UNIVERSALLY HUMAN - Mark Youd
14 March - 8 April 2017
Last year Mark asked his friend and collector, Anna Storey, to model for him. This show is the fruit of that session.
Mark hesitates to call himself a portrait artist in the traditional sense as his work isn’t about specific individuals, but is an
attempt to describe something universally human. Anna’s friends and family, indeed Anna herself, may not recognise the face in front of them but everyone should be able to identify a connection to their own history, traced back as far as the ancient civilisations.
This exhibition was also an opportunity for Mark to experiment with the printmaking techniques of etching. "The prints in this show bridge the gap between my initial idea and starting a painting. Drawing allows me to answer compositional questions and is essential for me to understand the line, shape and volume of my subject, here again, Anna."
Forty @ Forty
31 May - 2 July 2016
To mark her significant birthday, Abergavenny based artist Louise Collis has produced forty paintings of places that have been special to her in her 40 years.
The artist returns to Y Galeri Caerffili, following her 365 Landscape exhibition in 2015. This year long project took Louise 21,000 miles up and down the country in search of dramatic vistas to use for her inspiration to paint a landscape every single day. It culminated in a highly successful exhibition documenting her travels, the changing seasons and weather conditions.
Her exhibition this year comprises of 40 paintings to mark her 40th birthday. After the mammoth task of painting 365 paintings last year, this show must have been a doddle!
In her own words Louise sums up the exhibition:
‘Some people may celebrate with a big party involving lots of alcohol and silliness, some people might go on a holiday in the sun, some people might not want to celebrate it at all. But me - I've decided to mark my significant birthday by producing forty paintings of places that have been special to me in my 40 years. The paintings include Bath- where I went to University, the Gower - the location of many camping weekends and days out, Devon, Cornwall, Seil Island-Scotland which recently stole my heart, and of course the South Wales Valleys where I was born, raised and which always inspire me’.
After graduating from Bath Spa University in 1998 Louise spent time working full time in Bath. At the time she was also producing artwork and promoting herself as an illustrator, taking part in group exhibitions and exploring themes and techniques. After moving back to Wales she found herself concentrating on her work as an exhibition designer and found it difficult to devote time to her artwork. Her passion for landscape painting was re-ignited by a winter break in St Ives. She now works as a professional artist and has not looked back since.
20 Oct – 21 Nov 2015
Visual artists Kay Keogh, Shirley Anne Owen and Sue Roberts set up 3ormore in 2013 with the aim of either organising exhibitions of their own work, or acting as a hub with the option to invite guest artists to exhibit with them for specific exhibitions and projects.
This exhibition comprises of work by the three members plus four invited guest artists: digital media artist Josephine Sowden (who won The Gold Medal for Fine Art at the National Eisteddfod in 2013), printmaker Michael Goode and painters Jacqueline Alkema and Geraldus John.
This exhibition includes the results of an exploration into printmaking processes. The majority of the group are artists with limited or no experience in this field. With support from the Arts Council of Wales, they have undertaken master classes with Kit Lloyd in collagraph, drypoint etching and monoprint. Subsequent group sessions have helped them to develop their work as an extension of their art practices.
Mixed Group Exhibition
8 Sept - 17 Oct 2015
To coincide with the Rugby World Cup, we are pleased to include Elin Siân Blake’s rugby inspired artworks in this group exhibition. Elin has been been invited back following her success earlier this year in the Open Art Competition. She was awarded first prize and the judges’ decision to select her painting as a worthy winner was endorsed by the general public who nominated the piece as their Visitor’s Choice. She is exhibiting along with seven other artists including Jessica Greenway, another of the winners. Jessica’s small three-dimensional wall hung ceramic forms in this show are currently being developed as part of her MA course. Her sculptures are connected through formal qualities such as shape and colour and sequentially presented as larger more complex geometric pieces. The exhibition also comprises of work from established artists Bert Evans, Lee Wright, and Keith Foster and from emerging artists Graham Vincent, Sue Wood & Mark Youd.
