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Gwilym Prichard at the Martin Tinney Gallery

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Nicola Heywood Thomas Nicola Heywood Thomas | 16:49 UK time, Tuesday, 13 October 2009

I went to drool over some paintings I can't afford last week. It's an exhibition of recent work by Gwilym Prichard at Martin Tinney's gallery in Cardiff.

Displayed over two floors are about 70 landscapes in oil that capture either Gwilym's native north Wales or the south west where he and his painter wife, Claudia Williams, now live.

Gwilym Prichard was born in Llanystumdwy near Criccieth in 1931 and has been exhibiting his work for over 50 years. He obviously loves the mountains and coastline of Wales though his particular favourite painting in this show is one of rusting farm sheds. He told me that he loves painting rust because of the colours and textures.

Gwilym and Claudia have moved around quite a lot in their life. I first met them when they were living and working in Brittany in the 1990s. Even in France Gwilym would paint Welsh landscapes from sketches or perhaps from a clear visual memory while Claudia concentrated on her paintings on figures - mainly groups of women and children.

The couple then moved to Pembrokeshire and about three or four years ago I caught up with them again just as they were moving into a house in Penarth. I went there to interview Gwilym surrounded by half unpacked boxes and paintings still wrapped in bubble wrap. At that point I suggested that he was a bit of a nomad. He disagreed, saying that he just followed Claudia.

Well, they're back in Pembrokeshire again now and, by the evidence of a large body of new work, it's a part of the country that gives Gwilym plenty of inspiration to keep painting. I wondered if a marriage of two artists produced an environment of helpful, constructive criticism. Gwilym's typically tongue-in-cheek reply was that, while he would wait to be asked to pass comment on Claudia's work, she was more forthcoming. That's a woman's prerogative after all and both artists seem to be thriving on it.

Gwilym's exhibition is on until 24 October and will be featured on Radio Wales Arts Show on 15 October.           


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