February 16th, 2019
Greatly inspired by the personalities, talent and energy of the international dancers currently taking part in Ballet Cymru’s Pre-Professionals Programme. Over the last couple of months I’ve been observing and responding to rehearsals as the group works with choreographers to develop five very different productions for Ballet Cymru 2 – Made in Wales, to be performed in March this year.
The pictures I’ve made so far have been fairly modest in size, mainly consisting of sketches in charcoal and oil as I learn about the pieces and develop ideas for more substantial paintings. I’ve also been preparing some large canvases (including the largest I’ve ever stretched, which, to my relief, went very smoothly), as well as carrying out experiments with new and unfamiliar primers, made necessary by the discontinuation of the primer I’d used for the previous twenty years or so (an unexpected complication with this project, though one which has raised some interesting technical and creative questions). My plan is to begin working on a larger scale in the coming weeks.
Many thanks to all the Pre-Professional dancers, and to Ballet Cymru 2 – Made in Wales choreographers Alex Hallas, Jack Philp, Emma Lewis, Patricia Vallis, and (Ballet Cymru Artistic Directors) Darius James and Amy Doughty. My project couldn’t have got off to a more inspiring start.
Ballet Cymru 2 – Made in Wales will be performed at the Riverfront, Newport, on March 19th, and at Dance House Cardiff on March 22nd. It’s shaping up to be an extraordinary event. Further information and tickets available here.
December 9th, 2018
Thrilled to announce that I have been awarded Arts Council of Wales funding to develop my residency with Ballet Cymru. The grant will enable me to build on all I’ve been doing with the company over the past few seasons – to work more collaboratively with dancers and choreographers, to more fully reflect their inspiring work with communities across Wales, and to create an ambitious new collection of paintings for exhibition next September and December.
Hugely grateful to Arts Council of Wales, my project partners Ballet Cymru, Ffin y Parc Gallery and Wales Millennium Centre, and to everyone else who supported me through the application process.
I’m very excited to get to work, and will be posting updates here and on social media as the project develops.
November 7th, 2018
My current exhibition at Waterstones, Bloomsbury, features thirty-two literary portraits from the series begun in 2016 for Terry Victor’s 2017 Edinburgh Festival show Well Thumbed, though since expanded to include further novelists, essayists and poets.
The exhibition includes portraits of Dylan Thomas, Dorothy Parker, George Orwell, Marcel Proust, Audre Lorde, Millicent Fawcett, Laurence Sterne, Leo Tolstoi, Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, Oscar Wilde, Mary Wollstonecraft, Virginia Woolf, James Baldwin, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aphra Behn, Giacomo Cassanova, Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Gwerful Mechain, Herman Melville, Izikiel, Nancy Mitford, Joe Orton, Charlotte Bronte, E.M. Forster, Giles Lytton Strachey, Hedd Wyn, Christina Rossetti, Patricia Highsmith, Vita Sackville-West and Wilfred Owen.
Also included is a room of paintings and drawings from my Ballet Cymru series (pictured), including one the earliest canvases, Nation of Two (Andrea Battaggia and Allegra Vianello), depicting a moment from a rehearsal of Serenestial, the company’s 2016 National Eisteddfod production. The painting is titled after a line from Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut, whose portrait hangs nearby.
The show runs until November 23rd.
October 6th, 2018
Busy time at the moment preparing for two shows in November – A Thousand Words at Waterstones, Bloomsbury, which will be my first solo show in London for a few years, and frontofbicycle, Basel, my first international show. Very excited about both!
A Thousand Words will feature around forty paintings, predominantly literary portraits, though also a selection of Ballet Cymru paintings. The private view will be on November 2nd.
The frontofbicycle show is a group exhibition featuring eighteen artists. I’ll be showing a dozen paintings – ten from my Ballet Cymru series, and two from my 2016 Llandudno residency. Private view on November 9th.
August 27th, 2018
Making a start on framing literary portraits for A Thousand Words exhibition at Waterstones, Bloomsbury, in a couple of months. These few from the original series made for Terry Victor which kickstarted the whole thing, soon to be accompanied by more recent additions.
The exhibition will run from October 29th to November 24th. Please find details here.
Private view from 6.30pm, November 2nd.