|Barbagia, Sardinia, 2000 From the exhibition 'Sardinia'|
One of the great qualities of visual art and photography is that it allows people to connect with a world that they never knew, or possibly might never experience. I have never been surprised, but always gratified by the ability of worldwide audiences to understand and appreciate work I may have made in places other than where I might reside. I remember many visitors to my numerous exhibitions in other countries being absorbed and intrigued by work I may have made in places they have never, or may never visit. I also remember and am grateful for, the enlightened attitude of those galleries and publishers both here and in other countries that have had the vision and open minded attitude to support my work and to allow it to be seen by a wider audience. After all, isn't this just what visual art should be about? Work I have made in Wales has been seen in many European countries, the USA, Canada, etc. Likewise major institutions have acquired prints for their public collections. Ditto work I have made abroad has been seen and purchased in and by institutions here.
|'In Wildwood', published by Lars Muller, Switzerland|
A major Swiss book publisher produced a book which did not contain one image of Switzerland. A prestigious photography gallery in Belgium hosted a show of my work which contained only photographs of Wales and the USA. I remember the interest and pleasure the local population in a remote village in Sardinia derived from seeing images I had made of the Welsh landscape during the period I was photographing theirs. I could go on but you get the idea.
So I was surprised to receive an e mail from the editor of one of the local newspapers here expressing their confusion and puzzlement at being sent images not made in the immediate locality and unable to understand why I would do such a thing. In retrospect however, maybe I shouldn't have been too startled by that attitude as it is in this locality I heard something similar many years ago. It was in a gallery that I was told, for the first and only time ever, by any gallery anywhere in the world, (and I have dealt with many), that;
|Connemara, Co.Galway, Ireland 1977 From the exhibition 'Celtic Light'|
|'Vermont, USA, 2002. From the exhibition 'Wildwood'|
|'Victory Hall and Cinema', Llanybydder, Carmarthenshire 2004|
My experience, worldwide, is happily vastly different. I am grateful for the open minds of all the galleries and publications that have published my Welsh work there and ditto to all those Welsh institutions who have had the foresight to showcase my work from abroad. In other words I am lured by the landscape of the 'local' and enjoy the work I make here but am sometimes cursed by parochial attitudes.