Quirky View of the Valleys
David Chamberlain’s artwork tries to tell stories, real or imagined, about the characters and unusual places or scenes that inhibit valley life. Sometimes part documentary and other times re-imagined. Colour and perspective is used to create mood, movement or feeling to draw the viewer in. He tries to get the viewer to look at things in a different light. He says that we all see and experience the same things but interpret them differently, and these are his memories of the feel of a place in time. There is no one set style but each one is created to reflect the mood of the scene. David Chamberlain is Senior Arts Development Officer for Caerphilly Borough Council.
Now based in West Wales but John Darch originated from Abertridwr, and enjoyed the tight knit mining community of valley life as a child. His bold and vibrant work is inspired by memories of his childhood and often depicts pastimes and a lifestyle which differ greatly from that of today’s generation.
Most of his artwork is based upon the environment in which he lives. He endeavours to portray the natural beauty of his surroundings, as well as the decay and deprivation that has resulted from many decades of heavy industry and neglect. He says it’s hard not to be inspired by everything even the bad stuff. People often look at is work and find places that are familiar, but many of these places are not real… more an ensemble of the artist’s memories and dreams. Jeremy tries to tell a story in each image and often hides messages within the details. Many of his paintings contain a journey in the form of a path or road. He likes people to find their own stories and tell him what it means to them.
In 2012 he was shortlisted for the ‘Welsh Artist of the Year’ competition for his painting ‘The rusted Iron Shards of Choking Air’.
Is renowned for her bold depictions of landscapes of locations from one end of Wales to the other. For this exhibition we have a number of her original artworks, many of which have not previously been shown. After graduating with a degree in Psychology from Cardiff University in June 2010, Rhiannon began building a career for herself as an artist, working from her studio near Aberaeron. Now living in Cardiff Bay, Rhiannon sells her work all over Wales. Using her vivid imagination and bright, vibrant colours, various scenes are painted with a fresh and modern twist, waves being an intrinsic element of all her paintings. She mixes reality with fantasy to create magical worlds. Rhiannon hopes that her work, being so full of character and fun, will make others feel happy and will inspire others to think like her!
Jan Beeny makes one-off, slab-built ceramic pieces on a variety of scales. Her pieces are based largely on animals, particularly how they move, behave and how human societies throughout time have been compelled to bestow significance upon animals by producing images, objects, stories and mythologies. Often people find humour in her pieces although anthropomorphic sentimentality she says is something she tries to avoid.
Helen’s ceramic figurative sculptures are both endearing and intriguing, seeming to have their own personal character and mannerisms.
Recent work features animal and human figures wearing ‘dress-up’ costumes and ‘onesies’ and sometimes hooded tops or masks. The artist is fascinated by the idea of disguise or incognito. Her pieces are often an analogy for how people often hide a fragile self-esteem behind a robust façade or disguise, often pretending to be what they are not.
Garry Jones’ highly individual clay creatures reflect not only his fantastic imagination and creative twist on humour; they are also fine examples of his skill as a designer and ceramic artist. He attributes animals with human characteristics portraying domestic and farm animals that he feels connected with, and giving them a character and personality of their own. Garry’s loves of animals is apparent in his work. He says that they are a continuous source of amusement, happiness, sadness, and of course inspiration. His work has a raku glaze which makes each piece unique.
Nina Lazarou constructs her wire sculptures freehand. Each piece is shaped by hand then layers upon layers of wire are wrapped around the structure that allows a particular spontaneity and freedom to her making process. Armed with a set of pliers, she uses a variety of wires such as galvanised, aluminium and silver plated wire. Each sculpture is unique, there are no two the same and she enjoys the potential that each one brings.