From Here & There: Drawings from the UK

Event Details

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Preview \ RHAGOLWG
Saturday 29th November, 7-9PM \ SADWRN 29 TACHWEDD, 7-9yp

Exhibition continues until 20TH December \ ARDDANGOSFA YN PARHAU TAN 20 RHAGFYR

Open Wednesday – Sunday, 12 – 5pm / Amserau agor Mercher – Sul, 12 – 5YP


The Old Iceland Building, 27-29 High Street, SA1 1NU

Jonathan Anderson  | Mia De Azevedo | Colin Barfoot  | Anna Barratt | Hattie Batten | Kieron Da-Silva Beckerton | Jason & Becky | Emma Bennett | Kelly Best  | Kimberly Bevan | Ilse Black | Megan Burns | Benjamin Bridges | Jess Bugler |  Bill Bytheway | Sophie Charalambous | Philip Cheater | Katherine Clewett | Mel Cole | Andrew Cooper | Lilian Cooper |Michelle Dawson | Barnaby Dicker | Lucy Donald | Kate O’Donnell | Pascal- Michel Dubois | Ella Edwards | Leanne Ellis | Geraint Evans | Yvonne Yiwen Feng | Helen Finney | Elizabeth Freeman | Jade Gilbert | Max Gimson | Thomas Goddard | Simon Goss |  Alison Griffin | Beatrice Haines | Penny Hallas | Stephanie Harper | Anna Hopkins| Chris Shaw Hughes | Kieran Ingram |  Jaqueline Jones | Ann Jordan | Tim Kelly | Mark Langley | Dalit Leon | Jelena Lunge | Sung Yeon Lim | Carolyn Little | George Little | Scott Mackenzie | Victoria Malcolm | Darren Marsh | Sonja Benskin Mesher | Arwel Micah | Richard Monahan | Rebecca Meanly | Lawrence Nash | Eileen Newell | Robert Newell | Linda Norris | Marega Palser | Susanne Lund Pangrazio | Anthony Pearce | Nadja Plein | Jonathan Powell |  Sean Puleston | Jasmin Reif | Howard Riley | Carole Sherman | Tim Shore | Gill Shreeve | Jayne Anita Smith  | Kevin Smith | Jane Sproston | Frances Trace | Marc Renshaw | Marianne Walker | Pak- Keung Wan | Marc Treanor & Mark Weighton | Eleanor Wemyss | Anne-Marie Whaley | Sig Waller | Kate Walters | Elizabeth Waterhouse | Fran Williams | Lee Williams | Richard Williams | Steve Wright

The Colorado connection with Swansea goes back to the summer of 2010, when Mary-Ann Kokoska invited Professor Deanna Petherbridge and myself to select work from across the USA for the exhibition Drawing in the Expanded Field held later that year at the Clara Hatton Gallery, Colorado State University, one of the venues for this series of shows. Since then, elysiumgallery has hosted a show of  Kokoska’s drawings in November 2011, when she was in Swansea as the keynote speaker at the  Drawing Symposium in the Faculty of Art & Design, and just recently, in June 2014,  Elysium facilitated the first in this series of From Here and There  exchanges, hosting an exhibition of drawings selected in Colorado, along with a discussion panel attended by Mary-Ann and artists from Colorado and Swansea. Now we embark on the third show, drawings selected in Swansea by the artist and Elysium director Jonathan Powell to be shown in the old Iceland building on Swansea High Street. The huge volume of works submitted to the gallery for this show was testimony to the perceived value of such cultural exchanges.

Cultural exchange – are we really that different? Can any cultural differences be discerned in the drawings from Swansea and Colorado? There is a position which argues that aspects of each culture’s belief system can be discerned in the ways members of the culture represent their experiences through drawing. As illustration of this, I and PhD student Amanda Roberts (Riley and Roberts 2014) recently compared a Claude Lorrain drawing with his Chinese contemporary Kuncan’s rendering of landscape. From the selections of format (Lorrain’s landscape, Kuncan’s portrait) and scale,  from the differences in geometric projection systems – Lorrain’s single-point perspective effectively grounding the viewer; Kuncan’s use of vertical oblique projection effectively locating the viewer floating in space – to the subtle differences in line qualities – rigid pen cross-hatching for Lorrain, calligraphic brush fluidity for Kuncan – it became clear that the artists’ understanding of their relationship with their surroundings was culturally determined, and made visible through their selections and combinations from the range of visual elements and media of drawing: the European preoccupied with the picturesque; the Chinese with the sublime.

So by looking closely at the works selected: is there evidence of cultural differences in the formal qualities selected by each artist? I’d like to think that we can learn from each other, our different perceptions shared, negotiated through this latest collaborative venture.  Yet another social function of drawing!

Professor Howard Riley PhD MA(RCA) FRSA

Faculty of Art & Design

University of Wales Trinity St David


Image – Sean Puleston – The Bunker

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