Creative confinement

Gwyn Roberts, Penelope Timmis, Ruth Shelley, at The Albany Gallery, Thursday, March 11th until Saturday, April 3rd.

by Webmaster, 2nd March 2021

Lockdown has proved a challenge for many artists, but thanks to intrepid businesses such as The Albany Gallery in Cardiff, there's still a forum for works of art

The Albany Gallery plays host this month to artists Gwyn Roberts and Penelope Timmis SWA in its latest online exhibition. Both painters have been creative during the past 12 months, using the lockdown restrictions to produce more stunning work, which will be online from Thursday, March 11 until Saturday, April 3. They are joined by contemporary glassware expert Ruth Shelley with her signature bright and vivid pieces. 

Lockdown has proved a particular challenge for Welsh artist Gwyn Roberts, who suffered a nasty fall at the height of the pandemic last year. But it hasn’t stopped him picking up his palette knife, and he’s spent his time recuperating by creating beautiful paintings of some of his favourite places in north and west Wales.

“Like most people, I’ve had a very, very strange year,” says Gwyn, one of Wales’ finest contemporary landscape artists. “In March, I was told that I had to shield. Then, to make things worse, in April, at the height of the virus, I managed to slip on some mud while I was gardening, and ended up in hospital for nine days, with a triple spiral break of my femur - not a wise move!

“I had fantastic treatment from the NHS staff at the hospital and the community physiotherapy unit, for which I shall always be so grateful, but it's going to be a long recovery. All of this has restricted my ability to travel, even when we were not in lockdown, and this has obviously had an effect on this show.  

“While sitting in the garden recovering, I’ve thought of the better times to come, when it'll be possible to be out enjoying and being inspired by our amazing landscapes. In my mind, I’ve revisited some of the beautiful places in Wales that I know so well, and I've used this inspiration to paint some of my favourite images, such as the Glyderau Mountains in Snowdonia and the stunning coastline of west Wales.”

Gwyn’s style is instantly recognisable, as seen above, not only because of his firm, bold geometric strokes with the palette knife, but also because of the dramatic contrasts of light and shade in his work.

Fellow artist Penelope Timmis SWA, meanwhile, has taken full advantage of the opportunity of lockdown to be productive and experimental in her painting.

She lives in a converted church on the Welsh Border in Shropshire and also spent some time on the Scottish coast in the second lockdown. Penelope relished the challenge to paint only what has been around her, from a bedroom to a woodshed. 

The contemporary artist has always longed to experiment with oils and took the opportunity to try something different.

“I paint very differently when using oils as I'm used to painting with acrylics,” she says. “The oils are more heavy and sticky and I love them. I only hope I’ve managed to maintain my loose style and keep some movement going.”

Penelope will be exhibiting for the fourth time with The Albany Gallery. Her popular interior paintings play a large part in the exhibition, but lockdown in Shropshire and Scotland also allowed Penelope ample opportunity to paint the landscape she loves. She has also included a collection of her iconic bird paintings (pictured top).

Also featuring in the exhibition is Ruth Shelley’s stunning glassware (pictured below). Ruth, from Cardiff, specialises in contemporary glass design, using vivid, dramatic colour in kiln-formed glass.

She is inspired by travelling and by the love of nature around her, including the beautiful Roath Park in Cardiff. Through layered glass she creates a dialogue of lines, patterns and colour and always observes how the colours and layers combine as a whole, and how light illuminates them.

Gwyn Roberts, Penelope Timmis, Ruth Shelley, at The Albany Gallery, Thursday, March 11th until Saturday, April 3rd. Visit:

The Albany Gallery was established in 1965 and is recognised as one of Wales’ most successful and long-established privately-owned commercial art galleries.

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