Set in the heart of Swansea, the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery is renowned as a centre of excellence for the visual arts, and as of Sat 19 Sept it has reopened. Three exhibitions are on show until Sun 29 Nov, programmed in partnership with Swansea Pride and LGBT History Month.
Pansy, created by Roy Efrat and Catrin Webster, is comprised of four new works which include oil paintings and video mapping. The work explores the complex meaning of the word ‘pansy’, exploring identity, sexuality, gender and perception in doing so. A humorous, playful journey situated on the ground floor of the gallery, where the open space complements it wonderfully.
With Malum, Dafydd Williams attempts to highlight the “nonsensical argument that homosexuality is a modern phenomenon”. The word malum is derived from the Latin for both ‘apple’ and ‘evil’, and refers to the historically discriminatory attitude towards sexual difference and the biblical idea of the forbidden fruit. Williams, meanwhile, celebrates the male body with a series of photographs [below] which contrast light and dark, thus creating a series of bold and striking images.
The Tyranny Of Consciousness (2017) [top], by pioneering filmmaker and video artist Charles Atlas, consists of a five-channel installation with a mosaic of 44 simultaneous, distinct mesmerising sunsets, accompanied by a screen bearing an 18-minute countdown to darkness – this being the approximate time it takes the sun to set. It is accompanied by the voice of legendary New York drag queen Lady Bunny, whose thoughts on life, peace and American politics fills the space. With the time ticking away a sense of urgency can be felt, Lady Bunny’s final comment – “it has really become insane that no one is talking about peace” – seeming extra resonant.
Also being shown is the British Museum touring exhibition Pushing Paper: Contemporary Drawings From 1970 To Now. Consisting of 51 drawings whose subjects range from gender and political activism to questions of belonging and human sexuality, and featuring work from the likes of Tracey Emin and David Hockney, you could spend hours in this space.
words EMMA SMITH photos POLLY THOMAS
Open Wed-Sun, 11am-3.30pm. Info: www.glynnvivian.co.uk