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Bay Gallery reopens its doors

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Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 14.26.51THE BAY GALLERY reopened its doors on the corner of New Street and Pier Street in Aberystwyth on July 20. 

With very few art galleries in Aberystwyth, The Bay Gallery has always been an attraction in the local area, and even more so now as it opened again for the first time since its closure on Terrace Road on June 27.

The Bay Gallery is one of the latest shops to open up on Pier Street, with Pier Street becoming more and more of an attractive location to base businesses, amongst the likes of Aberystwyth’s local cafes and other well known names.

Penny Samociuk, the owner/ manager of The Bay Gallery, spoke to The Herald about the gallery and what the move means for the business: “Many of the artists currently exhibiting in the gallery also exhibited in the gallery in Terrace Road, but this is not a co-op. Although I am a member, The Bay Gallery is totally independent of the Art Trail.

“When the ‘Cardigan Bay Gallery’ in Terrace Road closed due to the imminent redevelopment of the building for the museum and Tourist Information Centre, I felt that it was essential that we find alternative premises.

“There are many very talented artists and craft makers in the county and its borders and there are few opportunities for the artists to show and sell their work. Due to the very nature of our industry, most artists struggle financially and the thought of committing to high rents and overheads meant it was difficult to get a consensus.

“After a couple of false starts, I was given the opportunity to lease 18 Pier Street, Aberystwyth, at a reasonable rent. With the enthusiastic support of landlords Idwal and Debbie Jenkins, and a couple of very able artists, we very rapidly turned the vacant shop into a gallery and managed to open by July 20.

“The Bay Gallery will almost exclusively exhibit quality fine art and craft from local artists based in Ceredigion and its borders. We would like to hear from any artist who would like to exhibit.

“Unfortunately, the space is quite small so there will be limited number spaces available at any given time and, as we need to pay rent and other overheads, the artists’ work will need to be of a high standard and have an appeal to the local residents as well as the holiday visitor.

“The Bay Gallery currently has several painters with widely differing styles, including myself, where I’m best known for my pebble paintings and very colourful imagery of coastal locations. Ag Cain, whose wit and pre-war poster style of painting depicting scenes round Aberystwyth and beyond, has proved to be immensely popular.

“There is Chloe Rodenhurst, who produces lovely naive images which tell old stories of the area, and Kim James- Williams, a naive artist who produces fun coastal images. There is also Andrew Warren, who is a wonderful landscape photographer, and Mary Herbert, a realist painter who focuses on animals, particularly horses. She often takes portrait commissions.

“There are also several 3D artists, including Angela Hathway, whose beautiful ceramic animals and birds are a delight and are a ‘must see’. Jeni Pain makes jolly ceramics of boats, lighthouses and other coastal themes which are very popular this time of year.

“Val Price-West makes interesting horse and rowing pieces that relate to her experience of rowing Celtic long boats and riding competitively, working together as a team, pushing everything to the absolute limits.

“There is Joanna Bond, who creates delicate ‘natures garden’ images in ceramics, often mounted on wood, and also unusual ceramic tiles, and Jude Riley, who creates unusual and inspired marbled coasters, scarves and special jewellery pieces. In addition, Moriah Glass has stunning scenes in glass to be displayed against windows together with her beautiful glass jewellery.

“Nantyfelin Pottery have three different lines of pottery which cater to a wide variety of tastes – large vases to small butter dishes and beautifully crafted tactile slate jewellery, vases and clocks.

“Pier Street afforded an exciting new venue from Terrace Road and we are delighted with how we have been received and supported by both locals and holiday visitors alike.

“Although we have only just opened, I feel this is the right place for us. I am hoping we will be able to build a permanent business here. I think by moving here, the gallery has brought a new feel to the street – the new Arty Quarter of Aberystwyth.

“I think The Bay Gallery will draw an increased diversity of customers to this end of town. Many of our customers have already said they are excited about visiting this increasingly attractive, intriguing part of town.

“Ceredigion is full of talented and inspirational artists, and I include myself in this category. To have an independent Art Gallery operating on a commercial basis is absolutely essential to form a foundation whereby these artists can compete to market their art on a commercial basis.”

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It’s About Time

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Sioned spinning

THIS January, Ceredigion Museum are proud to exhibit artwork by the portrait painter Seren Morgan Jones, originally from Aberystwyth and the third generation of women artists in her family.

Jones follows in the footsteps of her grandmother Margaret Jones, whose work forms part of the Ceredigion Museum collection. The exhibition will be followed in January 2019 by a retrospective show of work by her grandmother Margaret Jones who celebrates her 100th birthday this December.

It’s About Time is an amalgamation of two distinct bodies of work created by Seren Morgan Jones; ‘History’s Eyes’ documenting Welsh women from the 19th century and ‘Portraits of Protesters’ a collection of paintings documenting Welsh suffragists at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Drawing inspiration from historical aesthetics and references, but expanding the scope of traditional portraiture, Jones redefines and re-imagines the historical narrative, and through this creating a place for women within the Welsh visual story. The paintings take on an additional layer of importance and meaning when shown in the context of Ceredigion Museum; which houses a large collection of items representing the culture and history of the county. The collection is home to many items that have been donated by women, but we too often don’t have the narrative of those women’s lives. Jones used the Ceredigion Museum collection of welsh costume as research for her paintings depicting women in welsh traditional garb; the women largely remain nameless and faceless in our displays and yet here, in Jones’ work those women’s histories are now brought to life.

