Gareth Parry RCA was born in Blaenau Ffestiniog in 1951 into a family of mostly quarrymen. He studied for a time at the Manchester School of Art but returned home and worked in a local slate quarry. It was here he sketched the quarrymen both above and below ground whenever he could. He worked as a quarryman for two years before taking up art again, building up a fine reputation through a range of commissioned work.
After a number of years he decided to concentrate on his painting. In both 2001 and 2009 he had major exhibitions at the National Library of Wales who purchased his work for the national collection. In 2006 he was elected to the Royal Cambrian Academy. He now shows successfully in London as well as Wales.
His ‘people paintings’ focus on everyday life in Wales, based on overheard snatches of conversation, unconscious humour, personal experience and feelings. Many of the pieces showed ordinary people going about their ordinary lives. More recently, in his painting, there has been a greater emphasis on the effect of the light, the weather, the season and the time of day on the landscape or seascape in front of him.
His work is either completed out of doors before the subject, or based on pencil and watercolour sketches. Weather, season, light, place names, overheard conversations are all starting points for his work.
"My work is increasingly about effect and mood rather than place. There is an emphasis on paint as a means of expression; it is in itself as important as the subject. I feel painting is a journey. I have no wish to stay in one place and will continue to change naturally.”