Afan Valley born artist David Carpanini

November 17, 2017 by

Afan Valley born artist David Carpanini has never strayed far from his roots with his paintings which now hang in galleries and homes around the world.

And more than sixty years after he roamed the hillsides near his Blaengwynfi home they still resonate in everything he does.

The importance of those images were at the heart of the annual Richard Burton Lecture which he gave at the new Bay Campus of Swansea University.

While he often strayed off his subject with a variety of anecdotes from his decades-long career he always returned to the landscapes of the Afan Valley and the people who inhabited his world as a youngster.

Born in 1946 of Italian and Welsh parents he emphasised how lucky he was to be born and brought up in the valley and how he always returned to his sketch pad to pick out images and build them into a new work.

Described as an artist, etcher, teacher and printmaker he rose to become the first Welsh President of the Royal Society of Printmakers and Professor of Art at Wolverhampton University.

Educated at Glan Afan Grammar School in Port Talbot , he trained as an artist at Gloucester College of Art, The Royal College of Art and Reading University. He also exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy.

During his early years many of his paintings were bought by Clive Jenkins, secretary of the ASTMS Union and also a Port Talbot boy. Many of those paintings are currently hanging at the University where they are on loan from the Unite Union.

During his lecture he spoke of his anger at the way those inside the M25 circle treated regional art and dismissed what went on outside.

He completed his lecture with slides of many of his works explaining how the titles he had given them were a trigger for the story behind their original creation.

And he showed his skill as a teacher by analysing several works and showing how the artist achieved the final result by following certain rules which an artist had to learn.

Of his own work he said he tried to convey the emotions of the situations in which his figures appeared and although they were set in the valley of his youth they had a message for today’s world.

A fascinating insight into the work of a fine artist.

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