New oil paintings by Dai Kayll1. Dec - 5. Jan 13 / ended Art Matters
Daily from 10am to 5pm, Closed on Wednesdays and Sundays and Christmas Day
Now living in Tenby, Dai Kayll was born in Mumbles in 1963. He attended St. Michael’s School, Llanelli before starting a course in Art and Design at Carmarthen Art College.
He had itchy feet and was not ready to settle down to a career at this time so left college after the Foundation course and in the years that followed he travelled widely.
Dai gained a broad education in the ensuing years as he did a whole range of jobs as well as travelling in Europe and living in Spain for some time. Later he moved to London where he worked as a photographer’s assistant as well as in Fred’s Bar and the Groucho Club. It was while he was in London that he first picked up a pencil since leaving college. He was photographing Buster Edwards at his flower stall in Soho when he felt that it should be possible to produce a better interpretation with pencil and paint than on film.
In 1996, Dai began a belated self education, voraciously reading art related books in the library and sketching and painting portraits of family and friends. In 1998 he had his first exhibition, in Fishguard library. “This was the hometown of my grandfather, and the people were very kind and encouraging in their comments. Where better to begin your artistic journey than with Pembrokeshire people?”
Dai credits his partner Tania for encouraging and supporting him in this first test and then external encouragement came when he reached the final judging stage of the 2004 ‘Not The Turner Prize’ at the Mall Galleries with a large portrait of a surgeon, Mr. Nick Carr F.R.C.S. “Not only did he buy the piece but he inspired me to leave my job as a porter in the hospital we both worked in and become a professional artist as opposed to someone who paints in his spare time, which of course can be a challenge when combined with a manual job to pay the bills.”
After a spell in Sheffield the couple spent some months in France then decided that Pembrokeshire was the only place. Dai had visited and lived here on and off for 30 years. Having previously lived in Little Haven, Broad Haven, Haverfordwest and Camrose, they chose south of the Cleddau this time. “Different Sherriff!” as Dai says.
Dai describes his practice: “Since 2007 I’ve worked predominantly in oil on canvas... I’ll sketch the motif in situ and sometimes finish the painting en plein air, but I’m no martyr to the outdoors. If it looks like rain it’s back to the studio...a turpentine wash and some colour notes will accompany a couple of reference photos but no more than that. When I see a scene that stirs me, I like to work straight onto the canvas, not wanting to spend too long on a piece since I tend to get over familiar with it. I’m a terrible fiddler, so that familiarity is deadly for me. The portraiture in oils is given the same feel as the landscapes, but if I work in acrylic, I’ll layer the work, building up to 20 or 30 layers sometimes.”
The exhibition consists of a number of portraits together with a whole new collection of landscapes in oil on canvas all at affordable prices.
“This exhibition represents the criss-cross journey...that we took over the last 18 months to try and see and get a feel for the county away from our usual routes - the road less travelled. A right down that lane or a left up there gave us far too many painting opportunities for such a short space of time, but the ones I did commit to canvas were all painted with deep affection and a new affinity that has reinforced my opinion of this beautiful corner of Wales and its locals.”
Observer readers are invited to come and meet Dai tonight, 30th November, from 6 to 7.30pm in the gallery...wine, soft drinks and mince pies will be available.
Dai Kayll’s exhibition of new paintings starts on Saturday 1st December at the White Lion Street Gallery in Tenby and continues until 5th January. At the same time the Small Picture Show, with everything at £300 or less, continues in the upstairs gallery. The gallery is open from 10 to 5 daily (Closed Wednesday, Sunday and Christmas Day). The entire exhibition can be viewed on the gallery website: www.artmatters.org.uk. For further enquiries ring 01834 843375
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