Fifty-four ceramic panels hung and counting, as our Artists’ Residency at St David’s Oriel y Parc Tower Gallery enters its second week.
I’m getting the hang of hanging – up the ladder, fixing Maria Jones Cermartist’s porcelain panels – and there are more to come once the kiln is fired up again.
Come along, 10 am – 3 pm each day, have a look at progress and maybe even leave a note of your most precious Pembrokeshire memory for us to enshrine in porcelain.
Ceramicist Maria Jones and I were offered the chance to undertake a residency for May/June 2021 at St Davids Oriel y Parc landscape gallery – our nearest A-list gallery, and a stalwart of the arts in Pembrokeshire. Despite the restrictions that are likely to still be in place, we are excited about the idea.
Taking off from Maria’s previous ceramic work and Ian’s graphics, the end result will comprise a series of porcelain panels suspended from the Tower Gallery’s ring chandelier, each telling a fragment of a story from a person’s experience of Pembrokeshire’s coastal National Park. The pieces will demonstrate the diverse nature of our County, and the impressions that it makes on residents and visitors alike.
It will bring artists’ perspectives, creativity and skills to frame and articulate the characteristics and qualities of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park – its landscape, environment, people, history and culture.
More details – especially on how to participate – to follow!
Welcome to my new website – hopefully, an even more direct and image-packed experience.
I hope that it’ll make it easier for browsers to access my artwork images – be they black-and-white giclee prints, pencil line drawings or colour screenprints.
My latest B&W images have also seen me draw on Wales’ national legacy of ancient and imposing castles.
Literally a stone’s throw across the border from Pembrokeshire’s northernmost tip, Cardigan town and its iconic, newly restored castle and bridge have long beckoned as a subject; the distinctive row of castle cottages only added to the possibilities for more images.
And as part of my new Carmarthenshire series of prints, I tackled the castle in Kidwelly – along with the town’s famous black-cat symbol.
An inter-lockdown trip to North Wales this autumn, to walk the stunning northern Llyn Peninsula stretch of the Wales Coastal Path, saw me add the imposing Caernarfon Castle to my growing list of images – and Cardiff Castle, with its unique ‘Animal Wall’ of wildlife sculptures, and the wild ruins of Caerphilly Castle proved irresistible.
As Wales emerges from its recent ‘firebreak’, it’s great to know that my work is on show again at the Newport Collective gallery/shop in north Pembrokeshire, as well as in the Raul Speek Gallery in Solva, the Etcetera Gallery in St Davids, Cardigan Castle visitors’ centre, East Gate gallery in Pembroke and Elements in Saundersfoot.
(All have exemplary distancing/sanitising arrangements in place – many thanks to all the proprietors involved!)
I originally created the cartoon characters of buccaneer Long John Solva and his companion, the hapless Bosun Noson, for the social-care charity Solva Care as part of their ‘toolkit’. This is aimed at helping other communities to replicate the service offered in this north Pembrokeshire harbour village. Long John Solva’s face adapts the striking Solva Care logo.
They have been revived for the 2020 Solva Stories blog – set up (with help from Solva Care volunteers) to provide the readers with an outlet to share stories, poems and artwork during the Covid-19 emergency. The pirate duo’s care-related ‘duties’ expanded to include (light-hearted) messaging about life under lockdown.
From my Welsh base in Pembrokeshire, the last couple of years have seen me expand in subject matter into neighbouring areas of west Wales.
I produced a set of Carmarthenshire images for the Origin Dyfed gallery in King Street, Carmarthen town – including the striking Paxton’s tower, bordering the National Botanic Gardens, and the eccentric town hall in Dylan Thomas’s old writing base of Laugharne on the Tâf’s ‘heron-priested shore’.
A Ceredigion series for the visitors’ centre at the newly revamped Cardigan Castle takes in Cardigan town itself as well as the unique chapel and hill on the coast at Mwnt and a surviving old cottage in the planned Georgian port of Aberaeron.
I’m also in the process of expanding my Asia set of B&W prints to include subjects from eastern and Middle Eastern trips. A traditional Russian timber church and a Giza pyramid have joined the temples and tombs of India and Southeast Asia in my ‘Eastern Horizons’ series – with more to come!