Museum of Modern Art – Wales


The modest street entrance of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in Machynlleth belies the the offering of this amazing space. In total MOMA consists of nine separate galleries and this doesn’t include the lone painting in the lift shaft – I like the total use of all available display space.

MOMA Wales presents a diverse programme of modern art exhibitions throughout the year and features leading artists from across the country.

At the time of my visit there was a major exhibition of Romanticism in the Welsh Landscape, featuring works from private and public collections from the late 18th century to the present day. Artist such as Richard Wilson, John Minton, John Piper and Graham Sutherland are represented in the show.

Elsewhere in the Bridge gallery there’s a large painting by Ifor Davies that took my interest. It’s entitled Taranis and represents the landscape of Mynydd Epynt and is Davies’ comment on the loss of farmland to make way for a firing range. I visited the Davies exhibition in Cardiff in March, which I’ve featured elsewhere in my blog posts. If you’ve read my blog Destruction in Art, you’ll see I don’t have a connection with his art. However, I do relate to the sentiment of Taranis and the materials he used in its construction, so perhaps I’m warming to his art.

Particularly striking and engaging was the sculpture I’r Hunan by Robert Bryce, it’s a full size representation of a man; the visitor is encouraged to engage with sculpture and its environment. I’ve had a look at Bryce’s website; some amazing sculptures, I’ll seek him out and see some more of his artwork.

As a student of photography I was disappointed with the token photograph in the Foyer gallery. The image was a portrait of the singer Bryn Terfel, which I found rather uninspiring.

I had spent over two hours driving to MOMA in atrocious weather and looking forward to a nice cup of tea and a sandwich in their café, but I was disappointed; the café had shut at 3 pm, which seemed a little early to me.

There’s a photographic exhibition in MOMA that I plan to visit of the village of Borth by Welsh artist Bruce Cardwell. The exhibition details this village community which is surrounded by water on three sides and takes place from 16th April to 4th June 2016. It’s difficult to find any information on Cardwell, I don’t know if he’s alive or dead. Similarly I’m unable to gain any details about his Borth project regarding the timeframe, the time context is very important to me as I’m very interested in Wales in the 1950s and I have a great interest in the work of David Hurn, especially his Land of My Father. Cardwell is better known for his photography of horses.

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  1. […] Art, again at the National Museum, photography was not permitted. Later that same month I visited MoMA in Machynlleth where I was able to photograph an Ifor Davies painting which was part of his […]