Saturday, 22 November 2014

New image - "Beach Showers", Rhosneigr, Anglesey

Every so often, I almost by accident end up dropping into old folders amongst hundreds sitting there from amazing days out, but never, ever worked thanks to other demands of being a professional.

I just happened upon this image, which I loved when I saw it for real at this amazing Rhosneigr beach location on Anglesey. I have no idea what made me open it in ACR and start making the contrast adjustments, but I did and I'm glad I did.

I did have to retouch a long line of crazy dog paw prints but that IS the advantage of software, to remove the crud that at one time blighted those of us brought up shooting on film.

Anyway, hope you think it's worth it too - small prints are available as always by clicking HERE but larger size, Limited Edition prints are available by phoning me on 07778 983733

Friday, 7 November 2014

4 Page article about Landscape Figures in "The Photographer"

Fantastic to see a lovely cleanly laid out 4 page article in the Autumn Edition of the BIPPs "The Photographer" magazine, interviewed and edited by Jonathan Briggs.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Cameracraft Magazine - 8 page portfolio AND the cover!

I was absolutely thrilled to be asked to give an interview for Cameracraft Magazine, published by David Kilpatrick at Icon Publications. Having chatted with David over the phone, he said he'd like to offer me an eight page portfolio of images from my "Landscape Figures" project within the magazine!

Cameracraft is generally read by users of traditional film cameras rather than digital, and 50% of these readers are based in the USA. David felt that my three decades in this profession, my previous obsession for perfection using 5x4 and medium format cameras, as well as my love of the finished fine-art photo print, meant that my principles were just the same now as they have always been, and this justified a portfolio in the magazine. It was an honour to be included.

Not long before publication, David messaged me to ask about using one of my images he'd seen on my website as a cover image for the magazine, and so it was used - a lovely bonus to the portfolio in the centre pages.

Once again, it has been heartwarming to see so much coverage given to this long term and involved project of nudes in landscape, and having just sold another of my largest edition prints yesterday, I have no doubts that this is the best, or at least most intriguing project, that I've produced to date. The fact that it is being so well received, is for me as an artist, the best I could ask for.

Rhys Mwyn and two nudes in Welsh landscape

I have known the charismatic and eminent Rhys Mwyn, Welsh punk musician, record producer, broadcaster and experienced archaeologist, for many years, decades in fact. We used to stand chatting for hours on the streets of Pen-y-groes, as the evening sunshine turned to shade, and the shade turned to high-pressure sodium in black night, and we’d be discussing the arts and putting the world to rights until one or the other of us realised we were frozen and hungry and forced us to say ‘nos da’.

Well Rhys has just purchased two limited edition prints from my “Landscape Figures” (nudes in landscape) project, and so I asked him to write a few words for a blog post about ‘why’ he fell for those two images in particular. What has actually happened, Rhys being a dedicated blogger and writer himself, is that instead of writing some paragraphs for me, he actually created a whole blog post for his own blog, and superb it is too! [] I’ve therefore had to rethink my story and have created a sympathetic post from my perspective as the artist, with references and connections included.

Rhys and I have loosely kept in touch over the years, but at my recent exhibition, “Landscape Figures”, at the Oriel Ynys Môn Gallery in Llangefni, we almost literally stumbled over each other as he studied the works in advance of a live radio broadcast about the project, with artists Julie Williams and the incredibly perceptive, research-prepared, Iwan Gwyn Parry. The three went on to discuss and compliment my exhibition, most comprehensively over the two-hour radio discussion and I’m indebted to them for their positive feedback.

Just like old times, Rhys and I just chatted away in the main gallery as visitors, many intrigued by what he had to say, skirted around us. Forty-five minutes flew by in what seemed like ten. We just talked and agreed; asked questions, to which answers were agreed; shared thoughts which were mostly agreed and ultimately, even with different angles on the finer points, Rhys just connected with the concept, relished the approach and aesthetic treatment and loved seeing connections – connections to place, history, myth and legend but also to intent - my intent - and even the intent of the volunteer models within my images. It was refreshing to hear such connected intelligence after reading some of the mind-numbingly ignorant scribbles in the visitor book, from those who couldn’t see beyond the obvious and who dared not question their own personal, deep insecurities.

