There is truth to the title of the National Galleries of Wales display I Cannot Escape This Place, the inaugural exhibition that opened last June, launching six brand new contemporary gallery spaces within the National Galleries of Wales building complex. This title brings to mind an idea that Wales is the worlds largest open air prison. Traditional escape routes - becoming a master of disguise, tunnelling, sea coracles, helium filled balloons, riding on the backs of wild boars are all doomed to fail. A possible means of escape would be locating a portal, maybe creative actions might map us and lead to that gateway..... ahhhh.. the nostalgia of escape, the attainment of freedom....
...well anyways... The debate about the need for a dedicated space to Welsh visual culture at the National Gallery of Wales in Cardiff has been evolving since Peter Lord published his essay 'The Aesthetics of Relevance' (Gomer 1992). These new spaces are a welcomed addition to the arts scene in Wales and will show the range of artwork produced in Wales since the 50's and how they relate to a larger international artistic context. Hence in this new exhibition artworks by Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, Richard Long, Keith Arnatt are seen alongside Shani Rhys James, Ivor Davies, Common Culture, Carwyn Evans, Tim Davies, Myself, and Awst & Walther.
All the artworks in this exhibition come from the National Galleries permanent art collection. My contribution to this exhibition contains a series of colour images from the series Lesson 56 Wales and Base Camp, a single screen monitor version of my three daylight screen installation of 31 short films exhibited at the 51st Venice Biennial in 2005.
Radio 4's Today programme did a feature on the opening of the new galleries and the exhibition and I got a mention... Hey ! waking up on a Saturday morning and hearing your name and soundtrack on a national radio station, I just cant escape from this place..... here is a link to the radio feature.