picture by Stefan Knapp and link
What's On
About us
Stefan Knapp
find us on FaceBook
email logo
wifi logo
image link to BigLoaf webmaster
What's on at the MWAC download a booking form
Sat 28th Mar 15
Sun 6th Sep 15
Of Time And The Railway
The final section of the railway line between Birmingham and Abersytwyth was completed in 1863. Since then the line has been a crucial artery between the industrial West Midlands and mid & west Wales.

This is a film about that journey recorded from the drivers’ cab of the train. Filmed between October 2013 and February 2015 on 86 different days it has been edited into a single trip that takes in more than a year. It captures the changing human geography adjacent to the track, but also a landscape that is sustained and twisted by the weather and the coming and going of the seasons. The film also represents a single day – entering Birmingham at night and leaving at dawn, going to Shrewsbury in the morning and on to Newtown and the mountains in the afternoon, before dropping down towards the sea as the sun starts to set and we reach journey’s end at Aberystwyth.

The journey starts in a landscape described and scarred by the process of industrialization. It continues through the Black Country, the Shires and the Welsh Marches, land that has been farmed since it was settled. It carries on through the hills of Powys, where the relationship between man and the landscape begins to change; cattle and sheep vying for space with crops. On the steeper slopes sheep farming becomes prevalent as the train reaches its’ highest point at Talerddig, before winding down the Dyffryn Valley to the river Dyfi as it meanders to Machynlleth. The journey continues along the flood plain to the open mouth of the Dyfi estuary and the wilds of Ynys Las and Borth before arriving at the university town of Aberystwyth.

This film is about the passage of time, both literally and historically. It’s about taking a journey, but also the effect that the passage of time has on that journey. It describes a moment in the history of this landscape.

We are very proud to premiere this new Art Film at Mid Wales Arts Centre on 28th March at 7pm. It opens our new season of Exhibitions, Events and Workshops.

We will be offering a 1st class Railway Tea, a comfortable seat, interesting fellow passengers and a pleasant evening for a limited number at £5 per person. Booking necessary. (funds raised will go to local charities).There will be 3 versions to see.
The unabridged film. A speeded up version and an abstract film.

The film will be showing continuously during April and May 2105 and on request after that date until 6th September.
In addition there will be 2 other versions showing:

A 5 minute speeded up version of the railway journey between Birmingham and Aberystwyth. Typically the journey takes 3 hours so this is about 30 times faster than normal speed.

A single recording of the light falling on the inside pillar of the driver’s cab on the 08.08 train from Machynlleth to Shrewsbury. It was made on a sunny morning on 17th October 2014. As the train changes direction the light enters the cab at different angles. Travelling due east at the start the railway line then snakes south east and north east before passing through Caersws, Newtown and Welshpool before finally curling around Shrewsbury as its reaches it’s destination at 09.26.


film facebook page:

Sun 29th Mar 15
Sun 26th Apr 15
Lines Of Enquiry
Richard Booth pursues his practice of enquiry into the Mid Wales landscape, looking at aspects of the everyday environment we take for granted, highlighting the fascinating character of our Hedgerows.
Eamonn McCabe, former Guardian Picture Editor and David Hurn of the world famous Magnum photographic agency enthusiastically endorsed this project on seeing Richard’s work at Aberystwyth University Photography Seminar.
Richard will be performing in the 'Songlines' concert with Jeb Loy Nichols on the 25th April

Sun 29th Mar 15
Sun 24th May 15
A Strange Stillness Lino Prints By Jeb Nichols
Named after a line of poetry by John Clare: In A Strange Stillness. The work mixes rural images and poetry to create a diary of country life.

Jeb Nichols, has in his inimitable style produced a new collection of work where purity of line and abstract shadows convey complex meaning, or Haiku's of feeling in deceptively simple compositions.

The prints are (for the most part) two colour and (approx) A4 (29cm x 20cms).

Sun 29th Mar 15
Sat 31st Oct 15
New Sculpture Trail 2015 Sculpture Cymru At Mwac
Mid Wales Arts Centre, working with Sculpture Cymru will open a new pilot sculpture space and extended trail in the grounds with many new and diverse pieces to discover.
A centre of excellence to enjoy contemporary sculpture. A great day out and opportunity to enjoy wonders inspired by and set in the Welsh landscape.

Sun 29th Mar 15
Sun 24th May 15
Karl Sylvester: A Response To The Holocaust
A Response to the Holocaust.

