Friday, 14 May 2021

Lliwiau Aberteifi at Oriel Canfas Gallery, Cardigan, May 2021


Lliwiau Aberteifi is a collection of contemporary and heritage colours sourced from around Cardigan Town and the nearby village of Cilgerran, with titles inspired by local place names, historical references and native wildlife. LL&P Colour Card represents a winter of walks further up Afon Teifi in the Town of Llandysul and Pontyweli. These unique palettes capture a fleeting moment in time; the peeling surface of an old garage soon to be replaced, the gas bottle in the perfect mustard hue awaiting collection, or the whitewashed windows of a pending refurbishment. The pieces on show represent 9 years of work, walking, collecting, editing and naming to create colour maps of my patch. 

Exhibited upstairs at Canfas Gallery from 1st -22nd May 2021


Sunday, 17 January 2021


In the great pause of spring 2020 the farmer's field behind my house was left fallow for the first time in a long while. After eight weeks without rain the parched, bare ground cracked, like mini tectonic plates. Slowly but surely, wild, unintended things began to grow. Sorrel, Plantain, Thistles, Lesser Rosebay Willow Herb and dandelions grew to nose-high. A the edges of the field, along the irigation ditches, the dispersed seeds of crop plants from years gone by sprouted up again- rye, corn, barley, wheat and oat. A shimmer of Goldfinches could often be seen fluttering between thistle heads and telegraph wires. We began taking walks in the field, exploring this newly re-wilded dessert. At night when I closed my eyes I could see grasses. The wild was imprinted. The ground was like a dessert with islands of radial grasses, or constellations of miniature gardens. We'd found a little bit of wild to be in.

I began to draw, print and photograph and collect grasses and my partner Jack began to write, in a backyard project we will call fallow

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

These 9 images form part of a 140 image colour chart collected in Cardigan and Cilgerran over a series of walks between 2015- 2020 and featured in my January 2020 residency on Instagram for @landartcollective

A painterly tone inspired by  the Thomas Jones painting, wall in Naples, 1782

White with umber undertones referencing the brown and white speckles of 
the migratory Fieldfare bird

The Norse name for the island at the mouth of the Teifi Estuary, thought to 
mean Isle of Horses and a safe haven

Inspired by municipal planting this is a loud red which makes it's presence felt

This shade takes its name from the natural patina formed on copper, brass or bronze 
by atmospheric oxidisation

Welsh meaning Salt rain, references the briny Teifi estuary as described in the poem
 Y Cei by Ceri Wyn Jones

This rich emerald green surface will provide shelter or shade. 

 This warm historical tone pays homage to Cardigan's rich and fugitive architectural history

 In 2016 I made a little book to capture a snapshots of a cottage in Ceredigion which I came to know very well as it was in my partner's family and became our favourite place. Bought 50 years ago, it provided a home from home for three generations and many branches of the Thomas family, originally from Wales and who love Cardigan Bay. Its furnishings had barely changed since it was first taken over by the family, everything had its place and it had a very particular smell of coal and books and carpet and holidays. It remains nestled in a quiet unchanging valley but no longer belongs to the family. Before it was emptied I made a book with image and text capture snapshots of how it was. Some images and excerpts below.

How to describe the resonance of this place?
What is the sum of the things inside? Each person has their own capsule of experience here,
memories triggered by smells or sealed in ritual repetition.
The cottage is so much more than the things inside, but they're layered with sedimentary traces of all our times here.

they joy of life stripped to its simplest elements-
making warmth, preparing food. the comfort of cooking with the same old pans, awkwardly improvising with inadequate tools; grater, knives, chopping board.

Clammy condensation gathers on the kitchen and bathroom walls. these are rooms which have their own weather

We share the knowing of this place.
It resonates within us and between us,
We are connected by the people
who dreamed it, who built it, who bought it,
who put plates on the wall,
who left shells on the shelves and sand in the carpet,
and all the generations who've slept in that bed.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

New Inn Colours

For an exhibition in Carmarthenshire's tiniest gallery, Oriel Blodau Bach, in New Inn I went colour collecting again and made a poster for the inspired ex-notcieboard come gallery.

It felt like a challenge to find colour in this Carmarthenshire village, on the main road, in January, in the rain and snow. New Inn has many of the elements I love about rural Carmarthenshire villages, a utilitarian aesthetic contrasted by touches of pattern and statement colours to assert some personality in the face of exposure to the elements and the vast landscape. It's also the way that farming and working the land is evidenced by the detritus, tractors, rusted metal, sheds and unfinished projects.These are little snap-shots of New Inn life.             

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Between the lines…naming colours

LL&P colour card (2014) is my cheeky re-imagining of a well known English paint company's iconic folded colour chart. The names of paints have always been amusing to me, from the very banal to the surreal pairings of imagery and alliteration in high-street brands (like B&Q's "Tempest's Teapot' (Valspar) to the elaborate pretensions of high end paints which use allusion to heritage, aspirational references to places and bizarre imagery 'Elephant's Breath'. I could read them all day. 
The unique naming of paints is a market necessity, to ensure their products are distinct, matchable, memorable and ideally to capture imagination. The rich and varied language used to describe the shades and texture of colours highlights the challenge of colour, as described by David Batchelor.. "there is very little understanding of what colour is...there are 10 millions detectable variations of colour, but most language only have about 11 basic colour terms, so there's a gap between what we can see and what we can say…". Paint manufacturers seem to be tackling this gap, and between the lines meaning is forged between colour and its associations with other pheonoma, weather, places, objects and moods.    
There's an art to weaving words to try to describe colour e.g. Farrow &Ball's colour 'Dead Salmon' is attributed  a to a bill for aKedleston LIbrary 1803: the 'dead' could refer to the flatness or dulness of the shade or the tone. And names like mizzle and F&B'd new range of 'drabs' evoke atmospheres, qualities of light and weather. 
My paint chart became a treasure hunt, as I sought out the right shades on numerous walks around the town of Llandysul and Pontweli. The revelation was to discover so much that I'd overlooked in my home- town, which through familiarity I considered deeply dull. When focusing on colour I saw the creative use and accidental presence of colour all around me. And as I walked I collected names; of houses, chapels and rivers and allowed a poetry to develop between the words an the images.