Glynn Vivian Art Gallery: blog

March 23, 2015
by Charlotte

Just Us: Independent Living Skills students open exhibition of work

Just Us: Independent Living Skills Students Exhibition Poster

Just Us: Independent Living Skills Students Exhibition Poster

In January 2015, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, as part of its 4Site Secondary School programme, began a 10 week project with a group of students from the Independent Living Skills (ILS) department at Gower College Swansea. Based at Gower College Swansea’s Ty Coch Campus, the ILS department offers a range of courses that are tailored to students with specialist learning needs.

The focus of the exhibition Just Us is on the work that the students created over the course of the project and is based on the theme of Self Identity. The aim was to capture snapshots of their own individual lives and personalities. To help them achieve this, the group has been working closely with artist Anna Barratt and the Learning team at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. Although the students are not full time art students, they have successfully demonstrated their ability to produce interesting and meaningful contemporary artwork. The exhibition opens at 1pm in the White Room at Swansea Grand Theatre on Tuesday 24 March. It will be open to the public 10am – 5pm until Friday 27 March.


Just Us: Independent Living Skills Students Exhibition

Glynn Vivian Art Gallery launched a dedicated 4Site Secondary School programme back in January 2014. The aim of the programme is to provide pupils and teachers with an informal and exciting introduction to our city art gallery through the contemporary and historical exhibitions, the Gallery collection, and sharing the history of the Gallery and its founder, Richard Glynn Vivian. The programme is delivered by professional contemporary practitioners from all disciplines including painting, music, drama and sculpture.

Glynn Vivian Art Gallery’s 4Site Secondary School programme has evolved and we now work closely with selected comprehensive schools on specific projects. The students at Gower College Swansea, like other school groups, had a term to complete a project of their choice with an artist. The Gallery works in partnership and consultation with the teachers and students to provide high quality outcomes for all who participate.

Just Us: Independent Living Skills Students Exhibition

Just Us: Independent Living Skills Students Exhibition

Prior to the Gallery’s re-opening we are looking to evolve and further develop our Secondary Schools programme, therefore if you have an idea for a project please feel free to contact us for a discussion.

Limited spaces available, places will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.

If you are interested in the scheme and would like further information please visit our website or for an initial discussion please contact Charlotte Thomas by telephone on 01792 516900, or email

February 4, 2015
by Katy

Time, a Hesitant Smile

Copyright the artists. Courtesy Jacqui Davies Ltd

Semiconductor, Some Of Us Will Have Become

Time, a Hesitant  Smile begins this Thursday 5 February at 5.30pm at VUE Cinema Swansea. There is chance to hear curators Jacqui Davies and Joseph Constable in conversation and then the film screenings begin at 6pm. The first programme of Time, a Hesitant Smile contains multiple channels of broadcast and (mis)communication. Temporal stability is thrown into question as voices and images appear through windows – the Internet browser, the television screen or the satellite transmission – conveying enigmatic messages from the past and the future. The programme is below:

 Haroon Mirza, This content was transmitted to this date in 1987, 2013. 3min

James Richards, The Misty Suite, 2009. 7min

Louis Henderson, All That Is Solid, 2014. 15min

Laida Lertxundi, Cry When It Happens, 2014. 14min

John Latham, Erth, 1971. 25min

There are two further film programmes to follow at 6.30pm on Thursday 12 February and Thursday 19 February.

Everyone welcome, and this event is free.

*Please note change of venue to Vue Cinema,  York Street, Swansea

December 19, 2014
by Laura

Rocks Fall. Everybody Dies. (Roleplay for art’s sake)

Black Kettle Big DropGlynn Vivian Young People’s group, Black Kettle Collective (BKC)  are taking over Big Drop Surf Shop in St. David’s Shopping Centre, for a marathon role-play extravaganza on Tuesday 23 December, 10am – 10pm.

Performers, artists, escapists, nerds, freaks and geeks are all welcome to join the group of young actors, writers and creatives in the disused shop space owned by Swansea Council.

BKC will complete twelve straight hours of tabletop role playing games for anyone who wants to take part. Characters will be created, quests embarked upon, dice will be rolled, skills checked and pizza breaks will most certainly be had.

So if you are a seasoned role-player ready for that last binge before the new year, a curious newbie eager to have a go, or even just someone in need of a break from their Christmas shopping, come and get involved!

Check out Black Kettle’s  Facebook event

The Big Drop space is part of the You Are Here project, to explore the potential of urban cultural regeneration in the City.

Several empty shop spaces have been filled with the Gallery’s community exhibitions and over the Christmas holidays you can also see a selection of work created by the Glynn Vivian’s 55+ Wednesday afternoon art class.

December 18, 2014
by Laura

All I Want For Christmas (Is A Hare Krishna Spongebath)

Joan Jones, Christmas EP, 2014

Joan Jones, Christmas EP, 2014

Our current Artist in Residence, Joan Jones, has written and produced an EP of Christmas songs for your listening pleasure.

We asked Joan to say a few words about their most recent musical collaborations.

