Wales Contemporary / Cymru Gyfoes is an international open competition for 2D artwork in any medium excluding photography. Developed by the Waterfront Gallery in association with the Welsh Government, Wales Contemporary seeks to celebrate all aspects of the country by inviting artists to submit work that is inspired by its ancient history, its art history, its heritage, its landscape (rural, urban or political) and its contemporary culture.
Following a call for entries which saw the submission of approximately 500 artworks from across the globe – Ireland, Denmark, Germany, Spain and Australia are all represented – 76 works have been selected for the inaugural exhibition at the Waterfront Gallery in Milford Haven, South Wales from 4 – 30 October 2019. Thoughtful and often surprising, the exhibition combines crisp, photorealistic seascapes with soft, romantic watercolours balancing on the very edge of figuration. Due tribute is paid to the rich diversity of Welsh landscapes, from its glowering mountain ranges to its industrial towns, its valley villages to its rugged coastlines. Welsh culture is equally well represented: highlights include a carnivalesque imagining of the Arthurian legend, an overpopulated Mount Snowdon, and a tongue-in-cheek representation of the much-maligned leek. In summary, the exhibition presents the viewer with a characterful and compelling insight into the many things that make Wales Welsh.
The exhibition was selected by artist Janette Kerr, painter Ken Maycock, artist Catrin Webster and Stan MacIlvenny OBE.