Invitation to ‘Gawain and the Green Knight’

Please join us if you are able at the opening of:

Gawain and the Green Knight: Clive Hicks-Jenkins and the Penfold Press


Prints, paintings and drawings on the theme of the medieval poem

Thursday 8th September, 6 pm – 7.30 pm at

The Martin Tinney Gallery

18 St. Andrew’s Crescent, Cardiff. CF10 3DD. +44 (0)29 2064 1411


Exhibition runs from Thursday 8th Sept to Saturday 1st Oct, 2016

Art commentator James Russell writes of the Penfold Press collaboration between artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins and printmaker Daniel Bugg:

“The story is the kind you might find in The Mabinogion. Sir Gawain is more human than your average legendary hero. Having taken up the challenge offered at the Camelot Christmas feast by the terrifying Green Knight, he embarks on a quest to find this ogre, only to be tested – and found wanting – in unexpected ways. Sir Gawain is both a glittering knight and a fallible young man, and it is this flawed human character that intrigues Clive. Each print is inspired by the text and rooted stylistically in its world, but beyond that Clive and Dan have allowed their imagination free rein.”




15 thoughts on “Invitation to ‘Gawain and the Green Knight’

  1. Clive, you have included my two favourite pieces of work here, which so beautifully portray the dual pagan/Christian nature of the poem, as well as perfectly capturing the essence of each character. I consider the person very lucky who gets to own either one of these gems.

    I have been re-reading Simon Armitage’s translation of ‘Sir Gawain & The Green Knight’ recently and I had forgotten that the poem ends with the line, “Now let our Lord, thorn-crowned, bring us to perfect peace.” The Green Knight, pictured here, strikes me as Christ-like in his crown of leaves, which in turn made me think of your long-term ambition to create an altarpiece and your love of Matthias Grünewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece. The amazing vitality of your work on this series does give me the feeling of what it must have been like to see the vibrant wall paintings, which were such an important part of English and Welsh medieval churches. I do hope that somewhere out there is a person with the vision to help you eventually achieve your altarpiece dream, as I am sure it would be a wonder for all to see.

    I wish you and Dan every success with your forthcoming exhibition.

    • Sarah, thank you for sharing your thoughts on the series, and I’m pleased that you like these images so much. The Armouring has been cooking for quite a while, but when it came to making the painting, it emerged in a rush. I never changed anything significantly from the first thumb-nail sketch through to the completed image.

      Preparing the exhibition has been a roller-coaster of creativity and deadlines, and here I am, a hop and skip away from delivery to the gallery on Friday, and still painting. Sometimes, when it does not debilitate, a tight schedule can be enormously stimulating.

      Two portraits to be completed in two days. Bertilak de Hautdesert and his wife. These have long been taking root in the dark recesses of my imagination. Time for them to come into the light!!!

  2. Sadly I can’t be with you. We’ve had a great 2 weeks in Wales but are going home tomorrow. I didn’t get in touch whilst we were here as I know you are intensely busy and yet would have made time for us. However next time if things are less hectic I will do so. Hope all goes well for you. With love Jacqui xx

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Oh how I wish I could be there and walk away with a whole portfolio of our beloved Green Man, envisioned by his consort. Congratulations on another exquisite project-deeply wise, gorgeously engaging, and deliciously beautiful.

    • Oh Jeffery, thank you for those lovely words. Right now I’m still painting. This has been quite a gallop and I’m taking it to the wire. Burning midnight oil – and early morning oil, too, come to think of it. When it’s over I’m going to sleep for a week!!! Sending love from Wales.

  4. Would love to be there, but will be in Spain from the 1st of September!
    Hope to see it when I return. Way too good to miss. A stunning show Clive, huge congrats.

  5. Oh, wow, these are so beautiful, this is going to be so glorious! I love the blue-green color, and the mask-like aspect of the face paired with that wild and wooly hair!! The top image is absolutely perfect–he’s so handsome, and so focused on the heart of his cause. All of the design around his head is fantastic, and that plume!!! I find the patterning behind Mary and child endearing…these are truly lovely, Clive, congratulations!!

  6. This looks so wonderful, I wish we could be there but sadly we cannot.

    Hope it goes beautifully, as it should!

    All the best,

    Nick A. >

    • Thank you, dear Nick and Paul, for the good wishes. I’m never good at this stage… exhibition imminent, still painting and rising panic holding sway… so your kind words are balm. Sending love your way.

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