A Darker Thread

Wales has a much celebrated tradition of creating both utilitarian and decorative textiles of distinctive design.  From power-loomed blankets to hand-stitched quilts, textiles are a key part of Welsh visual culture and history.

Whilst ‘A Darker Thread’ takes this heritage as its starting point, twelve contemporary artists, designers and makers have been invited to exhibit work which subverts these expectations.

Exhibitors have been selected for their challenging, confrontational or unpredictable approach to making thoroughly contemporary work which confidently cross boundaries of art, design and craft.  A variety of making processes are exemplified, but all make use of thread in some form.

The curious, provocative, intense, fragile works explore broad-ranging themes of empowerment, loss, language, internal landscapes, memory and gender to name but a few.  Some work might still feel comfortably familiar through its materiality or typically ‘Welsh’ colour palette of black, ecru and red; much hopefully, does not.

Curated by Laura Thomas.

Exhibitors: Alana Tyson, Eleri Mills, Indre Eugenija Dunn, Jayne Pierson in collaboration with Neale Howells, Laura Thomas, Llio James, Philippa Lawrence, Rhiannon Williams, Rozanne Hawksley, Ruth Harries, Sally-Ann Parker and Spike Dennis.

Download the A Darker Thread programme of events:

Oceans: Surface/Below

As part of the Ephemeral Coast series of exhibitions and events, Oceans: Surface/Below presents the work of United States-based artists Pam Longobardi and Diana Heise.

Both artists use environmental mapping to consider the effects of plastic contamination, industrial fishing and habitat degradation within the world’s oceans.

Pam Longobardi’s work investigates the ubiquity of plastic contamination within the world’s oceans. Longobardi uses beach community clean-ups and international expeditions to identify and gather oceanic plastics that she then presents in gallery spaces. In exhibitions, she transforms these common place objects into installations that query the effects global capitalism, specifically its cultures of discard and waste, have upon aquatic life. Her installations bring attention to the mobility of plastic toxicity and remind viewers of their relationship with plastic and ocean life.

Diana Heise’s filmic and photographic work considers the effect of human activity on coastal habitats and their impact upon traditional fishing communities. In Mauritius, Heise created a series of intimate lens based studies that examine the relationship between Creole fishing communities and a shoreline that is increasingly distressed by the effects of industrial fishing, pollution, coral acidification and the disappearance of mangroves, a vital ecology for coastal life. Like Longobardi, Heise uses activist strategies; recently, she initiated a letter writing campaign to US senators in order to address the decline of artisanal fishing communities in her native Vermont.

Together, these artists focus our attention upon environmental waters through the ethical responses that emerge from art.

An Ephemeral Coast is curated by Celina Jeffery in Association with Mission Gallery, Swansea

 Ephemeral Coast Programme_English


Ephemeral Coast presents a series of interconnections between environmental considerations, a succession of embodied creative practices, and shifting regional geographic identities. It frames the coast as a hybrid geography and instigates a series of creative interventions that consider the material and ethical sensibilities of what it means to live and coexist with water, oceanic life, and the matter of waste.

This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada













David Jones: Angels on Washing Lines

David Jones’s playful world of colourful sculptures, installations and linocuts are designed to delight and entertain.

Inspired by folk art, outsider art, illustration and commercial art – and drawing on a lifetime of observation and a trove of childhood memories – David presents the treasures of everyday life alongside glimpses of the whimsical and the fantastical.

John Abell presents large-scale woodcut prints alongside a series of new watercolour works on paper.

Abell’s prolific and virtuoso talents are showcased through an imaginative world of journeying conquistadors, mythological characters and everyday contemporary life.



Makers Market 2016

Welcome to Christmas at Oriel Myrddin!

We’ve chosen hand-made ceramics, textiles, clothes, woodwork, leather-work and much more for our Makers Market 2016. The exhibition features beautifully crafted and carefully selected work from designers, individual makers and artists from across the UK and Wales.

  • You’ll find exceptional ceramics from Peter Bodenham, Lowri Davies, Caitlin Jenkins, Vicky Lindo, James & Tilla Waters.
  • We’re delighted to be showing a brand new line of clever and stylish outdoor clothing from Ali and Marnie at Filthy Weather.
  • Beautiful linen smocks and hand dyed accessories from Polly Lyster of Dyeworks in Stroud – real favourites with our winter shoppers.
  • Woolen accessories this year are from Oubas Knitwear in Cumbria and ABOÛT – a German company who have been in the hat industry since the 1950’s.
  • We’re proud to be working again with Carmarthenshire based Corgi Hosiery bringing you the softest cashmere accessories.
  • Gillian Osband‘s herring bone design throws use wool from sheep on her Pembrokeshire farm.
  • Crafted leather bags will be available from Bonner Leather Studio in Gloucestershire – including a range of very stylish bicycle saddle bags. Pembrokeshire based Will Suiter is showing work aprons, dog leads and wallets alongside a range of other special leather and canvas pieces.
  • Woodwork from Carmarthenshire – Simon Gaiger‘s hand crafted walking sticks and wooden spatulas from Sam Knight.
  • We have a fabulous range  of wooden jewellery from London based Lina Peterson‘s ‘Carved in Colour’ range and silver jewellery by designer and maker, Barbara Spence.
  • Michelle Cain‘s generous log baskets use willow grown by the maker in west Wales – Michelle also made the famous giant willow badger in Cilgerran Wildlife Park – a firm favourite with west Wales locals!
  • We’re pleased to be showing some very desirable textile sculptures based on Staffordshire pottery from Glasgow based Karen Suzuki.
  • West Wales forager, Jade Mellor of Wild Pickings is again providing tempting foody treats, bottled condiments and other delights – the perfect locally sourced gift.
  • Swansea designers, BYJI provide stylish Christmas decorations for your tree.
  • With paintings from Cathy Cullis, stitched textile panels from Ruth Harries and assemblage pieces from Rachel Larkins we are delighted to welcome you to browse for your Christmas gifts in the calm of our beautiful gallery setting.




Off Site Projects

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