08/11/2017 - 06/01/2018
John Uzzell Edwards (1934 - 2014)
This is an exhibition of two halves:
Firstly, a collection of small, exploratory works that touch on many of the themes John worked through. Until he went to Rome in ’68, most of his early work had been inspired by the disintegration of buildings in the Valleys. Then life in Tenby brought skeletal barges and landscape, in York he found the shadows of railings, bicycles and ruined buildings. But in Rome he found virtually nothing. Nothing to do with this emerging theme of the essence of the past, his past. So he sent for old photographs from home, family groups, choirs, weddings. Returning to Wales, the single portraits led him to isolated figures on standing stones, warriors on tiles, ogham, manuscripts. And the structured ‘carpet pages’ of the old Gospels led to the structure of early Welsh quilts.
Which take us to the second half of the exhibition:
High impact in the hallway from of one of John’s last paintings, ‘Exploding Quilt’ from the multi-textured Quilt Series. He loved the structure and often random use of colour and material in these survivors of ‘Old Bedding’ that he remembered sleeping under as a child. Now looking at them with a painter’s eye, he linked the form to Rothko, Sean Scully, even Pollock. His use of found objects as part of the surface collage reflects the recycled material in these 19th century coverings.
(This exhibition ends 6 January 2018)