Painting the Flame

31 March - 16 June 2012

Lorraine Bewsey

I am a portrait artist, originally from London, now living in the upper Swansea Valley.

Skill in drawing, and in the subtle and accurate use of colour, are vital to me as an artist. I want my portraits not only to draw out the essential character of my subjects, but to be appreciated for the quality of line and tone. I want visitors to my exhibitions to feel that the skill of an individual artist in drawing and painting is important.

My portraits are executed in a unique hyper-realist style which has been praised by critics, the public, and the sitters themselves. My previous project, Poet Portraits, opened in the Wales Millennium Centre and toured to a further eight galleries across Wales, and to Brussels.

My portrait, The Brennans was accepted in the Wales Portrait Award 2008-09. I have work in private collections, and in The National Library of Wales and Wrexham Borough Council.

Samuel James Hunt

I'm excited by all before my eyes and under my feet. My art has become a communication allowing an ill-educated, awe-filled boy to decipher, understand and explain the world around him.

When I paint, I endeavour to draw out not only the personality but also the moment; the interaction between the subject and myself, the hidden body language, a deep unspoken discourse.

I start my work talking to a sitter and getting to know them, while all the time I am constantly studying them. In fact, I spend much of the process just looking and not painting, trying to find a composition that would draw the viewers’ eye into the heart of the subject.

Through a multitude of layers, I attempt to describe the delicacy and intricacy of flesh together with their personality.

Following the Flame and the Cultural Olympiad have allowed me to create images that inform and inspire and have allowed me the great privilege of meeting some of Britain's finest athletes. I often introduce a narrative into my compositions to describe something more than a person’s physical form. For instance, in my painting of Irene Steer, Irene appears from the pool, angelic yet full of power, using Venus rising as a theme to depict a woman competing in the first woman's event of the Olympics both a pioneer and warrior, but in the form of timeless beauty and calm. This narrative also describes the time of emancipation when woman like Irene helped to forge a modern Britain.

I was born in Cwmbran and spent my adolescence in Tooting, South London. I returned to Wales at twenty-one so I could complete my BA (Hons) in Fine Art at the Cardiff School of Art and Design.