Music video maker Ryan Owen, and artists Anthony Shapland and David Cushway share their unique observations and interpretation of Glynn Vivian during the build up to the gallery closing for major redevelopment.
Artist Anthony Shapland explores the notion of a fictional ‘day in the life’ of the Gallery, beginning with the collection intact and artworks inhabiting the galleries.
The day continues with the arrival of gallery staff and the job of restoring, sorting, packing and labelling. The day closes with the collections held at the gallery now concealed in corrugated card.
The film captures the meticulous process of packing and storing priceless artefacts.
Anthony Shapland said “Over several months I made five visits to the gallery and recorded over 400 minutes of footage.
“With the upcoming refurbishment the act of packing, of clearing, of change was throughout the building, in the public displays as well as in the unseen corridors and backrooms”.
David Cushway’s work, Last Supper at the Glynn Vivian, looks specifically at the gallery’s ceramics collection as the gallery is well know for its Swansea pottery and porcelain, and it houses many original examples of Welsh, English, European, and Oriental pottery and porcelain, purchased by Richard Glynn Vivian over 100 years ago.
David asked thirteen volunteers to choose an object from the ceramics collection, and talk informally about why they liked it, and what it meant to them.
He then filmed their moving and personal responses in an arrangement akin to Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, as well as photographing each individual with their chosen object.
The film provides a fascinating insight into Glynn Vivian’s ceramics collection, its display, and the individual stories that it inspires through a series of four-minute monologues that are beautifully captivating, humorous and mesmerising.
The final piece by video filmmaker Ryan Owen captures the celebrations that took place on the final day of the Glynn Vivian before closure in October 2011.
This light hearted look at the day’s activities, including family workshops and live performances from local musicians, encapsulates the enjoyment of the final farewell to the old building as it closes.
Ryan Owen has produced music videos for a number of Welsh bands including Super Furry Animals, Sweet Baboo and Cate Le Bon and more recently worked on televisions shows Dr. Who and Sherlock.
Gallery Interpretation Officer, Gordon Dalton, said “With the building about to undertake major changes in its centenary year, the films captures what the gallery was and what it looked like”
“Not only does it provide vital archival material, but it is also an opportunity for the public to view areas of the Glynn Vivian that were not accessible to the public”.
The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery’s offsite programme features a diverse range of contemporary artists’ talks, live music from Welsh bands and cult film and TV.
All events will be held at the YMCA Theatre on the Kingsway and are free and open to everyone.
For more information on offsite activities at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery visit http://www.swansea.gov.uk/
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