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The drama of colour in Chris Griffin’s dynamic Welsh landscapes plays alongside the shadowy, secretive world of the theatre revealed in paintings by Paul Rees.
Chris Griffin was born in Maesycwmmer in the Rhymney valley. He graduated from Gloucestershire College of Art Cheltenham in 1972 and obtained his Masters degree from the Royal College of Art in 1975. He became a full-time artist in 1977 and has been showing his work across South Wales ever since. He has exhibited regularly at the Attic Gallery since 1998.
The landscape of South Wales has been a constant source of subject matter for most of Griffin’s painting career. He has developed a technique and a colour range which allows him to create a very personal and dynamic response to the landscape he knows deeply. In using such rich and emotional colour, the paintings often develop into lyrical expressions of the Welsh landscape.
“Painting is a continual process of discovery”, Griffin says who has developed techniques that involve scraping, incising, sanding and glazing with acrylic paint. “It feels like no two paintings are made in the same way. There is always a struggle, and that struggle partly explains what the paintings are about.”
Paul Rees was born in Pontypool in 1971 and now lives in Neath. He became a primary school teacher after graduating in 1993 and went on to study Theatre Design at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. In 2008 he achieved a first class honours degree in Fine Art at Swansea Metropolitan University. He continues to paint professionally alongside his teaching career.
Rees has shown work across Wales as well as the North of England. He has exhibited continually at Attic Gallery since 2007 and this is his second major exhibition at the gallery.
The theatre has provided the theme for most of his work to date. His oil paintings often depict actors preparing for a theatrical performance. He reveals and articulates such acts as applying make-up and getting into costume in the dressing room, or waiting in the wings moments before stepping onto stage.
In this exhibition he continues the rich theatrical theme revealing a secret world to the viewer. “Working with oils allows me to convey the usually hidden backstage environment as a shadowy, private world. A world inhabited by stage crew and performers, quietly working behind the scenes amongst the scenery flats, lighting, props and general clutter.”