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The Artist

For Gwent-born artist Mark Williams, there really is no place like home. He tells Mike Buckingham of the South Wales Argus how his love for the county inspires his work

"It was being abroad that made me realise a lot about myself. I went to the United States for a while during which time I never felt so British. Later when I was working in Cheltenham I never felt so overwhelmingly Welsh. " My love of Gwent comes partly from being born in Cwmbran, which is neither really Valleys nor Newport; niether east Gwent nor west Gwent but has elements of it all".

Those who like the work of American artist Edward Hopper might see a faint echo of it in Williams' work. His colours tend to be bright, as if suffused by a harsher light than is normal on the South Wales coast. It is this colour, allied to witty touches and the ability to shift and shape Gwent scenes which lift his pictures far above the average run.

A riverscape pictures a fairly typical Newport scene of dumped cars and crumbling buildings and a man whose life's journey can be summed up as being one between the bookie's and the benefit office. A squadron of gulls though, lifts the eye from this and concentrates it on a majestic curve in the Usk, lit by a low Westerly light and with the Transporter Bridge, a motif for Newport if ever there was, in the far distance.

(Mike Buckingham, South Wales Argus 01/08/01)

>>> Click here to see Mark Williams' biography

>>> Click here to see some recent exhibitions

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