Bert Evans and Graham Vincent are regulars to the gallery. They both depict life in the Valleys but their styles are poles apart; Bert’s impressionistic style versus Graham’s highly detailed work results in an intriguing mix. Much of the work from Bert Evans is inspired by what he sees on a day to day basis - in things that most people hardly seem to notice. He depicts everyday unstaged street scenes with people going about their lives. Graham Vincent’s drawings and paintings are meticulous. He is fascinated with the stunning views and the changes that occur in the Valleys and feels this is even more apparent since the closure of the mines and the subsequent absence of heavy industry which has allowed nature to return in all its glory.
Sue Wood, again a regular, is in the lineup; her delicate pastels depicting the beautiful Welsh coastline always prove popular. There are also vibrant Welsh landscapes from Pontypool artist Keith Foster. His work is a personal response to the cultural heritage and is inspired by the diversity of his local environment from deep valleys with small industrial communities to wild rugged hills and majestic mountains that dominate the valleys below. Lee Wright, a printmaker who has perfected the skilful and time consuming process of intricate reduction linocuts has created small editions of detailed coloured images.
Last but certainly not least are semi abstract portraits by Mark Youd. This is Mark’s debut appearance in Y Galeri. This work is experimental in both the use of materials and the abstraction of the portrait and reward viewing at different distances and from all angles. Close examination raises questions on the method employed. The face itself may not be immediately discernible, if at all, but searching for it is visually exciting.
365 Paintings: Louise Collis
20 July - 5 September 2015
To create one landscape painting, outdoors, every single day for a year was a huge undertaking needing a massive level of commitment and dedication but Pontypool artist Louise Collis rose to the challenge.
All 365 small scale oil paintings were displayed in this exhibition and this was the only opportunity to see the collection in its entirety. The exhibition chronologically hung highlighted the changing seasons, the varying palettes used and the different inland and coastal vistas from one end of the country to the other.
Louise started painting in July 2014 and travelled extensively capturing landscapes, seascapes, mountains, reservoirs, towns and villages. Starting within a radius of her home she found inspiration from Pen Y Fan, The Black Mountains, The Blorenge, Usk and Sugarloaf which she painted on Christmas Day. Moving North to remote locations near Oban she rented a cottage to use as a base, painting several surrounding Lochs and towering Scottish mountains. Undertaking a residency in Cornwall provided an ideal opportunity to paint the Cornish coast plus locations around scenic Devon and Lundy Island en route. The Malvern Hills, Lynmouth, Polkerris, The Severn Crossing, Barry Island, Ogmore, Aberbargoed, Rhymney Valley, Blaina Gwent, Cardiff and Barry Island are just some of the locations painted during the project.
Originally from the South Wales Valleys, Louise graduated from Bath Spa University in 1998. She then spent time working full time in Bath as well as producing artwork and promoting herself as an illustrator, taking part in group exhibitions and exploring themes and techniques. After moving back to Wales she found herself concentrating on her work as an exhibition designer and found it difficult to devote time to her artwork. Then her passion for landscape painting outdoors was re-ignited by a winter break in St Ives. She’s not looked back since.
For Louise Collis this projectwas an incredibly enjoyable and informative process. The changes in her painting style have been documented as well as the seasons, and she has now produced a large body of work that she’s very proud of and will prove to be great inspiration for her future work.
Wreckcreation: Barry Lewis
20 June – 17 July 2015
Barry Lewis’ doesn’t see ‘rubbish’ in the same way as others. His sculptures are all created with things you and I might throw away, from rusty spoons and old toasters to salvaged bike and car parts that have outlived their use and would have ended up in landfill or the scrap yard. With his unique vision he transforms these items and brings them to life: this is true for the tiniest piece of metal to much larger projects, like The Ebenezer Chapel in Tonypandy which has recently become his new studio. Waste goes in through the door of the previously abandoned old school rooms attached to the chapel, and leaves having been mysteriously fashioned into something beautiful, to be sold in galleries around the UK’.
