Sir Kyffin Williams, John Jones. © RCA
The Royal Cambrian Academy (RCA) has launched its showcase for what it bills as the best contemporary works of art in Wales today.
The 124th Annual Summer Exhibition at RCA’s Conwy-based gallery includes more than a hundred pieces of work from RCA artists taking in stunning paintings and sculpture, and all of them are available to buy.
Opened by Betty Williams MP on Saturday July 8, the exhibition runs until August 31 2006 and included this year are four new paintings by the President of the Academy, Sir Kyffin Williams. It's a rare chance to see original works by this renowned Welsh landscape painter.
Sir Kyffin Williams, Farmers on a Ridge. © RCA
Born in Llangefni, Anglesey in 1918, Sir Kyffin studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, London and is a member of the Royal Academy. Elected to the RCA in 1963, he was president of the Royal Cambrian Academy between 1969-1977 before taking up the post again from 1992 to the present day.
Williams takes as his subject the Welsh landscape and has established a reputation as one of the country’s favourite landscape painters. “I was lucky in that I was born into a landscape so beautiful I had no need to go elsewhere,” he says. “There was never any question of what I should paint”.
A love of the Welsh landscape is very much close to the heart of the RCA and it was this enthusiasm that originally brought a group of artists together in 1881 who called themselves the Cambrian Academy of Art.
William Selwyn, Red Sunset. © RCA
Official recognition came quickly when Queen Victoria commanded that the Academy be styled as 'Royal' in 1882. To further their reputation they made four eminent English artists honorary members and looking south they organised a huge exhibition in Cardiff, with a catalogue of over 200 pages.
In the 20th century, presidents also included Augustus John, who took on the role between 1933 and 1939.
Further paintings in the summer show include work by Christopher Hall, William Selwyn, Ann Bridges, Malcolm Edwards and Catrin Williams.