The Shire Hall, Monmouth.

Velvety rich paintings from Chris Griffin; red, blues oranges.  He begins any way up, add objects, such as a jug, which decides the orientation.  The objects almost slip in at the sides, walk into the picture, he doesn’t decide.  He could continue working on them.  ‘The sleeping lord’ rich and sumptuous portrait.  In the setting of the Five-Ways exhibition, in which there was lots of fresh landscape, animals, and greenery, Chris’ work was an indulgent feast for the eyes.  His undeniable love of rich colours and way with fusing them together through multiple layering and scraping back draws the eye and indulges the soul.

Daphne Hurn’s Moonshadow’s is tucked among larger works, but is pleasing once focussed on for a while, soon becoming a magnetic presence, the eye naturally homing back to it.  The evocative landscape – a melding of west wales buildings and scapes, with delicate scrapings of foliage in the foreground tempting the eye further.  Her choice of buildings to feature are diverse – a work in progress being aligned with the stars and keeping up informed on signals having taken many light years to reach us and expanding our knowledge.  Her work feels alive and peopled, though no figures are present.  How does she do this?

The lyrical nature of Kath Littler’s wood engravings are all too easily passed by as they are tucked away in the browsers.  The small Grazing by the Usk fairs very well upon closer inspection, her skill in adapting a scene to the shape of the boxwood is incredible.  The scene draws you in through intriguing shapes and textures.  There could easily be another exhibition expanding on the works from the browsers alone.

The other artists showing are (would live to write about too, but not this time):

Julienne Braham
Kate Corbett-Winder
Andrew Brickett
Andrew Smith
Veronica Gibson
Sally Matthews
Bryn Richards
Anthony Evans
Matthew Wood
Lois Hopwood
Jacob Buckland
Michael Howard
Lizzie Thurman
Cara Campbell
Kara Seaman
Ant Beetlestone
Philippine Sowerby
Greg Poole