Archive for 2016

The new Glynn Vivian: Day 1

October 16, 2016 1 Comment
The new Glynn Vivian: Day 1

For five years the façade of the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery has been hidden by tall wooden hoardings.  A week or two ago the screens came down, and yesterday, at last, the ‘new’ Glynn Viv opened its doors to the public. In the morning a long parade of people walked through the city centre to […]

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Peter Lord’s ‘The Tradition’

October 8, 2016 0 Comments
Peter Lord’s ‘The Tradition’

In front of me is a copy of The artist in Wales, the first book to attempt a full conspectus of art in Wales, past and present.  It was written in 1957 by David Bell, when he was Curator of the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery.  It’s a drab volume, even taking into account the austere […]

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An archaeological nightmare

October 2, 2016 1 Comment
An archaeological nightmare

In my experience – and I confess I haven’t lifted a trowel in anger for over forty years – archaeological digs bring nothing but lasting pleasure.  For some, though, it’s obviously a different story. Quite recently a friend alerted me to the writings of Sarah Moss.  Her speciality, in fiction and in books of travel, […]

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New paintings by Carys Evans

September 26, 2016 2 Comments
New paintings by Carys Evans

In the Ceri Richards Gallery is a collection of around 40 paintings by Carys Evans – her first solo exhibition since graduating in fine art in Swansea in 2013.  The pictures are varied in size and in medium, but all of them share Carys’s persistent themes: female figures in domestic settings; birds, cats and other […]

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Ymchwil fel celfyddyd peryglus: ‘Cai’ gan Eurig Salisbury

September 17, 2016 0 Comments
Ymchwil fel celfyddyd peryglus: ‘Cai’ gan Eurig Salisbury

Ei nofel gyntaf yw Cai (Gwasg Gomer, 2016) gan y bardd a’r ymchwilydd Eurig Salisbury.  Enillodd hi Fedal Rhyddiaith Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Y Fenni eleni, ond dyw’r beirniaid, na’r adolygwyr wedyn, mae’n ymddangos, yn gallu cytuno ar y rhesymau pam. Myfyriwr ôl-raddedig ym Mhrifysgol Aberystwyth yw Cai.  Mae’n cael trafferth ffindio ffordd ymlaen i’w ymchwil ym […]

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Generosity of a bookseller

September 11, 2016 2 Comments
Generosity of a bookseller

In Swansea institutions don’t get more crustily venerable than the Royal Institution of South Wales.  But people too can grow into institutions.  Jeff Towns, the first speaker in the RISW’s new season of talks, can’t deny that he too is a Swansea fixture.  True, he doesn’t go as far back as 1835, but since he […]

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Esther Grainger

September 3, 2016 0 Comments
Esther Grainger

We’re in Merthyr Tydfil to spend an afternoon in Cyfarthfa Castle and its estate, above the town to the north-east.  The house was built as a home by the Crawshay family, owners of one of the town’s great ironworks in the nineteenth century.  ‘Castle’ is the right word for it.  Stone turreted and battlemented, it […]

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Wales and whales

August 29, 2016 3 Comments
Wales and whales

Last week several very unusual sightings of long-finned pilot whales were recorded off the coast of Wales. Pilot whales rarely leave the deep sea, but cetologists think that these examples were following food – they eat squid and small fish – that have also wandered on to the continental shelf. Today whales and other sea mammals […]

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A curious traveller in north Wales

August 20, 2016 0 Comments
A curious traveller in north Wales

There’s an excellent collaborative research project in train at the moment, led by Bangor University, called European travellers to Wales.  Its workers are busy unearthing accounts by tourists – writers and artists – from the Continent who visited Europe between 1750 and 2010.  At the same time another project, Curious travellers: Thomas Pennant and the […]

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A small room in south London

August 17, 2016 2 Comments
A small room in south London

An early morning in late summer.  Light from a cloudy sky falls evenly into the small room from the window on the left, under a partly closed roller blind.  No particular object inside is highlighted, each is democratically equal.  The floor is made of narrow, carefully fitted wooden boards.  There’s no carpet, no rug.  Opposite […]

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