Glynn Vivian Art Gallery: blog

July 23, 2015
by Charlotte

Glynn Vivian at Olion Festival

Glynn Vivian Young people’s group – Black Kettle Collective will curate the Alternative marquee at Olion Youth Festival on Saturday 25 July, 11am – 5pm at Paradise Park, Townhill. Olion Festival celebrates young people and the arts, and is managed by young people for young people.

BKC Olion Festival

Utilising their experiences of working with the Gallery, and drawn from their own interests and passions, Black Kettle have programmed activities that will inspire and engage young people across the city.

In the lead up to the festival, Swansea Metropolitan Performing Arts and Theatre Studies Graduate, Alun Merrill has led a series of tie dye workshops for all ages.

On Saturday 25 July at the Alternative Marque Black Kettle will lead DIY Zine-making and Flag of Flag workshops to capture the mood and essence of Youth and the Olion Festival.

We’ll be raving to Experimental music and there will be opportunities to try VJing throughout the day.

Black Kettle Collective develop youth-led events and projects in response to Swansea and their own needs in partnership with the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery and its regional, national and international partners.

Open to anyone aged between 14 and 24 years old, Black Kettle Collective is constantly changing and evolving through the range of interests of the members of the group. For more information or to join Black Kettle Collective visit our website.

Follow @klackbettle on twitter

July 10, 2015
by Dan

New “on Air” podcast released

In our online talks archive, Artists, curators and creative professionals have spoken about their individual creative practices, the Gallery’s permanent collection, and a host of themes that coincided with significant topical events and dates in the local and national calendar. In this episode Swiss painter Andreas Rüthi, gave a talk about his work and the European tradition of still life painting in relation to modernism and more recent critical writing on still life, recorded in May 2014.

June 4, 2015
by Katy

Richard Billingham: Ray


Glynn Vivian Art Gallery will premiere a major new film installation by Richard Billingham offsite at the Ragged School, Swansea opening this Friday 5 June, 6-8pm. Billingham shot to fame in the nineties with his beautiful and often disturbing photos of his family, the body of work called Ray’s a Laugh. Ray sees artist Richard Billingham return to these early photographs that he captured of his family to tell a universal story of everyday conflicts, love and loss. At times shocking and laced with unsettling humour, Ray is a film about pain, addiction, loneliness and control.

Ray was filmed on location in Cradley Heath, West Midlands, in the same housing block that Billingham grew up in with his family. By using the artist’s original photographs as a visual reference, the film captures the texture and atmosphere of his family life in the early 1990s through a painstakingly recreated set.

The film features Patrick Romer as Billingham’s father, Ray; Richard Ashton as his home-brew supplying neighbour, Sid, and Deidre Kelly, star of Channel 4’s documentary ‘Benefit Street’, plays Ray’s volatile wife, Liz.

Richard Billingham lives in Swansea. He was the first recipient of the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize in 1997 and was nominated for the Turner Prize, 2001. His work is held in many international public collections such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum, New York, Tate and the V&A, London. He holds professorships at The University of Gloucestershire and Middlesex University.

Director: Richard Billingham
Producer: Jacqui Davies
Director of Photography: Daniel Landin BSC Cast Ray: Patrick Romer Liz: Deirdre Kelly Sid: Richard Ashton

Ray is supported by Arts Council Wales, Arts Council England, agnès b, FIDLab and Panavision, University of Gloucestershire and Glynn Vivian Art Gallery

Produced by Jacqui Davies. Courtesy Anthony Reynolds Gallery

The exhibition is open Wednesday – Saturday 6 June – 18 July, 11 – 4.30pm
Ragged School, 1-2 Pleasant Street, Swansea SA1 5DS

May 7, 2015
by Dan

Launch of Glynn Vivian Art Gallery On Air podcast channel

The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery Learning team has been running a busy programme of talks, workshops and artists’ residencies from their offsite home at the YMCA since 2012. Artists, curators and creative professionals have spoken about their individual creative practices, the Gallery’s permanent collection, and a host of themes that coincided with significant topical events and dates in the local and national calendar.

Having digitally recorded and archived the talks, the Gallery is excited to announce their upcoming podcast channel that will give people the opportunity to listen to the talks again, and for them to be available to a wider audience. On Air  will release a new talk bi-weekly and provide an opportunity for a global audience to engage with the diverse and informative programme of talks that the gallery has been successfully delivering since the redevelopment began.

