David Griffiths is one of Wales greatest portrait painters. The National Library boasts a large collection of the Cardiff based artists’ works. He has painted a great number of the most eminent members of Welsh contemporary society.
After training at the famous Slade School of Fine Art in London he finally settled in Wales’ capital city where he established himself as a portrait painter. Griffiths has stated that he believes himself to belong to the Welsh artisan tradition of portraiture painting of the 18th and 19th centuries. He therefore leans towards the traditional approach to painting due to its timeless quality and relishes the technical challenge of painting in oils. His use of a strong, metallic white in his paintings draws the attention of the viewer. He argued that his work is not intended to make a psychological analysis of his sitter but to catch a true likeness and it is from that that perhaps a deeper understanding of the sitter will emerge.
This portrait which was painted over a period of six months shows the Welsh rugby legend Shane Williams sitting in his dressing room in Cardiff before his last match for his country against Australia in December 2011. Painted on the rugby player’s boots is a message for the spectator. There is a great sense of presence to this work as if we have just caught the player in a contemplative mood before his final match.