'A Closer Look', January 23rd to February 27th 2010
A selection of contemporary art works held by Ceredigion County Council
Many Council buildings in Ceredigion have contemporary art works on the walls. These have been gathered over the years by Ceredigion Museum. For the first time a selection of these works are being brought together and highlighted in a major exhibition at the Coliseum Gallery.
This thought provoking display of contemporary art, held by Ceredigion County Council, highlights the range of important Welsh Artists in this public collection. Alice Briggs, temporary assistant exhibition officer at Ceredigion Museum, has been gathering some of the many examples of work together for this first major show.
'We wanted to make people aware of this important collection and give them a chance to study the works in one place. The collection is extensive and wide ranging. I have produced a brief guide to the collection and this will be the start of a more in depth look at the Council's collection', explained Alice.
Alice explains the history of the contemporary art collection held by the council. 'There are over 220 contemporary paintings and drawings in the collection. Although many were purchased, or donated to the council some have come from other collections which were disbanded: the Arts Council of Wales and the Dyfed Contemporary Art Collection were both transferred works to Ceredigion. This increased the local collection quite significantly.'
Ceredigion County Council collection began in 1972 and has grown steadily over the years with many items bought directly from exhibitions held at the Coliseum Gallery at Ceredigion Museum. As the collection increased, it was thought best to place the works in the public arena. Council buildings across the county have benefited from having works shown on their walls.
Alice has been looking more closely at the collection and found some significant contemporary works by Welsh artists whose reputations have grown and flourished over the past few years. 'I was impressed to find early works by artist such as Terry Setch, Kyffin Williams, Margaret Jones, Mary Lloyd Jones, George Chapman, Alistair Crawford and Catrin Webster represented in the collection. These valuable and interesting works certainly add to the cultural and educational significance of this collection.'
Art works are displayed in a number of council buildings and some of the collection will now be hung in the new council building, Canolfan Rheidol at Aberystwyth.
Although Alice was pleased to be reviewing the policy for the contemporary art collection she is also very concerned about the future. 'We have a wide range of styles and interpretations of modern art here. There are many wonderful inspirational Welsh artists around. We must support their practise and thinking. Cultural tourism is a big attraction at the moment. Galleries and museums bring people from all over the world to Britain and we must promote ourselves here in Wales. It is difficult to see how, in these financially problematic times, we can continue to gather works for the public on very limited financial resources, but we must continue to celebrate the talent and work of young and emerging artists.'
'This show of art can only benefit Ceredigion and must be celebrated,' she adds finally. The intension is to continue to collect and study the works held in the Ceredigion County Council collection and make information and images more accessible. This display is the beginning of a series of highlights of that resource.
Gwenllian Ashley will be giving a talk about the display at 1.30pm Wednesday 3rd February 2010 in the gallery.
For more information contact Ceredigion Museum