“As Truly Kaput and The Village People of the Damned (a.k.a Joan) I am proud to unleash this sensual, sensational, seasonal aural delight. We’re not holding out much hope for Christmas number 1, so instead we’re setting our sights on what everyone REALLY wants in their stocking, or perhaps under the tree, this year.”

“Covering themes such as seasonal self-medicating, alternative Yuletide love affairs, divergent spirituality and Wintertime death of the soul, the new E.P. is available for free download or extremely limited edition personally autographed CD, from which none of the proceeds are going to charity.”

Listen to the whole EP on Soundcloud.  Available for a limited time only. Contact the Gallery on 01792 561900 or email to order a copy of the CD.

November 21, 2014
by Laura

Joan Sparkles at YMCA

Joan Jones, Untitled (hag) 2014

Joan Jones, Untitled (hag) 2014

This Saturday, Joan Jones, our current Glynn Vivian Artist in Residence will be appearing as part of the line up for Swansea Sparkle 2014, organised by Tawe Butterflies.

YMCA will be hosting the all day event from 12pm til 4.30pm and 7pm til late, which includes stalls, live music, performances and more.

During the day, Joan Jones will launch the new edition of their zine, The Sexual Life of Stevie Smith (SLSS), a new essay/poem speculating on Joan’s transgender childhood, their refusal of binary gendering, and on how one functions in a predominantly cis society – free poster included!

Come along and visit Joan’s stall and buy a zine for 50p.

Stick around until 4pm when Joan will be performing a live action in the Gallery’s offsite space on the 3rd floor. Joan would like to encourage you to come dressed as your ultimate-gender fantasy.

Joan has plenty more in store for the residency which continues until February 2015. Joan is currently working on a Christmas single, which will be available to hear in the run up to Christmas. Joan hopes to form a band through working with the YMCA’s LGBT group and will be recording in the coming weeks.

For events in the New Year, including Joan’s Open Studio and a Valentines’ Day revenge disco, see our website.

November 11, 2014
by Laura

Art With Friends

Art With Friends Workshops, August 2014

Art With Friends Workshops, August 2014

A collaborative online book has been made prepared by children aged 4 – 14, in association with Cymru’n Cofio Wales Remembers.

To mark the centenary of the First World War, Glynn Vivian delivered a series of workshops examining the role of the artist during the war using works from Gallery collection.

The three workshops for different age groups took place from 5 to 7 August, 2014 during the school summer holidays and offered creative skills in poetry, graphics, printmaking and drawing.

The workshops were supported by the Friends of the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery in a new initiative called ‘Art with Friends’ and took place at the YMCA, Swansea.

Children aged 4-7 focused on collage and colour in a workshop with artist Tom Goddard. The children were tasked with looking at mood and motion, specifically ‘A British tank’ by Sir Muirhead Bone and Paul Nash, ‘Landscape of the Bagley Woods’. The group were able to get around the difficult subject by listening to historical radio footage as well as hearing poetry from the time.

In the workshop for 8-11 year olds, children explored the motivations for war during peacetime learning a range of printmaking techniques with artist Dan McCabe. The group focussed on works including ‘Cavalry Crossing the Piave, 1918‘ by Martin Hardie and ‘Study of Soldiers’ by Frank Brangwyn.

Writer and poet Tracy Harris worked with 12-14 year olds to devise their own play which they performed at the end of the day. They used influences such as ‘Mametz Wood’ by Edward Handley-Read and David Jones’ epic poem ‘In Parenthesis’.

The work has now been collected and presented in a collaborative book which is available to view here.

Part of the Glynn Vivian Offsite programme whilst the Gallery is closed for redevelopment.

November 7, 2014
by Laura

Glynn Vivian team showcase innovation in Gallery Learning

Young Art Force - Gif drawing image

Young Art Force – Gif drawing image

Next week, the 2014 engage International Conference will be landing in Leeds, to bring together some of the most exciting practitioners and artists from within the gallery education sector.

Delegates will be exploring the broad and inspiring theme of innovation in education and learning in galleries, museums and the visual arts.

The programme will consider gallery education, examining where practice has been innovative in the past, in the present, and how it can continue to innovate in the future.

There will be a particular focus on the potential of digital technologies to encourage new ways of engaging with art and ideas, and discussion about the importance of innovation and education across different art forms.

During the two day event, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery Learning and Participation Officer, Tom Goddard, and Learning Assistant, Dan McCabe, will be hosting a practical session – demonstrating how to produce an animated Gif using works from the Gallery’s collection.

Tom and Dan have been using the technique as part of the Gallery’s ‘Young Art Force project, inspiring young people aged 14 -25 in to connect with the arts through taking part in creative art activities.

The ‘Young Art Force’ project, which began in April 2014, is part of engage Cymru’s Momentum programme to help to help young people to achieve their bronze Arts Award.

The Arts Award is a nationally recognised qualification to support young people to develop their creativity, leadership and communication skills enabling them to progress into further education and employment.

The Glynn Vivian team, alongside artist Anna Barratt, were applauded by Arts Award for how they challenged young people’s perspectives, by providing them with an excellent quality and range of experiences and opportunities to learn.

