Queuing for the Latest Kyffin to Find a Glimmer of Hope in World of Art

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), October 12, 2002 | Go to article overview

Queuing for the Latest Kyffin to Find a Glimmer of Hope in World of Art


Byline: HANNAH JONES

IT'S all about love. Love of the landscape, love of the creative process, love of the picture not the concept of greatness that surrounds it.

For Kyffin Williams, the great doyen of dark amour in art, his paintings record both his humanity as a man and his interpretation of the landscape.

It's no easy take as his work of his Wales, his beloved Wales, is thick with dark and bleak undertones.

It's as if he's making us work to see the light.

But once you find it, trace the lines of his particular and peculiar tones and combinations of blacks and greys, it's as if a vista of comprehension reinvents itself in front of the eye.

Sir Kyffin is a melancholic troubadour but within his Bible-black world - there is no other worthy description - there is a brightness of spirit, a lightness of heart and an unquenchable thirst to relocate his distinctive art out of the doldrums and on to the world stage.

His creations are not wedged into the creative canon of important European works as inconsequential asides.

For these are important footprints in his own personal journey through a rain drenched and cloudy corner of the world, dark but lovely interpretations seen through a bright man with sad eyes.

While people queue around the block of the Albany Gallery, Cardiff, in order to buy ``a Kyffin'', the man himself is upstairs in the whitewashed safety of this familyrun gallery.

He sits and chats with people, amiably signs books and even paintings which people have previously bought and he previously forgot to put his signature to.

Then he runs his hands roughly across the fractured sky in a large oil called Ponies in the Sea, pulls it down and takes a hammer to the back, banging out his discontent at the canvas until it settles into some semblance of acceptance into a canon of work which he always refers to as ``seriously flawed''.

Although his is an emotive art, his disregard for the mechanics of materialism almost sanctify these paintings because in his hands they would more than likely be thrown on the scrap heap. …

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