Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

Thursday 7 March 2019 6 – 7:30pm

Free, no need to book , tea and cake provided

Alongside our exhibition The Building Project we will be reading Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, chosen especially for us by Carmarthen based architectural practice Rural Office for Architecture.

Join us for a friendly and infomral discussion led by Kirsten Hinks-Knight.

“(Invisible Cities) The most beautiful of his books throws up ideas, allusions, and breathtaking imaginative insights on almost every page. Each time he returns from his travels, Marco Polo is invited by Kublai Khan to describe the cities he has visited. Although he makes Marco Polo summon up many cities for the Khan’s imagination to feed on, Calvino is describing only one city in this book. Venice, that decaying heap of incomparable splendour, still stands as substantial evidence of man’s ability to create something perfect out of chaos”  Paul Bailey – Times Literary Supplement

Six very different artists and creatives have been selected to spend one day each at Oriel Myrddin Gallery considering and responding to the ideas and aesthetics of our current exhibition The Building Project. Come along to the gallery to see what each artist/creative is doing in-situ.

Niall Maxwell / Monday 11 March 2019  10am – 4pm

Niall Maxwell is the founder and principal of Rural Office for Architecture (ROA), an award winning RIBA Chartered architectural practice based in Carmarthen, Wales.

The practice has won many awards since being established in 2008, recently winning the RIBA House of the Year 2017 and receiving a RIBA National Award for its ground breaking Carbon Neutral Estate, Caring Wood, in Kent. Niall was a 2018 jury member for House of the Year, as featured on Grand Designs.

ROA was recently selected by the Architecture Foundation as one of the best emerging practices in the UK, and featured by Rowan Moore in the Observer as one of the best small practices in the UK.

In 2015 they won the Grand Designs “Self Build on a Shoestring” competition, and continue to win competitions, most recently the Visit Wales Epic Retreats, which was televised on Channel 4 in 2017.

To coincide with The Building Project exhibition at the gallery, Niall has selected our Book Club read – Italo Calvino’s ‘Invisible Cities’. The book is a conversation between two characters describing the experiences of one’s travels to imaginary cities. These are described as brief prose poems, 55 fictitious cities in all, taking the reader on a journey whilst deconstructing the classic format of a travel novel. “Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.” 

Niall and the studio of Rural Office for Architecture will use their day in the gallery to contribute to the collective exhibition, and reconfigure its form to reflect one of the ‘cities’ described in one of Calvino’s prose poems. This will be accompanied by a similarly short prose describing places and spaces through words rather than drawings. A prose on the interpretation of the abstract or fictional.

 

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Amanda Blake – Saturday 2 February

David Jones – Saturday 9 February

Millie Marotta  – Saturday 16 February

Tim Stokes – Saturday 23 February

Ivan Black – Wednesday 6 March

Niall Maxwell (Rural Office for Architecture)  – Monday 11 March

 

 

 

Six very different artists and creatives have been selected to spend one day each at Oriel Myrddin Gallery considering and responding to the ideas and aesthetics of our current exhibition The Building Project. Come along to the gallery to see what each artist is doing in-situ.

Ivan Black / Wednesday 6 March 2019  10am – 4pm

Ivan Black is an award winning British sculptor.

Ivan’s sculptures use his own unique methodology to create forms that mutate upon the introduction of energy. The repetition of identical elements is a recurrent theme in his work, by this means he builds complex fluid structures. Each piece is a section of a potentially continuous sequence, generated by the application of systematic rules to his geometry.

Ivan takes inspiration for his designs from iconic natural geometry, combining mathematical concepts and the pioneering spirit of British engineering to create a synergy between Science, Art and Technology. His meticulously engineered and seamlessly integrated mechanisms are central to the behaviour and appeal of his work. Tending towards the minimalist in design, the movement is allowed to take centre stage.

Ivan has exhibited internationally including London, Moscow, Venice and Western Australia. He has work installed in sculpture parks in the UK, France, The Netherlands and Spain. In 2018 he undertook a sculpture commission in Salt Lake City USA.

Using a spot-welder and steel wire, Ivan will construct additions and connecting elements to the buildings in-situ in the gallery: “The intent is to reference the infrastructure inherent in and essential to the built environment. I hope this might raise thoughts and questions about the social and mechanical connections that act as the nervous systems of the towns and cities that we inhabit.”

