—Introduction

A month long festival of exhibitions, discussions, screenings, performances, events and celebrations in both physical and virtual spaces and places.

Wait-and-See,-2012-©-f&d-cartier2

+ - f&d cartier:

Wait and See

Oriel Canfas

1 May – 31 May

Wait and See places black and white photosensitive paper and light – two fundamentals of photography – at the centre of its process. Early photographic paper is exposed in the exhibition rooms and through a subtle interplay with space and light, the chromatic transformation of the paper begins. According to its composition and the nature of its contact with light, the paper develops random colour patterns over time. To perceive the progressive saturation of the paper, the spectator is asked to be patient and to remain still for a few moments in order to observe a latent process, the meaning of which derives from the very act of being seen.

A Ffotogallery project funded by Pro Helvetia (Swiss Arts Council), Swiss Cultural Fund in Britain and Swisslos Culture Canton de Berne.

 

Image: Wait and See, 2012 © f&d cartier

Urban Quilombo

+ - Sebastian Liste:

Urban Quilombo

Third Floor Gallery

4 May – 23 June

Urban Quilombo is a testimony of a place that no longer exists. Between 2009 and 2011, Sebastian Liste documented the community of Barreto, an abandoned chocolate factory in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. From 2003, dozens of families occupied the factory and transformed it into a home. Until then, these families lived in the dangerous streets of the city. Tired of the violence and despair, they came together to seize the deserted factory. They created a microcosm in which the problems of drugs, prostitution and violence could be tackled with the support of the community. In March 2011, the government evicted the families from the factory, in one of many attempts to clean up the visible poverty in the centre of Brazil’s cities.

 

Image: From Urban Quilombo, 2009 – 11 © Sebastian Liste

Blaenavon Male Voice Choir © Alicia Bruce

+ - Alicia Bruce:

Encore

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

1 May – 29 May

Encore stages two complementary series of portraits of musicians in Blaenavon, a former mining town in the south Wales Valleys. Inspired by historic portraits in the National Museum Cardiff collection, Alicia Bruce’s photographs highlight the individuality of the sitters while retaining their identity as a collective. Both series were shot on stage in Blaenavon Workman’s Hall during Bruce’s residency as part of Ffotogallery’s recent Valleys commission. They depict distinct groups of performers from different generations who are tied together geographically and share a love of performance. By restaging compositions from celebrated paintings in the National Museum Cardiff, Bruce eloquently reconnects the Blaenavon musicians with a greater Welsh musical heritage.

A Ffotogallery project.

 

Image: Blaenavon Male Voice Choir, 2011 © Alicia Bruce

Holly Davey

+ - Holly Davey:

Nothing Is What It Is Because Everything Is What It Isn’t

National Museum Cardiff

9 March – 1 September

Nothing Is What It Is Because Everything Is What It Isn’t is a site-specific photographic installation exploring the stairwell and landing space in the Museum’s contemporary galleries. Holly Davey has photographed the space to create a digital collage in which the stairwell is reformed, repeated and replayed within the original architecture. This reimagining of the stairwell creates a feeling of disorientation, encouraging the viewer to question their experience and understanding of this functional, transitional space. Nothing Is What It Is… was commissioned by Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales following an open call for artist submissions in 2012.

The commission is supported by the Colwinston Charitable Trust.

 

Image: Nothing is what it is (detail), 2013 © Holly Davey

ffotohive

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ffotohive Exhibition Launch

Wednesday 29 May, 5pm

Tramshed

Throughout May we have asked Cardiff residents and visitors to contribute to a series of unique online collages for ffotohive. Photographs have been taken at six designated sites known as ‘hives’ around the city, which were then tweeted and uploaded to become part of this ever-changing digital artwork capturing the city. The artwork is on show at the Tramshed for the last three days of the festival, and visitors will have an opportunity to take part in the project in the newly unveiled Tramshed hive.

The exhibition opening will feature a live soundtrack by musician Tom Raybould (Arc Vertiac).

Helen Sear - Lure

+ - Helen Sear:

Lure

BayArt

25 May – 21 June

Lure is a major exhibition of new work by Helen Sear. One of Wales’ most important and insightful artists, Sear’s practice can be characterised by her exploration of the crossover between photography and fine art, her focus on the natural world and the startling beauty of her work. From seemingly simple subjects – a frozen pond, straw bales in a field, wild flowers – Sear makes artworks of great power that explore ideas of seeing and perception.

