Exhibitions in Wales Feature Welsh Painters Aneurin & Meirion Jones

. May 11, 2011 . 0 Comments

Two exhibitions in Wales focus on the work of the contemporary Welsh painter Aneurin Jones and his son Meirion. MOMA Wales at Machynlleth is currently showing “Aneurin & Meirion Jones: New Works”, which will be on view until June 18th. From June 4th until June 24th Fountain Fine Art Gallery in Llandeilo will be showing a selection of works by both artists. Aneurin Jones was born on the mythical Black Mountain near Llyn Y Fan Fach in South Wales, and the eccentric characters of his upbringing have inspired him long after leaving the area. He studied in the Swansea College of Art and was influenced by Bill Price, a lecturer at the college and a sublime draughtsman.

Aneurin was appointed the first head of Art at Ysgol Y Preseli, and spent the whole of his professional career there. The Preseli area inspired him greatly – the landscape as well as the mountain people. Across the river Teifi in Ceredigion, he found another genre which would fire his imagination, namely the Welsh Cob. His most recent work centres on farm sales, and the sadness & uprooting which occur in their wake. Aneurin’s work can be seen in galleries throughout Wales and worldwide.

Describing his work, Aneurin says: “My ideas come from the rural west & mid Wales. I was born into one of these communities where the divide between reality and mythology was ambiguous. This was the age of the horse, and a time when the countryside was alive with colourful individuals whose imagina¬tion knew no bounds and whose physical shape was moulded by the land. I also felt the hand of an ancient inheritance. Although I left Cwmwysg to learn the craft of painting at Swansea College of Art, the countryside remained my driving force, and when I accepted the post of head of art at Ysgol Y Preseli, I found myself back in an area not dissimilar to the one where I was born, the communal hill farms and all its heroism. I settled soon afterwards in Ceredigion, the land of the Welsh Cob. It is these elements – the rural society, the physical shape of country people, and the flamboyant Welsh Cob – that fire my imagination. This exhibition at MOMA Wales is a selection of recent work, based on direct observations in the rural parts of west & mid Wales. The sources tend to be places where country people gather – farm sales, agricultural shows, horse fairs, marts, sheepdog trials – and certain events in the calendar, notably the Llanybydder Horse Fair and Barley Saturday in Cardigan. Although I use a variety of media, my work is increasingly drawn to mixed media as this allows for freedom and unexpected results. The recent work has evolved to be more suggestive in nature, and yet retaining form and shape which are the driving force behind all my work. I begin with my first love, which is drawing, and from there I use the other media which are hand, charcoal, pastel, various gels, and often finishing by applying rich layers of impasto. For me, painting is a process of simplification, and as we simplify, we mystify, until one is left with the essence and the purity of the experience. It gives me immense pleasure to return to MOMA Wales to exhibit this latest series of works.”

Meirion Jones is from Dyfed and the vast majority of his work is inspired by that part of Wales, although he has also painted extensively in Latin America. He studied at the Dyfed College of Art, and the University of Wales, and taught at a high school for a decade. Although painting has played a prominent part in his life from the very beginning, he threw his hat in the ring as a full time painter in 2004. “My paintings are inspired by light, be that the light of the West Wales coast or the lyrical contre jour light which brings a figure study to life with all its tonal relationships. I return again & again to certain places in Wales which have a physical and emotional ‘pull’, familiar places that are timeless and yet again constantly changing. Reaching the silence of the studio becomes the point of departure, and the process of developing those short hand studies begins, resulting in the work being as personal as it is to do with that particular place. The other theme is essentially figurative. I often find myself ‘people watching’, contemplating the individual lost in a crowd, the solitary figure in time.”

In 1984 Andrew Lambert bought The Tabernacle, a former Wesleyan Chapel. He set up a Charitable Company, The Machynlleth Tabernacle Trust, and after extensive renovation The Tabernacle re-opened as a centre for the performing arts on 11th October 1986. The adjoining land, the site of an earlier chapel, belonged to the Tabernacle Trust and a free-standing block was built to house toilet facilities and a Green Room. In the same year the Trust, with the help of a generous loan, bought Harvey House. This former grocer’s shop provided much-needed street frontage on the main North-South Wales coastal road. It took 5 years to raise the money to convert Harvey House into Art Galleries. The building was renamed the Ellis Building and the first art exhibition was held in May 1992. A donation from the Trustees of the Foundation for Sport and The Arts along with some government support allowed the construction of the Linking Building (designed by David Thomas) and the provision of a new sound and lighting system, a recording studio, simultaneous translation facilities and a language laboratory. Lord and Lady Hooson opened the magnificent Owen Owen Building on 3rd July 1994. In 1998 the Trust received a wonderful bequest from the estate of Nora Gibbs and Mollie Winterburn. This enabled them to purchase Ty Llyfnant and convert it for use as an artist’s studio and music teaching and practise rooms. Recently the two small galleries on the first floor have been converted into one spacious Pulpit Room.


Category: Art Culture

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