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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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Getting ready for madeinroath 2017

We took the train down to Cardiff on Friday to look at the venue for my “Gafnu Cymuned: Hollowed Community” exhibition in the

madeinroath 2017 festival. It was great to visit Cardiff again. I used did my degree and PhD in Cardiff in the 1990s and I used to know the areas close to the university, Roath and Cathays, very … Read the rest

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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

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English Corner

I love Victorian tin chapels. Maybe it’s because a playgroup I went to as a child in Hereford was held in one. I think that one was painted dark green. It was near the racecourse.

This tin building is at the crest of the hill, on Rhyddings Park Road. The corrugated iron is painted cream. It is jammed in by … Read the rest

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Brynmill, past and future

The schools have gone back. Unusually its raining. When I was teaching, the first weeks of term usually would enjoy an Indian Summer. It made the pain of returning to work after  the long break a little easier.  Not this year. The students are returning. Term does not start for another month but quite a few students have been here … Read the rest

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“Cymricana” – Sunshine and Puddles

 

This painting of a burger van I spotted in Wickes’s (DIY Store) carpark in Swansea is part of my “urban minimal” series. I have been influenced by the treatment of light and colour by American realist painters such as Edward Hopper, Jim Holland, John Register, Frank Hobbs as well as by Contemporary minimalists such as Christopher Benson, Leah Giberson, … Read the rest

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Rhyddings House, Brynmill

This is a strange rather ugly building. It’s pebble-dashed exterior is tinged grey with neglect. The front garden is unkempt and there’s a red boat in the far corner of the garden. I noticed this building ages ago and was intrigued by it. Why didn’t it look like the houses around it? It reminded me of a block of flats … Read the rest