The Artistic Heart of Anglesey
by Jo Quinney
Anwen Roberts at her studio Bumwerth, Trearddur Bay
Open Studios and Galleries Weeks: 31 March – 15 April 2012. Artist Anwen Roberts has the landscape and culture of Anglesey at the heart of her endeavour.
In addition to painting farming scenes, with the animals and farmers, she has recently begun to include landscapes and seascapes.
Anwen is a member of the Anglesey Arts Forum and one of the 55 artists and 8 galleries inviting you to visit for free, and look, discuss and experience art during the Open Studios and Galleries Weeks, from Saturday 31 March to Sunday 15 April.
In her studio on her farm near Trearddur Bay, with lambs cuddling up on the outside step, she makes a cup of tea and offers a unique glimpse of the artistic process. "I’m not here to paint pretty rural scenes. I paint because I want to. I feel the need to paint. I paint my surroundings, animals and the people who are familiar to me", says Anwen.
This year will be the sixth year that Anwen has opened her studio to residents and visitors alike over the Easter period. "Opening my studio is a great goal to work towards. I like to have a stock of work that people can come and see. Many visitors have been before and I always like to share something new with them",said Anwen.
This year the event is bigger than ever and has gained new financial support from the North Wales Open Studios Network Cooperation project (working with Helfa Gelf Art Trail), which has received funding through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007–2013.
This in turn has been funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. This funding has enabled the printing and distributing of the annual Guide listing all the artists, galleries and events, with opening times and directions to help you plan your visit.
The 2012 Guide is available
at www.angleseyartsforum.org, which also has information about the Anglesey Performing Arts Weeks from Friday 19 October to Sunday 4 November 2012.
The Anglesey Arts Forum is also supported by the Arts Council of Wales, Isle of Anglesey County Council, and Menter Môn.
Anglesey agriculture features at the heart of Anwen’s paintings. "Very early this morning, I was with the ewes that were lambing. I wanted to keep an eye on one of our pedigree ewes as she laboured. So I grabbed my sketch book and drew the scene. It was dark and the animals were still, and I could concentrate on their forms and the shapes they made as they rested", said Anwen.
A favourite activity that Anwen sketches and paints is the shearing of the sheep. "I don’t set out to document rural life. I am painting subjects that interest and excite me because of their shape, form and composition. When you shear a sheep, there are striking positions you need to get into to remove the fleece. I have painted this subject at least 14 times", said Anwen.
The art you can see during the Open Studios and Galleries Weeks is very varied, but all artists are affected by the Island in some way. "Come and meet the artists and have a chat – you can ask them directly how living here influences their work", said Mike Gould, Chair of the Voluntary Anglesey Art Forum Committee. High quality, environmentally friendly public transport services linking communities with key centres across Wales are available.
"I always welcome visitors during the Open Studios and Galleries Weeks. Painting is an isolated job. It doesn’t matter if you like my work. Just the opportunity to open my studio, show my work and have a chat is all I ask", said Anwen.
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