Saturday 14:00 Fountain Fine Art Gallery
Jon Gower on his book “Vigilant Imagination: Encounters with Jon Selway”
One of the most gifted artists of his generation, John Selway stayed mainly under the radar of the British art establishment. Now, for the first time, his work is considered in a new book, ‘Vigilant Imagination: Encounters with John Selway’
Chair: Catrin Beard
John Selway had it all going for him as a student at the Royal College of Art in the 1960s. He had early success with a major London gallery and mixed easily with fellow students such as David Hockney and Allen Jones, but whereas others in the student cohort looked to America to build their careers Selway chose to return home to his native Abertillery. Here, over many decades, he produced art of the highest standard, interrogating world events and myth-making at one and the same time, but all mainly under the radar of the British art establishment. Now, for the first time, his work is considered in a new book, ‘Vigilant Imagination: Encounters with John Selway’ in which the multi-award winning writer Jon Gower sets his work in context by talking to those who knew him or own his work as well as extensive interviews with the artist himself before he passed away in October 2017. The result is a book about both artistic integrity and exceptionalism, with a genuine painting talent beating at its heart.
Roedd John Selway yn un o arlunwyr mwyaf dawnus ei genhedlaeth, a chafodd lwyddiant cynnar fel myfyriwr yn y Coleg Celf Brenhinol yn y 1960au. Dangoswyd ei waith mewn oriel bwysig yn Llundain a chymysgodd yn rhwydd gyda chyd-fyfyrwyr fel David Hockney ac Allen Jones ond tra bod eraill yn ei flwyddyn wedi creu gyrfaoedd yn America dewisodd Selway fynd yn ôl i’w gartref yn Abertyleri. Yma, dros sawl degawd, cynhyrchodd gelf o’r safon uchaf, yn cwestiynu digwyddiadau ar draws y byd a chreu chwedlau’r un pryd, ond heb yn wybod i’r sefydliad gelf Brydeinig. Nawr, am y tro cyntaf, rhoddir sylw i’w waith mewn llyfr newydd, “Vigilant Information: Encounters with John Selway”. Mae Jon Gower yn gosod ei waith yn ei gyd-destun gan holi’r rhai oedd ei adnabod neu sy’n berchen ar ei luniau yn ogystal â chyfweliadau gyda’r arlunydd ei hun cyn ei farwolaeth yn Hydref 2017. Y ffrwyth yw llyfr am gywirdeb artistig a’r eithriadol gyda gwir ddawn peintio wrth galon y gwaith.
Jon Gower is a Hay Festival International Fellow and a former BBC arts and media correspondent who has been making documentary programs for television and radio for 30 years. He is the author of several books, including An Island Called Smith and The Story of Wales, and is the recipient of a John Morgan Award.