Tag: Swansea

A port painter

January 20, 2023 0 Comments
A port painter

The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery has got into the excellent habit of displaying a good mix of works from its permanent collection along a long wall in one of its upstairs rooms.  This has the advantage of letting us see paintings that would not otherwise often see the light of day.  When I was there […]

Continue Reading »

Francis Place, pioneer artist and potter

January 6, 2023 2 Comments
Francis Place, pioneer artist and potter

In the late seventeenth century York was a lively intellectual centre.  The York Virtuosi – modesty was not one of their features – were a group of scientists, historians and artists including the zoologist Martin Lister, the antiquarian and historian of Leeds Ralph Thoresby and the glass painter Henry Gyles.  Another member was a pioneering […]

Continue Reading »

Mysteries of Paraclete

July 8, 2022 9 Comments
Mysteries of Paraclete

Five minutes’ walk away, where Summerland Lane reduces to a narrow neck of tarmac to meet Newton Road, is Paraclete Chapel.  In every respect it’s unremarkable, except for one thing, its highly unusual name.  Till recently I’ve not thought much about the word ‘paraclete’, beyond knowing that it was vaguely connected with the Holy Spirit. […]

Continue Reading »

Swansea and Chile: exploitation, sanctuary, fulfilment

May 6, 2022 0 Comments
Swansea and Chile: exploitation, sanctuary, fulfilment

The Glynn Vivian has a show of work from its collection on the theme ‘art and industry’.  It’s full of wonderful and thought-provoking things: well-known paintings as well as much less familiar items on paper and in other media.  A whole wall is taken up with Josef Herman’s massive ‘Miners’ oil painting of 1951, surely […]

Continue Reading »

The soul of a blackbird

July 9, 2021 0 Comments
The soul of a blackbird

The other day, as I was coming home from an evening walk, a strange thing happened.  I was nearing a place where the road narrows and the pavement gives out and you need to take care before crossing to the safer side.  On a small patch of grass, outside the gate of the house called […]

Continue Reading »

Edward Thomas in Gower

April 23, 2021 2 Comments
Edward Thomas in Gower

At last some warmth returned with the sun, and I took the rough path along the top of the cliff between Rotherslade and Limeslade.  The sea was calm, empty and quiet, except for one thing: the bell of a floating buoy, its clear sound carried over the water by a light onshore breeze.  I’ve been […]

Continue Reading »

Henry de la Beche defends slavery

December 4, 2020 10 Comments
Henry de la Beche defends slavery

If you were a financial beneficiary of a Caribbean sugar plantation dependent on slave labour, how would you react to the movement to abolish slavery?  Fight the movement aggressively in order to defend your interests?  Keep your head down and wait to collect your government compensation?  Admit the rightness of the movement’s cause, and ‘disinvest’?  […]

Continue Reading »

A Czech refugee artist in Mumbles

December 20, 2019 11 Comments
A Czech refugee artist in Mumbles

In the big show of Swansea-themed art currently on in the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery are three paintings from the permanent collection I’d not seen before.  They’re by a Czech artist called Ernst (later Ernest) Neuschul.  What intrigued me was a note in the caption for one of them to say that he’d found refuge […]

Continue Reading »

More poetry is needed

December 6, 2019 2 Comments
More poetry is needed

These are dark times.  Walking through the streets of central Swansea, it can seem that the dark is rising.  More shops close with every month, leaving empty and boarded windows.  In some parts only charity, pawn and vape shops appear to be in business.  Never-ending cuts have reduced what were once thriving public and third […]

Continue Reading »

Greening Swansea: a forgotten pioneer

November 1, 2019 0 Comments
Greening Swansea: a forgotten pioneer

Greening cities and towns, we might imagine, is a contemporary concern – a response to the realisation that we’re rapidly destroying the earth’s environment and depleting its non-human lifeforms.  Swansea has its share of green activists and agitators working to raise awareness and press for action. It would be fair to say, though, that those […]

Continue Reading »