An interview with an artist – Gary Francis

Tell me about your work in Swansea Museum.

I have 5 pieces of work on exhibit in the museum. These paintings are done in various mediums oil, gouache, and pencil.

Portraiture is my main interest although I am interested in a wide variety of subjects. The Exhibition is on until Christmas.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?

I am working towards my final exhibition at college and particularly looking at a self portraiture.

 Why did you decide to become an artist?

Because it is something I’ve always enjoyed and has been something I’ve done since a very early age.

 What was the best advice given to you as an artist? 

To paint what you see and not what think you see.

 Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art.  How do you sell your work?  How do you market yourself?

I’m only just starting off in this field. I hope to get a website in the future to publicise my work and hopefully find a gallery that would promote my work.

 Who are some of the Swansea / Welsh / UK / Worldwide artists you enjoy? 

Always admired the impressionists and Rembrandt

 If I were to follow you around to see art in Wales/ UK, which places would we go? What would we see?

The Tate, National portrait gallery and the Cork St. galleries in London

 Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?

The final exhibition at the Swansea Metropolitan University.

Want to find out more about Gary and his work? If you any questions or queries, then please don’t hesitate in leaving a comment and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. 

LOCWS Art Across the City Craft Workshops

Art WorkshopsGet inspired by Art Across the City and re-invent Swansea as a much more colourful place!

Young visitors have the chance to join the team from LOCWS International to dream up their own version of ‘Future Swansea’ and design and create their own buildings with the help of experienced staff.

Both workshops are completely FREE and all materials are provided.

No booking is required so just drop in.

Workshop dates

Saturday 27 April, 12noon – 4pm

Saturday 11 May, 1pm – 4pm


Art in the Long Gallery at Swansea Museum

Swansea Museum has a display of local artworks in its Long Gallery on the lower level of the Museum – many of the works are for sale (and can be easily purchased by the Arts Council of Wales Collectorplan scheme, supported by The Principality) with more details from Museum Reception) . Paul O’ Donovan is a Llanelli based artist, and Front of House Manager at the Museum . He is a self taught artist, inspired by a variety of motivations, including intense colours, the styles of the 1960’s and the psychedelic movement.

Paul has displayed his art at many galleries, and is a successful seller, constantly varying his art as he progresses through many styles.

His work is attracting a greater appreciation, all of the currently displayed pieces available for sale, and he has work currently being considered for Welsh Artist of the Year 2011. The displayed paintings – fourteen in all – include thought provoking acrylics, and mixed-media such as ‘Abstract1’ a curiously shaped black and white image, his acrylic on canvas ‘Food Mixer’ a mix of intense reds on black, showing a simple but vivid image, ‘Stroll in the fog’ an intriguing glimpse into a night time world that glows eerily, and ‘candles’ another simple image that draws your eyes to the gathered lights in the surrounding blackness. His looks at the world in other pictures result in unusual imagery, showing our surroundings in new ways.

Gary Francis is another local artist – and a member of our Front of House Team – who has an interest in a wide range of subjects. Portraiture and Wildlife are particular specialities, and his portraiture work has received great acclaim in the world of football, being displayed at the Manchester United Football Club Museum.

Some of his nine displayed works are for sale, others not, being retained by the artist as part of his permanent display catalogue. Images include ‘Summertime’, a gentle portrayal of a simplicity of life that many desire but few achieve, and the contrasting intense feasts of colour represented by his portraits of Freddie Mercury and Neil Young, added to the wild imagery of Dylan Thomas. Gary’s intricate and atmospheric images of Sir Matt Busby and Ernest Hemingway evoke thoughts of other eras, as does his detailed pencil portrayal of the Mumbles Train at Rutland Street. Gary looks at the world of the wild, and features ‘Thirst’, the gentleness of the drinking Zebra contrasting with ‘Tiger’, a big cat looking at his world with steely eyes.

The display continues throughout April. Swansea Museum is open to the public every day except Mondays ( but open on Bank Holidays) and admission is free.




– COME ALONG AND JOIN IN THE FREE FUN! 10am until 4.00 pm.

Artists from Swansea Studios – Exhibition now on in Long Gallery

Formed in 1979, Swansea Studios provides thirteen studios to artists on a long term basis, within a lively, supportive and dynamic working environment.

The group, which reflects the diversity of artists and practices in Swansea, forms an integral part of the artistic community, with many of the studio artists being proactive and involved in the various grassroots activities and collectives taking place in the city.
Currently there are ten visual artists, one ceramicist and two glass artists occupying the studios.

a new selection of artwork in our Long Gallery from the diverse artists at Swansea Studios, including pieces from Huda Awad, Mary Hayman, Allan Storer, Yvonne Daters, Adele Vye, Jonathan Anderson, Paul Giuffrida, Jonathan Powell and David Marchant – a selection are available for purchase, on the  Arts Council of Wales “Collector Plan” scheme, the exhibition also continuing to the end of 2010.


Watercolour Society of Wales – on display now.

The Watercolour Society of Wales display a selection of members artwork in our Long Gallery.

The tradition of watercolour painting in Wales goes back to the Eighteenth Century, but it was not until the middle of the last century that a Welsh Society was formed to recognise and encourage the heritage of water colour painting in Wales.

Fifty one years have passed since six like minded Artists met in Cardiff to form that society, and from that small beginning the Watercolour Society of Wales was born.

Today the Society holds exhibitions throughout Wales, and Swansea Museum is pleased to host this, the latest of those exhibitions, albeit currently in a smaller area than should be available in 2011, when we hope to be able to host a much larger display of watercolours, an occasion that may indeed become an annual one.

The Watercolour Society of Wales

Worn To Be Wild – Exhibition

Saturday 18th September – Friday 31st December 2010

Swansea Museum presents the first Swansea exhibition of contemporary costume by Kate Plumtree, costume maker and creative textile artist.

The collection of 17 costumes in this vibrant exhibition are inspired by British wild birds and mammals and also represent the evolution of period dress. From a medieval deer to a contemporary hedgehog, each costume has been carefully designed and constructed by observing the movement, character, habitat and style of each creature. The exhibition will also include two new costumes: ‘Mute Swan’ and ‘Golden Eagle’ designed specifically for the display.

Using a range of authentic materials and techniques reminiscent of each period, Kate manipulates fabric to emulate the colour, texture and form of each creature, employing techniques such as dyeing, printing, painting and quilting. Inspired by this creative process, she is currently developing a range of unique eveningwear incorporating themes from the Worn to be Wild collection.

Large scale location photography taken by the artist in each creature’s natural environment, as well as fabric samples, are presented alongside Kate’s sketchbooks which reveal each costume’s design and construction in step by step photographs. Adults and children can try on more outfits in the dressing up area.

Kate studied at Wimbledon School of Art and has a BA(Hons) in Costume Design. She has produced costumes for theatre including The Royal Shakespeare Company, English National Opera, Welsh National Opera and for West End musicals including Wicked and The Lion King.

Worn to be Wild launched at Banbury Museum, Oxon and has continued to tour around England – and now in Swansea – throughout 2010.
For images and further information visit