 

Image: Pastoral Monument 6, Dacus Carota, 2012 © Helen Sear

Combustible,-2012-©-Timothy-Nordhoff

+ - Various Artists:

From common differences

St Davids Hall

1 May – 31 May

Eva Bartussek, Holly Davey, Paul Duerinckx, John Paul Evans, Peter Finnemore, Muriel Gallan, Hamish Gane, Humberto GaticaAnna Kurpaska, Ryan Moule, Timothy Nordhoff, Richard Page, Lāsma Poiša, Inger Birgitte Richenberg

Exploring themes of locality, community and Otherness, From common differences asks oblique questions of the place of ‘the local’ within a broad network of contemporary cultural relationships. Bringing together established artists and emerging talents in the field, this exhibition presents new photographic work produced within Wales and further afield, to create a multi-perspective dialogue that challenges the capacity of journalistic and art practices to photograph and represent crucial issues of the 21st century. The project uses as its departure point, a recognition of issues regarding Swansea and Cardiff as neighbouring cities. The exhibition will examine important cultural regional questions of identity, locality and distinctiveness.

A partnership project between Swansea Metropolitan University and St David’s Hall.

 

Image: Combustible, 2012 © Timothy Nordhoff

Tim Davies, Drift, 2011

+ - Tim Davies:

Drift

9 March – 26 May

 

Drift is an ambitious new film installation by Tim Davies presented in the contemporary galleries at National Museum Cardiff. Taking Venice as its subject, the installation is comprised of three individual films, Drift (2011), Frari (2011) and new workCapricci (2013). Shown together for the first time they present a powerful and poignant portrait of Venice, creating links with the way the city is represented in the Museum’s collection by artists such as Canaletto, Monet and Whistler.

Drift and Frari previously featured in Tim Davies’ Wales in Venice presentation at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011 organised by the Arts Council of Wales. This is the first time this important body of work has been shown in Wales.

 

Image: Drift, 2011 © Tim Davies

Emma Bennett- Thief of Tie

+ - Emma Bennett:

Thief of Time

Chapter

1 May – 30 June

Emma Bennett’s hauntingly beautiful paintings contemplate space, time and the fragility of the human condition.

Appropriating imagery from historical Dutch and Italian painting, Bennett immaculately renders bowls of ripened fruit, bouquets of blooming flowers, dead game and swathes of rich fabric that reflect this long tradition of still life painting – of apparent naturalism underpinned by compositional artifice, and of time suspended. Emerging out of the midnight–black void of her canvas, the subjects allude to the transitory nature of existence; to life, death and the after-life.

In her latest work, Bennett considers the ephemerality of imagery, memory and the desire to make these moments more permanent, and references the investigations of historic and contemporary still-life photographers – from Roger Fenton to Wolfgang Tillmans. Bennett illuminates the tradition’s darker side – through the use of allegory and in reflecting the poignancy of loss, and the futile effort to retrieve and retain, to freeze time and hold on to what passes.

Part of Chapter’s Art in the Bar programme.

 

Image: Hollowed (Unhallowed), 2009. Oil on canvas, 140x110cm © Emma Bennett, courtesy CHARLIE SMITH London

g39 - Barnraising and Bunkers

+ - Various Artists:

Barnraising and Bunkers

g39

8 May – 29 June

Uriel Orlow, Abigail Reynolds, Angharad P Jones, Rich White, Dan Griffiths, Geraint Evans, Jonathan Powell, Richard Powell

The built environment, despite the desires of architects and planners, grows organically from the people that inhabit it. It is an ongoing dialogue and not fixed. The urban and the rural are often set up as polar opposites, the former synonymous with presence and the latter with absence. Asking the question ‘Where are we now?’, the exhibition looks at the human drive for shelter, and how we choose to build. Whereas Barnraising epitomises collective action and co-operation, bunkers suggest the opposite. Bunkers are shelters built for survival, excavated as opposed to built; they isolate and separate the individual from the world.

Barnraising and Bunkers puts together artists that engage or interact with architectural or physical structures, as well as those that work collectively to accomplish things greater than the abilities of the group. It is also a wider examination of those spaces that are flagship structures for art and contrasts them with the often isolated and separate means of their production, the studio.

 

Image: g39 – Barnraising and Bunkers