With the grateful aid of a bursary from ’Articulture’, I was able to visit ‘The Guernica’ by Picasso in Madrid. his related works, and to discover some of the graffiti around the city. I linked the trip by visiting the town, GERNIKA, which was bombed by Franco in 1937, and is the subject of Picasso’s painting. I was fortunate to see the exhibition of Abstract Expressionism, in Bliboa, on the way back. It was an extremely valuable journey to immerse myself in these works.
50 years further on, this exhibition begins with its roots in the events of Tryweryn, and the disaster of Aberfan. From there, it moves forward to the present day, and one of hope in the future. Drawings of people from Caernarfon are represented on the walls, supporting and embracing the works.
The exhibition opened on the 25/11/16, and will culminate with an opening night on the 22/12/16 at 6.30, when all the developing works are completed. Gwawrio will then remain on show until the 6/1/17.
The pictures here, show some of the process involved in the making of Tryweryn 2, the second of two large scale paintings. The water is less dominant in the landscape, and instead, the layers of mud are revealed, as happens when the water receeds at times.The boulder shapes are prominent around the lake and particularly in the making of the dam, featured here. The ghost like trees cut across the scene as they do when you pass along the road. The water is isolated and represented as a contained block , glistening in the centre of the picture. The painting hung for a short time in 'Y Galeri’, Caernarfon. Work on the project is continuing, culminating in a show at the end of the year, 2016
The latest work to be completed, in the Galeri space, and commissioned by Theatre Genedlaethol Cymru, for a production called Ghost Dance, directed by Canadian Sarah Williams, and Eddie Ladd. I spent a lot of time researching the project, drawing and photographing the rehearsals, visiting Tryweryn, the site of what was once the village of Capel Celyn, now flooded by the reservoir. While I was waiting for the canvas to arrive, I decided to do a practice painting on the board , to back the canvas. It helped to get things going, but also to move on to another level with the canvas. The painting was completed through the course of the production in The Galeri, and as it turned out, for the entirety of the tour. I decided to leave out the details of events, structures and even people, in order to arrive at more of a monument to Tryweryn, what it was and what it has grown to be with time, to the present day, in its basic form. Having completed this work, I am keen to continue working and exploring the subject.
Y Wal was a project started by Menna Thomas through Y Galeri, to promote artists, and give them an opportunity to use an approx. 8x8’ wall space for one month, and leave it to hang for a further month, before it was made available to another artist. I was successfully accepted to use this opportunity, and create ‘Y Wal’. This was based on people in Caernarfon, where I would sketch and study people in the centre, and translate these to the canvas.
With the success of the ‘Y Wal’ painting, I was asked to paint across another space, approx 8x13, to create ‘Y Wal 2’, which would take the subject of people in Caernarfon further, and concentrate on The Square/Y Maes only. On both paintings, I enjoyed the challenges of working the forms and space in monochrome, and the depth that could be achieved in the subject. I also enjoyed drawing on Y Maes, and meeting people both there and in the public space of the Galeri where it was painted in the bar area. The success of this too, led to the first commission by Y Galeri for ‘Y Wal Doc’.
Commissioned by Y Galeri, to paint a mural on both facing curved walls at the entrance/exit from Y Galeri to Victoria doc. It draws on the people in Caernarfon as they come and go, at the same time connecting the inside and the outside of the building with all its movement and energy. ‘Many drawings were used observing local people in Caernarfon, to create this mural. It was commissioned by the Galeri, to cover both curved walls. The figures with all their vitality, reflect the movement inside and outside the Galeri, and the variety in the people passing through its doors.’
Accepted into the Art Space as one of the works chosen by a select jury, to exhibit in the Eisteddfod. The work entailed once again, working from the beginning in the public Gallery space for the duration of the event, and making drawing studies in the crowds and behind the scenes to the Eisteddfod. These were then selected from, and used in the final work, which was completed by the last day. It is likely to be hung next in the Welsh Assembly building, and then it is hoped to find a more permanent place for it in the community or a public building in Wales. ‘Throughout the week, Stephen Kingston will be producing a giant mural of the visitors to the Eisteddfod. The piece will connect directly with the experience of visiting the Lle Celf and you may see yourself, or somebody you know, featured in the work. It is essentially a performance piece, combining acute observation and skill through a fluid, expressive style of drawing’ Y Lle Celf 2015.
Commissioned by the Millennium Centre, a large mural to cover a long and high wall space in the main building, and in addition to continue onto 25x7m banners for the event itself. After researching the project, I decided to use the symbol of the eye, which would grow upwards and expand into an array of different eyes. The aim was to show the strong beginnings of Black people moving into Wales, particularly Cardiff and how that has continued to flourish. As well as remembrance, there is the celebration and positiveness that has grown from its beginnings to what it is now, and looking forward to an even brighter future. The eyes move upwards and across, like a shoal of fish or flock of birds taking flight. ‘Stephen has created a special mural celebrating and reflecting the vibrancy and vitality of Black History Month.’ Cardiff Millennium Centre 2015.
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