We are thrilled to be involved in this unique event in the lifetime of our town, Abergavenny.

Join us for the private view on Thursday 4th August beginning with drinks at 6pm at The Art Shop, moving onto the Chapel where the Cor Meibion Talgarth Male Choir will perform. There will be an afternoon talk chaired by Dr Peter Wakelin and a Poets’ Supper in the evening. Please see our events page for more information and booking.

Recent paintings, drawings & etchings by Dan Llywelyn Hall & supporting artists, Sarah Thwaites (by kind permission of Martin Tinney), Catherine Baker & Kumar Saraff. Work inspired by the poetry of R.S Thomas.


‘I live with a couple of landscapes by Dan Llywelyn Hall: one small, one large, both emphatic evocations of place (Soutine’s Ceret mountain and the River Lea Valley in East London), and both fine pieces of painting. Dan certainly pushes the paint about. He’s not just interested in topographical niceties, but in making a good painting which works in terms of painterly marks and colours. The balance between recording, feeling and formal concerns is a keen one: all must be kept in check, and held in harmony. The act of painting for Dan is a dialogue between poetic vision and controlled restraint of that first wild inspiration. Equally, the poetic impulse must not be too constrained; measured rigidities have no place here either. As the poet and friend of Picasso, Max Jacob, said: ‘Lyricism belongs to the unconscious, but an unconscious under supervision.’

For these are not just expressive mood-scapes featuring extremes of terrain and weather, they are finely-judged formal arrangements of shape and colour. Dan’s strong graphic impulse to outline the appearance of specific places is checked and balanced by his urge to convey to the viewer something of his own emotional involvement – his excitement – in the thing seen. Painters celebrate the visual world – if they don’t they should give up and go home. He employs a wide variety of mark, from the cursive pen-drawn line to bold smudged patches of colour floating over or defining a prospect. Space is suggested and alluded to by snaking roads and wind farms, but also qualified and occasionally contradicted by a wonderfully free and decorative use of colour, which sometimes speaks of spatial recession, and at others sits playfully on the picture plane for our enjoyment, but always exists in fruitful dialogue with the more figurative marks.

Dan has an eye for telling detail – a cairn of detritus in an emotive landscape, the traces of a hill fort which bring point and presence to a view – and tends to avoid idealising the environment. Occasionally however these are clearly places transformed: half-dreamscape, half-symbolic vision of the technological pollution of a landscape. The heavy swirls of chemical clouds obscure some of his mountains and valleys. Others are fresh, as if after a storm. The subjects are all Welsh, but they are not intended to be instantly recognisable. This is not the ‘Oh look – that’s where we went on holiday!’ school of painting. We’re just as likely to be shown anthropomorphic rocks in legendary settings, or the melodrama of the skies in lilac sunsets. Dan goes in for lots of texture and strong contrasts, deploying a rich palette to capture nature’s seasonal grace and the patterns of landscape: the imposed structures of road, field-system, plantation, hedge and wall, working with (or against) the profiles of hills, the ancient and rhythmic rise and fall of rock and earth.

Dan’s technicoloured visions are rarely dull, and the best of them proclaim an ardent spirit: RS Thomas re-imagined in the 21st century, full of passion and conscience.’

Catalogue forward by Andrew Lambirth, art critic

Fully illustrated catalogue is available to accompany Dan Llywelyn Hall’s exhibition, with forewords by Owen Sheers and Andrew Lambirth.