Tag Archives: Glynn Vivian Art Gallery

A Concentrated Arty Area

22 May

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It’s degree show time at Swansea Art School, or University of Wales Trinity Saint Davids to give it the official name. Husb and I have two arty relatives graduating this year, one from the computer games design degree and the other from the Foundation course. So we took ourselves off to the opening night.

The last time I played a computer game I was in a pub in the 1980s, shooting space invaders and I wasn’t keen to try out a new one but I dutifully donned a Virtual Reality helmet and waited for my nephew to put some thingys (I think that’s the technical term) in my hands that became guns in the virtual world. And to be honest, I had a good time trying and, mostly, failing to shoot down deadly killer scrapyard robots. The exhibition is in the Creative Bubble artspace in Union Street and it’s set up like an arcade. Just walk in off the street and give it a go. It’s open Monday to Friday, 10.00 – 16.00 until June the 2nd.

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Then onto Chaos, the Foundation end-of-year show at the building known as Alex. It was a blast from the past for me as I studied for my Diploma in Art there over 4 decades ago. Where does the time go? Any way, the Foundation show is lively, quirky and so well done. I particularly liked the little biographies next to each exhibit, saying where the student had come from and where they were going to, with the majority going on to degrees. It’s only just up the road from Creative Bubble, opposite the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. All the UWTSD shows run until June 2nd so go grab yourself some culture.

Between the Glynn Vivian, the two art school campuses (Alex and Dynefor), Creative Bubble and the Tapestri artist studios next to Alex, this is a highly concentrated arty area and one of the most interesting bits of the city centre.

Knickers In The Sun

5 May

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The Sun Is Shining!!!! And it must be all of …. 20° Celsius. A Heatwave! And what happens here in the UK in a heatwave? People take their clothes off. That’s what. It doesn’t take much sunshine to get us to drop our inhibitions …. and our clothes.

So today was really busy, but in a nice way. Husb and I went to a brilliant talk at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery about the artist Käthe Kollwitz, currently exhibited there. Then onto the Street Food festival at The Waterfront Museum. Nice grub. The Swansea Gay Pride event was also there and we ended the day at the opening of Alison Lockhead’s radical and moving installation at Volcano, on Swansea’s High Street. And managed a couple of family visits. In between, we sat on the grass in the sun, opposite a rainbow coloured police car, sipping cold drinks and watching the world go by. I had to have a scribble of course. A very short skirt, undulating thighs and red knickers caught my eye.

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I drew into my small cloth-covered Laura Ashley sketchbook (above) with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen (size F) and added a flash of red knicker afterwards in Adobe Photoshop.

Inspired By Käthe

3 May
WAA exhibit

My three-dimensional form made from cut and stitched Shiohara paper, with hand writing and Kathe Kollwitz stamps developed from an original screenprint.

 

In June, I will be running a two – day masterclass at the Glynn Vivian art gallery, linked to their excellent Kathe Kollwitz exhibition.  Exploring her life and political activism through her drawings and printmaking, I will be covering two techniques, drypoint and woodcut, drawing inspiration directly from her magnificent work and using the exhibition as a catalyst to create small editions over the weekend.

 

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A digital drawing I did based on Kathe’s woodcut, The Widow.

 

I love Käthe’s work, I have admired her for decades, I’m so chuffed that she has her own exhibition in my local gallery.

Please click here if you want tickets for this masterclass.

Ripped From The Darkness

20 Apr

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Our local art gallery, The Glynn Vivian, is showing a fabulous exhibition of drawings and prints by the formidable German artist Käthe Kollwitz. I have admired her work and life for so many years, I’m beside myself to see this exhibition so close to home. I like to study artists I admire and copy from the great mistresses and masters. This is a digital study I made today from her woodcut “The Widow” from the early 1920s. She is very sparing with the cutting tool, there are surprisingly few cuts which I think increases its impact, the sense that the image has been ripped from the surrounding darkness.  I didn’t finish it, there’s another hand in the original. I can never resist a good book and I bought the exhibition book as a birthday present to myself, it’s “Portrait Of The Artist: Käthe Kollwitz” by Frances Carey and Max Egremont, published by The British Museum and IKON.