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Amanda Blake – Saturday 2 February

David Jones – Saturday 9 February

Millie Marotta  – Saturday 16 February

Tim Stokes – Saturday 23 February

Ivan Black – Wednesday 6 March

Niall Maxwell (Rural Office for Architecture)  – Monday 11 March

 

Six very different artists and creatives have been selected to spend one day each at Oriel Myrddin Gallery considering and responding to the ideas and aesthetics of our current exhibition The Building Project. Come along to the gallery to see what each artist is doing in-situ.

Tim Stokes / Saturday 23 February 2019  10am – 4pm

Tim works as a technical creative and supports a range of diverse projects, often collaborating with other artists and designers.

His artwork has been shown across the UK and also in Venice, Rome, Germany and Brazil, it is often time-based; through the forms of animation, video and performance. In more recent work Tim has been researching and experimenting with ideas and materials that explore the body in relation to its surrounding environment – considering survival, play and interaction.

Tim teaches on the Foundation Art and Design course at Swansea College of Art (UWTSD) and also lectures across several other degree courses. Outside of this Tim also supports a range of Community and Heritage engaged projects, and also supports Mission Gallery in Swansea.

 

Tim has three themes underpinning his response to The Building Project:

Alchemy – Experimenting with mixtures that cause a sense of degradation and erosion – perhaps eventual collapse.

Growth – Incorporating natural elements into the buildings, such as quick growing wild flowers, cress, grasses and allowing them to take over the settlement.

Flux – Ideas of over population, or the sudden influx of people needing homes and the provisional nature of materials and structures.

 

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Amanda Blake – Saturday 2 February

David Jones – Saturday 9 February

Millie Marotta  – Saturday 16 February

Tim Stokes – Saturday 23 February

Ivan Black – Wednesday 6 March

Niall Maxwell (Rural Office for Architecture)  – Monday 11 March

 

Six very different artists and creatives have been selected to spend one day each at Oriel Myrddin Gallery considering and responding to the ideas and aesthetics of our current exhibition The Building Project. Come along to the gallery to see what each artist is doing in-situ.

Millie Marotta / Saturday 16 February 2019  10am – 4pm

Millie Marotta is a freelance Illustrator working from her studio by the sea in a little corner of West Wales. She grew up on a smallholding in the hills of rural Wales and as a child was surrounded by nature in all its glorious forms. It was during these early years that she developed an obsession with all things flora and fauna and later went on to study Wildlife Illustration. This fascination with the natural world combined with an appreciation of decorative design and a keen eye for detail are at the core of Millie’s work.

Millie’s commercial work has covered a variety of platforms including editorial, packaging, fashion, retail, branding, textiles, homewares and interiors. In 2014 Millie released Animal Kingdom – A Colouring Book Adventure, which went on to become a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller. The last few years have seen Millie delve into creating further books, exploring various aspects of the natural world. Above all else her intention is simply to create beautiful work, which both captivates and charms.

Millie is interested in the idea of nature taking over The Building Project installation and re-claiming the buildings and settlement in the gallery.

 

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Amanda Blake – Saturday 2 February

David Jones – Saturday 9 February

Millie Marotta  – Saturday 16 February

Tim Stokes – Saturday 23 February

Ivan Black – Wednesday 6 March

Niall Maxwell (Rural Office for Architecture)  – Monday 11 March

 

Six very different artists and creatives have been selected to spend one day each at Oriel Myrddin Gallery considering and responding to the ideas and aesthetics of our current exhibition The Building Project. Come along to the gallery to see what each artist is doing in-situ.

David Jones / Saturday 9 February 2019 10am – 4pm

David Jones is a partner in a small construction company based in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. The building practice is largely involved with work on vernacular and historic buildings in the county with a focus on traditional materials and craft.

“Working professionally in the construction industry for over 20 years I’ve witnessed the ingenuity, beauty, toil, skill, vanity, waste, loss and folly of human effort in the pursuit of home building.

 My response to the building project has an ecological dimension and concerns the pressures exerted by the built environment on natural habitats.

The title ‘The Oaks’ adds context to the piece and reinforces these inherent environmental concerns. It also points to the sad irony that building developments are often named after the natural features they have replaced. Formally, my intervention does not create a space but stands in for one lost.”

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Amanda Blake – Saturday 2 February

David Jones – Saturday 9 February

Millie Marotta  – Saturday 16 February

Tim Stokes – Saturday 23 February

Ivan Black – Wednesday 6 March

Niall Maxwell (Rural Office for Architecture)  – Monday 11 March

 

Six very different artists and creatives have been selected to spend one day each at Oriel Myrddin Gallery considering and responding to the ideas and aesthetics of our current exhibition The Building Project. Come along to the gallery to see what each artist is doing in-situ.

