Contemporary Nantgarw/ Nantgarw gyfoes

Nantgarw entrance My talk last week at Nantgarw went well – the exhibition looked really great, and best of all, it felt like home, even down to the welshcakes. Many thanks to all the volunteers and Friend there who made me so welcome. The County Council and the National Museum of Wales were also represented, which made it feel very connected as well as inclusive: contemporary work linked to the past, not revolting against it, like normal in London’s ‘art bubbles’. Well done to Contemporary Nantgarw/ Nantgarw gyfoes, the curators.
The excellent online exhibition catalogue (or download from my website) shows the stone interiors of the house – a great backdrop to the work. I loved the simple tables and plinths – many held up by the same IKEA trestles I have in my own workshop.
old-nantgarwNangarw doors At first glance Nantgarw seems a long way from its more industrial past. My favourite architectural feature was the extra-wide doors: they gave a great feeling of space despite the rest of the building being very typically a Welsh farmhouse. But at the back of the house are more industrial relics – bottle kilns and factory buildings, some ruined, some not.
Nantgarw Jun14 NantgarwNantgarw
In Stoke, the few remains seem more terrible than romantic; here, they reminded me of the nearby Tintern Abbey. Perhaps this is because they are in a beautiful setting, like Tintern, or perhaps because I’m trying to create a more hopeful narrative than the industrial desolation in Staffordshire.
Swansea at RoseberyNantgarw at RoseberySwansea at Rosebery
By coincidence, my local auction house Rosebery’s in West Norwood has some Billinsley, Swansea, and Nantgarw pieces in next Tuesday’s auction – Lot 61 on, in case you are interested.
I love going to auctions to look at china: you are encouraged to handle the work, and I love trying to ‘guess the value’ of pieces. It’s a great way to educate your eyes, and start to get the ‘feel’ of different pieces. I’ve seem some late Meissen that was, to be honest, revolting.

One response to “Contemporary Nantgarw/ Nantgarw gyfoes

  1. Pingback: Porcelain exhibition in Wales | Dear Kitty. Some blog·

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