Under the New-Made Clouds

These words from Dylan Thomas's poem 'Fern Hill' capture the freshness of the west Wales coast he knew well.  In that spirit I've turned recently to small paintings, done quickly, in the hope of catching the suddenness of the way we see things.  Painted mostly in the last six months, they focus on washed up timbers on local beaches whose shapes can be evocative.  It's a small step to the detritus at Cwmystwyth; even smaller to my native patch in Rhondda which makes an appearance near the end.  Three Miners at Coedely is after American photo-journalist Eugene Smith's shot of that name published in Life magazine in 1950.  Out on a limb is Belchite, a town in Aragon which had the misfortune to lie between somewhere and somewhere else in the Spanish Civil War and was left just as it was, in ruins, by Franco in 1939 as a monument to that war.  To see old timers kick the dust off rubble on their morning stroll from New Belchite next door brought to mind the derelict pitheads in my village that were always a magnet to retired colliers.

The show is at the Morlan Centre, Queen's Rd, Aberystwyth, through the month of February 2019.  Preview: Thursday 31 January, 2019

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