Blog - #LoveArt

Posted - 20-12-2017 No Comments

#LoveArt / Collections / News and Events

#LoveArt – David Meredith

David Meredith, Chairman of the Sir Kyffin Williams Trust takes part in our #LoveArt Campaign.

Gareth Parry (1951)

A native of Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd. His charming paintings show his love for his hometown. He once specialized in painting very detailed paintings of birds, wonderful paintings – all feathers in place.
To me he is a champion of capturing a rainy day on a busy street full of people, suffering the elements – when you look at the painting you can feel how wet the rain is!
His paintings are a joy to the eye – moody paintings of beaches and of ships are so real, making one feel the waves and the dance of the waves below.
Gareth has captured the colour of rock face perfectly – the fascinating mold is very simple. I love to ‘go in’ to his paintings.
I am delighted with his work – paintings which are a feast to the eye and the senses.
One does not always wish to transport themselves to those places an artist invites you to visit, but Gareth’s invite is so appealing, it evokes a notion of that is where you wish to be!

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Posted - 15-12-2017 No Comments

#LoveArt / Collections / News and Events

#LoveArt – David Meredith

David Meredith, Chairman of the Sir Kyffin Williams Trust takes part in our #LoveArt Campaign.

Sir Kyffin Williams 1918-2006

The National Library holds the largest collection of works by Sir Kyffin, John Kyffin Williams or Kyffin as he would like to be called.

There was no stopping on his creativity, he painted continuously for 60 years – landscapes, portraits, people were very important to him, magnificent paintings and the sea and it’s mighty waves (as Jan Morris said – the sea was in his blood ‘), cartoons and and magnificent lino cuts.

Come to the National Library to enjoy his work. To me there is no one like Kyffin Williams for capturing ‘the moment’ – clouds in a lonely valley, a foggy mountain, a sheepdog jumping over a stone wall, or the image of a child or adult.

A miraculous element about Kyffin’s paintings is that they constantly change as light strike them. To me, he is the champion of our art, the best ambassador of Welsh art in the world. He put the mountains of Wales and it’s people on a pedestal and his paintings of Patagonia (a collection that I am very fond of) are a treasure to remind us of our fellow Welsh people in Patagonia and teaching us about the Guanaco, the birds and the prairie.

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The Kyffin Williams Bequest

Posted - 08-12-2017 No Comments

#LoveArt / Collections / Exhibitions / Kyffin Blog

Framing the Future Campaign – Kyffin Williams

The need to conserve, preserve, catalogue and interpret our collections is a vital element of the work of the National Library of Wales, thereby making them available to the public. As the Library is home to a significant number of Kyffin Williams’ most prominent paintings and as we celebrate his life in 2018, safeguarding these and ensuring that they are correctly framed is an integral part of the conservation process.

Not only does a frame protect a painting from damage, but it also affects the presentation of the finished work. Indeed a good frame choice can greatly enhance a work of art and elevate the experience of the individual viewing the contents. Selecting the right frame for a work of art is a skill in itself. Kyffin had very definite ideas about how to frame his paintings, and the Library has embarked on a new conservation project to re-frame some of its works with the aim to honour the artist’s original vision.

The Framing the Future Fundraising Campaign will fund this key conservation project to enable Kyffin’s work to be cared for and appreciated by future generations.

Framing one art work will cost in the region of £2,000 and the generous support of our supporters will allow us to do more of the work. Every contribution will make a real difference and safeguard these iconic works for the future.

 

Rhian Haf Evans, Fund Raising Officer

Posted - 06-12-2017 No Comments

#LoveArt / Collections / News and Events

#LoveArt – David Meredith

David Meredith, Chairman of the Sir Kyffin Williams Trust takes part in our #LoveArt Campaign.

