Tag: Swansea

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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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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Swansea art now

July 23, 2016 2 Comments
Swansea art now

Set alongside Cardiff, its ancient rival, Swansea wins no prizes.  Or so it seems. Political and financial power has long been concentrated in the capital.  Cardiff’s economic magnet increases its force year by year.  As a shopping centre Swansea has steadily lost ground – even Carmarthen has more to offer these days.  Jobs tend to […]

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A Roman poet in west Wales

April 3, 2016 0 Comments
A Roman poet in west Wales

Martial – Marcus Valerius Martialis – was a first century Roman poet.  He came to live in Rome from Augusta Bilbilis, near Calatayud in modern Spain, and made his name through his hundreds of short poems or ‘epigrams’.  Witty, punchy and far too foulmouthed and sexually explicit for broadcast on Radio 4, only now are […]

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The destruction of culture: a plea to Swansea Council

March 13, 2016 7 Comments
The destruction of culture: a plea to Swansea Council

What makes a city a city?  I mean, in the sense of a particular, distinctive city.  Its people, certainly, its geography, landscape and architecture, also its economy and politics.  But what really sets a city apart from its neighbours is its culture – that network of traditions, customs, institutions and habits, most of them with […]

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A day at the cricket

August 15, 2015 1 Comment
A day at the cricket

Friday morning. I get to St Helen’s at about ten past eleven. Play has already started: Glamorgan v Gloucestershire, County Championship, Division 2. Day two of a four day game. It’s £15 to get in. I say to the ticket man, ‘I don’t suppose there are concessions for older persons?’. He gives me a pitying […]

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Atalanta

March 8, 2015 0 Comments
Atalanta

For International Women’s Day, here’s a Greek woman of formidable talent and power. Since 1935 she’s lived in Swansea, in the collection of the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. She’s hidden away from public view at the moment while the Gallery’s home is being modernised. She was absent from the big Christopher Williams exhibition curated by […]

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Jimi Hendrix and Ludwig Wittgenstein in Swansea

January 18, 2015 2 Comments
Jimi Hendrix and Ludwig Wittgenstein in Swansea

That Jimi Hendrix came to Swansea was news to me until yesterday. It seemed almost as unlikely as the fact that Ludwig Wittgenstein used to stay here on his holidays. Gary Gregor, in his excellent South Wales Evening Post column ‘Hidden History’, says in his latest contribution that Hendrix visited the city in the 1960s. […]

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Vivienne Williams

October 26, 2014 3 Comments
Vivienne Williams

Still life as a genre has a long history. Pictures of plenty – fruits of nature arranged by human hand – are common on Roman painted walls and mosaics. Renaissance artists picked out collections of food, natural and prepared, from the incidental details of medieval paintings and placed them centre stage. The golden age of […]

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From empire to environment: inside the Brangwyn Hall

September 4, 2014 5 Comments
From empire to environment: inside the Brangwyn Hall

It was a Monday morning a few weeks ago and I was taking some photos of the outside of the Brangwyn Hall. A motor caravan had parked in the bay in front. A man leaned out of its window and kindly promised to move out of the way and let me perfect my Leni Riefenstahl […]

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