King Street Gallery opens new premises in CarmarthenTuesday 16th October
Carmarthen’s King Street gallery has changed premises to a new street-level gallery. This is run by the same grass-roots co-operative, showcasing new work from all its members. There is now a real sense of a developing artist’s community around King Street.
Inside, the gallery has gone for the classical ‘white box’ look, allowing the artists to show a wide variety of work. The move has inspired mature artists to explore new avenues, and most encouragingly, there is fresh, contemporary work here from new artists, such as Ray Church with his contemporary ceramics, Elizabeth Tomos’ performance piece, and Joolz Cave Berry’s scrap sculptures.
Not only that, there is also plenty to interest those with a more traditional taste. Charlotte Leadbeater, Elaine Graham and many others show very competent paintings. The King Street gallery has always represented a strong union of local artists and craptspeople. The work is generally concept-led and high key. The really interesting thing is how the artists use contemporary visual languages, such as abstraction, in a personal and unique way. Take Yve Kelly’s ‘Flight of Dionysus’, in which she develops a personal response to a greek myth in an abstract painting.
Ann Goodfellow shows her ceramic figures, acting as a canvas for all kinds of glaze effects. These pieces, such as her ‘ecstasies of time’ have both psychological drama and a quiet, intense presence.
Joolz Cave Berry’s sculptures talk about his experience of disability and its perception. They also, however, work as more general images. The lonely figure perched on the ball of nails holds a lantern that dangles into the abyss, presenting a powerful three-dimensional allegory of loneliness.
Victoria Malcolm shows a video documenting her experiences while involved with a dance class in South Africa during her residency there. It’s difficult not to respond to the charm of these little dancers.
But for me, the star here is Elizabeth Tomos. I don’t know whether the local audience is ready for a performance where a young woman sings to a series of celluloid glasshouses, but I hope so, because it was beautifully conceived and performed. She talks about the fragmentary nature of consciousness, and her performance creates a charged, personal space.
All in all, this is a challenging assortment of work that should contain something to intrigue everybody, regardless of their level of knowledge or experience.