Monthly Archives: November 2019

Pieces of a Jigsaw: Portraits of Artists and Writers of Wales

A New Book by Bernard Mitchell – Available Now.

An unprecedented collection of photographic portraits of notable characters within the arts community in Wales, Pieces of a Jigsaw is based on Bernard Mitchell’s ongoing Welsh Arts Archive project. The project began in 1966 with a series of portraits of the Swansea friends of Dylan Thomas, including the artists Ceri Richards and Alfred Janes, the poet Vernon Watkins, and the composer Daniel Jones. The collection kept growing and now features many leading artists and writers who have significantly contributed to Welsh culture in the late twentieth century, including Will Roberts, Josef Herman, Max Boyce, Jan Morris, Ernest Zobole, Emyr Humphreys and Gwyneth Lewis.

Bernard Mitchell was born in Morriston, Swansea, in 1947. His interest in photography began at junior school with a cardboard pinhole camera. The present of a Kodak 127 and various cameras throughout school helped him develop his knowledge and interest in the fundamentals of photography. After leaving school, he studied photography at the Berkshire college of art Reading Before joining Thomson Regional Newspapers as an indentured photojournalist. Following a long career in newspapers, Bernard returned to Swansea in 2003 to study for a Masters degree in photography at Swansea Metropolitan University. In 2016 Bernard gifted his archive of photographs of artists and writers of Wales to the Richard Burton Archive at Swansea University.

Video: Bernard Mitchell’s – Pieces of a Jigsaw. Made by Film Students at the University of Solent

Published by PARTHIAN BOOKS, the book is available now:
Buy the Book – Pieces or a Jigsaw: Portraits of Artists and Writers of Wales

Photography Season, National Museum of Wales, Cardiff – November 2019

Bronwen Colquhoun Senior Curator of Photography has not just achieved one exhibition, but has created three galleries full of photographs, sadly cut  short by the arrival of Corvid 19. This must be a first for the National, things were looking good when we had one designated gallery to the photographers art.

Martin Parr in Wales, August Sander and Industrial Visions by Bern and Hilla Becher. We arrived in time to hear Bronwen Colquhoun’s talk on the Martin Parr in Wales.

Martin Parr is based in Bristol, but now travels to a holiday home in Tenby, just the place for a man who excels in beach photography. Two things were apparent, the miners in the pithead baths, have been a subject of photographers from the days of tin baths in the kitchen and the display of still life photographs of food, neglected to show the fine cuisine and local produce that make up the Principality today.

Industrial Visions, showed the dedicated vision of Bern and Hilla Becher to document the Winding Towers of the coal mines which were part of the  every village in the South Wales Valleys. Each one of a slightly different construction, now saved for posterity, after the devastation of the demolition carried out a plan destroy the Coal Industry by Margaret Thatcher and her government.

Sadly time passes and we could not give justice to August Sander.

Bernard Mitchell