The Art of Gordon Stuart at Swansea Museum

January 14th – February 11th 2016.

There are very few artists working in Wales who painted as many portraits of famous people as did Gordon Stuart. His prodigious output spanned over six decades. Yet there was so much more to his work than just portraiture as this small exhibition will reveal.

Gordon Thomas Stuart was born in Toronto in 1924 into a working class family.  His considerable talent was spotted early on and in 1934 he attended art classes in the city art gallery  where he won a prize of $100 for a drawing. On leaving school he worked in a graphic design company. In 1942 he joined the Canadian Army and came to Britain for the first time.

Gordon spent most of his military service in Italy where he was captivated by the landscape and the people. His artistic skills were used to draw sketches of enemy positions. When the war ended he returned to Canada with the intention of saving enough money to return to Italy. Back in Toronto he resumed his art studies and became assistant art editor of New Liberty magazine.

In 1952 he returned to Europe and spent an enjoyable year in Paris. When his money ran out he moved to London and combined work with part time study at St. Martin’s College. Finding it difficult to survive in London he decided to return to Canada after firstly visiting Carmarthen. In west Wales his fortunes picked up, he attended classes in the local art school met his future wife Mair and painted the last portrait of Dylan Thomas, in Laugharne in September 1953.

Following their marriage in 1955, Mair and Gordon moved to London. Gordon trained as a teacher and worked in several schools across the city.  They returned to Wales in 1975 when Gordon took up a part time lecturing post in Dyfed College of Art in Carmarthen.

After his retirement from the in 1986  he became a full-time painter. Although he still took portrait commissions , much of his subject matter was drawn from the landscape of west Wales, and still life studio compositions mainly of flowers. Gordon and Mair travelled extensively during this time to Canada and Europe. In 1992 a trip to the south of France was the inspiration for some of his most memorable works a series of paintings of Boule players. Gordon liked nothing more than capturing individuals in their day to day lives – children playing, people returning home, or shopping, or simply walking in the rain.

In 1995 Gordon was appointed artist in residence when Swansea hosted the Year of Literature. Over the course of the year a glittering array of authors, poets, artists, musicians, politicians came to the city. Gordon made hundreds of sketches and well over eighty portraits.

Gordon was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy summer exhibitions. He won a number of prizes for his paintings and five of his portraits have been bought by the National Portrait Gallery, London. His work is held in many public collections in Britain and Canada. Gordon became a Royal Cambrian Academician in 2001 and was honoured by Swansea University in 2014 for his contribution to art.

A new book, The Art of Gordon Stuart by Dylan Rees and Twm Gardner is launched at The Taliesin Arts Centre on Saturday 23rd January at 2pm.

Boxing The Chimera

Penny Hallas. Collage.

Penny Hallas. Collage.

Boxing the Chimera

chimera… 1. a mythical beast. 2. a fancy or dream; an imagining.

 An exhibition of imaginative responses to the contents of three South Wales museums, including the Swansea Museum Collections Centre.

In these drawings, artist Penny Hallas celebrates the beauty and variety of objects on display, explores their relation to community and place, and sends them spinning off in new – often fantastical – directions.

This work represents developing ideas for Boxing the Chimera, an ongoing Arts Council Wales funded research and development project.

Follow the blog: http://boxingthechimera.blogspot.co.uk/

Boxes are both things in themselves and perhaps repositories of an interior world of artefacts, materials, sounds, social processes and so on, but also of the unexpected (which may include emptiness of course).

A museum is similarly a container in which a nation, a people, a locality reveals and conceals itself, creating a kind of chimerical patchwork identity.

Brief biography

Originally from Yorkshire, Penny Hallas has lived and worked in Wales for much of her life. Firmly based on drawing, her work also includes painting, printmaking, sculpture and film. She has exhibited widely as well as participating in arts events and projects based in the landscape around her Powys home and studio. Ideas relating to her work as an art therapist underpin themes in her artwork – principally a curiosity about and fascination with the way our imagination and the material world interact.

http://www.pennyhallas.co.uk/

ChimeraDouble

On Display in November and December at Swansea Museum Collections Center (open every Wednesday) . Please ring for appointment to view at other times. 01792 467282

Bonhams’ Valuation Day – 16 July

An item that was consigned into the Cardiff office, it just goes to prove that value can be found so close by. Konstantin Ivanovich Gorbatoff (Russian, 1876-1945) 'Capri'  Sold in 2011 for £80,000

Konstantin Ivanovich Gorbatoff (Russian, 1876-1945) ‘Capri’
Sold in 2011 for £80,000

Just a quick note to let you know about our Bonhams’ Valuation day coming up on 16 July.