Our chance initial meeting led to me being asked to give a talk to a lovely group of American visitors a few days later, a group enjoying one of Rhys’s fascinating, history-rich tours of North Wales. After my talk the delighted group of smiling Americans posed me below the large vinyl ‘Glyn Davies’ on the gallery wall and ‘papped’ me before hurrying off to rejoin the coach, only after several of them purchased copies of my photo books at reception. The positivity was energizing for me.

He then invited me to partake in a radio interview with him, live on Anglesey’s Môn FM, a two hour slot I was terrified of, but which flew by in what seemed like just half an hour, as always, with the ever welcoming and ever chatty Rhys.

After three lengthy discussions, talks and interviews, Rhys was by now perhaps more intimately familiar with my project and images than most, and I was blown away to hear that he had been enquiring about purchasing two of my prints. He had deliberated for quite some time over exactly which ones he would finally select, and for the very Welsh Rhys, the images had to have a geographical connection for him, to place yes, but also culture and perhaps even identity. I liked his approach, which was not necessarily my approach, but most valid nevertheless. Rhys decided not to ‘over-think’, to go on gut reaction, and it seems that after subsequent visits and viewings, his decisions changed little.

“Darganfod Paradwys” (Finding Paradise) features the island of Ynys Enlli in the background, a place of pilgrimage, the island of 20,000 saints and for Rhys and other lucky visitors, an idyllic, isolated, weather-ripped history-loaded paradise of his own. In his words:

“The spiritual place that is Ynys Enlli and a landscape that I know very well. Enlli is a magical place, of course it is, 20,000 saints, St Mary’s Monastery, the Bronze Age cairn on the summit. That has to be the one I say. The figure is athletic, toned and blonde – not particularly Welsh in the traditional sense – but it works, the sculpted body, arms outstretched, standing tip-toe - she welcomes this spiritual place.”

For me, when creating this image, I was so aware of the tantalisingly close island of Ynys Enlli, the final destination for so many thousands of pilgrims, yet separated by a notorious stretch of dangerous water, Bardsey Sound. After 100s of miles of walking to get here, that final hurdle must have seen almost insurmountable for the pilgrims, and here, in this picture, a lean, strong and powerful female, arms outstretched in crucifix pose, lifts her heels off the ground and has faith in receiving help, she will fly, be lifted, be carried across the water, helped to realisation, helped to the answers she seeks. As the mists swirl over the summit of Enlli and the tidal flow races between the landmasses, this woman will find her way; she will cross the divide through divine intervention or sheer will.

The other image Cyn iddi Dywyllu’ (Before Darkness) is darker, brooding, ominous even – as it was when I photographed the model on a bitterly cold winter’s day. There is danger, blackness, and the fear of being swallowed, drowning into the sucking peat bog as the last light of the day flickers over the nearby bluff, spilling a positive light onto this petite human form. Somehow, against all odds, she seems surprisingly composed and calm, despite the menace that her toned, landscape-wise figure is being drawn into. Maybe this is her place, she knows this land, there is no fear for a woman born on this mountain half a century earlier – she is at one in this place, this woman of the marsh.

So when Rhys wrote about this image, he touched on my thoughts very acutely, there was unity in our observation, mine on location, his on viewing the image. The image has worked and worked well.

Rhys wrote:

“The second print is the more Welsh. The dark brooding figure of Mynydd Mawr. The dark figure almost butt deep in the bog. I imagine she is a Rhiannon, straight out of the Mabinogi. Dark windswept hair. She is by far the oldest model. She is by far the best sculpted body. Lived in. Strong. Broad shouldered. If the youthful blondes give the landscape a spring feel, light and a bounce in its step – this Rhiannon is time eternal, the old “Welsh Mam”, someone who could have walked past the window in a Kate Roberts scene in olden days.

The two prints contrast – the old Wales secure in its legends and myths. Autumnal. And the youthful blonde, arms outstretched embracing the warm winds that blow from Enlli – I am reminded that there is not one Wales. There is no copyright on Welshness, Welsh culture, this place. Diolch byth”

Read the full blog post by Rhys Mwyn as he elaborates on his choices in much more depth, not just about what the images mean to him, but even where he hangs them and how they affect different rooms, how the position influences the content, and I agree. He also discusses the need to keep the identities secret, how knowing the person, the reality of the shoot, ruins the story, ruins the dream, and again I agree.

