Aberystwyth Arts Centre part of new national contemporary art gallery

18 March 2024

Aberystwyth Arts Centre is part of the new National Contemporary Art Gallery for Wales, designed to widen access to publicly owned art collections and support artists in Wales.

Aberystwyth Arts Centre at Aberystwyth University, is one of nine venues selected to be part of the new organisation, which aims to showcase works from the national collection in regional galleries.

A collaboration between the Arts Council of Wales, Amgueddfa Cymru and the National Library of Wales, The National Contemporary Art Gallery for Wales is a key commitment of the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government and the Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru.

The first exhibition from Wales’ new National Contemporary Art Gallery is now on display at Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

Co-curated by four local families, Teulu/Family showcases ceramics and animation work created by children and families, alongside works by international artists such as Pablo Picasso and Welsh artists including Ceri Richards and Mary Lloyd Jones.

Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden said: “It’s very exciting news that the first exhibition under the national contemporary art gallery partnership has opened to the public.  The national collection belongs to everyone in Wales and this new model will allow people to explore the collection within their own communities.

Teulu is an excellent way to start the project with the public being truly at the heart of deciding what is part of the exhibition.”

Designated Member, Sian Gwenllian, said: “This major project takes an important step forward with this exhibition. It symbolises the new approach we are taking to embedding the arts into every aspect of Welsh life, making our national collections more accessible and meaningful to people, children and communities across our country.”

David Wilson, Director of Aberystwyth Arts Centre at Aberystwyth University, said: 

“We are thrilled to be a partner in this exciting collaboration, which will bring artworks from the national collections closer to communities across Wales. This ambitious initiative will complement the existing busy arts programme at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, and will allow us to develop a range of innovative activities to enable more communities and artists to engage with and benefit from the vibrant contemporary visual arts scene in Wales.”

The families involved in Teulu/Family were invited to a series of workshops, galleries and museums including Amgueddfa Cymru, Cardiff and the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth and were responsible for selecting the prestigious pieces of art to be included in the exhibition. The pieces selected, which include Vase zoomorphe, la Tarasque by Picasso, will be on loan for the exhibition from the national collection, alongside other works from the Aberystwyth School of Art collection.

The exhibition includes photography, illustrations, print, painting and ceramics on the themes of spending time together, being in nature and looking after the environment.

It also includes an interactive sculpture designed and created by architectural artists Jenny Hall and Karina Kolesnikaite from Machynlleth, in collaboration with textile artist Ella Louise Jones.

Ffion Rhys, Curator at Aberystwyth Arts Centre said:

“This exhibition has been a real journey for us, and I would like to wholeheartedly thank the families that have taken part- we have learnt so much from them, and the hope is that this learning will enable more families to have access to the arts- to take part in and enjoy. Very many thanks to all those individuals and organisations who have helped make this happen, and thank you to the Arts Council of Wales and National Contemporary Art Gallery Wales for funding this project.”

Teulu/Family will be on display in Gallery 1 at Aberystwyth Arts Centre until 23 June 2024. Admission is free.