The Welsh Group
The group began in 1948 as the South Wales Group, consisting of both professional and amateur artists. The group's initial conception was a response to the Royal Cambrian Academy's relatively weak representation from south Wales at that time. In the foreword to the South Wales Group’s first exhibition catalogue, David Bell wrote “It is the purpose of the Group to establish a new link between the artists of South Wales and their public".
During the 1960s the South Wales Group had begun exhibiting further afield in north and mid Wales and into Bristol and Shrewsbury. The group adopted its current, broader title of The Welsh Group by 1975, by which time it had also become a fully professional artists' group and, though its south east tendency is still an issue of some contention, the group had expanded its membership beyond south Wales (including a number who are also members of the Royal Cambrian Academy and/or the splinter group initiated in 1956 when the South Wales Group failed to become a southern Academy; the 56 Group Wales).
An exhibition curated and researched by Welsh Group member Dr Ceri Thomas and funded by The National Library of Wales, Arts Council of Wales, Contemporary Art Society for Wales and the Welsh Group, was launched at the National Library of Wales, (Aberystwyth), before touring to the Royal Cambrian Academy, and Newport Museum & Art Gallery. The exhibition, Mapping The Welsh Group at 60, included work by current and past members spanning a period from soon after the second world war to work completed in the twenty-first century, just after Welsh devolution. At the exhibition launch Welsh Government Heritage Minister at the time Alun Ffred Jones highlighted the group's importance: "The Welsh Group's 60th anniversary exhibition is a major event for the arts in Wales, bringing together work from talented Welsh artists old and new". A fully illustrated colour book published by Diglot Books accompanied the exhibition. Today the group exhibits in Wales and internationally, including recent exchange exhibitions with visual art groups in the USA and Germany.
See Category:Members of The Welsh Group.
Full membership is made up of approximately 40 Welsh or Wales-based artists including a chair (Dilys Jackson), secretary (David James) and treasurer (Heather Eastes). A list of current members can be found on the right-hand info. box. Since 2002, with the deaths of a number of long lasting members, new members were elected, resulting in a greater gender balance and an increase in members from outside Cardiff. From 2007 until 2009 the group also included a young graduate member and in 2012 artist Tiff Oben began a three-year Fellowship with the group.
Mathew Prichard CBE is the group's president.
Former members have included major names from the field of modern Welsh art including Peter Bailey, William Brown, Brenda Chamberlain, Mary Fogg, Arthur Giardelli, Tony Goble, Bert Isaac, John Petts, David Tinker, Laurie Williams and Ernest Zobole.
- Peter Wakelin, 50 years of the Welsh Group, National Museum of Wales (1999), ISBN 0-7200-0472-1
- Ceri Thomas, Mapping The Welsh Group at 60, Diglot Books, Llantrisant (2009), ISBN 9780956086709 (0956086705)
- Heather Eastes, et al., Yma ac Acw / Hier und Da / Here and There, The Welsh Group / BBK Düsseldorf (2014), ISBN 9780956086723
- Peter Wakelin, “50 years of the Welsh Group", National Museum of Wales (1999), ISBN 0-7200-0472-1
- Karen Price, "Art group marking 60 creative years", WalesOnline, 21 November 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
- David Moore, Mapping the Welsh Group at Sixty: The Exhibition, Planet Online. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 July 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
- ISBN 9780956086709 (0956086705)