ELYSIUM is an artist led, self sustaining enterprise, comprising of a Contemporary Art Gallery, eighty four artists studio work spaces, over four sites in the centre of Swansea for contemporary artists of all disciplines. And now don’t forget the Bar.
The first time I met Jonathan Powell The Swansea School of Art was at the Townhill Campus. It was in 2005/6 I was doing my MA in Photography. In Fine Art, Also doing his Masters Jonathan was painting a large back and white oil. Impressed, I asked if I could take a photograph. (I will put it up, when I can get at my locked down archive).
It is now 2020 and Jonathan is Director of Elysium Gallery, which is the most exiting project to promote emerging and established visual artists to ever happen in Swansea. It fills a void that existed in 2007 for studio work places, and most important Galleries to show and sell their work. There are now studios for over a hundred artists on four sites in the City Centre including the New Elysium Gallery Bar in High Street. What a fantastic achievement. So here follows my project to document the artists, their studios and exhibitions, and add it to my Welsh Arts Archive.
Carys Evans graduated at the Swansea School of Art in 2013, she works mainly with the female figure, with water colours, oils and drawing etc., in her bright and welcoming Elysium studio in Mansel Street, Swansea.
Below are members of the ladies painting group who meet at her studio, the last meeting before the Covid 19 lock down on the 9th March 2020. They are pictured around the table from the left. Jane Warwick, Jo Maselis, Lydia Marouf, Mair Francis, Kirstine Dunthorne, Deanna Harding, Ann Jordan, Jane McCarthy, and Carys Evans, standing.
Kate Bell was the first Elysium Artist that I photographed in this project to document the artists working in the Elysium studios. Kate graduated from the Swansea School of Art with a Masters Degree and for thirty years has been teaching and following He her own painting career. Her studio in the Orchard Street Complex is full of her colourful and dynamic abstract landscapes of land, sea and sky with enough space for a sofa to relax over a cup of coffee, what a pleasure it was to see.
Ann Jordan works from the Mansel Street studio complex and is a Founder Director of Elysium Artists. She graduated from the Swansea School of Art with a Masters degree in Fine Art. Ann is a mixed media/textile worker, spinning, weaving, stitching and knitting her complex sculptural landscapes reflecting the traditional and contemporary with a domestic style that echo her first calling as a midwife.
Graham Parker was born in the Sandfields in Swansea near to Swansea Bay and the ever changing sea and shore line that has been a source for his painting for many years. His work has evolved from the dynamic realism of the storms that hit the bay, to the calm of his more recent abstract works. He is photographed here in his Mansel Street studio.
Daleet Leon, was born in Israel and has lived in Swansea since 2001, where she studied for her BA and the Swansea School of Art, and in 2013 she completed her MA at the Royal College of Art. Her work involves painting, etching and drawing can be described as landscapes or dreamscapes exploring dimensions of reality and dream like visions. She is photographed here in her Mansel Street, Studio.
Steph Mastoris, is a typographic artist who uses traditional letterpress techniques. His work is concerned with the power and elegance of letter and word forms. Steph studied history at London University and is Head of the Waterfront Museum in Swansea. He is photographed here in his print room in the College Street, Elysium Studios.
Artist Paul Nunn photographed in his Elysium Gallery Orchard Street, studio.
Philip Cheater is a graphic artist with elements from society, a cornucopia of large scale optical semiotics. Photographed here in his College Street, studio, below the old Barons Night Club, where none of the spaces seem to have windows
Dylan Williams, trained in Mexico and has exhibited in New York and Wales. Photographed here in his Elysium Orchard Street Studio.
“My work is made in relation to the landscape of the Afan Valley and the mountains in the area. My paintings and drawings explore the dichotomy between mans spiritual connections to the mountains and the residue of the industrial exploitation of the area. These concerns are explored through various forms of mark making, symbols and painterly values created from sketchbook studies in my studio.” – Dylan Williams
Bourdon Brindille (Chris Harris)
Bourdon Brindille, sculptor opened his exhibition Breakage and Repair at the Elysium Gallery/Bar in High Street, Swansea in January 2020.
Mark Folds, is a sculptor, who also uses performance, installation and video in his work, he is photographed here in his exhibition, Crisis (from massive to Macro) which opened in January 2020 at the Elysium Gallery/Bar in High Street, Swansea.
Fran Williams, is a Mixed Media Artist who works from her Elysium Gallery studio in Orchard Street, Swansea.
www.elysiumgallery.com/ fran- williams
Photographed at the joint exhibition with Steven Wilyeo, ‘The Stillness of Chaos’, at the Elysium Studio complex, January 2020.
Euros Rowlands graduated from Aberystwyth University School of Art in 1992. He has been a professional musician, teacher and now works as an artist based at Elysium Studios in College Street, Swansea.
His work is created through a combination of paint, photographs, magazine and advert cuttings, a process of memory through this visual echo.
Steven Wilyeo studied fine art at Aberystwyth University, School of Art, he describes his work as abstract expressionist a relationship of form and colour, a manifestation of his mind and soul laid out in paint.
He is photographed in his studio and joint exhibition with Euros Rowlands, ‘ The Stillness of Chaos’, at the Elysium Gallery studio complex in College Street, Swansea in January 2020.
Tom Morris working in his Elysium Gallery Artists Studio in Orchard Street, Swansea.
Jason Gregory and Andre Stitt
Jason Gregory was born in Tonypandy in 1974 and graduated from Cardiff School of Art with a MFA Fine Art in 2017, he now lives and works in Porthcawl.
He was joint winner of the BEEP Painting prize with Kelly Ewing in 2018.He is photographed here in the Elysium Gallery/Bar in High Street Swansea with Andre Stitt, (right).