The engage conference takes place on Monday 10 and Tuesday 11 November. To find out more, visit the engage website or follow engage on Twitter @engagevisualart #engconf14.

October 29, 2014
by Rory Duckhouse

Matt Cook: Artist Talk


Matt Cook, Comb Sculpture

Matt Cook, Comb Sculpture

Join us at the YMCA on Thursday 30 October  at 5.30pm to listen to artist  Matt Cook talk about his recent practice including work made for Cardiff Contemporary and his Creative Wales Award.

Matt Cook combines elements of sound, installation, assemblage and performance to create artworks inspired by walking in the city. Matt will discuss the inspiration behind his public installation for Cardiff Contemporary and the progress made with his Creative Wales award.

Matt Cook works with materials he finds in everyday life: objects, sounds, sights, sites, and experience, which he reassembles into installation and performance works that attempt to recreate his experience of the world.

matt cookHe has a particular interest in the city, its ambience and topography, which he approaches through walking, looking, listening, thinking and feeling. He reveals hidden structures in everyday life, sights and sounds that we regularly experience, but don’t usually notice.

Common to all his works is a live element, they are sonic and kinetic or demonstrate a real or imagined temporality.

Previous work includes commissions and exhibitions for firstsite, Colchester; Wysing Arts, Cambridge; Chapter, Cardiff; BCA, Bedford.

As well as his art practice, Matt also manages Warwick Hall Studios.

Visit the artist’s website.

To find out about other Glynn Vivian Offsite Artist Talks and Events, go to

Free, everyone welcome, no booking required.

October 29, 2014
by Laura

Glynn Vivian Road Show rolls into St Thomas, Swansea

'My Collection' at the Glynn Vivian Road Show

‘My Collection’ at the Glynn Vivian Road Show

We’re stopping by in St Thomas this half term – taking art to community door-steps across Swansea.

This Thursday 30 October the Gallery team will be visiting St Thomas Primary School to share our handling collection and offer free arts activities.

Special workshops have been planned for the day including painting demonstrations, paint mixing and hands-on creative workshops for all the family.

St. Thomas Primary School create 'Senses Boxes' for the Glynn Vivian Road Show

St. Thomas Primary School create ‘Senses Boxes’ for the Glynn Vivian Road Show

School children from St Thomas Primary have also been getting involved with the Road Show events this term by creating their own artwork inspired by the Gallery collection which will be on display for parents to come and see.

As part of the Road Shows we have been asking visitors to select art works from the collection, to be reproduced and put on display at community centres and various places in the city.

The Gallery has already installed up to 40 images from the collection in ARC in Portmead, Swansea Community Farm in Fforestfach and on the Vetch Field in Sandfields, and some of the school children from St Thomas Primary have been selecting their favourite works to be put on display in their classrooms.

We’re also urging people to come and share their own collections with the community too. Whether it’s toys, football memorabilia, vinyl records, stamps, cards or badges they want residents to bring along and talk about their treasured possessions.

The whole event is free and is open at 12-4pm.

St Thomas Library will be offering free Halloween workshops from 2.30pm for visitors to take part.

The Gallery is supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop a learning and participation programme relating to the original Richard Glynn Vivian bequest.

Have a look at or call 01792 516900 for more information.

October 27, 2014
by Laura

Poems in October: Dylan Thomas and Shakespeare

Poems in October: Dylan Thomas and Shakespeare Location map

Poems in October: Dylan Thomas and Shakespeare. Location map

If you are visiting Swansea over the next two weeks, you may find that you happen upon poetry by Dylan Thomas and William Shakespeare appearing in different venues, and in unexpected places throughout Swansea City Centre.

Beginning today, Monday 27 October, Glynn Vivian Offsite presents Poems in October: Dylan Thomas and Shakespeare, a sound project in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The project has been inspired by one of Dylan’s early influences: his love of William Shakespeare which his father read to him as a child.

Staff at Glynn Vivian Gallery has been working in collaboration with Swansea University’s Centre for Research into the English Literature and Language of Wales (CREW) and the Dylan Thomas Centre to choose texts which explore the rhythms and cadences between the two poets.

The minute long sound recordings include extracts from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Othello and King Lear alongside works from Dylan Thomas including Foster the Light and an extract from The Long Legged Bait.

From Swansea railway station to some of the famous pubs Dylan visited, you can hear the works of the two writers, brought to life by Michael Sheen and actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The sound bites will appear intermittently in venues in different places, in the Quadrant shopping centre and Swansea Market. The recordings will also be available at three central hubs, the Dylan Thomas Centre, the Kardomah Coffee Shop and Swansea Central Library, where visitors can sit and listen to the sound clips in their entirety.

We would like to thank Michael Sheen, the actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company and staff from all of the participating venues.

The project is part of Swansea Council’s Dylan Thomas Festival 2014 and coincides with the 450th centenary celebrations of Shakespeare’s birth.

For more information about where to hear the recordings and discover all the venues involved, please visit

Exhibition continues throughout the Dylan Thomas Festival 2014 until 9 November.

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