Mike Hill studied Wild Life Illustration at Carmarthen Art College. He works from home with a studio overlooking Swansea Bay, where he regularly walks and gathers items washed ashore for his work. His studio is full of the natural history of Swansea Bay, enough to fill a museum and made a fascinating visit. Winner of the 2nd Prize in the Glynn Vivian Open 2019 with Swansea Beach Tar and Swansea Beach Plastic.
This series of six memento mori prints where made for the exhibition ‘The Great the Good and the Dead’ held at the Ceri Richards Gallery, Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea University in January 2003. Embedded in the prints are words from the Notebook poems of Dylan Thomas written, in his school exercise books at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive in the Uplands, Swansea. For this I must Thank Llew Thomas.
From top left,
1/ Browns Hotel Laugharne, Dylan and Caitlin’s table.
2/ The back bedroom, 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, The Uplands, Swansea.
3/ Cwmdonkin Park, looking across to Mumbles Head.
4/ The Death Mask, The Dylan Thomas Centre, Somerset Place, Swansea.
5/ 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, Uplands, Swansea.
6/ Tumbling Terraces, from The Uplands to the Sea.
The best Swansea Story, is that we have a brand new fully functioning, modern and as beautiful as ever Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. It’s like a breath of fresh air, not only do we have our new curator Karen Mackinnon, a staff who are proud and only to willing to help, social events of an evening, and a café where I am seen meeting my friends for a rather nice coffee. I visited the Frances Richards exhibition three times, it was a joy to see her delicate work, I made a Christmas card of her Angels. So thank you Mel Gooding for letting us see the work of the lady I never met, when visiting Edith Grove to photograph her husband Ceri Richards. An artist whose work I admired and discovered as a young man in the Glynn Vivian Gallery.
The exhibition ‘Swansea Stories’ perhaps one of the largest ever put on in the Glynn, was a very clever way of showing the wealth of the permanent collection, as well increasing the footfall. Many the pictures from the storerooms, that had not been seen for some time, and so many new discoveries and old favourites. One, almost monochrome oil high up on the wall in the main gallery, made me take to the photocopied list. Yes, as I suspected it was an early Glenys Cour (The Pool, Cefn Bryn, 1963) and what a complete change from the colours we expect to see in a Glenys Cour. The exhibition included to my surprise, tucked away in an alcove in the atrium, two of my early portraits of those two friends from Neath and Ystradgynlais, Will Roberts and Josef Herman.
Let us hope that we can see it once more when this lock down, virus thing has gone and I can go again to meet my friends for a coffee and see an exhibition at the Glynn.
Bernard Mitchell. June 2020.