Welsh Olympiads at Venue Cymru
is an exhibition of Welsh Olympiad art by Lorraine Bewsey (here pictured with Roger Richardson of Venue Cymru).
Lorraine belongs to the realistic school of portraiture, reminding me of Gerhard Richter's work I saw in the National Portrait Gallery a couple of years ago (although Gerhard Richter tends to work in oil, whereas Lorraine medium is pastel) . She has already painted a series of poets which have been collected together in this book called Poet Portraits:
Alongside each picture is a poem, including one by the Man Booker longlisted Patrick McGuinness, and Pascale Pettit, whose poetry has been shortlisted for the T.S. Elliot award many times, and reading the one she donated here I can see why. It is an amazing thing featuring her bed-bound father being visited by the strait-jacketed hummingbirds she has brought with her in a case. Pascale's portrait on the facing page is a particularly good one too.
Although I very much like the poet's portraits, I think I prefer the portraits of the Olympiads and Paraolympiads. I think this is because what drives them is visible in the muscles and blood vessels of their bodies; whereas the poet's machinations are cerebral, and not so much of this necessarily shows in the face. They are well worth seeing on the wall, because only by inspecting them closely is it possible to see Lorraine's skill and attention to detail: each hair, each tiny freckle meticulously rendered.
The exhibition lasts until August 29th