In search of art in Wales

A day out to search for art in hidden places in Wales – off the beaten track and away from towns and cities

Search for art in Wales

Another journey to the edge of Wales, this time, in search of Art Galleries in Pembrokeshire. The first stop a lovely friendly little gallery in Trefin.  An interesting selection of local art and some fabulous woven art pieces in the Craft centre next door.  But what was meant to be a stop for a coffee ended up with a fine two course lunch.  I don’t know if I have had a better lunch recently.  Beautifully cooked, very friendly and they welcome dogs.  The meal took a while, but as it is specially cooked for every person – the carrots were perfectly sweet – the roast potatoes and parsnips were crunchy and the pie, just delicious – well there were certainly no complaints from us – congratulations to this charming gallery proprietor.  So if you are journeying this way, just try it out and you will find somewhere that you want to return to over and over again.

A perfect lunch
A perfect lunch


So you see I was so carried away with the food that I did not make notes on the art.  I did look and certainly there were some very interesting pieces and a variety of styles which is always inspiring.

Search the art of nature in Wales

Our first view of the sea close-up was at Abercastle.  An awkward place to get out of because there was no turning point – so some skilled backward driving and a multi-point turn!  First a couple of pictures of the waves.

Abercastle nature's art
Abercastle nature’s art


Porthgain-the art of waves in Wales
Porthgain-the art of waves in Wales

The wonderful rough sea at Porthgain just below the harbour wall.

We were aiming for Porthgain because we knew of a good gallery there having visited the area many times over the past 40 years.  My how it has changed – when we first went there it was just the vast walls of brick industrial buildings – once a busy port sending out stone, bricks and slate.  I seem to remember a small pub and a scattering of houses, some derelict or nearly so.  Now it is a lively community with art galleries, a good bistro in The Shed – and wonderful walks – which this time we avoided because we were on a mission.

Porthgain the end of our day’s search for art in Wales

porthgain harbour wall
Porthgain harbour wall

One man and his dog – waiting for me to get pictures of fishermen’s ‘stuff’.

lobster-pot-on-harbour wall and the sea
lobster-pot-on-harbour wall and the sea

Lobster pot and tangle of rope.

There is something special about the natural formation of everyday things – art in Wales comes in many guises – we just have to look at things in an appreciative way!

Porthgain where you can still buy fresh lobster
Porthgain where you can still buy fresh lobster

More tangled rope – wonderful textures and subtle colours – sea cold grey and rusty gold.

A working harbour in Porthgain Pembrokeshire
A working harbour in Porthgain Pembrokeshire

More lobster pots and boats waiting to be lifted by the incoming tide.

The Harbour Light Gallery in Porthgain showing art from Welsh artists

The main gallery in Porthgain has an established reputation providing art to people from Cardiff to London.  a large selection of paintings, photographs by their 2 photographers, a few interesting limited edition prints and sinuous sculptures begging a hand to feel the smooth surface of marble.  A stunning painting in heavy textural oil by Sir Kuffin Williams. The harbour light gallery website: – well worth a visit.


The shed provides an excellent meal and is also another showcase for art in Wales.

The Shed provided us with a dish of tea – and there we found some more pictures – my there is so much talent in Pembrokeshire.  Here the pictures were mythical and mysterious,  a ring of hares, a young beauty hugging a bear. I rememeber having a fine crab sandwich here some years ago – and great for local fish and chips – Pembroke potatoes I am sure as well as freshly caught fish – perfect for a seaside lunch.

Our searching ended – or so we thought,  we would make our way to Whitesands and perhaps a walk on the beach and take a few photographs if pictures were worth capturing.  Well that plan went through the window because a seductive flapping sign at the side of the road read: Gallery Open.  Well as we were on a mission we thought we would have a quick look – it was getting late and they would not be open long.  What we found was a photographer of the most amazing dedication – focusing on the capturing of light painting stories.  Long term projects taking sometimes many years to reach the goal of observing the evolution of landscape and sky images, or moss and woods showing grotescue forms enhanced by being shown in monochrome – such vision.  A man using his bicycle like a supermarket trolley or a wheelbarrow to fetch seaweed from the sea to make lava bread, a bird suspended in the sky – the precise moment that it was exactly between two powerful rock faces – just brilliant. It is not often that photographers manage to show a picture that is poetic in its depiction of ‘story’ using very simple bucolic surroundings.  The photographer Chris Tancock was so passionate about what he does that he took the trouble to explain, to two avid listeners, how he created his portfolio of images.  Extraordinary dedication and focus resulting in the most stunning pictures.  I feel sure that a purchase would be investment shopping!

Chris accompanied us to our car, shook our hands and acknowledged that he talked too much – it is never too much if it is that interesting.

Now time to play with Beetle – so far the journey had only allowed her a short walk along the harbour wall in Porthgain.  Now for a beach and a good run for Beetle anyway because he is not yet repaired enough to run anywhere.

Then back to the art of nature in Wales -another kind of search


Whitesands beach – sadly Dim Cwm – No Dogs – poor Beetle and she was so excited, the sight of a beach drives her crazy with anticipation.  So while Charles took photographs I took Beetle for a walk along a path at the head of the beach.  We got so far and then SHE decided no she did not want to walk along there – toes dug in – she insisted to go back and find HIM because he was sure to take her on the beach.

We got back to find a crow – or some other kind of raucous large black bird giving his opinion on the way that we had parked the car – or something.


Let us find another beach – we drove on to Newgale and turning the corner down to the beach side road we were shown the most amazing flare of bright orange flame cutting bands of vivid light behind the rocks.


Isn’t that amazing.  I had to scrabble over the cobbles and clamber up some mint strewn banks to get as high as possible to get the camera higher than a huge bank of cobbles.



And the shoreline beaded with birds !  What an inspiring day that was.  I have put in the links because when you have had a really good time, you want to share with friends and it is to friends that my blogs go because they are still quite private unless stumbled upon by someone accidentally!


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