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Postcards from the public help Swansea gallery re-open

Glynn Vivian, Swansea. Photo by Polly Thomas

Hundreds of people have sent postcards to Swansea’s Glynn Vivian Art Gallery – and they’re now part of an exhibition helping the venue to re-open safely.

The cards reflect key matters on peoples’ minds during the pandemic; topics include Covid, climate change, Black Lives Matter, community matters and human connections.

The mini pieces of art were created and sent after the gallery invited submissions for its Postcards to the Future initiative.

Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “I thank all those who took the time and effort to create a postcard to the future and send it to the gallery.

“Our staff received hundreds of postcards in various mediums, including drawings, paintings, photography, poetry and collage.

“They came from all over Wales and the UK, Europe and even China. Swansea’s communities are well represented, including adult and young people’s groups who – in normal times – meet regularly at the gallery.

“The cards will be held in the gallery’s main collection as a reminder to future generations of these extraordinary times and how creativity and community play a vital part in our everyday lives.”

“It’s great that the Glynn Vivian is now open again.”

Swansea-based artist and art historian Barry Plummer submitted a card bearing the words: “We are going back to the stars.”

He said: “The imaginative concept of a postcard to the future caught my attention.

“It chimed with my current work that centres on my young Irish terrier, Belle, who has come to represent nature in my paintings.

“The need to respect and work with the natural world is paramount to sustain life on earth. The wisdom of animals has a message for us.

“As the wording of the postcard implies, we are going back to the stars – we need to contemplate our origins to have a future.”

It is important that visits to the gallery are pre-booked through its website. Social distancing is in place to help visitors, staff and the community stay safe. Visitors should wear masks and use the sanitiser supplied.

Also now on show at the Glynn Vivian are exhibitions by young Welsh artists Kathryn Ashill, Anya Paintsil and Dafydd Williams.

Ashill’s exhibition Fools Gold explores personal experiences, working class identity and the artist’s paternal history.

Paintsil uses weaves, braids and other hair pieces to stimulate debates around race and gender.

Williams’ exhibition, malum, features naturally lit images of Williams and his partner. It was part of a series of exhibitions programmed in partnership with Swansea Pride.