Amanda Blake / Saturday 2 February 10am – 4pm

Amanda Blake lives and works in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and has built her practice around the use of traditional processes in fresco, gesso and natural raw materials in painting to explore ways of questioning and deepening our connection to Nature and the environment, and to issues surrounding Sustainability, Value and Care.

Amanda graduated with an MA Distinction in Fine Art at Cardiff School of Art in 2009 and has spent time living and working in Italy as well as Wales, with a year studying Drawing and Painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence. She is currently Lecturer in Painting at Carmarthen School of Art and has also lectured at Bradford School of Art and Universities of Salford and Plymouth.

Amanda’s response will consider material, form, space and light, weights and residues, value, beauty and worth and how they might speak to us of the necessities, desires, but also the less considered aspects of building, of creating a home, a town, a city… and of what gets left behind.

 

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Amanda Blake – Saturday 2 February

David Jones – Saturday 9 February

Millie Marotta  – Saturday 16 February

Tim Stokes – Saturday 23 February

Ivan Black – Wednesday 6 March

Niall Maxwell (Rural Office for Architecture)  – Monday 11 March

 

 

(Image: Amanda & Matt Caines – Makers Market 2018)

The Gallery Manager and Staff at Oriel Myrddin Gallery would like to wish you the very warmest wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

“Thank you for supporting the gallery this year and we hope you will visit us in 2019 to see the exciting exhibitions we have lined up and support the varied programme of events for all ages that we organise alongside each show.

We need your continued support! In these challenging times cultural organisations like Oriel Myrddin Gallery are more and more reliant on generated income alongside the funding we receive from public bodies. We rely on income from workshops and profit from our shop and gallery sales to help us to offer our events either for free or at affordable prices so that as many people as possible can get involved.” Catherine Spring, Gallery Manager

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We thought you may like to know about some of the things we offered to our visitors in 2018…

We welcomed over 25,000 visitors to the gallery.

 

(Image: Haptic/Tacit: In Search of the Vernacular)

 

We presented four main exhibitions:

Roger Cecil + 4 Contemporary Painters

Helen Booth, Laura Edmunds, Catrin Lloyd Evans and Sarah Poland

A collaborative exhibition between TEN, the estate of Roger Cecil and Oriel Myrddin Gallery celebrating both contemporary painting in Wales and Cecil’s important contribution to the medium.

Cadair // Chair

A selection of chairs from the Design Museum’s collection reveal how chair design has developed from the late 1800’s to contemporary innovations by prominent designers. A small selection of historical Welsh chairs were kindly loaned by Carmarthenshire County Museum, Tim Bowen Antiques and from private collections.

Haptic Tacit: In Search of the Vernacular

Jane Cairns / David Gates;  Grant Aston / Henry Pim;  Kim Norton / Gail Mahon;  Kimberley Chandler / Mark Cousins.

Haptic/Tacit is a collective of artists/makers and writers. The group exists to make, show and explore ambitious modern craft.

Makers Market 2018

Featuring beautifully crafted and carefully selected ceramics, textiles, clothing, wood and leather as well as small local food producers.

 

(Image: Criw Celf: Next Generation)

We also presented two short exhibitions, Abigail Sidebotham: I came like all the ghosts at once and Criw Celf: The Next Generation

We hosted a special contemporary dance event; Anushiye Yarnell: Alternatives to Survival and an off-site exhibition at Parc Howard Museum and Art Gallery in Llanelli in collaboration with Carmarthenshire Museums Service; Pâr // Pair complementing our Cadair // Chair exhibition and featuring four contemporary Carmarthenshire chair makers.

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(Image: Louise Tucker)

 

We also exhibited artists and makers in two special features:

The Back Wall Series

2d works from Welsh artists on the back wall of the gallery shop:

Roger Cecil, Peter Spriggs, Jan Williams and Lucy Donald

Featured Maker

Exceptional craft from makers in the UK:

Justine Allison, Julia Griffiths Jones, Peter Bodenham and Louise Tucker

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(Image: Wicker Architects)

 

Alongside our exhibitions programme we offered:

Eight free gallery talks with artists, academics, curators, architects and specialists

Four free off-site Sketch Book Walks led by artists: Parc Howard Museum and Art Gallery with Peter Spriggs; St Fagan’s National Museum of History with Claire Prosser, Manorbeir Beach with Abigail Sidebotham and Kidwelly Castle with Lucy Donald.