The portraits are powerful and direct; the eyes gaze unswerving to create an utterly distraction-free moment between viewer and painting which seeks to challenge and question. The portraits are imagined and shaped from stories and photographs of women rather than actual bygone figures. In the creation of these false portraits, in a style that references that of the tradition of Welsh Masters; Jones places her and the women whom she is portraying within this cultural narrative.

Of her work, Jones says: “I create an alternative image of Welsh women to counter the representation often seen in tourist shops. Some would argue that this is the only ubiquitous presence of women from Wales’ past. It is important that the viewer can relate to these women and for this they must seem to have once lived.”

Join Ceredigion Museum for the official opening of the exhibition on 27 January at 2pm. The exhibition will be opened by the renowned artist William Wilkins.

The exhibition is a partnership project with TEN gallery Cardiff and will run from 20 January until 16 April 2018 at Ceredigion Museum. For more information please contact Assistant Curator Alice Briggs, alice.briggs@ceredigion.gov.uk or 01970633086.

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Four arrested as man remains in ‘critical condition’

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FOUR men have been arrested after a man was hospitalised in the early hours of Sunday morning (Jan 14).

19-year-old Ifan Richards Owen is in hospital in critical condition after the attack.

The incident took place in High Street, Aberystwyth, at approximately 2:20am.

Four men, aged 19, 20, 23 and 25 have been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent.

They are in police custody.

Police are now appealing for witnesses to contact them as a matter of urgency.

DCI Anthony Evans, of Dyfed-Powys Police, said: “We are issuing a fresh appeal for witnesses to the assault on Ifan Richards Owens, aged 19, which occurred on High Street, Aberystwyth at around 2.20am on Sunday, January 14.

“In particular we would like to speak to anyone who gave first aid to Mr Owens before emergency services arrived.

“Mr Owens remains in hospital in a critical condition.

“We would urge anyone with any information that could assist in our investigation any witnesses to the incident or anyone who may have any CCTV or video footage of the incident to contact police on 101, quoting incident number 402 of January 14. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

“Four men, aged 25, 23, 20 and 19, have been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent and remain in police custody at this time.”

Ifan’s family said in a statement:  “Ifan is a kind and gentle person, and we have been overwhelmed with messages of support from family, friends, as well as Ifan’s school friends, teachers, university friends, and sports teams, who are all sending their best wishes for Ifan, who is desperately ill following this incident in Aberystwyth.

“Ifan’s only choice for university was Aberystwyth, he had no interest in any other university and absolutely loves the town. He plays football and rugby for the Geltaidd Football and Rugby Clubs and is enjoying his second year studying Criminology at Aberystwyth University.”

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Ceredigion MP welcomes 7-year Lottery investment in Llandysul

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RURAL FUTURES, a new 7 year programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund, will be rolled out in 10 communities across Wales, including Llandysul in Ceredigion.

Professional advice will be available to help the town create effective long-term solutions to the challenging issues they face.

Rural Futures is delivered by Severn Wye Energy Agency and the BRO Partnership. Llandysul was chosen following a period of research into local economic and social statistics, and liaising with local councillors and staff in numerous community support organisations and community groups.

The decision was finalised following the public meeting held by Ben Lake MP and Elin Jones AM in Llandysul on November 3 whereby over 150 local people came to discuss the town’s future. This meeting helped the Rural Futures team identify that Llandysul would greatly benefit from support to address a number of local and rural issues.

Ben Lake, MP for Ceredigion said: “I am delighted that the successful public meeting held in November played a part in securing this substantial investment. Rural communities such as Llandysul are currently facing enormous challenges and I’m confident that this innovative programme will provide valuable guidance and support to the community as it seeks to come up with ambitious, creative and practical solutions that will regenerate the town.”

Elin Jones, AM for Ceredigion said: “This is excellent news for Llandysul. This programme will give the community the opportunity to take ownership of future plans and projects and implement vital improvements to the town on their own terms.”

The Rural Futures team will work with the community of Llandysul and will also work in partnership with public bodies and local organisations, who are already operating in the area, to add value where possible to their efforts.

Keith Evans, County Councillor for Llandysul said: “Having worked closely with the Rural Futures team over the past few months, I’m extremely pleased that Llandysul has been chosen as one of the 10 communities across Wales to benefit from this programme. I look forward to further collaboration over the next 7 years as we seek to regenerate and invigorate the town.”

Ruth Bates, the Big Lottery Fund’s Communications Officer commented: “This is a new approach for the BLF and in keeping with our aim of putting people in the lead, we see the Rural Futures programme as a fantastic opportunity to deliver real benefits to communities, as well as informing future policy and funding in Wales.”

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