Not normally associated with inland waters the Killer Whale in the moat around Caerphilly Castle is sure to generate a huge amount of excitement. The piece is the work of Rhondda sculptor Barry Lewis who gained much recognition for his ‘Monster in the Moat’ installation in 2012 and his Octopus in 2013. The piece is part of his new weird and wonderful gallery exhibition entitled ‘Metalmorphosis’ which has just opened in Y Galeri, Caerphilly.
The emphasis on the installation is to create a visually engaging artwork that is accessible to a wide audience and is site specific in terms of context and physical location. This is certainly the case in the busy town especially with the huge influx of visitors expected during the Big Cheese Event at the end of the month. Y Galeri has been working in partnership with CADW to bring the installation to fruition. The artist is thrilled to display his work once again in such a prominent place with such a historic backdrop.
With recycling being central to the artist’s work, his pieces are all constructed from salvaged household and metal objects, kitchen utensils and a lot of cutlery. Much of the materials used would have ended up in landfill or the scrap yard so the artist’s unique vision transforms discarded items and brings them to life. The Killer Whale is constructed from upcycled satellite dishes with small solar panels inbuilt so that the piece is illuminated at night.
The sculptural menagerie at Y Galeri includes many freestanding pieces including his truly impressive Soup Dragon, General Monkey Nuts and his new bicycle the Stag Bol which houses a mini-bar. Also on display are dozens of wall hung works including Stella the Stork with a 4ft wingspan, aptly named because a Stella Artois beer pump has been used in its construction. Barry’s passion and understanding of animals and the construction of sculptures was a legacy from his grandfather. As a child growing up in Tonypandy in the Rhondda Valley he very much enjoyed spending time in his company. As a prolific artist his sculptures seem to be growing in size and imagination.
Anyone wishing to meet Barry Lewis will be able to do so on Saturday 12th July. He will be in Y Galeri throughout the day to meet, greet and answer any questions and may also go for a spin on his Stag Bol bike around Caerphilly Town. The Metalmorphosis exhibition will be on display at Y Galeri until 16 August. Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10am -5pm. Free admission. The Killer Whale will be in the Moat for the duration of the exhibition.