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.

Megan Ivy Griffiths is a pattern designer, illustrator and embroiderer who studied her Bachelor’s degree at Falmouth University and is now based in the green, glorious Hampshire countryside.

She harbours an ardent passion for the beautiful and unusual, and is inspired by whimsical fairy-tales and folk costumes from around the world, and calm ambles through forests and fields. Her work is a concoction of tenderness, gentility and intricacy. Her stitches tell stories; as a trained illustrator, as well as using a pen or pencil, she uses needle and thread to create captivating characters and little companions for everyday life.

 

“Woodworking is in my blood; my grandfather and great grandfather before him were traditional clog makers in Brabant, the Netherlands. As a child, I watched my granddad at his special clog making bench working wood with interesting chisels. Me, I was just whittling sticks or would be found using my dad’s tools in the shed at home. Without anyone noticing, slowly but surely, I followed my ancestors to become the first woman professional woodworker of the family.

I studied graphic design before returning to wood as an apprentice in a small Dutch restoration business learning to make original old-style windows and doors with the locked-up mortice and tenon joints, as well as the new innovative techniques.

Nine years ago, I moved to Pembrokeshire as a self-employed joiner/ woodworker, more recently specialising in spoon-carving and bowl-turning. Today, my relationship with wood has become increasingly close-up, as I focus on intimate hand-carving, using hand tools, appreciating the different species of trees, going with the grain, fighting it, smelling it and ultimately loving it, creating my own individual style striving for practical and beautiful designs.”

 

David White’s ‘The Whittlings’ is a tiny company in North Wales, making handmade spoons, spreaders, cups, trays and boards using traditional green woodworking techniques and native broadleaf species sourced from woodlands close to David’s home.

‘With an end goal in mind, I walk into woodland looking for the perfect piece of green (fresh, living) wood. I take only what I need. I cut the wood in the right way to encourage regrowth. Working the wood green allows the use of human powered tools only – an axe, carving knife and crook knife. Understanding the character of local woodland species and its grain allows for a strong product, that will last and age beautifully. It’s not quick turn around work, but it’s deeply satisfying.’

Essex girl, Rosie Harman, 23, creates hand thrown domestic ware.

Her pots are hand painted with unlikely images of figures, creatures, parts of the human body and anything else absurd that pops into her head. Her work toys with the tradition of decorative pottery by engaging the viewer with playful interpretations of the world, feeding from the familiar, the abstract and the sensual.

Matt & Amanda are artists who have worked in parallel with their separate practices for 28 years.

Amanda is a mixed-media artist. For her work she draws upon her large collection of materials she has gathered over many years, these range from, glass, wood, metal and ceramics. She produces paintings, stitch work hangings, sculptures and jewellery. Amanda has shown her work both nationally and internationally

Matt is a sculptor working in a variety of stones as well as wood, nut and pieces of naturally shed antler. He has worked on marble projects in Carrara in Italy and on found whale bone carvings with Inuit sculptors in Arctic Canada.

For the past four years they have been collaborating and immersing themselves in working together, where one idea can be the starting point for a number of responses in several of the mediums with which they work.

Stitch work wall hangings become the starting point for pen & ink drawings which in turn lead to stone carvings that give rise to necklaces. Work is started without a preconception of where it will lead and can change many times as it is passed and filtered through both artists’ viewpoints. The differing specialisms they jointly possess lead to a strong set of contrasts that shows in the work as a whole vision.

 

Robyn Cove makes functional wheel thrown pottery from her studio in South Wales. She creates both carved and painted pottery which reflect her interest in both Eastern and Western pottery styles. Her pots capture a rustic warmth with full forms, contemporary surface designs and a strong focus on function.

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