His sculpting developed during his 25 years as a carpenter and joiner but using rubbish to create animals did not start until the late 90’s during a time of protesting with campaign group RANT. The group were protesting against the dumping of toxic waste in a local landfill: Barry and colleagues would prevent Lorries from carrying the waste up the mountain, often by chaining themselves to the gates. When lorries started dumping their waste at the bottom of the mountain, Barry began taking some of it home, and with that rubbish he started making insects.
As a prolific artist Barry Lewis’ sculptures seem to be growing in size and imagination. The more work he creates the more he realises that there is no limit to what he could make.
In Caerphilly Castle Moat for the fourth year running is his giant crab installation. The aim is to create a visually engaging artwork that is accessible to a wide audience and is site specific in terms of context and physical location. The artist is thrilled to display his work once again in such a prominent place with such a historic backdrop. Y Galeri has been working in partnership with CADW to bring the installation to fruition.
Profile artist : Jane Malvisi
19 May – 20 June 2015
Bridgend ceramicist Jane Malvisi is one of our regular makers whose quirky Raku fired Welsh ladies on Welsh slate bases always prove exceptionally popular.
Going back 40 years, and with no formal training, Jane used to make domestic ware. Needing to make a living she put pot making on hold for twenty years, returning to it when she found an opportunity to rekindle her passion through night classes at Margam College. Jane said that ‘with their encouragement I applied to study at the University of Wales, Institute, Cardiff. The only certificate I had prior to this was for sheep shearing so I couldn't believe it when I was accepted. Being dyslexic, formal qualifications were daunting. However I acquired a first class honours degree in ceramics at the age of fifty-three’.
Having worked in Africa for a time her work focused on creating African female forms. An image she found on the internet of Welsh ladies with pots and baskets on their heads combined both cultures. Inspired by this image her inspiration turned to the Welsh Lady.
She now produces Ladies in various formats including wall hung versions and freestanding models, some elegantly donning traditional Welsh hats and some balancing baskets of ceramic chickens on their heads.
Jane’s Welsh ladies are original and unique. Each is individually hand thrown then altered before firing. The Raku process she uses involves removing the pieces from the kiln at 1000 C then putting them into a container of sawdust. The sawdust is set on fire and as the lid is put on the bin the oxygen is reduced. This produces beautiful lustre's as the oxide returns to its original metal.
Jane uses her knowledge to facilitate the learning of ceramics in several countries around the world. Following the humanitarian crisis in Albania and Kosovo there was a desperate need to offer practical assistance so she became personally involved. From 2001 to 2004 she lived in Albania, managing an education centre and setting up a pottery to help local people to gain the necessary skills to gain employment. She went on to work in Zambia assisting learners to re-establish pottery and basketwork skills in remote villages. She has also worked with disabled people in Botswana to enhance their ceramics skills in order to help them make a living.
Colour of India: Bill Swann
18 Apr – 16 May 2015
This exhibition of impressions of travel through West Bengal, Uttah Pradesh, and Rajasthan by Bill Swann, of Porthmadog, presents glass wall hangings, sculpture and paintings in this mixed media show.
His work brings to life the vibrancy of India, the architecture and the diverse personality of the people. The sculptures contain images within the varying layers of glass, and reflect the surprise around each corner that unfolds as more of India is experienced. The artist discovered that beneath the layers of tourism, commerce, and politics in modern day India, lies a country with a population still as complex and exciting as its ancestors.
In 2012 Bill with his wife Angela travelled to Kolkata and Jaipur for a month. He became hooked on the vibrancy and bustle of the country which inspired him to create probably his best ever body of work. The exhibition, supported by an Arts Council Wales production grant is touring around Wales and will continue until December 2015 with its last showing in Llanbedrog.