Galleries - October 2016

painters who portrayed daily life in South Wales in the 1930s to 1950s – Joan Baker, Charles Burton, John Elwyn and Bert Isaac. Elsewhere, visitors will find collages by Richard Blacklaw-Jones, ceramics by Valerie James, a hang from the collection and portraits by Gladys Vasey, who trained with Lamorna Birch in Cornwall in the 1930s and lived in mid-Wales until her death in 1981. The sculpture space presents a hugely impressive site-specific installation by Alison Lochhead using fired clay, paper and iron to explore strength and resilience. It’s an astonishing achievement that this quantity, diversity and quality are provided by one tiny organisation. In Anglesey, Tegfryn Gallery has an exhibition of one of Wales’ veteran women artists, Claudia Williams, whose figure paintings celebrate family with tenderness and compositional acuity. That’s followed by Daniel Crawshaw’s atmospheric oil paintings of Snowdonia in rain and mist. At Ucheldre Centre it is well worth catching the documentary photographs of Bruce Cardwell, whose portraits bring to mind a kind of 21st century ‘Under Milk Wood’ around the shingle- mounted shore town of Borth. Oriel Ynys Môn is one of three galleries simultaneously staging an exhibition organised by Bangor University artists’ responses to masterpieces from the National Museum, with the Royal Cambrian Academy Conwy and Storiel in Bangor. Also in North Wales, Oriel Plas Glyn-y-Weddw is a popular destination on the all-Wales coastal path, with a permanent collection and changing exhibitions to see, while Oriel Mostyn is one of the smartest galleries in Wales. Further east, Ffin y Parc has an exhibition by David Grosvenor of the palette-knife painting that has seemed to suit the North Wales landscape from Kyffin Williams onwards (also showing Dewi Tudor, Katie Allen and Beth Fletcher, see page 26). Finally, another giant of Welsh art deserves a mention. But this time the giant is the artwork not the artist – Sabastian Boyesen’s huge statue ‘The Guardian’, on the site of the Six Bells pit disaster at Abertillery. After six years it is topical again due to controversial proposals to build a new school bang in front of it, removing the hallowed setting of returning nature where 45 men lost their lives in 1960. The great miner figure has something of the ‘Angel of the North’ about it, but its threads of steel dance with an insubstantial ghostliness at a distance, only becoming solid from a closer angle. Experience the atmosphere while you can . P eter Wakelin 16 GALLERIES WALES OCTOBER 2016 from left: Bedwyr Williams ‘Curator Cadavar Cake’ Artes Mundi 7 Matt Caines ‘Head’ The Art Shop & Chapel Bruce Cardwell ‘Borth - Bill’ Ucheldre Centre Laura Ford ‘Keepers of the Wall’ Cardiff Contemporary