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.