I’m writing this having just spent a richly rewarding couple of days in Wales, in residency at The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir. The majority of my creative time is spent on my own in the studio, so I jumped at the chance of applying for a spot with a view to finishing off a print and offering visitors the chance to find out a bit more about the humble art of linocut printing.
Ynyshir is in the Rhondda Fach valley and the village exists due to the opening of a deep mine in 1845, which expanded into a series of pits - one of which was later connected underground to the Lewis Merthyr colliery, now the Rhondda Heritage Park in Trehafod. Both sides of my family are from the area and one of my grandfathers was a miner at a nearby colliery. He moved his family to the Kentish seaside in the late 60s and although born in Margate I feel a great affinity with South Wales and our industrial past, which is demonstrated in a great deal of my work - latterly in an ongoing series of prints looking at the similarities between heritage industrial super structures and fairground machinery, thereby connecting the two worlds and paying homage to my family’s story.
During the residency I completed a print of one of the two sets of winding gear from the Lewis Merthyr Colliery and had the great pleasure of working with the lovely team at The Workers Gallery and connecting with a fine bunch of visitors, both local to the gallery and from further afield. Some of whom were even brave enough to get inky themselves.
I’m very pleased to have joined the family at The Workers and would heartily recommend a visit.