Telling Tales

Telling Tales: new narrative works by Clive Hicks-Jenkins
Oriel Tegfryn
Menai Bridge
Anglesey
Opening May 10th 2014

Clive Hicks-Jenkins explores a narrative tradition of painting, particularly in relation to the Welsh mumming custom of the Mari Lwyd, and in his examinations of stories with miraculous events at their hearts. His Mari Lwyd drawing, Stumbles and Cannot Rise, is in the National Museum of Wales, his re-imagining of the annunciation, The Virgin of the Goldfinches, hangs permanently in the Saint Dyfrig Chapel of Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff, and his painting, Christ Writes in the Dust, was commissioned for the Methodist Collection of Twentieth Century Art, held at Oxford Brookes University. For a decade he’s regularly produced works on the legendary themes of the blind Breton monk, Hervé, who had a wolf for a companion, and the Irish hermit, Kevin. Kevin held a nest in his outstretched hand while a blackbird laid and incubated her eggs in it, hatched them and reared her young until fledged, a legend recounted by Seamus Heaney in a poem the artist has long referenced in his paintings on the subject.

For Telling Tales: Clive Hicks-Jenkins at Oriel Tegfryn, the artist has made new works of Hervé and Kevin, and has been revisiting his Mari Lwyd theme. In 2012 Mid Wales Chamber Orchestra commissioned composer Mark Bowden and Aberystwyth-born poet Damian Walford Davies, to make a chamber-work with a spoken libretto, taking inspiration from the artist’s 2001 series of large black and white Mari Lwyd drawings known collectively as The Mare’s Tale. Last year Clive Hicks-Jenkins designed and directed the first Mid Wales Chamber Orchestra performance of The Mare’s Tale, and at Oriel Tegfryn will be showing paintings he’s subsequently produced, inspired by its music and libretto.
The artist’s most recent series is inspired by Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale, in which Joseph the soldier unwittingly makes a pact he’ll come to regret. Last year Clive Hicks-Jenkins was commissioned to make an animated-film to accompany a performance of The Soldier’s Tale at the Hay Festival, and his new paintings further exploring the story are at the heart of the Oriel Tegfryn exhibition.
See some of the work that will be in the exhibition, HERE

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