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A new series of posters featuring contemporary attractions of
the South Wales valleys have appeared on Welsh railway
platforms this year, in a publicity campaign mounted by
Discover the Valleys, an organization aiming to bring tourists
back to the valleys. Ten artists were commissioned to
produce paintings for the posters, including Robert Macdonald
of Brecon who chose to base his image on The Big Cheese
Race, Caerphilly.
Robert is one of five artists from Brecon known as the Brecon Group, mounting an
exhibition this month in Caerphilly’s Y Galeri. He will be showing sketches and prints
created in preparation for his poster, while the paintings and prints by the other four
group members include work created recently to celebrate the centenary of the birth
of Dylan Thomas, Swansea’s great poet
Robert will be opening the exhibition and will be joined by his four co-exhibitors:
Lesley Lillywhite, Karin Mear, Roy Powell and Veronica Gibson. Along with Robert,
Roy and Veronica are members of the Welsh Group, the senior association of
professional artists in Wales, and Robert is also the first elected chair of the Royal
Watercolour Society of Wales (until last year the Watercolour Society of Wales).
All five artists have exhibited widely and last month Lesley, Karin and Veronica took
part in the Brecon Women’s Festival Art Show in the Andrew Lamont Gallery in Theatr
Brycheiniog, Brecon. Lesley is a member of the Swansea Print Workshop and her
recent work includes prints celebrating the Dylan Thomas centenary and his Swansea
connections (the workshop has created a portfolio of prints by 18 artists celebrating
the centenary and Robert’s work on the Dylan Thomas theme is also included in the
portfolio). Karin Mear’s work is based on the theme of blankets, as a source of
warmth and protection and as a form of folk art. Veronica Gibson's expressive
landscapes have been much acclaimed. Her work is an exploration of and a response
to stimuli that she feels passionate about; this could be landscape, a painting, a piece
of writing. She has lived in Wales for 31 years and from the outset was aware that
she was interpreting the Welsh landscape through the prism of her sensibilities and
memories and poetic vision. Roy Powell is best known for his works in oils, particularly
his long-running series of Vanitas paintings – striking still-lives which reflect on
human mortality.
The exhibition in Y Galeri opens on 15 April and runs until 17 May. Open 10am-5pm
Tuesday – Saturday.

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