User menu

Dark Valleys & Seven14: Beginnings

Through the use of motion sensing technology the men, women and children of the Dark Valley are brought to life to share some of their secrets with you, whether you want to hear them or not...... This exhibition plus an inaugural exhibition from a brand new group of artists opens in Caerphilly on Tuesday 10th February.


 ‘Dark Valleys’ exhibition brings Anthony Rhys' emotionally charged work back to Y Galeri after winning last year’s Open Exhibition.  Anthony paints challenging photorealistic oil portraits of our Victorian ancestors.  His work deals with the skeletons in the closet and the hidden histories that lie dormant behind the facade of 'respectable' life.  Rather than pose and put on a brave face the people of the Dark Valleys scream, shout and rage against the world and its misfortunes.

Anthony Rhys, who won the Ivor Davies award at the 2012 National Eisteddfod, lives in Beddau, RCT.  He has exhibited in group and solo shows throughout South Wales including a recent solo exhibition at Penarth Pavilion. For his day job he teaches pupils with complex educational needs in Caerphilly County Borough.


Showing alongside this work is an exhibition from’ Seven14’, a new group of professional artists and makers connected by their passion for creating and formed with the intention to inspire and encourage each other to develop and exhibit new work. Established artists and makers in their own right they include Christine Gittins, Pauline Hearn, Barbara Lock, Mandy Nash, Sue Shields, Lisa-Marie Tann and Bronwyn Thomas. 

 Beginnings is their inaugural exhibition where each member has taken on the challenge of creating work, either in a different direction to their normal path or by adding new elements to their chosen medium. Work will include free standing & wall hung ceramics, sculpture, collage and contemporary jewellery.

Christine Gittins

Christine Gittins has been working in ceramics for more than forty years, both in South Africa, her country of birth, and Wales where she has a studio in the Model House in Llantrisant. Known for her classical wheel thrown vessels, for this exhibition she has turned her attention to the female figure represented in both relief and three dimensions. Sculptural modelling in a smooth white clay is a perfect canvas for the random colour effects of the firing technique that makes her work distict. Saggarfiring gives subtle hues of colour to  surfaces of the work, providing interest and also an element of unpredictability, perfectly suited to this exploration of the human form.

Pauline Hearn

Pauline Hearn is a mixed media artist whose work incorporates a range of techniques, textiles, screen printing and stitch. Her work incorporates the use of stitch, both hand and machine, as well as fine art. A recurring theme within her work is responding to life situations and exploring her identity. This has led to a series of work based upon this theme. Through using the inspiration of Memento Mori, she has created worked based on daguerreotype cases, a two layered pinny hand stitched narrative of a mother and her family and a series of paper and stitch collages using images of three generations of her family. Her current work is fine art based using dyes to produce line drawings enhanced with stitch.


Barbara Lock

Barbara Lock trained in Ceramics at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art in the 1970s then moved to Cambridge and set up a small pottery producing domestic ware for the local community.  Then a move to London prompted a break and she worked in a Social Education Centre for adults with learning difficulties. In the early 90s Barbara moved to Cardiff and developed her individual hand built pots.  These are coiled, multi-layered, burnished and low fired.  Currently the focus is moving towards sculptural forms rather than vessels.

Mandy Nash

Mandy set up her workshop in 1983 after leaving the Royal College of Art, establishing her studio in Model House Craft and Design Centre in 1990.  She works primarily in anodised aluminium producing one off and batch production jewellery. Over the last fifteen years she has also been developing work in textiles, both functional and non functional.  Her three passions are colour, pattern and technique and much of her inspiration comes from her travels around the world.  In 2010, she received an Arts Council of Wales grant to help purchase a laser cutter enabling her to develop new work in taffeta, acrylic, cardboard and wood.  She has exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally.

Sue Shields

Sue Shields is an illustrator who became interested in working with textiles when teaching drawing on the Contemporary Textile course at University of Wales Institute Cardiff. Her work is concerned with the use of drawing as a means of exploring ideas, whether the ideas are offered through a chosen text, or as in work for a recent exhibition, ideas thrown up in response to the anniversary of the suffragette movement. Two dimensional images use a wide range of water based, autographic print and acrylic media, three dimensional work has been in the form of dolls.  Recent work is exploring the concept of relief textile work incorporating print.

Lisa-Marie Tann

Lisa-Marie Tann lives and works in Cardiff. She completed a BA Hons in ceramics and design at Howard Gardens, and has pursued a career in the arts; combining both teaching and making.  Her artwork is shaped by the surrounding landscapes, which she captures digitally and applies to the ceramic surface using a combination of decals, printing, drawing and painting. Her latest body of work; Strata Vessels is inspired by the exposed rock formations found on the South Wales coastline. Lisa-Marie uses a combination of metals and combustible materials to create a highly textured and layered surface.

Bronwen Thomas

Bronwen Thomas has been experimenting with print-making for the last few years at her studio in Model House, Llantrisant. As a Landscape Architect, she has always been intrigued by the way that information about the landscape is communicated and explained by maps, diagrams and other images. For 'Beginnings' Bronwen has taken depictions of geology - the beginning and basis of all we have around us today - to abstract patterns and textures. Extracts from woodcut prints and monoprints are woven and assembled to create pictures from these abstractions, relating to the Jurassic coastline of the Vale of Glamorgan.

Both exhibitions can be seen at Y Galeri, Caerphilly from 10 February – 7 March

Y Galeri is open 10am -5pm Tuesday – Saturday.