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Art in the Mansion ~ Nick Holly, Alys Holly, John McVeigh, Matt Steele and John Upton
March 31 - April 20
A new exhibition for Aberglasney in 2018 by the Welsh artists Nick Holly, John McVeigh, Matt Steele and John Upton
About Nick Holly
Born in 1968, Nick Holly grew up in St Thomas, Swansea, what he calls ‘the doorstep of the industrial eastside’.
“When I was young my playground was Kilvey Hill, the banks of the River Tawe, the docks and the ruined copper works. Inspiration lay all around me”
Nick studied at the Swansea School of Art and Design, leaving in 1988, and he secured his first solo show in an art gallery in 1998. He is now widely recognized as of the UK’s most accomplished artists. He regularly shows his work in galleries across Wales and London.
His early work depicted scenes of traditional Welsh life and landscapes such as streets of terrace houses, similar to the area was he was brought up. More recently he has started to incorporate people in his paintings, conveying the life of the communities in which he lives. With his interest in capturing scenes of gritty Welsh life he has become known as a chronicler or urban life in post-industrial Wales. Reviewers have compared his work to artist L. S. Lowry.
His paintings move beyond personal memories to encompass images from the last century and his urban landscapes has extended to include scenes from New York and Paris. He has regular sell-out exhibitions with collector’s queuing before opening to secure specific paintings.
His palette consists mainly of blues and greys with small touches of red that draw the viewers eye, such as a boys red football shirt or the red sail of a boat. Nick says ‘the red colour draws the eye into the painting. I use the technique the help people recall the scene’. Other signal elements that those who have known his work for some years will recognize he says are ‘yellow taxis, fire hydrants, the Chrysler building and the Brooklyn Bridge.’
Nick Holly sees his work as simple and unpretentious. As he says himself: ‘people who are familiar with my paintings will know that they are neither pretentious nor hold some deep hidden meaning. As always the work remains simple: children at play, cats dogs and bustling street scenes or lazy days at the seaside. From South Wales to Amsterdam and North Africa to New York, one thing I always find interesting is that no matter where in our world you go there are children all playing the same games.
Find out more about Nick at www.nickholly.com
About Alys Holly
Daughter of Nick Holly, Alys draws commissioned portraits and famous people/characters.
Find out more about Alys at www.instagram.com/alyshollyart
About John McVeigh
John McVeigh is a glassmaker based in the stunning location of Craig Y Nos castle in the upper Swansea Valley. John’s striking designs created with age old traditional methods will illuminate any door, window or wall space.
Find out more about John at www.stainedglasswales.com
About Matt Steele
Matt Steele is a Welsh born Architectural Artist specializing in painting anything old or quirky. He studied Fine Art including Architecture and Perspective for more than 5 years.
Find out more about Matt at mattsteeleswansea.blogspot.co.uk
About John Upton
John was born and brought up in the Sandfields area of Swansea. He recognised his interest in art while still a pupil in St Helen’s Primary School and he was encouraged to develop his skills from that early age, for which John will be eternally grateful.
After completing a Foundation Course at Swansea College of Art and a Degree course at Cardiff, John decided to become a teacher. Subsequently, most of his working life has been spent in art education – 20 years in comprehensive schools teaching Art and managing Creative Arts Departments (Art, Music and Drama) and 15 years working as Education Officer at Swansea’s Glynn Vivian Art Gallery.
Find out more about John at www.johnupton.co.uk