Glynn Vivian Art Gallery is delighted to present our summer exhibition, On Animals: A selection of works from the gallery’s collection. The exhibition features works from over forty artists from the gallery’s permanent collection which explore our unique relationships with animals, including historical works as well as works by contemporary artists. On Animals explores the lives of animals and the many ways that we as humans impact on them and how these complex relationships are reflected in a variety of art forms. Many of the works in the exhibition are previously unseen, and include painting, drawing, textiles, and ceramics.
Animals are depicted in art in a variety of ways, from rural life, domestic environments, to myths and legends. The artworks in this exhibition explore both our closeness and distance to animals, from our relationships with our domestic animals, to animals in the wild. The exhibition is loosely themed into sections. Folklore, Myths and Legend includes a selection of works, which include Japanese prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi and William Brown’s joyous linocuts of the animals from Canada and Wales. Domestic explores animals as pets, as faithful friends, companions and playthings. This section features works by Evan Walters and Welsh artist Anya Paintsil’s textile of her sister and favourite pet duck, in ‘Mair at Cylch Meithrin’.
Captivity is a central theme in Richard Billingham’s Mandrills, from the compelling photography and video series, Zoo, which questions the uneasy relationships between the public audience and captive animals, and the paradox of animals removed from their natural environment being unnaturally preserved. Wild, showcases paintings and drawings of birds and animals in the wild, including works by Elizabeth Frink, Ray Howard-Jones and Graham Sutherland.
The works in this exhibition span several centuries and depict our changing attitude and representations of the other animals we share our planet with. Whilst perhaps not explicit, these works touch upon many concerns we have about caring for and developing new ways of living on our planet.