Attic Gallery

Robert Alwyn Hughes - Biography


Robert Alwyn Hughes was born at Dowlais Top, Dowlais, May 1935. His father was an overman at the Bedlinog Colliery and an avid reader of the Welsh classics. Hannah, the artist’s mother, was a devout Baptist and no doubt had an early influence on Hughes’s association with Chapel life. The first language spoken at home was Welsh and not until attending the Dowlais Central School at the age of five that English was spoken.


Growing up at Dowlais Top was a happy and fulfilling experience, with the texture of everyday life, tempered by the activities within the surrounding family, more than likely forming the interests of the artist in later years - the Bible readings - the exploration of the landscape, that stretched from the backdoor to the Brecon Beacons - and of those uncles who bred pigeons and ponies.


He studied at Newport College of Art 1953 - 57, Leicester College of Art 1957 - 58 and Royal College of Art 1958 - 61. He first exhibited at the National Eisteddfod, Ebbw Vale in 1958/59 and was awarded the Arts Council Purchase Prize. In 1960 - 61 he exhibited with the Arts Council GB, Welsh Arts Council, Contemporary Arts Society, Grosvenor Gallery London and Young Contemporaries.


He taught at Cheltenham College of Art 1962 - 91 and in this period exhibited widely with both solo and mixed shows. From 1979 - 1989 he also worked in film, producing commissioned work.


In 1991 he retired to paint full time. He joined the Watercolour Society of Wales, the Welsh Group and 56 Group. He was chair of the latter two groups from 2009 - 2012. He also founded the eNewsletter ‘WalesModern’.


Robert Alwyn Hughes has exhibited internationally and his work is in numerous public collections including:


Arts Council GB, Welsh Arts Council, Contemporary Arts Society GB, Welsh Contemporary Arts Society, Royal College of Art, National Museum of Wales, University of Glamorgan, Brecon Museum & Art Gallery, Cyfarthfa Castle Museum Wales and Newport Museum & Art Gallery

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