Carwyn Evans at Oriel Davies

11Mar09

Really enjoyed seeing the new show at Oriel Davies Gallery in Newtown. The exhibition of newly commissioned works, “Y bore hwnnw, gwyliodd y wawr yn torri”, “That morning he watched the dawn” marks a significant phase in the Carwyn Evans’ career. The work charts the idea of a transitional shift in space; moving from rural location to the city in a quest to build an artistic career. This interests me because my own father, born in Dolgellau and brought up in Porthmadog, did exactly this in the 1960s. He left first for Liverpool Art School and then to the Royal College of Art in London, returning to the North West of England to a career in Art Education.

In turn I have decided to reverse this trend returning to a rural North Wales setting having been brought up in a Northern industrial area but feeling a huge sense of longing for the land of my birth.

Interestingly Carwyn makes similar reference to birds in his work as have I. I am interested in this idea of migration that he is exploring. His reference to the cuckoo, which represents the “second homers”, people who have changed the social fabric of rural Wales, is interesting. I have often thought of the idea of the character of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz closing her eyes and clicking her heals…”there’s no place like home”. Carwyn explores this idea photographically with his pictures of immigrant workers closing their eyes and thinking of home. There is something innocent and beautiful about the intimacy of these photos.

The idea of incomers is an interesting one, because,as someone born in a place and with strong connections to it, it is not always possible to fit in. You are always a bit different, it becomes an issue of identity.

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