Socks, Soles and Spoons in Swansea


Kathryn Allen Hurni – Witness


Lots going on this month in Swansea. There is a new body of work on show by Kathryn Allen Hurni, New York based photographer at the Elysium Gallery. Kathryn was the 2017 ESPY International Photography Award winner. This exhibition : Witness, presents a series of images, often juxtaposed, forming a dialogue between each small collection.


Kathryn Allen Hurni – Witness


Exploring Place is the theme of the show at Volcano Theatre.  This joint show combines the photographs of Dhyana Fritsche with the three dimentional works of Mike Hill. Both artists use the coast as their starting point with different outcomes.






Finally at the Mission Gallery today, Glass artist Chris Bird-Jones kicked off her project ‘Spoon’ to be shown in 2020. This communal session involved soup and stories from visitors about their favourite spoons and an introduction to the themes around the spoon which are key to Chris’s practice. You can follow the project and contribute here.


Chris Bird- Jones: Spoon


Swansea Art: Glynn Vivian gallery


Yinka Shonibare

The sheer volume of imagery and ideas under one roof at the Glynn Vivian Gallery right now is extraordinary. I popped in to see the ‘On Paper’ Arts Council touring exhibition, and found so much more. Yinka Shonibare’s piece End of Empire dominates the main hall. So much more to see in the flesh; conspicuous motifs in vibrant african textiles, two figures bobbing up and down in frock coats, amid the signifiers of former British wealth and glory.


Richard Billingham

This was just the start. There was a beautiful exhibition of Richard Billingham’s work (did I just say beautiful?), and a humourous exhibition called A Spacewoman Dreams. 


A Spacewoman Dreams

On Paper was a BIG show with some great examples included. The artists included demonstrate the versatility of paper as a medium and the incredible ways in which it can be given purpose, shape ideas.  Here are a selection of photos. The work of artists like Anna Barriball needs to be seen to be truly appreciated.


Gwyther Irwin

Swansea Art : Elysium and Gallery Simpson


Marega Palser at the Elysium Gallery

I spent the weekend of the Swansea Fringe Festival moving through the city, hopping from one gallery to the next. It was really varied and excellent. First stop was the Elysium Gallery to see the Marega Palser exhibition. An interesting mix of collections, maps, records of journeys, moving through the city. Circles, symmetry, incidental playfulness.


Onward to Gallery Simpson where Simon Periton is presenting a large vivid, fuschia pink screen suspended from the ceiling, casting myriad shadows on the adjacent wall. Onward to the Glynn Vivian Gallery….


Simon Periton

Swansea Fringe – Paul Hazel


Swansea was alive with all sorts of wonderful activity a couple of weekends ago. Paul Hazel gave a fantastic performance at Cinema and Co on Friday 4th October. He put on a range of pieces, each a wonderful synthesis of sound and moving image. Some fragments of the Everyday were transformed into dazzlingly surreal creations, breathing life into all sorts of minutiae using symmetry and repetition. Some of the music was thumping, loud and intense, giving more than a passing nod to the world of Techno.


There was also quite a bit of nostalgia in the mix too. This was partly via narratives woven together using sci-fi movie samples, humorously incorporating flying saucers and women with twin sets and classic hairdos. It was also very present in the piece recently completed whilst he was on residence in Japan. Using amongst other things, the hypnotic sound of a train in motion, old film footage and the repeated image of a traveller looking out of a window, the piece had lots of narrative qualities and a sense of looking back and fore between past and present. Some fantastic pieces.





You can read more about Paul here.

Heidi Bucher and more

Heidi Buchersmall

Heidi Bucher

At the end of September we went to London to look around the London Design Fair. It was an interesting experience but, by far the most exciting show was an exhibition of work by Heidi Bucher at the Parasol Gallery. A hero of mine, it was wonderful to see her work for the first time. She died in 1993 in her mid 60’s. I can’t help thinking that her pieces must have been of interest to Do Ho Suh and Rachel Whiteread. Huge architectural skins, ripped off the surfaces of buildings. The process was extremely physical as can be seen here.

A smattering of images from the Design Fair below:




Magic materials


MA Art Practice graduation shows took place at USW last month. There was some truly exciting work on show presenting a range of common materials in unexpected contexts. Who would ever expect to find delicately embroidered portraits of elderly citizens on plastic sheet and bubble wrap.  And meadows INSIDE a building…..

The following week new students were putting ink through its paces – exploring ways to allow it’s properties to come to the fore whilst also inventing unorthodox tools and processes to channel and direct. Lots of fun…






Project Japan : Outotsu Hanten Print Exhibition, Tokyo

IMG_6012 ritsuwo kannosmall

Ritsuwo Kanno, Artist and exhibition curator (centre).

Last day in Japan before we fly back to the UK. In Tokyo. Where to begin, what to do with our few remaining hours? Having Paris deja vous, several museums were closed on Monday so we wandered to Uemo, a lovely park with lake, pagoda, zoo and Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. Amidst galleries on calligraphy, design and annual amateur art exhibitions we found this gem of a show: Outotsu Hanten curated by an energetic 72 year old printmaker called Ritsuwo Kanno, whose atelier is based in Osaka. Meeting Ritsuwo and his wife Kaoro Higashi (also a printmaker in the show) was an absolute privilege.




It was a huge exhibition with some of the largest prints I’ve seen (excluding those of Chris Nurse). The finesse of some of the work was exquisite, and the earthy connection to materials was palpable in others. There were all shades of exploration in between, a great show.

This project was made possible with the generous support of Wales Arts International and the Arts Council of Wales.