Carpanini "The Kyffin Collection"
The exhibition below by Professor David L Carpanini ran from 17 September to 8 October 2016. It was titled “The Kyffin Collection” and consisted of 48 studies of Sir Kyffin Williams made by Carpanini between 1979 and 2004. This exhibition coincided with the tenth anniversary of Sir Kyffin Williams’ death on 1 September 2006. Please enquire with the gallery if you are interested in any of the unsold work.
Following their first meeting at the Royal Academy in 1974, Kyffin Williams struck up a long-term friendship with David Carpanini and he became an increasingly regular visitor to the Carpanini’s home in Llanberis. Kyffin Williams was a very private man but David Carpanini witnessed him in his element, drawing and painting in the landscape. He allowed Carpanini to make sketches of him at work over many years. Carpanini felt Williams revealed himself most at these times and it was this he endeavoured to capture.
It was a chance conversation with David Carpanini and ourselves that led him to rediscover these drawings, deep in his archives, and the decision was made to present them in an exhibition at the gallery to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Kyffin’s death. There are 37 surviving sheets of drawings along with 11 etchings all made between 1979 and 2004.
Apart from the etchings, the studies in this exhibition have never been exhibited. The greatest number were produced in the period 1984-1994 including a small group done in Abergwynfi about 1989 when the artists met briefly in South Wales and were able to make a visit to Carpanini’s family home in the Afan Valley.
David Carpanini writes:- “Following our first meeting at the Royal Academy in 1974 Kyffin became an increasingly regular visitor to our home in Llanberis. He became a generous, wise friend and over the next thirty years we spent quite a lot of time together. Occasionally, during walks near our home and visits to Pwllfanogl, opportunities occurred for spontaneous and quick sessions of drawing. Initially these were just rapid sketchbook figure studies. I have always gathered material for my more complex figure compositions in this rather relentless, surreptitious way. It is an accumulative, assimilative procedure - the kind of remorseless practice that has always provided me with my cast of characters.
Kyffin was a natural, unselfconscious model and these studies slowly developed, with his encouragement, into the first group of soft ground etchings - indeed some of those early images were actually drawn directly onto the paper covered plates which perhaps accounts for their rather spontaneous character. Also, he had the uncanny habit of attracting other interesting characters into casual conversations and some of these figures subsequently found places, often years later, in other more finished works. Indeed, I still make reference to sketchbooks of that period.
Apart from the etchings, very few of the studies have ever been exhibited. Indeed, until this group was framed for this exhibition they had only ever been seen before by Kyffin and my family.”
Professor David L Carpanini PPRE, Hon RWS, RWA, NEAC, RCA, Hon RBSA is considered one of Wales’ leading artists. Born in Abergwynfi, in the Afan Valley, this part of Wales has provided the principle subject matter for his paintings, drawings and etchings through much of his life. His meticulous approach to his painting and drawing has carried through to his printmaking and he was President of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers for many years. His work is in numerous public and private collections, and twenty-seven of his etchings have just been hung in the “Great Hall” in Swansea University’s new campus on Fabian Way. The union Unite are also lending their collection of his paintings to the University, to be hung in the new campus.