Imaging Wales : Then and Now/Llunio Cymru : Ddoe a Heddiw - Dr Ceri Thomas
‘Imaging Wales: Then and Now’ / ‘Llunio Cymru: Ddoe a Heddiw’
— curated by Dr Ceri Thomas, VPRCA
In 1953-4, the Welsh Committee of the Arts Council of Great Britain toured the first Contemporary Welsh Painting and Sculpture exhibition around Wales. In the accompanying catalogue, pioneering curator, writer and painter David Bell (along with artists John Piper and Carel Weight) asserted:
“A feeling is conveyed in many of the pictures of love and compassion for humanity and a consciousness of the relations of men and women to nature, buildings, and everyday life in Wales. This concern with environment seems to augur well for the future of a Welsh School of Painting.”
Seventy years on, the word ‘environment’ resonates ever more strongly. Imaging Wales: Then and Now revisits a once modern Welsh art defined by its engagement with environment and juxtaposes it with Wales-related works by contemporary Royal Cambrian Academicians. Trained at the Royal College of Art and author of The Artist in Wales (Harrap 1957), Bell had strong family links with Llanfairfechan and Aberystwyth. His own art reveals his love of this country: his landscape paintings and drawings, and his portraits of family members and significant, Welsh, cultural figures.
Accompanying Imaging Wales is the book by Ceri Thomas Shaping Art in Wales: David Bell, Kathleen Armistead and the Modern Artist (H’mm Foundation 2023). It uncovers the trajectory of Bell and Armistead (the first full-time female art curator in Wales) and the shaping role that they played within contemporary, Welsh, visual culture.Darllen mwy »