Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Gareth Hugh Davies

Gareth Hugh Davies - Clochyrie 2008 - seen

One of the great things about Oriel Myrddin Gallery is that all the staff are artists too; we are all either practising artists, writers or crafts people or were trained as such. One of our crew, Gareth Hugh Davies is a painter and is currently showing work at St David's Hall Gallery in Cardiff. The show continues until 11 June.

Gareth Hugh Davies - Limen 2010 - seen here

Gareth uses painting to explore the liminal , the difficult to articulate thresholds, the unknowable and mysterious. He says of his own work: "My work is an investigation into the relationship between the aesthetic, cultural and mythological in landscape painting..." and painting is a unmatchable vehicle for this kind of exploration. He quotes Simon Morley on this process in his artists statement: '...a mental state in which this self is brought to the brink of dissolution through confrontation with the powerful experience of unboundedness of no longer being securely sited within a unified self'.

Gareth Hugh Davies - Equinox 2010 - seen here

Alongside this 'spritual' investigation, there is a darkness - menace, even, in Gareth's work. The traditional form of landscape painting provides an anchor which allows it to tread into unstable territory. Twighlight and night scenes make the familiar worrying, glowing orange lights in house windows, bonfires and car headlights become ambiguous points of connection in the indigo of dusk and night time. Welcoming and friendly on the one hand, dangerously alluring on another - we become moths at the flame. Tracks and traces in snowy woodlands lead us...where - to whom, or to what? Gareth had a solo show at Oriel Myrddin Gallery in 2007 entitled Olion, a Welsh word which hints at these tracks, traces and marks both in the content of his work and in the process of painting as a medium.

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