SOFA Archive: Lowri Davies

Lowri Davies 'Adar' collection

Ceramicist and potter, Lowri Davies was represented by Ruthin Craft Centre at SOFA Chicago in 2006.

Lowri’s Welsh heritage is a major source of inspiration in her work. She usesporcelain or earthenware, handbuilding and slip-casting jugs, cups and tableaux of figurines. She uses delicate and witty drawings of flowers, birds, domestic objects and popular Welsh imagery which are made in to transfers and applied to the work. Her illustrations are affectionate references to the popularity of china displays on Welsh dressers, the work shown at SOFA Chicago used the stereotypes of Welsh imagery of ceramic holiday souvenirs of the past.

Lowri Davies 'Stereotype' Collection

Lowri says of her experience at SOFA: “The exposure at SOFA Chicago made me realise that the work that I was producing, which to some extent could be seen as being ‘local’ or ‘provincial’ did resonate an international audience. So much so, that my whole Stereotype collection was purchased and didn’t return home! “

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Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Carmarthen

Alongside Ruthin Craft Gallery, three other galleries from Wales are present in New York currently to research at SOFA New York and and enhance Wales presence on the international craft, applied art and design scene.

Oriel Myrddin Gallery is a contemporary craft and art gallery situated in the Old Art School, a beautiful Victorian building in Carmarthen. The gallery shows a changing programme of exhibitions alongside innovative education and outreach activities which reflect the gallery’s interest in materials and process in contemporary art, craft and design. The gallery shop supports the work of exceptional local, national and international makers.

The building was designed as Carmarthen’s Art School by George Morgan, a celebrated local architect, it was completed in 1891 and opened its doors in 1892. Prior to 1991, the building was in danger of being demolished, however due to a groundswell of local support and artist lobbying the gallery secured a reprieve and a reincarnation occurred – from Art School to Art Gallery, Oriel Myrddin has always been central to the artistic lifeblood of the town.

Photographer: Paul Avis










Yn adeilad yr Hen Ysgol Gelf yng Nghaerfyrddin mae Oriel Myrddin – sef adeilad rhestredig a hardd o oes Fictoria, dafliad carreg o Eglwys Sant Pedr. Er 1991, mae’r adeilad wedi bod yn gartref i Oriel Myrddin, oriel gelf gyfoes sydd â rhaglen newidiol o arddangosfeydd.

Sefydlwyd Oriel Myrddin ym 1991 yn sgil cael ymrwymiad gan yr awdurdod lleol a chan Gyngor Celfyddydau Cymru. Yn y cyfamser mae’r Oriel wedi mynd o nerth i nerth – gan gynnal amrywiaeth arbennig o arddangosfeydd ochr yn ochr â gweithgareddau celf i ysgolion, yn ogystal â bod yn gartref i siop ddymunol dros ben sy’n gwerthu gwaith llawer o grefftwyr gorau Cymru.

Ar un adeg yr oedd posibilrwydd y gallai’r adeilad rhestredig hynod brydferth gael ei ddymchwel. Yn ffodus, yn sgil cefnogaeth leol law yn llaw ag ymgyrch gan artistiaid, llwyddwyd i achub yr adeilad a’i weddnewid … gan droi’r Ysgol Gelf yn Oriel Gelf.

George Morgan, pensaer lleol uchel ei barch, a ddyluniodd yr adeilad gwreiddiol a hynny i fod yn gartref i Ysgol Gelf Caerfyrddin. Cwblhawyd yr adeilad ym 1891 a derbyniwyd y myfyrwyr cyntaf ym 1892. Ac mae’r adeilad wedi bod yn rhan annatod o fywyd celfyddydol y dref byth oddi ar hynny.

Ymhlith y rheiny sy’n rhan o raglen arddangosfeydd Oriel Myrddin mae artistiaid a chrefftwyr o’r radd flaenaf o Gymru, y Deyrnas Unedig a thramor.

Oriel Myrddin Gallery is supported by The Arts Council of Wales.

Admission free/Mynediad am ddim
Open Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm/Ar agor dydd Llun i ddydd Sadwrn 10am – 5pm

Oriel Myrddin Gallery
Church Lane/Lon y Llan
SA31 1LH

+44(0)1267 222775

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Mostyn, Llandudno

Alongside Ruthin Craft Gallery, three other galleries from Wales are present in New York currently to research at SOFA New York and and enhance Wales presence on the international craft, applied art and design scene.

