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Accomplished artists come together for new exhibition

A NEW exhibition which brings together some of Wales most accomplished artists will open at Aberglasney Gardens next Saturday (Oct 28).

Andrew Douglas-Forbes’ paintings are held in private collections across the world and are renowned for reflecting a love of all things ‘Welsh’. His latest collection of work will go on display in Aberglasney’s historic Mansion House alongside that of ceramicists Poliana Bandeira and Ann Goodfellow with paintings by Mark Morris.

The group have all taken inspiration for the exhibition, titled ‘The Colours of the Air’, from the poem Grongar Hill written by John Dyer, who was brought up at Aberglasney during the 18th century. Dyer was greatly admired by Wordsworth and his poems were almost certainly responsible for attracting the first ‘tourists’ to the Tywi Valley of Carmarthenshire.

Speaking ahead of the exhibition opening Andrew Douglas-Forbes said: “I’m delighted to be exhibiting at Aberglasney this autumn and am very pleased to be doing so alongside three other such highly regarded artists.”

Andrew grew up on Gower and after training in London as a singer he lived and sang professionally in Italy for six years. He has since returned to Wales and settled in Llandeilo. His career as an artist began when he was a teenager and has run alongside his singing career ever since.

Brazilian born Poliana Bandeira, is a contemporary ceramicist who successfully exhibited at Aberglasney earlier this year. She describes her pieces as ‘functional art’, form coming before function. Poli has a degree in product design from the University Federal of Paraiba in Brazil, a PGCE in Design and Technology from Swansea Metropolitan University and a Ceramics and Jewellery degree from the University of Wales, Trinity St David’s.

Ann Goodfellow has recently moved just a stone’s throw away from Aberglasney. She trained as both a painter and ceramicist but since gaining an MA in Ceramics from the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff in 2006 she has focussed solely on the figure as a means of expression. She has exhibited widely both in Britain and Europe, with two very successful solo shows in France in 2012 and 2013.

Ann said: “Having recently moved to this beautiful area I have a heightened awareness of the countryside and my relationship to nature. Using the poem Grongar Hill as a starting point, I have endeavoured to depict this strong connection to nature by using natural elements combined with the figure.”

Mark Morris has had a passion for drawing since a very young age. After graduating with an honours degree in Mathematics he began a career in teaching. It wasn’t until 2008 that his wife encouraged him to try painting, and after a first successful solo exhibition in the same year things went from strength to strength.

As well as taking inspiration from Grongar Hill and the surrounding landscape, Mark has been captivated by the beauty of the unrestored upper floors of Aberglasney’s Mansion House: “I was instantly taken by the light and beauty – the decaying wattle and daub walls, the wooden floors, voided ceilings and stunning Georgian windows, all these elements point at the history the building holds. This means the main body of my work is a more muted palette of greys as opposed to the greens and blues of Grongar Hill and the surrounding Tywi Valley.”

A special exhibition preview will take place next Friday (Oct 27) from 6.30pm. The exhibition will then be open daily until Thursday, November 2.