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Mary Griffiths

Mary Griffiths

Mary Griffiths RCA was born in Wales in 1956. She attended Dyfed College of Art followed by Croydon College of Art. She has had work selected for the National Portrait Gallery and Royal Society of Portrait Painters. National prizes include a Gold Medal in Fine Art, at the National Eisteddfod of Wales in 1994.

"As a figurative painter in the 21st century, listening to the revelation that man's unprepossessing ancestor in the Jurassic era spent it's time scuttling in the Pangaean scrub giving those ponderous dinosaurs the slip, I recognised the tactic immediately.

There is such an imbalance in the preferred work shown in publicly subsidized galleries. As a society, and don't believe anyone who asserts that there's no such thing; we need to see the full sense of ourselves reflected in the art we show. And while I'm not averse to peeking at the dishevelled detritus of an unexamined life, the solipsism of a lot of conceptual art and its epizoic acolytes doesn’t, for me, constitute the full panoply of human experience.

Art is a way of shaping our lives, of giving it value and meaning. But what I don't see much of is our relationships with one another. We don't see love. We look to the Old Masters for that. And the other unfashionable quality I don't see enough of is joy. Yet it's the quality with which we seek to imbue all our activities. Our natures are hardwired for it.

I'd be so pleased if these portraits were seen as a homage to our best instincts which is to value life in its infinite variety and intrinsic worth. For me, irrespective of whatever else one's bent on expressing, the act of painting with it's deep and boundless pleasures, conjoins us with the perpetual flow of humankind at it's generative best, exclaiming it’s” transcendent wonder" and ineffable joy in being alive. Or as my mother once put it succinctly” it’s your way of saying hallelujah".
 
1956 Born Wales
1974-75 Dyfed College of Art
1975-78 Croydon College of Art - Taught by John Bellany R.A., Bruce McLean and Gus Cummins.
2000 Member of Royal Cambrian Academy (invited by Sir Kyffin Williams RA)
   
SOLO EXHIBITIONS
   
1987 ADC Theatre, Park St., Cambridge
1988 Clare College, Cambridge
1989 Thaxted Festival
1991 St. John’s Gallery, Bury St. Edmunds
1993/95/97/00/02/04/07 Chappel Galleries, Essex
1998/2001 Martin Tinney Gallery, Cardiff  
 
SELECTED MIXED SHOWS    
 
1988/94 ‘Drawings For All’, Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury and Regional Tour
1989/94 Haylett’s Gallery, Colchester 
1990 Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Mall Galleries, London
       Royal Society of British Artists, London
Sunday Times/Singer Friedlander Watercolour Competition, London and Glasgow
1991 ‘Modern Contemporaries’, Chappel Galleries, Essex
       ‘Britain’s Painter’, Westminster Galleries, London
1989 Royal College of Art, London "The London Group"
1992 BP National Portrait Competition, National Portrait Gallery, London
       ‘The Human Form’, Conservatory Gallery, Cambridge 
1993/94 Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales
1994/95 Hunting Art Prize, R.C.A. London 
1994 Spring Collection, East West Gallery, London
Hunting Art Prizes: R.C.A. London and Swansea
       ‘Making a Mark’, Mall Galleries, London
1996 ‘The Human Form’, Mall Galleries, London
       Guest: Royal Society of British Artists
 1997 ‘On A Grand Scale’, John Martin Gallery, London
       Chelsea Art Fair, London
1996/97/98 Langham Fine Art, Bury St. Edmunds
1999  “Gold Medal Winners Exhibition, National Eisteddfod”
2001 Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales
2001/02/03 Royal Cambrian Academy Summer Show
2002/03 Martin Tinney Gallery, Cardiff
2006/07 Wales Portrait Award and Tour

Regular exhibitor in Group Shows at Attic Gallery
 
PRIZES   
 
1988 Lady Evershed Drawing Prize, Eastern Open
1991 Highly Commended, Britain’s Painters, London
1992 Highly Commended – Painting, Eastern Open
1993 Highly Commended – Drawing, Eastern Open
1994 Highly Commended – Hunting Competition
       First Prize, ‘Drawings For All’, Suffolk
       Gold Medal in Fine Art, National Eisteddfod of Wales 
1995 First Prize, Hunting Art Prizes, R.C.A. London
1997 Lady Evershed Drawing Prize, Eastern Open
1999 Painting Prize, Eastern Open