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30 Jul 2015

Current Exhibition- Catrin Saran James

Current Exhibition- Catrin Saran James Current Exhibition- Catrin Saran James Current Exhibition- Catrin Saran James Current Exhibition- Catrin Saran James Current Exhibition- Catrin Saran James Current Exhibition- Catrin Saran James

Open now until 5th September


Galerie Simpson presents Catrin Saran James’s first solo exhibition. The works re-imagine archival post war imagery of Swansea’s city centre through the medium of prints and live ‘Guerrilla Restoration’. The gallery serves as both a normal exhibition space for Catrins newly commissioned, limited edition prints published by Galerie Simpson and a residency space where Catrin will be running workshops. Catrin offers the audience the opportunity to see their city in a different light, capturing unfamiliar details of the post war architecture. This being the 70th anniversary of the end of WW2 it seems fitting to commemorate and reinterpret the development of the worst bombed city in Wales, which has recently come under scrutiny with calls for redevelopment.

In collaboration with Swansea Museum the Galerie is displaying never shown before artefacts from the Museums collection. Showcasing the incredible architecture and achievements the city has made during and post war. The objects curated by Catrin will reflect the time and place of post war Swansea and will mirror the imagery in her prints. It will offer audiences the opportunity to see the collection interpreted in the unique context of Galerie Simpson on the ever-changing face of High Street.

Throughout the exhibition, in the residency space at the gallery Catrin will hold several workshops and will revisit her ‘Guerrilla Restoration’ in several locations in Swansea as a group activity, including a sculptural concrete mural in the vicinity of the gallery, which has been neglected by years of urban pollution. The project aims to deliver a diverse, inclusive and creative response to Swansea’s regeneration plans and highlight the social history and heritage of Swansea.

Opening hours during the show will be Tuesday to Friday, from 11:30am to 5:00pm. Weekly events include never seen in public before archive films of Swansea’s redevelopment in the 1950s and 1960s exclusively from The West Glamorgan Archives.

A highlight of the exhibition will be the sorely missed Weavers Mill sign, which Catrin will bring back to life from Swansea Museums storage using her ‘Guerrilla Restoration’ practice. Once the exhibition has closed the sign will go on permanent display in the museum enabling the Museum’s nationwide audience the opportunity to see Swansea’s local history in the flesh.

Growing up in 1980s Swansea, Catrin would find beauty in the post war municipal and civic buildings of the town. Shop front fonts, graphic coloured tiles, repetitious railings, forgotten door handles, concrete flowerpots, clocks and colourful Formica tables. Catrin observed these details at a young age as she frequented the many cafes and milk bars with her mother for egg and chips on a Saturday.

These observations formed a lifelong visual narrative in which she saw the town. Since graduating as a painter at Cardiff Art College in 2002, her keen eye for mid 20th century design and detailing has been the focus of her work.

‘Our own personal stories and immediate social history is important to everyone, from creative peers to community members and all want to see social history highlighted.’ Catrin Saran James

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