We are honoured to have work by Welsh artist Ogwyn Davies (1925-2015) in our summer show this year.
Ogwyn Davies (1925-2015)
Originally from Trebanos in the Swansea Valley, the career of Ogwyn Davies divides into three equal parts. Having begun to develop his craft and sensibilities at a very vibrant Swansea School of Art in the immediate post-war period, he moves to rural, Welsh-speaking Tregaron in 1955 where he teaches for thirty years. Choosing to remain in the area, he then has thirty more years in retirement during which time he continues to create striking images inspired by the Welsh countryside and Welsh culture.
He develops experimental styles in his mid to late career, employing calligraphy and a variety of traditional and novel materials and mark making; he also produces ceramics. For sixty years, he exhibits extensively in Wales as a solo artist but also in two- and three-person and group shows, for instance at the National Eisteddfod and at the Royal Cambrian Academy to which he was elected in 1994.
His passion for Wales and the Welsh language results in art that was visual, verbal and tactile. In the process, he assimilates continental European and other influences (the work of the Catalan artist Antoni Tapies is a key example), but it is his Welshness which shines through most strongly.
In 2022, he is the subject of a retrospective at Aberystwyth Arts Centre and is being celebrated at the National Eisteddfod Tregaron and in the Royal Cambrian Academy’s annual summer exhibition. To coincide with these events, an extensively illustrated, bilingual book revealing his fascinating development and which flags up his rising status is being published on 30 July. Ogwyn Davies — Bywyd a Gwaith / A Life in Art (Y Lolfa) has been researched and written by the freelance artist, art historian and curator Dr Ceri Thomas, RCA. Collectively, these four initiatives are designed to signal Ogwyn’s significant contribution to the Welsh nation and its rich culture.