In Oriel y Bont, Pontypridd there’s a remarkable retrospective of the paintings, sculptures and photographs (and guitars!) of the Pontypridd artist Ron Lawrence. Ron has lived in the town all his life and this year celebrates 60 years of continuous work. The paintings vary enormously in style, from 1950s landscapes and portraits not far in style from Josef Herman to larger, more colourful and more playful canvases in the 1980s. For me the outstanding piece remains ‘The Rugby Match’ (1984), a view from his home of a game between Pontypridd and Cardiff, a pictures that encapsulates, in a series of concentric green circles, the essence of south Wales – the close mix of town and country, the role of sport as a community focus, and the many scattered figures playing and chatting as well as spectating.
But there many many other paintings of great interest, like ‘The Bandstand’ and ‘Ladies in the Park’, and the sharply political ‘Reflections’. Ron is also an accomplished black and white photographer, and there are several striking scenes of valleys life from the 1960s on.