Best of Welsh Visual Arts

Welsh Visuals Arts – Our Best of 2021

It’s that time of year again! With Christmas nearing and 2021 drawing to a close, we take a look back at some of the best art and cultural offerings to come out of Wales this year. To kick things off, we’re taking a look back the best Welsh visual art exhibitions from 2021.

Like so much of arts and culture, live exhibitions have suffered throughout the pandemic, but 2021 saw a much-welcomed return to live as well as virtual tours and digital alternatives in place, too. From protest art aiming to drive social change to reflections on modern technology and the Welsh landscape, there has been much to admire this year in the visual arts. As always, it’s been difficult to select just ten of our favourites, but with the help of Wales Arts Review’s editorial team and contributors, we’re delighted to reveal some of our favourites – read on for our list of top visual arts exhibitions in 2021.

Our number one will be announced later in December.

Art as Antidote | Gilly Thomas and Louise Morgan (Oriel Môn, Llangefni, Anglesey)

Darkness and Light | Don Braisby, Frances Carlile and Jane Harding (The Bleddfa Centre, Bleddfa, Knighton)

Darkness and Light

Nick Hornby: Zygotes and Confessions | Exhibition (MOSTYN Gallery, Llandudno)

Ways of Protest | Exhibition (Elysium Gallery, virtual tour)

Paradoxes from Ceri H Pritchard | Exhibition (MOMA Machynlleth, Powys)

aradoxes, an exhibition by Ceri H Pritchard

No Place Like Home | Richard Ansett (Elysium Gallery, Swansea)

Jacqueline de Jong at MOSTYN (MOSTYN Gallery, North Wales)

Exhibition | rydym i gyd yn fregus / we are all fragile (Mission Gallery, Swansea)


The Bay – Pete Jones (Storiel, Bangor)

Shani Rhys James | Hunan-ynysu : Self Island (Connaught Brown, Mayfair)

Shani Rhys James self Island


Previous winners include:

2020: Claudia Williams Retrospective (Martin Tinney Gallery, Cardiff)


Wales Arts Review works to bring our readers the best critical writing from Wales, and the best critical writing about Wales. It is a place where passionate and informed arts critics, from Wales and beyond, can find expression. Our writers are neither drum-beaters nor axe-grinders but simply knowledgeable and dedicated people who care deeply about culture and society.

Founded in March 2012, Wales Arts Review is a media platform where a new generation of critics and arts lovers can meet to engage in a robust and inclusive discussion about books, theatre, film, music, the visual arts, politics, and the media.

Wales Arts Review commissions and publishes content in the English language, yet it proudly acknowledges that Wales is a bilingual nation with a richly diverse bilingual culture. We therefore do not restrict our focus to arts and literature delivered only in the medium of English. We have published reviews and articles examining works by Welsh language artists and companies; from the work of Theatre Genedlaethol Cymru to TV hit crime-thriller Y Gwyll. We have also covered the National Eisteddfod and were proud to announce that the winner of our 2014 ‘Greatest Welsh Novel’ prize was Caradog Prichard’s Un Nos Ola LeaudWales Arts Review looks forward to working with partner organisations on future projects that critically evaluate and celebrate all the languages of Wales.

We believe that a vibrant arts scene is the expression of a confident, healthy and creative society. We further assert that a flourishing and vigorous critical culture is vital to its sustenance and development. As such, we regard Wales Arts Review as an important building-block in the new outward-looking, forward-thinking Wales.