Swansea Museum are proud to announce that it will be hosting Bonhams.

“For size and scope, Bonhams fine and decorative art valuation service is without equal. Our valuers are renowned for their professionalism, knowledge and confidentiality.” www.bonhams.com

Please bring items that you wish to be valued, whether it’s furniture, paintings, porcelain, pottery…

Please phone Bonhams to book as places are limited. Times between 10 and 2pm.

The photos are 3 items that were consigned into the Cardiff office, it just goes to prove that value can be found so close by…

  1. A jewelled gold bowl possibly Alexander Treiden for Hahn, St. Petersburg, before 1899. Sold in 2014 for £22,000
  2. A silver-gilt shaded enamel topographical spoon Feodor Rückert, Moscow, 1908-1917. Sold in 2014 for £30,000
  3. Konstantin Ivanovich Gorbatoff (Russian, 1876-1945) ‘Capri’. Sold in 2011 for £80,000
Russian gold bird bowl

A jewelled gold bowl possibly Alexander Treiden for Hahn, St. Petersburg, before 1899
Sold in 2014 for £22,000

Russian enamel spoon

A silver-gilt shaded enamel topographical spoon Feodor Rückert, Moscow, 1908-1917
Sold in 2014 for £30,000

A round up of Museums at Night with Amy Sharrocks

London Falling Amy Sharrocks cinematographer Iris Long

London Falling Amy Sharrocks –  cinematographer Iris Long

As you’ll have heard, we’ve got Museums at Night taking place next weekend. So here’s a roundup of what to expect for the big weekend.

Friday 16th May | Falling with Swansea Libraries 

From 6pm Swansea Central Library will be transformed in to a dreamland and slumber.

On Friday – What to expect:

  • A free running group, who teach Parkour and street dance will be performing a live demonstration and holding classes with members of the public.
  • Bedtime stories in the kid’s area under a parachute canopy wearing pyjamas.
  • They’ll have large cushions, bean bags and cosy blankets to transform the library into a dreamland and slumber.
  • Cupcakes and refreshments.
  • A 1950s bus outside Swansea Library.

On Friday 16th & Saturday 17th, DAYTRIP with Amy Sharrocks and Swansea Museum

[Read more…]

#DAYTRIP with Amy Sharrocks

We’re beginning to get really excited for when Amy Sharrocks visits on the 1st of May, ahead of the Museums at Night festival of events on the 17 May.

In the run up to their collaboration for Museums at Night 2014, artist Amy Sharrocks will be appearing at Swansea Museum to discuss DAYTRIP. Invitation to fall. Come along on Thursday May 1st at 7pm to hear the artist discuss her work and receive your invitations to fall.

[Read more…]

Swansea Water Collected

Museum of Water CwmdonkinIt’s great to have our first Swansea donation for the Museum of Water. It’s a sample of water from the drinking fountain at Cwmdonkin Park, as mentioned in Dylan Thomas’ poem The Hunchback in the Park.  It was donated by Mark Thomas of Uplands, a lifelong Dylan Thomas fan.

Eating bread from a newspaper
Drinking water from the chained cup
That the children filled with gravel
In the fountain basin where I sailed my ship

[Read more…]

An Interview with an Artist: Ellis Johns, inspired by the work of Dylan Thomas

Ahead of our opening for Inspired by the work of Dylan Thomas exhibition, brought to you by Cardiff Metropolitan University Photographic Practice.

The group consists of ten second year students who have chosen to photographically interpret the words of Dylan Thomas. Each student will use their unique perspective to produce a body of work that will refl­ect the rich and diverse prose of Dylan Thomas. The group have chosen pieces that will positively refl­ect Thomas’ legacy and Welsh heritage.

[Read more…]

An Interview with an Artist: Sandie Peters, inspired by the work of Dylan Thomas

Inspired-iconAhead of our opening for Inspired by the work of Dylan Thomas exhibition, brought to you by Cardiff Metropolitan University Photographic Practice.

