Ffin Y Parc Gallery Major Exhibition 2023

North Wales17th Sep 202311th Oct 2023

Major Exhibition of brand new unseen works. Private View Sunday 17th September 2-5pm.

View here at welshart.net

Ffin Y Parc Gallery, Betws Road, Llanrwst, Conwy, LL26 0PT Directions to the Gallery

Wednesday - Saturday 10-5pm Sunday 11-5pm Ralph and Craig +44(0)1492 642070 ralph@welshart.net

The work within this exhibition falls into two halves.

The first was created in the winter to spring months, much of if was inspired by my move to the countryside and the new found feeling of calm and contemplation.   The works have historical sentiment. My new home is on an ancient Medieval site, there are fish pools that once supplied Fountains Abbey with sustenance along with having one of the largest potteries upon their waters edge. There is a resonating constant serene feeling of ancient past times and lives.

The sense of this place filters into the paintings.  The are objects, caught still and expectant in thin winter light. The idea being “collecting light”. 

The second half, after visiting Seville at Easter for “Semana Santa” or Holy Week, the works become more vital. Or the idea of “experiencing light”. Full and fecund blooms bask in Spanish Spring sunshine, the ever shifting light in Sevilla courtyards dances over them.

The larger flower paintings are inspired by the Spanish baroque painter “Murillo” , in particular after “Iconography of Porciúncula (Portiuncula)" - where as part of the work depicting St Francis there features the miracle of celestial flowers cascading from the heavens.   I was overwhelmed by his paintings, the scale and realistic details which become abstracted at human eye level. Although they are religious commissions Murillo paints beauty which ignites a sense of longing and a will to transcend.  After experiencing these wonderful Baroque paintings I begin try to paint “spirit vitality”, importantly: away from reality or verisimilitude. 

Casa De Los Pinelo

Part of the "Seville Triptych" Casa De Los Pinelo is a 16th Century Renaissance period house in the centre of Seville. The central courtyard is designed in a traditional layout which has been used since Roman times, creating a cool and tranquil space which houses a collection of 'Citrus Aurantium L.' or the Bitter (Seville) Orange.
Small oranges are scattered across the unswept floor, with scented fallen blossoms and leaves. The fruit is associated with paradise in many cultures, in Greek and Roman myth Hercules stole the 'golden' fruit from the Garden of the Hesperides. The distinctive presence of the orange trees in Southern Europe is linked with the arrival of the Arabs who introduced them for ornamental value, and specifically for the heady scent of their flower, the orange blossom. Muslim kings of al-Andalus composed their courtyards with orange trees in all four corners, so when passing by on the first floor open terraces they could reach to harvest the fruits and inhale the sweet scent of the blossoms.

This series of paintings are a lot about light, and sun and shadows - creating a kind of magic in a contemplative space making you observe with a different state of mind. Jasmine and the spectacular and strange large leaves of 'Monstera deliciosa Liebm.' or Monstera deliciosa climb the crumbling white washed walls. The foliage and walls inadvertently make your eyes raise upwards towards the skies. Visiting inward facing palaces and gardens in Seville, give the feeling of being in a sacred space, where the sky is framed by these wild botanical walls. The light is beautifully coming inside, it's changing all the time as the sun acts as a sundial, the brightness shards of light illuminating alongside softened dappled cooling surfaces.

Mixed media on canvas in handmade frame 183 cm h x 85 cm unframed 202 cm h x 100 cm w m 4.5 cm d

Cochineal Red Wisteria

From the series "Seville Triptych" 'Cochineal Red Wisteria'. 'Jasminum officinale L. (Common Jasmine) and 'Wisteria sinensis Sweet' (Chinese wisteria) intertwine in large abundance over the external deep Cochineal red walls in the Jewish Quarter outside the Alcázar. Your senses are overwhellmed with the scent of the wisteria, striking clusters of butterfly shaped lilac flowers which give off an intoxicating aroma. They cover the gallery of the Garden of Galera in the Real Alcázar - in winter letting light and heat in and in summer sifting the intense light by forming this beautiful natural lattice of abundant leaves. In the background the sound of sparkling waters from a nearby marble fountain with tiered cascades is being visted by a graceful white dove.

Jasmine is often considered the flower of Paradise, or the symbol of divine love. Since the jasmine flowers precisely in May, the month dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the flower is associated with her image. It is also highly valued in Islamic culture, we know from a fragment of an ancient Arabic poem that King al-Mutamid loved the scent of jasmine, and would have filled his gardens with the wonderful plant the during his dynasty in Seville between 1040-1095.

Cochineal red pigment extracted from the tiny bettle which lives on the Prickily Pear plant, was one of the colours the Spanish tresure fleets brought in peak quanity from the Americas during the 16th and 17th Centuries. Only the ports at Seville and Cadiz were permitted to import the pigment. The wonderous deep scarlet colour was used in profusion, in the 16th Century textiles were dyed in the brightest and most saturated red dyers had ever seen, followed by use within the European painters palette as seen within Baroque paintings from the beginning of the 17th Century.

Mixed media on canvas in handmade frame 183 cm h x 85 cm unframed 202 cm h x 100 cm w m 4.5 cm d