Welsh Artist of the Year ’09 // winners + losers.


Ok, so how do you want it? Do you want the good news first or the bad?

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I thought so, bad news it is..

I didn’t win!

Did I expect to? .. of course not! This was my first attempt at entering the competition, it has given me confidence, exposure and honestly the most cliche of lines to use ever in this situation, I was just happy and proud to be a part of this event / occasion / competition / gathering of ..the like minded. I’m also very pleased at the positioning of my piece in the exhibition hall, which will be on display amongst the other entries and winners until July 25th.  I was positioned on the second tier of St. Davids Hall, where I was surrounded by the winners and commended artists.  The work that was commended and won prizes were in the majority and in my personal opinion well deserved.  There was a large emphasis upon environmental issues and concerns and these were apparent through the winning pieces too.



The ceremony began with some light refreshments, very posh!.. and some light jazz filled the three or four levels of the exhibition space.. the scene was set nicely, though I was slightly disappointed at the fact Nicola Heywood Thomas for the ninth year had opened and awarded the artists with their prizes. This is an issue that got me slightly annoyed when I received my invitation, knowing that she had opened the previous years event, when I attended last year.  When she announced to the room that she was going for her tenth year as speaker-giver-outer, my jaw did uneasily non-align.  I know it is only one small part of the day, but I do feel it gives the competition a stale, crusty layer to what is a very tired and alarmingly unpublicized event.  Apparently the council are involved (which explains some things) – I had no idea until the Mayor spoke, another moldy instance of the ceremony was unleashed to a glaring and expectant audience.

Does that count as ranting!? .. probably.
That aside, the work itself was great, well….. some great, some not so.


The Winner of Welsh Artist of the Year 2009 was Tim Freeman,  a Canadian interestingly, but now lives and works in Cardiff.  His piece titled Hidden System or System Gudd in welsh, in my view was a great piece of print / digital photography.  As Nicola Heywood Thomas observantly pointed out, it revealed a relationship between natural and man-made.

I will let Tim explain his piece “Hidden System” to you…


“Focusing on the piece itself, “Hidden System”, I aimed to explore the contradictions inherent to the physical landscapes we inhabit and pass through.  Furthermore, I wanted the piece to disrupt the notion of the pastoral, an ongoing theme within the tradition of landscape.  Within the image the pastoral or idyllic romantic view is disturbed by the imposition of an elaborate system of industrial piping.  A visual metaphor of the ever increasing man-made systems which underlay our collective and personal landscapes”. Tim Freeman 2009. Cardiff.

He put that better than I ever could attempt.

That’s a little insight to the competition this year!
Make sure you check it out, there is some great work happening in this little sheep infested country.

Hwyl Fawr!

St. Davids Hall
The Hayes,
Cardiff, Wales

25 May – 25 July



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