Mostyn shop front

Mostyn is the largest publicly funded contemporary art institution in Wales, and a flagship for art in the whole UK. Originally founded in 1901, it has a noted reputation for the quality of its exhibitions and its international work with artists and arts organisations, promoting a thoughtful approach to the issues facing individuals and society. Mostyn is a member of the prestigious plusTATE group of UK galleries bringing best curatorial and engagement practice to Wales, and a partner with major international art award Artes Mundi.

Mostyn shop interior

Reopened in 2010 following a major refurbishment and expansion programme Mostyn also hosts a wonderful bespoke retail space of over 100m2 with its own street frontage, striking curved floor to ceiling windows and art nouveau exterior mouldings. Presenting a range of contemporary craft, applied art and fine art originals the Mostyn shop has established a reputation for quality and flair in unique surroundings.

The Mostyn Art Gallery is believed to be the first art gallery in the world built to show the work of women artists. Lady Augusta Mostyn, head of the local land-owning Mostyn family and noted benefactor of the Arts, had it built in 1901 so that work by women artists could be exhibited when it was banned from the male only established galleries at that time. Sadly it only remained open until the First World War when it was requisitioned and then had various uses until it reopened as a gallery in 1979, incredibly with the beautiful original top-lit galleries still intact. Described as being ‘among the most beautiful in Britain’ the quality of light in these galleries is a noted feature.

The building is listed as being of ‘Special Architectural and Historical Interest’ and the challenge for the architects leading the development in 2007 was to integrate the old with the new. Ellis Williams Architects managed this beautifully, combining striking new features such as the concrete ‘tube’ and ‘hanging staircase’ with the original Victorian architecture. The new Mostyn has won numerous architectural awards and prizes including a prestigious RIBA (Royal Institution of British Architects) Award and Gold Medal in Wales’s premier architectural Awards.

With its wonderful selection of contemporary craft the retail space provides a rich visual welcome to the gallery as Retail Manager Gwenno Angharad carefully selects and displays the best in contemporary ceramics, glass, jewellery, interior and fashion textiles, wood and more which is complimented by limited edition prints and original works by exhibiting artists from the Mostyn programme. The bright and airy shop interior is able to show everything from small precious jewellery pieces to large-scale wooden sculptural vessels.

Themed craft showcases are arranged on a regular basis where a selection of makers has their work shown as a collection over limited periods. These have ranged from selections based on common materials or usage such as the recent Similar Threads showcase which celebrated the beauty of thread with objects by Severija Inciraskaite-Kriaunevicene, Misun Won and Laura Thomas among others to Black + Red, staged to compliment a major exhibition in the gallery by David Nash, and included work by Janet Hinchliffe McCutcheon, Ekta Kaul and Rebecca Appleby.

To celebrate the Christmas season an annual commission is been offered to artists/designers/makers to produce a unique and visually striking window display that has become an eye-catching talking point in the town. This large-scale site-specific commission has given designers fantastic scope and visibility for their skills as well as giving the Mostyn a platform to work with artists of different disciplines. The commission for 2012 will be advertised in August.

Oriel Mostyn Gallery
12 Vaughan Street
LL30 1AB

T: +44(0) 1492 879 201
F: +44(0) 1492 878 869

Opening Times

10.30am – 5pm

Monday – Sunday

Open Bank holidays

Admission is free

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Mission Gallery, Swansea

Alongside Ruthin Craft Gallery, three other galleries from Wales are present in New York currently to research at SOFA New York and and enhance Wales presence on the international craft, applied art and design scene.

Anna Lewis - Cathexis installed in Mission Gallery Swansea
Photogprapher: Jesse Seaward

Mission Gallery: A Contemporary Visual Art & Craft Gallery

“To nurture development and push the boundaries of Visual Art and Applied Art”

Mission Gallery is one of Wales’ best adapted spaces for the contemporary arts. Mission Gallery has developed a reputation for dynamic and distinctive programming, to present excellence across the visual arts, applied arts and craft, from across Wales and beyond. With exhibition space, craft space, learning resources, events, residency opportunities and more, Mission Gallery provides the local and wider community with opportunities to develop their understanding and knowledge of art, providing a collective experience in which visitors can immerse themselves in; exhibitions that push the boundaries of visual art; purchase cutting edge design and contemporary craft and engage in friendly conversation with art led individuals. Mission Gallery seamlessly provides raw creative energy, an exceptional place to shop for every price range, and a commitment to learning, ensuring every age group is welcome.

