At the University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, where there is a fine collection of Ernest Zobole paintings, art historian and Zobole expert Ceri Thomas discuss the work of this member of the 'Rhondda Group' of artists. Very early in his career Zobole began to use colours in the way used by avant garde European artists which came about through travelling to see London exhibitions of artists like Van Gogh, but also through the influence of Zobole's tutor Ceri Richards, and the way that he limited his palette to a blue. This is illustrated in Zobole's early 1950's painting 'People Crossing' which has a limited palette much the same as Ceri Richards's 'Trafalgar Square' painting. By looking at the painting 'In the valley No.4' we see how, as his work progressed, his paintings became more stylised transforming the Rhondda into 'an abstract and simplified universe'. In a clip of archive film, Zobole talks about putting different viewpoints into paintings of the Rhondda at night with illuminated objects set against a black curtain. Howells and Thomas end with a discussion about one of Zobole's last paintings, 'Painting about myself in a landscape' from the mid 1990's when he knew he didn't have long to live. In it he paints himself inside a rectangle, which probably represents a coffin, surrounded by a 'kind of bubble', the Rhondda, with three hundred and sixty degrees of sky around the perimeter of the painting which makes it seem almost like 'planet Rhondda'.

Release date: 19 Jan 2012

4 minutes


Role Contributor
DirectorSteve Freer
ProducerSteve Freer

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