Whether arty or crafty there are lots
of both in South Wales. Starting with Swansea, just 20 minutes
drive away there is the Ceri
Richard Gallery. Based in Swansea University’s Taliesin
Arts Centre, it specialises in hosting touring exhibitions
by contemporary Welsh and Celtic artists. The
Glynn Vivian Art Gallery is the main city gallery, and is
Edwardian, housing an inspiring collection of Welsh art including
works by Gwen John, and her brother Augustus, whose portrait of
Caitlin Thomas, Dylan's wife, lives here.
For information on current and forthcoming
exhibitions please use the links on the right. Around the corner
are some often overlooked famous paintings, the Empire
Panels by Frank Brangwyn, which hang in the eponymous Brangwyn
If you want to see real live artists go and
see them at work in the Black
Mountain Gallery in Cwmllynfell, Swansea Valley. An old car
showroom now displays prints, paintings, sculpture and ceramics.
You can also see traditional skills in use at Ewenny
Pottery workshops and showroom – one of the oldest Welsh
working potteries, and nearby Claypits Pottery - another small
In old Llantrisant town, the Model
House Craft and Design Centre is a visitor centre containing
a Crafts Council listed gallery, craft shop and studios where
crafts people can be seen at work.
In Cardiff, the National
Gallery Wales is not to be missed – with the best collection
of impressionist and post-impressionist art outside France with
a Cézanne and some waterlillies by Monet. Cardiff
Bay’s Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay was where author
Roald Dahl was baptised and is now an arts centre and café.
There are many small workshops and galleries
in the area, including the Candle
Workshop at Gelligroes Mill, where craftsmen design and produce
hundreds of different shapes, colours and sizes of candles. Uncover
the Mill's fascinating history and its connections with the Titanic.
There is also Peter
Wills Pottery in Bridgend, chosen to produce the commemorative
bowls presented to each of the visiting Heads of States during
the 1998 European Summit in Cardiff.
Castle Museum and Art Gallery contains a fine collection of
paintings and ceramics including one portrait by Rolf Harris.
The Castle has regular evening events including music, poetry,
drama and historical talks.
On the edge of the Brecon Beacons and home
of the annual Hay
Literature Festival, attracting authors, musicians and book
lovers, Hay on Wye is more than just a pretty village. It is the
second hand book capital of the world. A bibliophiles paradise,
the tiny town where almost every shop sells novels also has the
world’s largest second hand bookshop.
Love cutlery? The Lovespoon
Gallery in Mumbles offers hundreds of designs from many individual
carvers. Welsh men in love carved spoons to offer their sweethearts
as signs of affection or bethrothal. A practice dating from the
17th Century, the spoon should be made from a single piece of
wood to show the carver’s skill. A bell in the spoon signifies
a wedding, whereas a wheel means – I will work for you.
From the early 19th Century, world famous porcelain
was made in Nantgarw
China Works. Visit the potter’s workshop to see it being
made on site and learn how clay pipes were made.
For more lifelike ceramics, visit Pontypridd’s
World of Groggs, where you can see miniature versions of the
rich and famous, sold as collectible statuettes. There is also
a museum with sporting memorabilia and autographs of sporting