Ceri Barclay was born in Tonypandy in the Rhondda Valley in 1937 and subsequently attended Cardiff College of Art from 1955-60 studying painting under Eric Malthouse, before taking up teaching and lecturing posts in England.
In 1974 he returned to Wales and resumed his painting of South Wales landscapes. He was much influenced in his painting as a student by being a member of the ‘Rhondda Artists Group’ in the late 1950’s, with an emphasis on narrative paintings of the Rhondda valley.He has since continued to explore the changing landscape of the Welsh valleys through the medium of oils.
He has exhibited widely since returning to Wales at leading art galleries including a joint show with Sara Young in the Attic Gallery 2006 where he has been continually showing since 2003. He has had two solo exhibitions at the Ceri Richard’s Art Gallery, Swansea University in 2000 and 2003 and has been a contributor to the exhibitions: ‘Vision of the Valleys’ in the Attic Gallery in 2004; ‘Changing Moods of the Rhondda’ at the Rhondda Heritage Park Gallery in 2004; ‘Zobole and his contemporaries’ in the Oriel Pen y Fan Gallery in 2007; and recently ‘Rhondda Grey?’ at the Rhondda Heritage Park Gallery in 2009.
His work has been selected for three National Eisteddfods and been acquired by public bodies such as the University College of Wales Swansea and Trinity College Carmarthen.
“The source of my paintings comes from my love of the South Wales mining valleys, their particular topography, colour and changing light. I return frequently to the Rhondda Valley to look and record the relationships of terrace housing, mountains and the ever present gathering clouds. My landscapes are devoid of figures, as I want to create an air of timelessness in the scenes. The medium I use is mainly water based oil paints which provide an instantaneous impression of the mood of the landscape.”