In the course of those five years Hedley has also become increasingly intrigued by the close parallels between the island's geology and that of Crete where he has taught regular summer schools over the years. Thus the long standing resonances he has found between the two islands’ geology has extended into cultural references too – icon painting and its referencing of abstraction and figuration among them. This is tough, beautiful work by an artist who, paradoxically, while working out on the edge of things, is, in reality, very much at the centre. Just across the Menai Straights, at the ever enterprising and beautifully situated Ffyn y Parc Gallery , is a splendid, and very different kind of show of Welsh landscape paintings by two more English painter ‘refugees’ from the 1980s, Gerald and Kim Dewsbury. I have written in the past about Gerald Dewsbury’s “technically brilliant and passionately engaged painting” which is wild and romantic in spirit but never, ever, woolly, and this 60th birthday show reveals him at the peak of his powers. His wife Kim’s work, on the other hand, I hadn’t encountered before and, with its quiet contemplative approach to the Welsh landscape, often clear, limpid scenes viewed through a foreground of related still life objects – fragments of rocks, flowers and feathers – it provides a subtle counterpoint to the often intense dramas of her husband’s work. Down into mid-Wales there is yet another wonderfully individualistic and important exhibition space, one that I have long admired, and which is entering its fourth decade of activity, Moma Machynlleth . Still busily expanding and now, with some seven separate exhibition spaces, it shows an always superbly open and eclectic range of sculpture, painting and photography. Suzie Larke's remarkable conceptual photographic essay aiming to give exuberant visual shape to mental depression, and challenge stereotypes of mental illness, being not untypical of Moma’s adventurous approach. In the far south east of the Principality The Art Shop & Chapel at Abergavenny has long flown a flag for a consistently poetic and largely youthful painterly tradition, and though On a recent, exhilarating visit to look at contemporary art in Cornwall and the far south west, one of the region’s leading dealers referred to London, in passing, as “increasingly parochial” in its artistic attitudes. By which he meant it was only really very interested in what was happening on its own front doorstep. In doing so, he echoed my own long held views that, not though you would know it from the art press, much of the most genuinely original and thoughtful new work is often being made hundreds of miles from the metropolis. Wales is just such another case in point, with a chain of excellent galleries, both public and commercial, running from the north to the south of the country, and an imaginatively led and bureaucratically-flexible Arts Council of Wales doing everything it can, in turn, to support both artists and galleries. A good example of the Welsh art scene is the Ucheldre Centre at Holyhead on Anglesey, just about as far north in Wales as it is possible to go, where north Wales-based painter/printmaker John Hedley is showing the outcome of a 2012 Arts Council grant given to explore in print, collage and paint, the quite extraordinary geological heritage of the island (a large area of which is an internationally recognised geo-park). In doing so, he has often used pigments made from local rocks. OCTOBER 2017 GALLERIES 11 from left C ornelia O'Donovan ‘Herrings eyes, puddings and pies’ The Art Shop & Chapel Gerald Dewsbury ‘Mountain Hawthorn’ Ffin Y Parc Gallery Suzie Larke ‘Balancing Act’ Moma Machynlleth W ALESART ‘original new work is made hundreds of miles from the metropolis . . .’