Art students in North Wales recently partook in an ‘abstracting the figure’ workshop as part of an Aberystwyth University A Level Enrichment Day in Llanberis.
The School of Art Gallery and Museum holds an important archive of the work of Handel Evans (1932-1999) including significant paintings and drawings from across his career as well as his correspondence, sketch books, diaries and photographs. Evans was fascinated by the human figure and he sought to explore the interactions between figures in a semi-abstract language of colour, shape and tone. His Employees series of paintings was an ongoing investigation of the synchronicity of men and machines be they foundry workers, woodworkers or even musicians.
Students from Ysgol Brynrefail (Llanrug), Ysgol Uwchradd Caergybi (Holyhead) and Ysgol John Bright (Llandudno) were able to explore these themes in a two hour workshop run by staff of the School of Art. Art History tutor Phil Garratt gave a powerpoint about Handel and his work after which participants were able to examine original works from the Aberystwyth Archive. Fine Art tutor Paul Webster then led a practical workshop where students developed their own abstract head and shoulder portraits of their peers. There was also a chance to view a quick art film by first year students Joanna Butlin and Genevieve Wilson which featured Evans’ paintings and his Schiedmeyer grand piano (Handel was also a very talented pianist and a Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music).
Many thanks to all the students from the three schools for their active and interested involvement in the workshop. We hope you enjoyed yourselves and learnt something new about art along the way.
The School of Art is showing Handel Evans: Small Works from 21st of March to the 6th of May 2016. This is a selection of drawings and sketches in ink, tempera, gouache, pencil and Conte crayon all of which will be for sale to raise funds for the Handel Evans Trust Fund. This fund was established with the approval of Marian Quinn-Evans (Handel’s mother) to promote research and activities with the Handel Evans Archive. https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/art/gallery-museum/exhibitions/forthcomingexhibitions/