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Household Name

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Household Name | Bird House | Heather Parnell – Around the House | Art in the Bar; Dylan Williams – Underland

About this event

The Elysium Gallery in Swansea will open its doors once more on Saturday May 29 with a celebration of renowned and emerging female artists in its two main galleries.

Gallery One will feature an exhibition called Household Name, a dynamic and timely contemporary art exhibition featuring seven Welsh and Wales-based women artists working in paint, sculpture, film, photography, text and performance.

Ranging from internationally renowned practitioners to emerging artists, and all producing bold, innovative, exciting and engaging works, Household Name features direct responses to the title from questioning the political and the scientific, through to investigations of the domestic setting via witchcraft, gender identity and climate change.

Sculptor Laura Ford has exhibited extensively and has work at major institutions including TATE, V&A and National Museum Cardiff. Cherry Pickles teaches at the Royal Drawing School, London, and has also exhibited extensively, most recently with Coombs Contemporary and Kapil Jariwala.

Zoe Gingell is director at Cardiff MADE which has been instrumental is propelling the careers of many Welsh and Wales-based early career artists. Zena Blackwell explores the anxiety-ridden role of the parent and won first Prize at Cardiff MADE Open in 2017 and this year’s third prize at PS Mirabel's 'PAINT' (Manchester).

Fern Thomas currently has a Fellowship supported by The Freelands Foundation at g39, Cardiff, and is a 2019 Jerwood Bursary recipient. Adele Vye has won Welsh Artist of the Year and was awarded the John Brookes Memorial Prize for Fine Art. Raji Salan won a BA travel award upon graduation and has exhibited in numerous exhibitions including the Jerwood Drawing Prize (twice) and most recently Galeri in Caernarfon.


In Gallery Two, the exhibition Bird House features five emerging Elysium studio-based artists collaborating in a debut group show.

Bird House is the collaborative identity of five young women artists working with paint, photography, drawing and sculpture who unexpectedly found themselves in residence at Elysium gallery’s studios during the pandemic.

This exhibition seeks to share individual discoveries and processes, as they learned new processes and gathered inspiration from the new spaces around them.

South Wales artist Katie Trick begins with vague ideas of place and subject. Pairing places with found imagery, pattern, and colour, she uses observation and imagination to find ways to glorify a sometimes, unexciting landscape by creating unreachable landscapes that she longs for.

Lucy Howson depicts a modern commentary of everyday life through painting and object making. Celebrating the domestic scene, she believes that looking at people’s living spaces allows us to see individual identities and the cultural and political influences of its time, whilst also personally exploring the effects our environment has on wellbeing.

The paintings of Swansea based multidisciplinary artist Lily Ella Westacott not only explore her surroundings, but also herself, as she draws on sacred energies and geometry, that not only exist in the physical world, but deep in the depths of the soul. Her works form shapes and diagrams which create a language of their own, ready to be interpreted by the viewer.

Dili Pitt’s sculptural practice explores making as a physical expulsion of personal and cultural anxieties. Her surreal figures act almost as contemporary worry dolls, as embodied manifestations of an over-thinking and oversaturated state of mind.

Discovering new landscapes in her immediate surroundings, Carmarthenshire-based artist Abby Poulson often uses her photographic process broadly and experimentally to explore ideas surrounding her rural homeland, whilst also responding to Welsh identity, environmental concerns, memory, and place. Her more recent works investigate local sites with previous industrial activity, as she reflects on challenging these environments in the land, both physically and introspectively.


In Gallery Three, Heather Parnell’s Around the House exhibition is a response to, and record of the edge, border, perimeter, boundary between the artist’s home and the rest of the world during the pandemic.

Heather is a visual artist who is interested in the familiar things that form the common ground of daily human experiences and routines, and the relationship between these objects and the lives we live. She stitches, prints, draws, and casts, exploring the potential of material to reveal and transform those things that are close to hand, often overlooked and in this particular instance, underfoot.


Also appearing at Elysium’s Art in The Bar will be Dylan Williams, whose works called Underland were an attempt to create environments built out of memories of places and objective viewpoints depicting metaphysical connections to the environment.

The Bath Spa graduate says: “Recently my paintings have been inspired by drawings made outside on daily walks during lockdown. Through drawing and painting outside I have been trying to consolidate my surroundings into calmer more mediative works, using a more economic approach to painting.”

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