To have Rhys loving my work the way he does, is uplifting and humbling. A passionate outspoken Welsh intellectual connecting with my work and me so easily, elates me. I find Rhys as fascinating as he is friendly. I see so much youth in him, excitable; thoughtful; confident; daring; anarchic; outspoken; creative; intense; talkative; compassionate; sometimes frustrated; irritated by narrow-mindedness and indifference, but equally, possessing an obsessive creative hunger to learn, to communicate, to network, to share, to bond - to widen vision, to see things through different eyes - utterly curious, utterly intrigued and utterly intriguing – but then I see me, different background, different culture but I feel I am sometimes talking to the mirror.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

What makes this bizarre life worthwhile

Back in the gallery one day and already in tears again, thanks to a most wonderful older lady who sought me out after reading my books in a shop in Moelfre.
She said it was so nice to find someone who can REALLY write properly about their photographs and that she sees so many descriptions by photographers who think they are writing cleverly but that they are not, and should not write at all. I agree with her. I read her a paragraph or so from Welsh Light and she went silent and just looked at me without saying anything.
She spent ages talking with me and the emotional / philosophical connection was tangible. After coming down from the main gallery she was visibly moved, tears in her eyes, and said she didn't know what to say, she was just so touched by the images.
She said there was only one other exhibition that moved her as much, and that was by the renowned documentary photographer Paul Strand. I then cried and we hugged, kissed each other's cheeks and she left promising she would be back without doubt.
These special connections between viewers and the artist, (non sexual by the way) are genuinely the only reason for me at least, why I create art. The four or five women with tears rolling down their cheeks at the Oriel Ynys Môn at my show, my brother who also in tears said that only a Marc Chagall exhibition in Paris had moved him as much - these are priceless and unbeatable moments in an artist's life.
Anyone can knock out decorative crap, but to move viewers to tears with ones work, that's the truest evaluation you can ever get.

UPDATE: She has just been back in today, and I've discovered she lives in the Forest of Dean, and her name is Lynne Perry, she's back for books next time :-) 

Sunday, 5 October 2014

"Pixellated Nude Woman Playing" (Algarve 2014)

As I grow increasingly disinterested with current landscape photography, I am finding a slow and gentle new way of using photography to explore the human figure and it's interaction with the world. Even my ongoing landscape figures project is not really about individual portraits, but about the relationship between the organic figure and it's surroundings.

Finding the blue skies of the Algarve boring photographically, although stunning from a sunny holiday perspective, I found REAL joy and passion for shooting "poolscapes" - spending ages in burning sunshine just to get the compositions I wanted. It was fun and exciting and patience testing to align shadows and figures and breezes :-)

"Pixellated Nude Woman Playing" © Glyn Davies (Algarve 2014)

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Against All Odds, another Edition sale through Art Collector Plan!

We have just sold another A1 Edition print “Against All Odds” from the “Landscape Figures” exhibition, currently running it’s last week at the Oriel Ynys Môn Gallery on Anglesey. For anyone considering purchasing one of my larger images, the Art Collector Plan that offers ten months interest free credit is definitely worth taking advantage of, but you have just 5 days left to purchase using that scheme. 

“Against All Odds” shows a petite, fragile-looking female, crouched below waterfalls above an icy river. Against all odds, she’s naked, hunting for fish in that icy river, in mid-winter with snow lying in patches on nearby embankments.

This volunteer stripped off in the cold breeze, negotiated bitter water in order to pose on all fours, her hands and knees on frozen rock. Although you would think that is utter craziness, she actually found the experience intense and invigorating, feeling an utter connection to everything about her from the air to the earth and even the sound of the waterfall powering down around her. She finds the image surreal and full of story and is delighted to have found the strength to do it.  
Against all odds can be ordered in four sizes from A4 to A1, here on the dedicated website: 

Monday, 15 September 2014

2 hours with the eminent Rhys Mwyn on Mon FM Radio

What a brilliant interview / chat I’ve had today, live on radio for two whole hours with presenter Rhys Mwyn of Anhrefn Records, at Môn FM.

Rhys is a natural at putting his guests at ease and his intelligent and considered discussion allows the guest to expand on stories and digress into other related areas of discussion.

I have known Rhys for MANY years, and we both used to stand in the street in Penygroes where we lived for HOURS at a time, discussing music, arts, the planet and life itself. He laughs about my chattiness but I have always found him to be a perfect match in terms of verbal output but it’s always interesting, always warm hearted, always wise. I love the bloke, he makes me feel good about things and I’m fascinated by his knowledge and anecdotes. 