Glynn Vivian Learning Officer, Tom Goddard, said, “I am proud of the hard work of the team that has gone into launching ‘On Air’ our artist talks programme, which will archive all our talks for posterity and share the thoughts of leading practitioners and academics in Wales, with other communities worldwide.

“Our Artist Talks complement our diverse exhibitions and events programme and through the series, we hope offer the community, specifically students and practising artists, the opportunity to hear artists, historians and curators talk about their current practice, concerns and the community that inspires them.”

As the programmes are produced by the Gallery, we have also created an introductory jingle, which was selected via an open submission. The jingle chosen was produced by a local young band (all the members are under 13), Crisps and Donuts, who had previously performed at Glynn Vivian’s Young People’s Group battle of the bands event, Crash.

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April 23, 2015
by Charlotte
1 Comment

Five questions to: 55+ Group – Heather Andrews

Heather Andrews
1. How did you first get involved with the Glynn Vivian?
I like to go to life drawing at the Swansea Print Workshop and it was there I first heard about the 55+ group at the Glynn Vivian.  The project was modelling clay heads and so I went along.  I enjoyed it so much that attending is now a permanent part of my week.

2. What have you gained from your time with the gallery?
Before joining the gallery I painted in isolation I didn’t know any other artists.   The 55+ group gave me the opportunity to make friends with artists of different abilities.  The projects using different media, the varied themes and the support and guidance I received soon sparked my enthusiasm and improved   my confidence.

3. Can you tell us about your most memorable experience?
After one of the exhibitions Tom Goddard asked me to loan the gallery 3 of my paintings as one of the city councillors wanted to hang them in his office. This was a big boost to my confidence.

4. What’s happening for you next?
A 3 year degree in illustration at University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) .

5. Has the gallery changed your perspective in any way?
Three years ago I would never have dreamt of doing an art degree, I was lonely, directionless and isolated.  The support and encouragement I received at the gallery has helped me focus on my work and has led directly to me having the opportunity to pursue a new life.  The most important thing I’ve learnt is no matter how old you are you can still achieve amazing goals.  All you need is a little help from your friends!

March 31, 2015
by Katy

Five questions to: Black Kettle Collective’s Kwesi Idun

12219211315_94443b4ba2_k 1: How did you first get involved with the Glynn Vivian?

I first joined the Glynn Vivian Young Peoples’ Group in August 2013, when the gallery hosted a fortnight of performance workshops, which ranged from comedy performance to script writing and character development.

2:What have you gained from your time with the gallery?

When I joined the group, I had just graduated from a BA Drama degree at the University of Cumbria in Lancaster. I was in a horrible position – saying goodbye to a significant chapter of my life and saying hello to the ‘real world’. Being part of the Glynn Vivian Young Peoples’ Group gave me a unique opportunity to utilise the performance skills I had acquired in both college and university and not allow them to go to waste.

3: Can you tell us about your most memorable experience?

There are so many!

  • Let’s See What Happens is definitely one. If I ever visit China, I’ll be able to impress the locals by making a mean load of Chinese Tea.
  • Meeting new people. Many fantastic friendships have formed as a result of both the group and this specific project, and I hope they last a lifetime.
  • The change from Glynn Vivian Young Peoples’ Group to Black Kettle Collective. I wonder which young, handsome and dashing genius thought up that name? I suppose we’ll never know!

DJIS Vagabond4: What’s happening for you next?

This summer, I began looking into and researching Postgraduate courses in Communication Studies in the United States. After compiling a shortlist of places, and doing my best to avoid anywhere that requires the dreaded Graduate Record Examination, I narrowed the list down to three places: Arizona State University, University of Northern Iowa and Northwestern University. Following a highly-successful Skype interview in February – for which the gallery provided the laptop – Northwestern University offered me a place on their ten-month MSc Communication course, which I have accepted. If all goes well with funding, visas, etc, I will be Chicago-bound in August. Thanks for the reference, Tom!

5: Has the gallery changed your perspective in any way?

Coming from a highly-artistic family (on my mother’s side, anyway) – but not being artistic in the ‘conventional’ sense myself – I was apprehensive about getting involved with an art-related organisation. I had a pre-conceived dislike for the subject, growing up in a home filled with canvases thanks to being the long-suffering son, cousin and nephew of artists. However, being part of the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery has changed my perspective. I now realise that art can exists everywhere. Drama is art, friendship is art, LIFE is art! It doesn’t simply have to be on a canvas or a wall (Yes, Banksy, I am referring to you!)

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.

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