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Swansea, city of culture!

Swansea is nervously awaiting to hear on Thursday if its has been selected as UK city of Culture 2021. We know that no UK city can be a European city of culture thanks to Brexit. Swansea has made the short list before and lost out to Hull. This time the other shortlisted cities are Coventry, Paisley and Stoke (Coventry is … Read the rest

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Good Drying Weather

My mother tells me many people don’t use clothes lines  or washing lines any more. They use tumble driers, instead. They must have big electricity bills. What better way to dry your washing that using good old fashioned solar power? In the early modern period people just laid their clothes out on bushes to dry. The word “clothesline” wasn’t used … Read the rest

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Crowded Community

Wednesday morning with was bright and crisp. I decided to the cold blue sky and bright autumn sunlight was similar to the conditions in which the original series of the “Hollowed Community” paintings were created. I want to compare the empty almost desolate streets of August with the very crowded ones of early November.

The children are back at school … Read the rest

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Brynmill Primary School

The distinctive pitched roofs of the red brick Brynmill School dominate the area. Sitting on the crest of a hill they can be seen from miles around. From the seafront and beach to the south as well as from Uplands and Mount Pleasant to the north. It is one of two local primary schools. It is a handsome building. Bold … Read the rest

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Dylan Thomas in Metroland

As a trained Historian as well as being an artist, I feel the need to place my “urban minimal” paintings in context. I think it helps me understand the city around me too. Swansea is a town in which nothing in particular has happened. There was no workers’ rising (Merthyr and Newport), no cross-dressing protests (Rebecca Riots to the west … Read the rest

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Going up in the world (the rise of Metroland)

If you walk north of Brynmill, you start to go up in the world. The surburbs of Ffynone, Uplands and Sketty are perched on one of Swansea many hills. The houses that were built here after the First World War are big and spacious. Swansea, like the rest of the UK, experienced a house-building boom in the late 1920s and
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Transient

Here is a view of the length of Bernard Street from the South end, looking towards Uplands. It was quite hard to paint as I felt that I was trying to capture an absence. The light cuts across an empty road. When I saw this scene late on a Sunday evening in August I was struck by this emptiness, absence. … Read the rest

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Up Sketty

I think that I have enough paintings for my “Hollowed Community” Project, for the time being. So now I am walking further afield to find new subjects. I walked up hill to Sketty, parts of which have fantastic views across Swansea Bay. I loved this large white house on the corner of a quiet street, Grosvenor Road,  because I think … Read the rest

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Former “Cricketers”

Nothing sums up my Gafnu Cymuned:Hollowed Community project more than the sight of The Cricketers public house now shut and boarded up. It is just across the road from the St Helens Rugby and Cricket ground where sport has been played for over 140 years. On 19 June 1928 the ground was the venue of a mile race, for Swansea … Read the rest

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Former Corner Shop and Post Office.

The Corner of Bernard St. and Marlborough Rd.

Long before I came to Swansea in 1998, there used to be a corner shop and a post office, side by side on Marlborough Road. There were both there in 1986. There is a photo to prove it (see below). The Corner shop had gone by 1998. The building was completely renovated; … Read the rest