Thomas Jones, Pencerrig 1743 – 1803

Thomas Jones was born in Trefonnen, Llandrindod Wells, Radnorshire.
Thomas Jones was a pupil of the renowned Richard Wilson, Machynlleth and was a prominent commentator in the art world. He painted in Italy. In 1954 his oil paintings of Radnorshire appeared on the art market. I love his paintings and sketches e.g rocket pools near Pen Cerrig, Carnedde mountains, paintings of cattle, fields and trees.
I am particularly interested in his work as I lived for a while in Llandrindod Wells and saw the views he painted as I wandered his hometown, Radnorshire.
Italy and Radnorshire
Thomas Jones worked and lived in beautiful places. In his work you’ll feel tranquility and silence – you’ll be amazed with his work. And the colours of his paintings? There is no better contrast between the linen walls of the Napoli buildings and the green fields and trees of Pencerrig estate, Radnorshire.

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Posted - 29-11-2017 No Comments

#LoveArt / Collections / News and Events

#LoveArt – David Meredith

David Meredith, Chairman of the Sir Kyffin Williams Trust takes part in our #LoveArt Campaign.

Y Parchedig John Parker 1798 – 1860

One of the few painters who painted Aran Benllyn and Aran Fawddwy in Meirionnydd (that I know of).

He was interested in painting landscapes and specializing in painting ‘rocky places’ e.g see his beautiful paintings of the top of Aran Fawddwy, held at the Library. He was also interested in churches of the Gothic architecture. His painting of a fine oak screen at St Crwst’s Church in Llanrwst is excellent and also Aran, a feast to the eye. John Parker was a native of the Oswestry area.

He was the Rector of Llanmerewig in Montgomeryshire and Llanblodwel, Shropshire. He also painted castles, flowers and plants and painted in England, Ireland and the mainland of Europe.
As one who lives round the corner of Aran Benllyn and Aran Fawddwy, John Parker’s work means a lot to me.

Another impressive painting by John Parker is the painting of Talardd Farmhouse, Cwm Cynllwyd Llanuwchllyn with both Aran’s as background. Howel Harris, the reformer, stayed in the Talardd Farmhouse, while visiting the Valley in the eighteenth century. 25 years after the death of Howel Harris, John Parker was born.

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Posted - 22-11-2017 1 Comment

#LoveArt / Collections / News and Events

#LoveArt – Meri Huws

Welsh Language Commissioner, Meri Huws introduces her favourite art works from the Library’s collection as part of the #LoveArt Campaign.

She has chosen ‘Greenham Peace Vigil’ by Claudia Williams as her final choice.

Divine and Spiritual

The last piece that I’ve chosen is another piece by Claudia Williams – but this time it a portrait of the peace camp at Greenham Common that was established in the early 80s to protest against nuclear missiles.  My mother was part of this important historical event – something that I am very proud of.

It is interesting how the artist has chosen to portray the family orientated, spiritual side of the protests – with the non-traditional headscarf worn by many of the women in the painting of interest to me.  There is something divine about the painting and the strength of the mothers and the women unmistakable.  It also portrays the range of ages, from young mothers to older women and children, who were part of this important protest

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Posted - 17-11-2017

#LoveArt / Collections / Exhibitions / Kyffin Blog

Kyffin Williams 100 Exhibition: ‘Behind the Frame’ 
Curating the exhibition



‘This is the land that has obsessed me throughout my life. My love of it 
is not superficial but deep, for my family have for so many generations 
had the same feeling for the land and its people. When I left art school 
I did not have to think what I should paint for my subject was deep 
inside me and waiting for me to record it’.

(Kyffin Williams, ‘The Land & the Sea’, Gomer Press,1998).

The Kyffin Williams Exhibition which opens on the 16th of February, 
2018 will commemorate the centenary of the birth of one of Wales’ 
leading artists. It is therefore an opportunity for the National Library 
to celebrate its rich collection of the Anglesey born artist’s works –  
from his iconic landscapes and powerful seascapes of Anglesey,  
north-west Wales and abroad to his emotive portraits. There is also an opportunity within the exhibition to view lesser-known works by the 
artist previously unseen by the public, which include his preparatory 
works such as his sketchbooks and his printing blocks. The Library 
houses over 200 oil paintings, over 1,200 works on paper and over 300 
original prints by the artist.

