Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Let's see what happens...28 September - 03 November 2013

Let's see what happens... is a Glynn Vivian Art Gallery Offsite exhibition featuring the work of seven artists, four from Wales and three from China. It will take place in six venues in Swansea city centre and demonstrates a variety of working methods, including socially engaged practice, painting, video installation and performance.  Each space is distinct from the other, but the work of each artist  is connected by their shared experience of spending time together in Swansea, Xiamen and Shanghai. The exhibition revolves around the conversations they shared about their work, their lives, the places they live in, their diverse artistic methods and exchanges of ideas between one another. 
I've recently started a PGCE Secondary Art and Design course and am always looking for inspiration from contemporary Welsh artists. I found a diverse range of ideas that could be applied in a classroom environment. There were also many opportunities to promote the Cwricwlwm Cymraeg as part of the national curriculum; this was clear in the engaging and conceptual artwork of Paul Emmanuel and Owen Griffiths. 

                                            Paul Emmanuel - Heavenly creatures
                                                Where/Ble...41 High St / 41 Y Stryd Fawr

 A series of paintings using Chinese inks, rain water and fleece by Swansea valley based artist Paul Emmanuel. Fleece painting is an on-going collection of work which re-contextualises art through paintings informed by the everyday labours of working farm life.Through the process of painting, the identity of sheep marker is supplanted by art pigments and the spectacle of the painted surface with the grooming of animals. Also showing alongside these paintings is a series of object based work made using rubbish and recycled materials found in Xiamen and transformed into 'flies' be a local expert Gethin Williams for fly fishing. Emmanuel refers to darker themes in his practice such as exocticism and alienation,as suggested by the title Black Narcissus taken from the Powell and Pressburger film of the same name. 

Zeng Huanguang
Where/Ble...41 High St / 41 Y Stryd Fawr

Socially engaged work which challenges what we think about modern political issues. 
Huanguang’s past works include sculptural installations using found objects and socially engaged works, where different communities become part of the artworks. During his time in Swansea, he began to explore ideas of peaceful protest and spent time at the Occupy site in London outside St. Paul’s Cathedral. His re-enactment of Occupy London as an art installation, involves participation and conversation in the form of tents, graffiti, posters and flyers. It also asks questions about the relationship between activism and art, and the power to shape our own lives. Some great ideas here to take back to the classroom and engage students with social and political issues in their art work and develop pupils communication skills to develop and express ideas and emotions.

Tim Davies
Where/Ble...41 High St / 41 Y Stryd Fawr

Also at 41 High Street Tim Davies is currently exhibiting 2 new pieces as part of the Let's see what happens... Glynn Vivian Offsite show in Swansea. Chase (Xiamen)and Market 8 were made following a British Council-funded cultural exchange project with Chinese artists from Xiamen and Shanghai. 


Fern Thomas - The sound of a temple from six thousand miles away
                                           Where/Ble..Ragged School / Ysgol y tlodion

Fascinated by slowness, silence, mountain, river, bell and stone; Fern Thomas seeks to explore her relationship with the ecological, archetypal and mythological world around her.
During her stay in Xiamen she spent time at a small Buddhist convent there. This intimate and precious experience has inspired a series of personal rituals which she enacts to camera, drawing on collected objects, dreams and memory to create a narrative and soundscape on a series of screens. The two ‘mountains’ erected in the space, reference the location of the Buddhist convent and Huanguang’s studio, and will act as an arena for a number of actions during the exhibition. These actions will coincide with the nuns’ prayers over six thousand miles away in Xiamen, in an attempt to communicate with them and convey her experiences to the audience.

Yingmei Duan 
Is an international performance artist whose work, Happy Yingmei, has been inspired by Oscar Wilde’s story, The Happy Prince.  In her performances at Elysium Gallery, she creates an atmospheric forest glade in which she meets each person who enters. 

Owen Griffiths - Market Place

Where/Ble? Swansea Market

Owen Griffiths 
became inspired by the busy market in Xiamen which sells local produce, mainly food and animals, as this is an important hub for the bustling community there; he then began to use Swansea Market to explore the similarities and differences in these cultures. Griffiths’ work will be located in Swansea Market amongst the local Gower produce and the Welsh trinkets which are made in China; he will be constructing a work entitled,Market Place, in which to continue the conversation. He is also working with Swan Gardens home for the elderly Chinese community in Swansea. Additional activities include poetry, objects relating to the Glynn Vivian’s collection and a volunteer programme.

Maleonn | Studio Mobile
Where/Ble..Mission Galery/Oriel Mission

A Glynn Vivian Offsite Exhibition in partnership with Mission Gallery | Curated by Karen MacKinnon
Shanghai-based artist Maleonn will be continuing an ongoing project, Studio Mobile, where he travelled to 35 Chinese provinces, photographing 20,000 people in a mobile photo studio. Maleonn was inspired to create this work by his desire to collaborate with the people he photographs, attempting to create a dialogue. Rather than create works in his studio, he takes the studio out, where ideas, props, stage sets become part of a collaborative act. He will be photographing selected people in costumes borrowed from local museums along with props he brings with him from China. His surreal photographs bring together different worlds, both imagined and real, and convey the contemporary global condition.

If you haven't seen the exhibition yet it worth a look! Or you could join a walking tour on the 12th of October. Visit each site with curator of the exhibition, Karen MacKinnon. The tour begins at Mission Gallery. Booking is essential tel 01792 516900. 

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