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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

That's more like it
There's not much about being Welsh that I hate but, by fuck, if I go to one more local art show and see one more painting of a pit head, deep seam, slag heap or terraced row I'll be shoving lumps of anthracite up the nearest artist I can find.
Christ, you'd think that Welsh artists had been kept in some sort of coal-based captivity, that they'd never seen a blue sky, a funfair, a book or a live chicken, such is their obsession with the region's history of the coal industry. 
Just days ago I went to the Rhondda Heritage Park to see the latest art show - it's a venue for all sorts of art, not just heritage-drenched nostalgia - and it was so achingly predictable that I would have witnessed more imaginative visuals in a lift shaft. It's not that execution was fat-handed but that none of the artists had raised their eyes or imaginations above the usual, parochial, stereotypical images of South frigging Wales.
What is going on with these people? It's not that there's a problem with them enjoying the rich history of the area, just that aren't they bored to fuck with depicting it? I mean, what's wrong with attempting to create images of a more modern Wales, even if that means recreating girls chucking up on a Saturday night, blokes scoring in alleyways, and the endless sprouting of call centres. 
Perhaps these images just aren't as giddily romantic as that of tin baths and sooty fathers. Yet they're one hell of a lot more honest and I'd be chuffed to shit to see one in a local art show even if it were to replace just one more lithograph or collage of a fucking dram.
So, as someone who has been known to knock out the odd portrait herself, I'm going to start painting pissed women stumbling through Merthyr Tydfil and dogs shitting on the Taff Trail. It won't be pretty but it will be bang up to date and that's more than you could say for Dai Jones' Slag Heap at Sunset No 1. Oh and No 2. And No 3.... 

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