Eight workshops for adults including Basket Making with Jules Wagstaff, Making Botanic Inks with Catherine Lewis, Leather Bag Making with Nia Denman, Developing Drawing with Seren Stacey, Making Clay Creatures with Margaret Brampton, Make Your Own Charcoal at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales, Make your Own Clay Paint with Debbie Rees and a Still-life Drawing Masterclass with Julia Griffith Jones.

19 workshops for children including making 48 Reindeer Sock Puppets for the Christmas Reindeer Parade in Carmarthen Town!

Criw Celf Primary and Secondary, an Arts Council of Wales funded project which offers art master classes for young people who are more able and talented in visual arts

Young Artists Club for children aged 8 – 11

ArtLab after school club for young people aged 12 – 14

Four free summer Wicker Architects family workshops in the grounds of National Botanic Gardens of Wales, Parc Howard Museum and Art Gallery, Carmarthenshire County Museum and The National Wool Museum.

Four free Book Club sessions

Two Creative Writing Sessions.

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(Image: Processions)

We worked with the Artichoke Trust’s PROCESSIONS project to celebrate 100 years of women’s suffrage by creating a spectacular banner with artist Rhiannon Williams and a group of inter-generational participants which we proudly paraded in Cardiff alongside women from all over Wales.

We were part of two major national and Wales wide initiatives, The Big Draw and BBC Get Creative.

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(Image Ysgol Pum Heol)

We welcomed 650 students to participate in learning sessions at the gallery from primary through to college/university level.

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We worked with a number of organisations to help make Oriel Myrddin Gallery an accessible experience for all including:

Canolfan Y Gors, a specialist provision which supports pupils with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Coleg Plas Dwbl a residential centre in Pembrokeshire offering holistic learning by role modelling positive relationships in the fields of arts, crafts, commerce, agriculture, nutrition, living skills and the environment

Engage Cymru who worked with gallery staff and arts educators to offer Dementia Friendly professional development.

University of the Third Age an international movement whose aims are the education and stimulation of mainly retired members of the community.

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(Image: Peter Bodenham Ceramics)

Our gallery shop stocks really special pieces by top quality makers, designers and artists from Wales, the UK and beyond including jewellery, ceramics, textiles and glass. We are passionate about supporting artists and makers’ careers by showing and selling their work as well bringing top quality work to the gallery to inspire visitors, students and collectors. The Arts Council of Wales Collectorplan 0% interest scheme is a fantastic way to spread the payments over a year and invest in the art you love.

We think our small local food producers and purveyors are pretty fantastic too and we’ve hosted and sold produce from Jin Talog, Wright’s Food Emporium, NOMNOM Chocolate, Wild Pickings, Parc Y Dderwen and Anja Dunk.

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We were delighted to cap off the year by winning first prize in the Tourism category of the Carmarthen Town Business Awards in November.

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Have a peaceful Christmas time and we look forward to welcoming you in 2019!

Caitlin Jenkins is an eighth generation potter based at Ewenny Pottery in South Wales.

“My passion for pots began at an early age. My family have been making pots for over eight generations. I was taught to throw by my father and spent most of my childhood practising the craft in the pottery alongside him. I studied a BA (Hons) in Ceramics at Cardiff College of Art and an MA at the Royal College of Art. I continue to work at the family pottery in Ewenny.

Throwing is integral to my work.  I continue to be inspired by the sensuous quality of round forms.  Exploring glazes, the way they meld, the richness and depth of colour they create reminds me of the translucency of glass or the gossamer of a watercolour.  My pots are made to be used, leaving my hands and transferring a tangible pleasure to others.”

“My work has simplicity in its design. I try to reveal the character of the material when I work it…to show its natural organic beauty.”

As well as large scale Sculpture, Ann Catrin Evans creates functional Architectural Adornment, Home Accessories & Jewellery.

Her work encapsulates a spirit of beauty – craftsmanship is her heart & art. Honest craftsmanship & functionality combine in a celebration of Welsh heritage mixed with a paired back timeless aesthetic. A very precise sort of understatement combined with exceptional craft. A quiet determination to make pieces that are both beautiful & useful.

Collections of modern love spoons, door furniture, bespoke intricate pieces of jewellery, statement sculptures in the landscape…all make powerful connections between the viewer and the hand made piece.

Whether working in forged steel or copper, the ordinary becomes the extraordinary in Ann Catrin Evan’s hands.

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