“I fagu datblygiant ac i gwthio ffiniau celf gweledol a chelf cymhwysol.”

Mae Oriel y Mission yn un o safleoedd gorau Cymru am gelf cyfoes. Mae’r Oriel wedi datblygu enw da am rhaglen deinamig a gwahanredol, i gyflwyno arbennigrwydd ar draws y byd celf gweledol, cymhwysol a chrefft, o ar draws Cymru ac yn bellach. Gyda lle arddangos, lle crefft, adnoddau dysgu, digwyddiadau, cyfleoedd preswyl a mwy, mae Oriel y Mission yn darparu cyfleoedd i ddatblygu dealltwriaeth a gwybodaeth o gelf i’r gymuned leol ac ymhellach, darparu profiad cyfunol lle gall ymwelwyr trochi mewn; arddangosfeydd sy’n gwthio ffiniau celf gweledol; prynu crefft cyfoes a dylunio blaengar ac i gysylltu ac unigolion celfyddgar mewn sgwrs cyfeillgar. Darpara’r Oriel egni creadigol crai, lle eithriadol i siopa i bob pris, ac ymrwymiad i ddysgu, ac i sicrhau bod croeso i bob oedran.

Mission Gallery is supported by The Arts Council of Wales.

Admission free | Mynediad am ddim
Open Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 5pm | Ar agor dydd Mawrth i ddydd Sul 11am – 5pm
Closed Mondays | Ar gau bob dydd Llun
Open Bank Holidays | Eithrio Gwyliau Banc

Mission Gallery
Gloucester Place
Maritime Quarter | Yr Ardal Forol
Swansea | Abertawe

+44(0)1792 652016

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Donna Davies – Director of SOFA Art Fairs

Donna Davies, Director of SOFA Art Fairs dropped by the stand yesterday, she told us that her family has roots in Welshpool in mid Wales and is very pleased to have Wales and Ruthin Craft Centre represented at SOFA New York for the first time.

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SOFA Archive: Julia Griffiths Jones

Julia Griffiths Jones - 2011

Carmarthenshire based textile artist Julia Griffiths Jones was represented by Ruthin Craft Gallery at SOFA Chicago in 2003. Julia works with wire and textiles to make make forms which function as wall based sculptural drawings.

Julia says of her work:  “My work is concerned with the translation of textile techniques such as stitching, quilting, patchwork, embroidery, into a wire and metal form; thus changing its original nature and function but retaining the meaning and the decoration. I am very inspired and influenced by Textile work created by women alongside their domestic duties as much as for need as for warmth. This interest began when I was a student at the Royal College of Art.

I won a scholarship to research and study Textiles in Poland and Czechoslovakia. Here I saw Folk Art for the first time; it was everywhere woven through all aspects of life. Gradually I began to transfer my drawings into three dimensions using wire and became totally enthralled by the possibilities of drawing in space using line and colour. My training and qualifications are in Textile Design so this change in materials was a huge departure for me but a very crucial one as through it I began to create, I believe, a unique language and a deeply satisfying one.”




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Sean Kelly Gallery, New York

Sean Kelly Gallery, New York

We made a trip to the West Side yesterday to visit the Sean Kelly Gallery on W 29th Street. We particularly wanted to visit the gallery because its British born founder, Sean Kelly worked for the Glynn Vivian Gallery in Swansea during the 1980’s. He moved to New York and opened his first gallery in 1991 and the current location was developed in 2001 in a 7,000 sq foot ex-industrial building in the Chelsea Gallery district.

The gallery has shown work by an illustrious list of artists including Iran do Espírito Santo, Antony Gormley, Rebecca Horn, Frank Thiel and the estate of Robert Mapplethorpe. The Gallery also represents the estate of the renowned Danish furniture designer Poul Kjærholm.

Sean Kelly Gallery, New York

The current show is Switch by Brazilian born Iran do Espírito, an elegant series of works which work in perfect harmony with the stunning architecture and interior of the gallery space.

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