I drew this with a, now ancient, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet using a free app called Markers. I laid a black ground down and drew with white lines.

A Grand Night Out

23 Mar
Kathe

Image: Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945), Self-portrait with hand against cheek (before July 1906) © The Trustees of the British Museum

So this evening, Swansea was buzzing with crowds of arty types milling between no less than 5 galleries opening exhibitions on the same night. I dropped into the effervescent Galerie Simpson to start with, then up to the magnificent Glynn Vivian Art Gallery for the opening of “Portrait Of The Artist – Käthe Kollwitz”. I’ve been desperate to see this show, which had been at Ikon in Birmingham last year, in partnership with the British Museum and supported by the Dorset Foundation. She is one of my heroes and I love her work so much. I’m a total fangirl.

According to the gallery, “Kollwitz’s unique artistic talent, her technical prowess and intelligence, and above all her humanity, can be seen in this exhibition. There is much about the life and work of Kollwitz that instils hope, that is inspiring and life affirming, despite the burden of hardship and sorrow carried by so many of her figures and by herself. Her emphasis was often on what was distinctive about women’s experience, including the fundamental nature and potency of maternal love. She believed that art could be a force for good in society.”

And there’s a book! I had to have it. The exhibition carries on until the 17th of June and I might be running a weekend printmaking masterclass there, linked to the exhibition……. It’s worth a trip to Swansea to see this and the other shows on at the moment at Galerie Simpson, Volcano, Mission Gallery and Elysium, but not on Mondays.

 

 

 

Music And Mark Making

18 Feb

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Husb and I went to the “Gallery At Night” opening at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery where artist in residence Rhodri Davies was performing on a range of strange instruments, including cymbals arranged on the floor (above) and adapted harps. I quickly got into the zone and scribbled automatically, allowing the music to dictate my mark-making. This is a recent development for me as I normally work in silence, not even listening to the radio. I drew these with a biro (ballpoint) pen into my small cloth-backed sketchbook (approximately A6 size).

 

The Gallery At Night

17 Feb

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Husb and I went to the late opening at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery last night where artist in residence Rhodri Davies was performing on a range of strange instruments. I scribbled with a biro (ballpoint) pen and found myself almost mesmerised, drawing automatically to the music.

Automatic Drawing

10 Feb

Rhodri Davies

 

Husb and I went to the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery earlier today to catch Rhodri Davies doing his artist’s talk. I like to hear how other artists develop their work and of course, it’s an opportunity for me to have a scribble as well. Rhodri’s art practice is completely different from mine but I like to be challenged and pushed out of my comfort zone. Today he spoke about his work involving harps (telyn) and during the talk he played a short film that featured one of his musical compositions. I found myself completely absorbed and drawing automatically to the sounds, particularly on the beard. I used a biro (ballpoint) into my very small Laura Ashley sketchbook.

 

Voyeur!

24 Oct

Helen Sear 3

 

Here’s the last sketch I made while I listened to Helen Sear talking about her current exhibition at the Glynn Vivian art gallery at the weekend. Her show, “The Rest Is Smoke” is a presentation of the film / photography installation with which she represented Cymru at the Venice Biennale 2015.

Looking around audiences at events like these is great, so many interesting faces, all engrossed and unaware that I am watching and drawing. The artist as voyeur!

 

Cash And Kudos

23 Oct

Helen Sears 2

 

Another scribbled head from my visit to the Glynn Vivian art gallery a couple of days ago, to listen to the talk by artist Helen Sear while Storm Brian raged outside. The Glynn Vivian is a fabulous gallery and reopened after a five-year refurbishment last year. It’s great to have it back, it’s an amazing gallery and the city council has had the guts to keep it open and thriving in the face of swingeing public sector cuts.

 

The gallery is part of an exciting artscene in Swansea and the city is in the shortlist for the UK City of Culture 2021 with three others. It’s a mad, quirky place that oozes culture of all sorts, not just highbrow stuff. It’ll mean a lot if we win the bid, this part of Wales has been run down for so long yet arts and culture and sport thrive here without the huge amounts of cash and kudos enjoyed by places like London. What we could do with just a fraction of that!

 

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