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George Little

George Little

We are sad to announce the death of George Little, a much-loved artist and figure in the art world. He passed away peacefully, aged 89 on Saturday 24 June. He exhibited at our gallery for over 55 years and we will miss him greatly. His enthusiasm and humour was inspirational. Our condolences go to his family and especially his wife Carolyn who has supported him through his failing health. We had planned a solo show in October 2017 to mark his 90th birthday. Now, with Carolyn’s agreement and help, it will be held as a tribute to George and his life’s work.                                                 George Little was born in Danygraig, Swansea in 1927, attending Danygraig School, Swansea Grammar School and, after the blitz in Swansea, the High School for Boys in Trowbridge, Wiltshire. He went to Swansea School of Art for a year, did military service in the RAFVR, then returned to Swansea College of Art, as it had then become, and the Ruskin School of Drawing, University of Oxford, after which he taught in Schools and Colleges of Art  and finally, the University College of Swansea. He was also invited to teach in other educational establishments such as Barry Summer School and Cardiff and Carmarthen Institutes.

His exhibitions include twenty-two shows, twenty-five joint shows, three and four man shows and, since 1951 over two hundred group exhibitions throughout Great Britain. 

He has work in many private and public collections here and abroad and has received a number of awards and prizes including an Open Scholarship in his first year at Swansea School of Art, a Bursary for post-graduate study at the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford and a number of prizes during those post-graduate studies, a prize in the Industrial Britain Open National Competition at the Chenil Gallery, London in 1955, the Purchase Prize in the Industrial Wales Arts Council exhibition in 1960, a Special Prize awarded by John Piper in the Mid Wales Open Art Exhibition in Aberystwyth in 1983, First Prize in the National Coal Industry Art Exhibition in Blackpool in 1989 and an Arts Council Travel Grant in 1999.

"Most of my life has been spent in and around industrial areas and from these I have found the stimulation for my paintings and drawings. The colour, texture and shape brought about by the decay of the copper, coal, steel and shipping industries, where they flourished and where they declined, became the source of my compositions. These areas have now been sanitized and built upon and the ugly beauty has been replaced by characterless features. My main source of ideas has largely disappeared and so I look for new subjects and another adventure in painting is beginning for me”

The Swansea Blitz Suite

This suite of 30 new paintings were first shown as part of a three man show running at the Attic Gallery from 18 April - 9 May 2015

"These paintings are a collection of my memories of the three nights of the Blitz on the 19th, 20th and 21st of February 1941. They are my interpretation of the razing of Swansea by 30,000 incendiary bombs and 170 tons of high explosive, and are drawn from visual experiences, old black and white photographs and never to be forgotten images as I walked around the ravaged town centre on my way to Swansea Grammar School, only to find that my school had been burned and damaged beyond repair.

Thus the blitz became a life changing event for me personally because I was sent to live with my grandmother in Wiltshire to continue my education at Trowbridge High School for Boys and there, living on the edge of Salisbury Plain, behind the Westbury White Horse, I was to experience my second visual influence, that of the rural landscape.

I believe that Swansea has never fully recovered from those three nights in 1941."

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