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Oriel Wrecsam - Exhibitions

Oriel Wrecsam has a commitment to promoting Welshness through exhibitions of contemporary visual and applied arts, while also enriching the local arts environment by inviting first class practitioners to work with us on a variety of projects.

As we enter a period of peripatetic project making, we have offsite plans that will see our Siop//Shop become a focus for our stranded project programme. Over the next couple of years these projects will see the town become our gallery space.

The following will keep you informed of what is currently on show in our galleries as well as what we have coming up.

Segrgrair by Paul Eastwood

17/02/2017 – 01/04/2017

Oriel Wrecsam is delighted to announce Segrgrair, an exhibition of new work by Paul Eastwood as part of its PERICLO programme.

Paul Eastwood works across text, sculpture, performance, video, drawing, printmaking and textiles. He is primarily concerned with how objects and people occupy architectural space and the built environment, and how objects have the potential to communicate cultural identity.

Segrgrair follows a research project exploring what message/stories Welsh speakers would chose to leave for future generations if the Welsh language was to become extinct in a hundred years and to identify the cultural signifiers of Wales. The project had particular focus on Welsh identity within Welsh crafts and cultural artefacts, questioning whether Welshness could reside within objects. A further research trip, to Chandigarh, explored the city Le Corbusier designed for an independent India. This research project grew out of the desire to study how we are governed by the buildings we occupy and how architecture can suggest the aspirations of cultural identity.

The exhibition will feature a wall-mounted neon and video installation exploring a vision of a museum carved into the mountain. The museum will be portrayed in a state of ruin and the cultural objects it once housed are broken or have eroded, leaving only the mountains carved interiors intact. The accompanying monologue imagines a language with consciousness of its own; an entity separate from a human vessel. Through the work, language becomes a character, devoid of a human body, which resides within the walls of this fictional mountain architecture as a disembodied voice discussing how language is used to record culture for posterity and its shortcoming in retaining significant information that expands upon its origins, history and ability to identify visual culture.

The title Segrgrair is an obsolete Welsh 14th Century word that is believed to have several possible meanings, among them are beautiful relic and holy relic.

Eastwood (b. 1985, Wrexham) obtained a postgraduate diploma from Royal Academy Schools in 2014, having previously studied Painting at Wimbledon School of Art. Recent exhibitions include The Bear Pit, Focal Point Gallery, Southend (2015); Feast of Fools, TAP, Southend (2016); Sunday Art fair, London (2015); Annexinema, Bloc Projects, Sheffield & g39, Cardiff (2015); Graphics Interchange Format, Focal Point Gallery, Southend (2015); Touching | Paul Eastwood & Max Prus, Kennington Residency, London (2014); Royal Academy Schools Show (2014).

PERICLO is a platform for risk and experimentation in contemporary visual art. During Oriel Wrecsam's transitional period - moving from its home of over 40 years at Wrexham Library to an exciting new cultural development in Wrexham People's Market which will open in 2018 - PERICLO forms one exhibition strand with other peripatetic projects taking place across the town centre and beyond.

PERICLO is an Oriel Wrecsam exhibition programme supported by Wrexham County Borough Council, Arts Council Wales, Welsh Government and the National Lottery.

Public Art commission by Jonny Hannah

Oriel Wrecsam have commissioned illustrator Jonny Hannah to produce an unique artwork that will wrap the entire exterior Siop//Shop and the adjacent workshop space.

The new work, in Jonny’s distinctive style, will illustrate Wrexham’s cultural, industrial and agricultural heritage whilst creating an attractive and instantly recognisable exterior for Oriel Wrecsam’s semi-permanent home on Chester Street.

The unveiling of this commission marks the start of a new way of working for Oriel Wrecsam as we enter a period of peripatetic exhibition and project making which will see Wrexham town centre become Oriel Wrecsam’s temporary gallery. This period will last for between two and three years in the lead up to the opening of a new and exciting cultural hub in Wrexham.

Jonny Hannah will be continuing his relationship with Oriel Wrecsam having previously exhibited as part of ‘A Child’s Christmas In Wales’ in 2014.

Jonny grew up in Dunfermline & studied at the Cowdenbeath College of Knowledge, Liverpool Art School & then the Royal College of Art. For the last seventeen years he has been a freelance illustrator, & is represented by the Heart Agency in London & New York. His many clients include The Sunday Telegraph, The New York Times & The St. Kilda Courier.

He happily lives in Southampton, with Sharon & their two bairns, & teaches on the BA Illustration course at Southampton Solent School of Art & Design. His studio has now returned to his back garden, in the loveliest of sheds, now HQ to the ‘Cakes & Ale Press’, a cottage industry publishing books, prints, posters, teatowels & badges.

Merrell books published a rather lovely book all about Jonny & his junk, last year. It’s called ‘Greeting from Darktown” & every home should have one.

Grip Fast & Defy Mediocrity.

Printmaker in Focus - Nigel Morris

Printmaker in Focus Exhibitions will be in our temporary home, SIOP//SHOP, on Chester Street. These printmaking showcases will provide a focus for regular exhibition visitors and include work by some of the best artists working in this field.

Nigel Morris

Nigel Morris is a visual artist working from Deeside making paintings, drawing, prints and 3D works. He describes his work as conceptual abstraction, which allows him to explore the relationship between the relationship of language both as written and visual information. These artworks can be described as, “visual experiments engaging traditional artistic values applying a contemporary conceptuality.”

Themes evident in his work are the relationship of text and image, proposing writing as pure mark making and drawing as word objects, almost a role reversal of function and aesthetic. His interest in the history of the written language from 7000 years ago to the present day is evident in his works on display which use the writing systems from 5000 BC.

The majority of the pieces are process driven, the making of the work an important factor both in his practice, the skill and craft which endures in the imagery. This tradition of skill is traced back to the Arts and Crafts Movement and William Morris and is relative to the aesthetic of each piece and the importance of visual interpretation and the beautiful.

Nigel Morris has recently completed an MA in Fine Art studio practice at the University of Lancashire and has studied at the University of Chester and Edinburgh College of Art.