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Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn - Isle of Anglesey County Council

‘Art as antidote’

Posted on 6 September 2021

Gilly Thomas and Louise Morgan Exhibition in Oriel Môn, 11 September to 31 October 2021.

A most eclectic and original exhibition will be opening in the Main Art Gallery at Oriel Môn on 11 September. The Oriel is delighted to welcome Gilly Thomas and Louise Morgan, two very different artists who will be exhibiting together for the first time.

Gilly Thomas said,, "I’ve spent nearly 50 years making and teaching Art, about 40 of them here in Wales. I am a Royal Cambrian Academician, and also show at Finn y Parc. Some may also remember my solo show at Oriel Môn, called Uncanny Connections.

"I first met Louise in a life drawing session and recall thinking ‘Here’s an eccentric!’ She’s dynamic and passionate and probably the most ’driven’ person I’ve ever come across, and we share the urge to make art that means something.

"Together our differing approaches should make for a really interesting exhibition.

"We’re both happy to share the ‘Art as Antidote’ show at Oriel Môn in the giant space there, with all the professional support that the gallery is giving us.

"Poetry and Painting - if you’re an artist you never need to stop until you fall over.

"I grew up in the local area (Bethel near Caernarfon). My earliest memories are of my father oil painting. As a child and into early adulthood I was very keen on sketching and never without a pencil in my hand. Following the recession in the 80s, I chose to study medicine at university, the difficulty of the course and subsequent working as a doctor, then having children gave very little room for art in my life. However, following the sudden death of my younger sister, I took to painting again initially as an outlet for my grief. I was inspired by the grand scale of the local landscapes, and also how Welsh poets painted with words. I worked outside and became known locally as 'The Painting Doctor.' I started to work as a full time artist 10 years ago."

Louise Morgan added, “I first met Gilly in a life drawing session. Like me she had a passion for expressing herself through art. I was immediately drawn to her enthusiasm and felt, at home with her honesty about my work. This honesty has facilitated my development as an artist.

"Often in art school the 'voice of the artist' is muted as being important. However, it is my strong belief that if one artist can sing in several harmonies, the voices becoming a choir.

"This is what I am aiming for in my art and what I see in Gilly Thomas' art works. So it was an easy decision to exhibit together.

"We are very lucky to be exhibiting at Oriel Ynys Môn, the gallery is very welcoming with a professional approach and has many other attractions, alongside the exhibition."

Both diverse artists recognise the singular power of art to become a kind of saviour, in fact an absolute necessity. Gilly Thomas mines for the elusive imagery that can codify feeling in a visual way. Sometimes idiosyncratic, sometimes absurd, it has the power to exorcise demons, but also suggests associative interpretations. While Louise Morgan’s paintings and drawings are inspired by Welsh poetry, her wonderment for the landscape and the poignant legacy in the natural environment of a decaying industrial past. In the studio she then works experimentally and expressively from this passionately observed subject matter, exploiting the myriad possibilities of paint, and inventive mark making using various media. Imbued with the sense of time passing, these powerful works evoke the ghosts of previous generations.

You can view the ‘Art as Antidote’ exhibition until 31 October, and admission is free. Oriel Môn will be open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm. Customers will be expected to adhere to the safety procedures whilst on site.

Cafe Dewi Oriel Môn’s serving hours will be 10am to 3.45pm (last booking 3.15pm). Indoor and outdoor seating areas will be available and booking is advisable to avoid disappointment. All sittings are available for 1½ hours. To book a table in the café, call Café Dewi Oriel Môn: 01248 751 516.

For further information please contact 01248 724 444/

Ends 6 September 2021

Posted on 6 September 2021