art

Thereza Dillwyn Llewelyn, selenophotographer

October 29, 2019 0 Comments
Thereza Dillwyn Llewelyn, selenophotographer

If you visit the Penllergare Valley Woods, as we did last week, you can’t leave without developing a strong respect for the estate’s chief creator, John Dillwyn Llewelyn.  Photographic pioneer, astronomer, botanist, orchid collector, landscapist, inventor – he used his wealth, leisure and connections, after inheriting the estate as a boy from his grandfather in […]

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Sebon glan, sebon budr

October 11, 2019 0 Comments
Sebon glan, sebon budr

Daeth newyddion da o Lyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru‘r wythnos yma: bod y Llyfrgell wedi prynu un o’r ddau fersiwn gwreiddiol o’r llun dyfrlliw enwog Salem gan Sydney Curnow Vosper, cyn arwerthiant yng Nghaerdydd.  Mae’n hollol briodol bod llun a ddisgrifir yn aml fel ‘eicon’ o gelf Gymreig yn cael cartref parhaol mewn sefydliad diwylliannol cenedlaethol.  Fel […]

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Edgar Degas does some more ironing

October 8, 2019 0 Comments
Edgar Degas does some more ironing

A while ago I drew attention to the pictures Edgar Degas made of women ironing.  I tried to show how this unusual theme brought out the best in him as a painter.  This week, in Avignon, I came across another fine example that I hadn’t seen before. It’s on display in the Musée Angladon.  This […]

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The memory of Sir Thomas Picton

August 23, 2019 0 Comments
The memory of Sir Thomas Picton

One of the many noxious elements making up the miasma of Brexiter thinking is exceptionalism.  The idea that Britain is naturally superior to other countries, and that it is strong enough to stand alone against every foe, has deep roots – much deeper than the Battle of Britain, so often trundled out by politicians.  If […]

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Richard Wilson on Cadair Idris

August 17, 2019 2 Comments
Richard Wilson on Cadair Idris

Last week I made my annual pilgrimage to Cadair Idris, which my father-in-law introduced me to as the best mountain walk in Wales, sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s.  As usual I started from Minffordd.  After reaching Llyn Cau I circled clockwise round Craig Cau, Pen-y-gadair and Mynydd Moel.  Early cloud lifted from […]

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William Blake on the moon

July 26, 2019 0 Comments
William Blake on the moon

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin may have reached the surface of the moon fifty years ago this week.  But William Blake beat them to it, by 176 years.  What’s more, he had no use for the sophisticated technologies of the Apollo 11 mission.  All he needed was a long ladder.  It’s easy for us, in […]

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Black boys

June 16, 2019 0 Comments
Black boys

On the way to give a talk in Killay Library in Swansea last week I passed a pub I remembered seeing before.  It struck me as odd the first time.  Not because of its building or location, but because of its name – The Black Boy. Years ago such a name might not have raised […]

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‘Very infuriating, never quite right’: Kyffin Williams yr awdur

May 25, 2019 0 Comments
‘Very infuriating, never quite right’: Kyffin Williams yr awdur

Diolch o galon i Ymddiriedolaeth Kyffin Williams am y gwahoddiad i draddodi Darlith Flynyddol Kyffin Williams eleni.  Rydw i’n ymwybodol o’r darlithoedd rhagorol gan gyfres hir o siaradwyr eraill ar Kyffin.  Maen nhw wedi treulio blynyddoedd yn ymchwilio ac yn meddwl am gelf a bywyd Kyffin.  Ni allaf honni fy mod yn un o hoelion […]

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Three paintings in Vienna

April 14, 2019 1 Comment
Three paintings in Vienna

In the Leopold Museum in Vienna, a long wall is covered with small panels that show photographs and short lives of dozens of cultural figures who were active in the city at the start of the twentieth century: Freud, Mahler, Schoenberg, Musil, Wedekind, Klimt and many others – almost all of them well-known today.  Only […]

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Why isn’t visual art a big thing in Wales?

March 3, 2019 3 Comments
Why isn’t visual art a big thing in Wales?

How healthy are the visual arts in Wales?  Not just in the sense of how many or how good are the artists, but other, more contextual questions, such as:  How are they valued?   How are they supported?  How are artists encouraged and trained?  How are the arts used to bring new life to depressed communities?  […]

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