The group consists of ten second year students who have chosen to photographically interpret the words of Dylan Thomas. Each student will use their unique perspective to produce a body of work that will refl­ect the rich and diverse prose of Dylan Thomas. The group have chosen pieces that will positively refl­ect Thomas’ legacy and Welsh heritage.

We thought it’d be nice to catch up with a few of the artists to ask them a few questions; generally about their field of study, what inspires them, other work that they love and more.

[Read more…]

An Interview with an Artist: Claire Mc Geer, inspired by the work of Dylan Thomas

Inspired-iconAhead of our opening for Inspired by the work of Dylan Thomas exhibition, brought to you by Cardiff Metropolitan University Photographic Practice.

The group consists of ten second year students who have chosen to photographically interpret the words of Dylan Thomas. Each student will use their unique perspective to produce a body of work that will refl­ect the rich and diverse prose of Dylan Thomas. The group have chosen pieces that will positively refl­ect Thomas’ legacy and Welsh heritage.

We thought it’d be nice to catch up with a few of the artists to ask them a few questions; generally about their field of study, what inspires them, other work that they love and more.

Here’s your chance to meet the artist, and to learn about the individuals behind the wonderful pieces of work that will be soon on display (if not already)

The Exhibition opens on 14 of April at Swansea Museum.

Hi Claire,

So what subject in your field of study are you particular passionate about?

I love to take portraits – I get to speak to amazing people and see them in a different way. I love it when they love what they see.

What inspires you to create such artistic and beautiful pieces?

Seeing beauty in everyone and making them feel good about themselves is extremely rewarding.

In terms of a role model, who do you look up to and respect the most in your life?

My mother is a pioneering and strong figure in my life.

Which artist’s work do you most appreciate and love?

Sally Mann and Yousaf Karsh

If we’d like to find out more about your work, where should we go?

www.claraskeepsakes.co.uk

Do you have any more up and coming events that might be of interest?

Swansea Museum and Cardiff castle

Finally, what goals and aims do you have for the future?

Further develop my portrait portfolio and creatively explore comunicating strong messages through the medium of photography.

So why not come down to the exhibition to see her inspiring work? 

An Interview with an Artist: Maria Kučerková, inspired by the work of Dylan Thomas

 

Inspired-iconAhead of our opening for Inspired by the work of Dylan Thomas exhibition, brought to you by Cardiff Metropolitan University Photographic Practice.

The group consists of ten second year students who have chosen to photographically interpret the words of Dylan Thomas. Each student will use their unique perspective to produce a body of work that will refl­ect the rich and diverse prose of Dylan Thomas. The group have chosen pieces that will positively refl­ect Thomas’ legacy and Welsh heritage.

We thought it’d be nice to catch up with a few of the artists to ask them a few questions; generally about their field of study, what inspires them, other work that they love and more.

Here’s your chance to meet the artist, and to learn about the individuals behind the wonderful pieces of work that will be soon on display (if not already)

The Exhibition opens on 14 of April at Swansea Museum.

Hi Maria,

So what subject in your field of study are you particular passionate about?

My passion is portraiture and fashion, especially produced on location or in studio. I am very interested in the dark era and everything what goes with it.

What inspires you to create such artistic and beautiful pieces?

Everything I see around me. People, books, music, simply life in general. Everything what has life in it, moving objects and things which are already dead.

In terms of a role model, who do you look up to and respect the most in your life?

My mother.

Which artist’s work do you most appreciate and love?

That is a very extensive question. One of my favorite artists is Kirsty Mitchell. Her images have soul, they have always something to say and her beautiful handmade props…As well as the work of David Bailey for his fantastic portraiture, Jan & Sara Saudek, Joel Peter Witkin, Francesca Woodman and Sally Man.

If we’d like to find out more about your work, where should we go?

At the moment is most of the stuff on my facebook page: Mária Kučerková Photography.

Do you have any more up and coming events that might be of interest?

Cardiff Castle exhibition (same theme)…No more so far.

Finally, what goals and aims do you have for the future?

Setting up a business or working freelance, exhibiting new pieces, moving to London…too many plans for one life.

So why not come down to the exhibition to see her inspiring work?