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Thought provoking exhibition of fine art and natural history to turn the tide on marine plastic

A new exhibition at Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre in St Davids is set to contrast the beauty of the Pembrokeshire Coast with the reality of the damage plastic is causing to the waters and wildlife of our fragile shores.

With artwork and natural specimens from the collections of Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales, the exhibition titled Coast explores how the sea has inspired artists for centuries and how plastic has impacted on art and everyday life.

The skeleton and shell of a leatherback turtle found near Skomer Island will be one of the highlights of the natural history specimens on display, which will also include a black-headed gull entangled in a plastic ring.
The skeleton and shell of a leatherback turtle found near Skomer Island will be one of the highlights of the natural history specimens on display.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority Chair, Gwyneth Hayward said: “With Wales celebrating the Year of the Sea in 2018 and the Year of Discovery 2019, this exhibition provides plenty of inspiration to explore the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, from stunning landscape paintings to specimens of the many sea birds you can find here such as puffin, razorbill and chough.

“Many of the exhibits however, also illustrate the different aspects of our coastlines and how attitudes have changed over time, from past periods of thriving industry, to the romanticism of the 19th century and on to the current and future challenges.

“Fine art and specimens from the natural history collections have been brought together to illustrate how the plastic problem has developed, from the plastic free world of the 1600s to the present day.”

A Calm by Jan van de Cappelle (1624-1679) © Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales.
A Calm by Jan van de Cappelle (1624-1679) © Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales.

The focal point of the seascapes featured in the exhibition is A Calm by Jan van de Cappelle (1624-1679), who is considered the outstanding Dutch marine painter of the 17th century. He pioneered a new approach to marine painting in terms of perspective and placement of ships, as well as skies and reflection.

The skeleton and shell of a leatherback turtle found near Skomer Island will be one of the highlights of the natural history specimens on display, which will also include a black-headed gull entangled in a plastic ring.

The gallery will also include paintings by John Brett, Cedric Morris, John Piper, Sir Kyffin Williams and Brendan Stuart Burns, who was the first Artist in Residence at Oriel y Parc.

The display will also feature a collection of works by Graham Sutherland, including a collection of items he found on beaches that inspired some of his work.

Pictured at the exhibition launch are AC-NMW Touring Exhibitions Manager, Ashley McAvoy; PCNPA Chair, Mrs Gwyneth Hayward; PCNPA Chief Executive, Tegryn Jones and AC-NMW Director of Gallery Development and Visitor Experience, Janice Lane.​
Pictured at the exhibition launch are AC-NMW Touring Exhibitions Manager, Ashley McAvoy; PCNPA Chair, Gwyneth Hayward; PCNPA Chief Executive, Tegryn Jones and AC-NMW Director of Gallery Development and Visitor Experience, Janice Lane.​

Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre is owned and run by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and is the home of Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales in Pembrokeshire.

Coast will be on display at Oriel y Parc from 15 September 2018 onwards. The gallery is open from 10am-4pm every day.

For more information about all the exhibitions and events at Oriel y Parc, call 01437 720392 or visit www.orielyparc.co.uk.

Published 17 September 2018


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