Many people mainly associate Kyffin Williams with his impasto technique 
of painting – placing the oil paint down thickly onto the canvas using 
a palette knife. An extremely interesting aspect of the research into 
this exhibition was to discover the early works which the artist created 
whilst he was a student at the Slade School of Art and an art teacher at 
the Highgate School in London in the 1940s through to the early 1970s. 
These early works are of great importance in showing how Kyffin 
developed his technique and iconic style of painting which from the 
beginning of his career caught the imagination of the people of Wales.

Within this exhibition we shall also gain an invaluable insight into 
Kyffin’s creative mind by taking a look at a few films on the 
artist and also his diaries and letters which are housed within 
our archives. Kyffin Williams was a skilled writer who instantly caught the 
reader’s imagination and his entertaining autobiographies are 
testimony to this. This exhibition will therefore be an unique 
opportunity to celebrate Kyffin’s words and images in an extremely 
effective manner on the walls of the National Library’s iconic Gregynog 
Gallery.

 

Morfudd Bevan, Art Curator, National Library of Wales

Posted - 15-11-2017

#LoveArt / Collections / News and Events

#LoveArt – Meri Huws

Over the next four weeks Welsh Language Commissioner, Meri Huws will introduce her favourite art works from the Library’s collection as part of the #LoveArt Campaign.

She has chosen Gwilym Pritchard by Claudia Williams as her fourth choice.

Honesty and love

This week I have chosen an honest and loving portrait by Claudia Williams of her husband, Gwilym Pritchard.  In the portrait we see a handsome gentleman, with striking white hair sitting behind his easel.  Claudia has created many portraits of him since the early 60s and it’s interesting that there is one constant thread, which is her unequivocal love and respect for him.

Of course, Claudia is most renowned for her portraits of family or friends, mostly women, in day-to-day situations – the dining table, play ground, seaside, bedroom and more recently, hair salon.

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Posted - 08-11-2017

#LoveArt / Collections / News and Events

#LoveArt – Meri Huws

Over the next four weeks Welsh Language Commissioner, Meri Huws will introduce her favourite art works from the Library’s collection as part of the #LoveArt Campaign.

She has chosen ‘Porthgain’ by Gwilym Pritchard as her third choice.

The Beauty of Porthgain

I was truly privileged to have the opportunity to browse through Gwilym Pritchard’s sketch book. It felt so personal and showed his detailed and intricate preparation before displaying finished work. I felt that I had an insight into the method in which one of Wales’ most prominent artists worked.

The piece that I chose was a simple watercolour piece. But what was remarkable and shows Gwilym Pritchard’s unique talent is that the romance of Porthgain was portrayed through this uncomplicated piece. Porthgain holds a special place in my heart as I spent my teenage years in a nearby village – there is a unique combination of history, beauty and determination there and although this is a sketch, it conveys all these elements to me.

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Posted - 01-11-2017

#LoveArt / Collections / News and Events

#LoveArt – Meri Huws

Over the next four weeks Welsh Language Commissioner, Meri Huws will introduce her favourite art works from the Library’s collection as part of the #LoveArt Campaign.

She has chosen At Work by Will Roberts as her second choice.

The strength of the people
Whether a man or a woman, this picture portrays the people that I was bought up amongst, with the person at one with nature and the land beyond.
When you look at the painting, it is hard to identify unique features, the hair and eyes are colourless but it does portray the enormity of the worker. The colours of the agricultural landscape are apparent, which once again reminds me of my upbringing in Aberteifi and on a personal level, I can see elements of my brother in the painting.
It represents the people that work on the land and belong to the land.

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A blog about the work and collections of the National Library of Wales.

Due to the more personal nature of blogs it is the Library's policy to publish postings in the original language only. An equal number of blog posts are published in both Welsh and English, but they are not the same postings. For a translation of the blog readers may wish to try facilities such as Google Translate.

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