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See the world through the eyes of Welsh contemporary artists in a new national exhibition

03 Feb 2024 4 minute read
Cyfoes. National Library of Wales

A new exhibition has opened at the National Library of Wales’ Gregynog Gallery to celebrate contemporary Welsh art – bringing together a selection of works dating from 1945 to the present day from the National Art Collection.

The CYFOES: Celf Cymru Heddiw · Contemporary Welsh Art exhibition highlights include a brand new work by the artist Dr Adéọlá Dewis, Y Fari Lwyd, which has been specially commissioned as part of the Library’s work to decolonise the art collections; Cofeb Tryweryn by John Meirion Morris; Greenham Peace Vigil by Claudia Williams; and Ponterwyd / Gaia by Mary Lloyd Jones.

Notable artists

The works in the exhibition – from oil paintings, collages and photographs to sculptures and multi-media works – show the range and diversity of the Library’s collections.

They are a reflection of the world around us and a record of the world through the eyes of our most notable artists.

Mary Lloyd Jones, ‘Ponterwyd/Gaia’, 1991

Looking at how contemporary art reflects the forces and issues that shape our world today, the exhibition presents the works across a number of themes:

  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Wales and Welsh Relevance
  • People, Society and Identity
  • The Body
  • Politics, Protest and Activism
  • Nature and the Environment
  • Our World, and
  • Religion and Beliefs
Abbie Trayler-Smith, ‘Fleeing Mosul’, 2016

Rhian Gibson, Director of Communications, Engagement and Partnerships at the National Library of Wales said: “The Library is home to over 60,000 works of art, and it is vital that we exhibit as wide a range of these as possible.

“The contemporary works in this exhibition are an opportunity to open the door to new audiences and to demonstrate how we are continuing to collect so that our collections represent today’s Wales.

“We hope that this exhibition also serves as a shop window for future loans and collaboration with other galleries.”


Mari Elin Jones, Interpretation Officer in the Exhibitions Department at the National Library of Wales said: “We are very glad of this opportunity to share a special selection of artworks by some of Wales’ leading contemporary artists.

“The aim of the exhibition is to celebrate the richness, diversity and range of contemporary art in Wales; as well as displaying well-known works the exhibition also reflects the continued vitality of art in Wales today as we include brand new works.

“We really hope that visitors will enjoy this opportunity to see the best of contemporary art in Wales, and that the exhibition will stimulate dialogue and inspire creativity.”

To coincide with the exhibition there will be a series of events and details of these will be published on the Library’s website over the coming weeks.

Natalia Dias, ‘Blodeuwedd’, 2020

Next event

The next event is set to be Yng Nghysgod Hen Dduwiau | Haunted by Ancient Gods, with speaker, Iwan Bala.

This highly anticipated event takes place on Wednesday 13 March at 5PM at the Gregynog Gallery, The National Library of Wales & online.

Iwan Bala is one of Wales’ foremost artists and the Library is fortunate to house a number of his works in the National Art Collection. Attendees will be able to hear about those works and about the art and artists from all over the world that have influenced his work.

Tickets can be purchased online or via the Gregynog Gallery.

The Library is working in collaboration with its partners to develop a National Contemporary Art Gallery for Wales and this exhibition provides examples of works that will be available to lend to galleries across Wales.

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