Cefn Burgess- Welsh Chapels in Cloth and Stitch
Chapels are so embedded into the fabric of Welsh life in the 19th and early 20th century, that it is no surprise that they often feature as a motif in Welsh art and design.
Cefyn Burgess’ exhibition includes artworks in stitch and drawn images which illustrate and interpret the chapels and their place in Wales. The exhibition shows how Cefyn works with the four elements of shapes, colour, line and texture to produce his wonderful designs on fabric, felt and Welsh flannel.
The culture and communities that made the chapels is, of course, also the one that produced many of the quilts in the main exhibition. It is also the one that draws us to the people behind them.
Cefyn Burgess describes his work this way:
“Chapels have been part of my life since childhood. These buildings that knitted together or divided communities are unfortunately slowly disappearing and I wanted to record them before it’s too late.”
In a recent interview, he also described how they were being knocked down and replaced by car parks and anonymous spaces. “When you start to lose things, you start to miss them.” he says. Viewers to his exhibitions in Bangor and the Millennium Centre in Cardiff have gone on to described the iconic nature of the Welsh chapel in their own backgrounds and gone on to talk about how they bring to life the people behind the collections. “I hear, I see, I taste these people….. their hopes and aspirations.” as Cefyn said about his own collection of Welsh crockery which he rescued from chapels that no longer exist. We hope you hear them too.
The exhibition runs from 7th March to 31st October in Gallery 2
Born and raised in the slate quarry village of Bethesda, North Wales Cefyn Burgess graduated from Manchester with a BA (hons) in woven textiles then an MA in textiles from the Royal College of Art. He left London in the late 1980’s to become the first weaver in residence at Paradise Mill Silk Museum in Macclesfield, which gave him the opportunity to develop his original range of fine hand woven silk fabrics. Since then he has been designing jacquard woven fabrics and quality interior products including his range of Welsh tapestry blankets, quilts, throws and cushions.