Getting ‘Down to Earth’ in Tenby
Three prizewinning aviation artists who fly high with their detailed depictions of aircraft in the Annual Exhibition of the Guild of Aviation Artists at the renowned Mall Galleries in London are coming ‘down to earth’ during May to show what else they can do in a joint exhibition at the White Lion Street Gallery in Tenby.
Tim Jenkins, John Wynne Hopkins and Ieuan Layton Matthews have a lot in common since they are all based in South West Wales, have a longstanding practice in painting, each reaching a level of skill that has been recognised by awards and prizes from prestigious bodies, a background in and love of Wales shown in their landscape work and an involvement in working with people with difficulties as well as their shared interest and experience in aviation. Given that they share so many interests it was natural that they should become friends, exhibiting regularly both together and separately, often being especially commissioned, and having work in collections around the world.
Tim Jenkins, Pembrokeshire born, now based in Llanelli is a graduate of UWIST in Cardiff and has always had a passion for painting and drawing. This, combined with hearing stories of family members who served as aircrew in WW2 and an art teacher being a veteran fighter pilot, led to him joining the Air Training Corps and later becoming a glider pilot himself.
In Llanelli Art Society he won several awards, sold his work and met Ieuan who encouraged him to enter a painting in the Aviation Painting of the Year Exhibition. The painting sold and now Tim shows regularly there, sells consistently and has gained many commissions. His current ‘real job’ is as Court Officer with the Probation Service, which allows him just early morning and weekend painting stints. In contrast to the hard-edged and detailed precision of the paintings of aircraft his oil and pastel landscapes and seascapes of this area have a softness, a loving touch.
Ieuan Layton Matthews South Wales upbringing was followed by tuition at Bath Academy of Art under Howard Hodgkin and at London University Institute of Education. A teaching career followed in schools, university and for 20 years he worked with young people on remand.
Ieuan has produced an eclectic mix of work for this exhibition in acrylic, charcoal, pencil or ink. He portrays with technical accuracy the machinery working on the Loughor Bridge project, gentler pastoral scenes, close up beach pebbles and rock pools which verge on abstraction and a series of lively dog portraits.
John Wynne Hopkins, now based in Gowerton, is well known for his landscape, military aviation and wildlife painting. Like the other two artists he was educated in Wales (at Cardiff College of Art and Trinity College, Carmarthen), even though he was brought up in Northern Rhodesia. He taught in schools in England, and later as Head of Art at a senior special school in Wales. During a large gap in between he returned to Africa to paint and served in the Rhodesian African Rifles, an elite airborne unit for whom he completed his fist military commission. Numerous painting commissions, for the Army Air Corps and various British army regiments followed with some entailing travelling to a number of trouble ‘hotspots’ in the world including Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Kosovo.
In this exhibition John is showing landscape painting of south west Wales including Gower, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. He paints in oil ‘en plein air’ finding this an exhilarating experience: when the weather is impossible his Landrover station wagon provides an adequate mobile studio.
This varied exhibition of more than 60 paintings includes many landscapes and seascapes, and a mixture of other work plus a few aviation pieces to give a taste of the technical accuracy and imaginative interpretation required for such specialist work.
The exhibition “Down to earth” open on 1st May and continues until 28th May, at the White Lion Street Gallery in Tenby (next to the former cinema). Everyone is invited to come and meet the artists on Saturday 3rd May from 2 to 4pm. The gallery is open from 10am till 5pm every day except Wednesday and everyone is welcome. Phone for any further information (01834-843375) . You can view the whole exhibition on the gallery website: www.artmatters.org.uk
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