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Bibliographical Information
Arthur Giardelli - Paintings, Constructions, Relief Sculptures
Derek Shiel
ISBN: 9781854112385 (1854112384)Publication Date June 2001
Publisher: Seren, Bridgend
Format: Hardback, 300x235 mm, 164 pages Language: English Available Our Price: £30.00 
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A richly illustrated presentation of the life and work of Arthur Giardelli, artist, musician and lecturer, comprising a series of highly interesting conversations with Derek Shiel touching on biographical, social and aesthetic aspects of his life, including 24 colour and 43 black-and-white illustrations reflecting the diversity of his work.

Cyflwyniad darluniadol cyfoethog i fywyd a gwaith Arthur Giardelli, artist, cerddor a darlithydd, yn cynnwys casgliad o sgyrsiau hynod ddiddorol gyda Derek Shiel yn cyffwrdd ag agweddau bywgraffyddol, cymdeithasol ac esthetig ei fywyd, ynghyd â 24 llun lliw a 43 llun du-a-gwyn yn adlewyrchu'r amrywiaeth a geir yn ei waith.
Arthur Giardelli, now one of the Grand Old Men of the Arts in Wales, was born in London in 1911 and first came to this country when he was seventeen. Unusually for an artist, he read Romance Languages at Oxford and must be one of the few painters who can recite Villon by heart.

In these fourteen long interviews with Derek Shiel, a practising artist who has written extensively about David Jones, Giardelli throws a good deal of light on his life and work, while the illustrations of his paintings, constructions and relief sculptures speak for themselves. His deep Christian faith and pacifism inform most of what he has to say about the function of his art, and he is open to the influence of such European movements as Constructivism and Surrealism.

For nearly forty years he was Chairman of the '56 Group Wales, and in this capacity worked tirelessly for the promotion of the painters who belonged to it, organising exhibitions in many countries and coming into fruitful contact with their artists, notably in Czechoslovakia. Since the late 1940s he has lived in coastal Dyfed, first at Laugharne, then at Pendine, and now at The Golden Plover, near Warren in Pembrokeshire, where he and his wife have a studio.

Giardelli's favourite medium is the flotsam and jetsam which he finds on the seashore. His collages are made of cork, pebbles, wood, bits of sacking, torn paper, scrap metal, silk, lace, watch parts, slate – anything that makes a nice shape and textured image. If some prompt the viewer to ask, So What?, others are striking and invite further contemplation. His watercolours, too, have that sense of mystery or ambiguity of form which he learned from Cedric Morris and Ceri Richards, both of whom were his friends.

Like so many painters long domiciled in Wales (Herman, Sutherland, Piper et al.) Giardelli – despite making a major contribution to the progress of art in our country – still regards himself as an Englishman. This book, published in his ninetieth year, is a lap of honour in which we natives may glimpse something of his genius and the devotion with which he has followed his career among us.

Meic Stephens

It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.

Gellir defnyddio'r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatâd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.
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