there was even more drama as their parents fed them on the wing andContinue reading→