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Visual Arts Exhibition

In The Faculty Divine, Fergus Thomas displayed a series of large-scale photographic works at a site-specific installation in St Tudor’s Mynyddislwyn, a grade-II listed church, above Ynysddu, Caerphilly. In this second iteration, the original installation will be displayed alongside previous works by Fergus Thomas made in south Wales.

Inspired by the life and work of Welsh language poet William ‘Islwyn’ Thomas, who lived in the Sirhowy Valley, in the eastern part of the Valleys region of Wales, Fergus Thomas made a series of powerful images of the Sirhowy river and its surrounding area. Focusing primarily on Islwyn’s belief in the divine perspective of nature, which he explored in his poems about mourning, death, and spirituality, Fergus Thomas photographed the dramatic landscape that on the one hand holds the vitality of the natural world, and on the other, bears the mark of the heavy industrial history of the region.

The centre-piece of this work is a 2.4m-tall triptych light-box of the Sirhowy river. Another, is a sculptural image of mining debris. These installations of large-scale photography will be displayed alongside previous works, including a film made by Fergus Thomas in Newport in 2021. The film features a man who lives in a wooden house he built himself by a motorway. He is shown chopping and burning wood, late at night. Lit only by the fire, the images are mesmerising and surreal.

3rd March – 17th March 2023

Private View: 3rd March 6pm to 9pm

Supported by the Arts Council of Wales, the Cwm a Mynydd Rural Development Programme for Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent through the Welsh Government’s Rural Communities Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.