Today, I was the only guest, and although interlaced with many really cool tracks - (hardly surprising from the man who has dinner with Cerys Matthews and who was actively involved in music promotion including with Super Furry Animals & Catatonia AND who is a musician in his own right ) It was just me & Rhys today and the two hours raced by. In fact although I was worried beforehand about what to say for such a long programme, I was actually starting to panic at 1hour 30min that there was still so much I hadn’t discussed with him! 

It was a great opportunity to publicly counter some of the truly banal and ill educated comments from a minority of prudes scribbling silliness in the Oriel Ynys Môn comments book. It was also a chance to get the true rationale behind the project across, a project that is based 100% on personal connection to the subject and decades of immersion in wild landscape and equally, understanding and experiencing a naturist lifestyle, an element integral to my ongoing major project. Rhys and so many other broad-minded, intelligent people have totally understood and appreciated both the concept and the aesthetic, and this vast majority has kicked the dissenters into a tiny little corner of the coal cellar. To have someone so bright, positive and enlightened discussing my work, was a true blessing and made for the good interaction throughout the programme, so in a week when I have been greatly distressed by the atrocities happening elsewhere in the world, today was a finally a very good day :-) 

Friday, 12 September 2014

1 WEEK TO GO to see my major exhibition, Landscape Figures

I have had a huge positive response to my latest major print exhibition, "Landscape Figures", literally the best feedback I have ever had for my work in 30 years. Dozens and dozens of people have written to me privately and 100s offering amazing comments and feedback via social media and in the gallery guest book.

Sadly however, this immaculately printed and very striking exhibition (and I have the confidence after 3 decades to say so myself) is ending in just over a week, on September 21st 2014. The gallery will be open every day 10.30 - 5.00 pm including the final Sunday.

Even when I finally get this show toured, I doubt we'll ever be able to display as many as the fifty one 3ft x 2ft prints on show at the Oriel Môn Gallery.

Some of my visitors have been back many times, engrossed with the concept and the wild naturalness of the locations the volunteers have modelled in. One lady has just told me today that she has been six times, and every time, she spends hours in the show, just sitting and pondering. Others have talked about being unable to get the images out of their minds, they have been etched in their minds. Simply incredible comments.

Anyway, IF you get the chance, please do pop by this superb venue and check out my show. As you probably know by now, I have a new print sales portfolio website which details the project.

We have just sold four prints from this new site, to a customer in Australia and another to a customer in Surrey, so this project, images, prints and website is obviously working well at this point, thank goodness as the exhibition cost over £6K to produce.

The most considered positive comments about the project will be included on the testimonials page of my new site, here:

VIPs from RAF & Indian Air Force, tour "Landscape Figures"

It’s always lovely to speak to my friend Ian Jones at the Oriel Môn Gallery but it was a real surprise to receive a call from him asking if I'd be kind enough to meet with a group of VIPs, to introduce my "Landscape Figures" exhibition to them.

The VIPs were all from air forces, but two were from India. I met with Mrs Lilly Raha, wife of Air Chief Marshal Raha, Chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force, along with Gp Capt Atwal also of the Indian Air Force. Also present were Mrs Samantha Cracroft, wife of Gp Capt Cracroft, Station Commander at RAF Valley, and finally Flt Lt Madeline Timlin from London and Fg Off Verity Wheable, Station Adjutant (not pictured).

Verity had been to see my exhibition the week before and had fallen in love with my landscapes and the concept of the project. She considered it a suitable exhibition to show to their guests and she was proved absolutely correct, as the group really enjoyed my work. Mrs Raha seemed touched by my friendly chat and she presented me with a lovely gift from her homeland. I returned the gesture with a signed copy of my Welsh Light book, and she was delighted.

Gp Capt Atwal made an interesting observation of my work, he said “The British landscape is so rich, varied and colourful, yet it’s quite amazing that you have somehow managed to capture that variation even in black and white”. I took this as a nice compliment from a gentleman who openly told me how much he enjoyed the work.

I have invited Mrs Cracroft to see my own gallery when she has time, so that I can show her my non-figurative landscape work as well. I know Verity will be doing likewise and I think I have a new fan and I'm honoured that she wanted her VIP guests to see my work.

I know that the Oriel Ynys Môn as well as myself, are delighted that RAF Valley have chosen to include cultural and artistic venues on their list of VIP destinations during visits. Long may it continue.