As a student I felt compelled to look into the events of the Holocaust. Was it possible or even morally acceptable to process such events with the arts? I'm still not sure, but It became a cathartic journey which took me to the concentration camp at Auschwitz. Some of the work is represented here.
It is particularly relevant to show these poignant works at MWAC which came into existence as a result of the determination to find a permanent home for the important collection of works by the late Stefan Knapp :Polish prisoner of War-Siberia-1939-42. Spitfire Pilot 1942-45. Student of Art Slade and Central Schools of Art 1945-1949, international artist and pioneer in enamelling by his widow and family. Important artefacts will be in show to give further context to the exhibition.

Thu 9th Apr 15
Thu 9th Apr 15
Mid Wales Poetry Open Mic Evening
Our regular open mic poetry evening in the relaxed atmosphere of the gallery, for all those who enjoy poetry.

• Bring a favourite poem to read
• Read or perform your own work
• Or just come and listen!

Guest poet: Liz Lefroy
Liz Lefroy won the 2011 Roy Fisher Prize which resulted in the publication of her pamphlet, "Pretending the Weather". "The Gathering" was published in 2012 and set to music by composer Brian Evans, and premiered at the 2012 St Chad's Music Festival, Shrewsbury. Her latest pamphlet, "Mending the Ordinary", was published in 2014 by Fair Acre Press. Liz organises the monthly event, Shrewsbury Poetry. She appeared at Theatre Severn last November, reading with Carol Ann Duffy (Poet Laureate) and Gillian Clarke (National Poet of Wales), so grab the chance to hear her in Caersws!

PLEASE NOTE the change in guest poet to that originally advertised for this event. David Calcutt and Nadia Kingsley will now be the guests at our next event on 9th July. Liz Lefroy was originally booked for the MWPOM last October, but was unable to attend then due to ill health, so we are delighted that she can step in for this one.

Hosted by Jane Dards
Admission £3. All welcome. Refreshments available. Cafe-style seating.
A chance to view the current exhibition.
For more information, contact Jane Dards (01686 689082 or email jane@janedards.co.uk) or Cathy Knapp (MWAC)

Sat 25th Apr 15
Sat 25th Apr 15
Songlines 'the Concert' Jeb Nichols And Richard Booth
Multi talented, local, professional artists and musicians Jeb loy Nichols and Richard Booth will present a concert in the stimulating and warm atmosphere of the gallery.
Limited number of tickets, £10. include cheese and wine, party atmosphere and an opportunity to see exhibitions of their latest work. Early booking advised. Contact 01686 688369/ info@midwalesarts.org.uk

Sat 25th Apr 15
Sat 31st Oct 15
Thomas Ndhlebe’s Stone Carvings
Thomas Ndhlebe was born in Zimbabwe.
Hi work will offer an interesting contrast to the Sculpture Cymru trail at Mid Wales Arts.

Thomas Ndhlebe, born in 1961 in Gokwe district Zimbabwe. I did my education at Bumhira primary school in Nyanga. I learnt Stone sculpture from my grandfather when I was seven years old, he used to curve soap (stones). He encouraged me to try his skills, at first I didn’t like it. Due to his persistence I eventually joined him with the thought that I would do better than him, After finishing the first article I was intrinsically motivated into it. He left me two soap stones of which I curved the map of Zimbabwe from it. When I curved the last stone’ I did not know where to find some more stones so I decided to do wood curving. From this point curving became my hobby, instead of playing with other children I was curving. I worked as a domestic worker and I used my master's wood to make toys during my spare time. At the age of twenty seven I worked as a security guard in Harare and was assigned to go to Guruve that was the turning point of my life.

In Guruve I met the world famous artists 1989, i.e., Bernard Matemera, Josiah Manzi, Just to mention a few at TENGENENGE ART COMMUNITY in Zimbwbwe. Bernard Matemera told me to use the brain, hands and the tools into stone sculpturing. I did my first sculpture from serpentine stone, it was a bird. I was over the moon when everyone was impressed with the sculpture. I sold it to a Gallery owner in Holland Mr Ben Joosten. From then, the owner of Tengenenge Art Community, Tom Bloomfeild offered me a job as a sales man at the Art Community. It was the biggest world Art Community with one thousand Artists. This was an advantage to me because I had more time for sculpturing. In this post I was asked to help the artists to write their biographs and promoting their work. During this period I met a lot of Art funs from various parts of the world on their visit at Tengenenge Art Community. I initiated to hold workshops with the visitors and students from other countries. I negotiated for a programme for our Zimbabwean Artists to go abroad for workshops and it was a very successful programme. This is how I started doing workshops in other countries such as Holland, France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Zambia, America and the United Kingdom. During all this Period I was making and selling sculptures. The most remarkable sculpture was the one which was commissioned by United Nations (UNICEF) in 1996
I exhibited in National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe and my sculptures were rated as one of the best and was given a merit certificate. I also went to Zambia for Exhibition and workshop on the African Art conference for six months and I was awarded a certificate of excellence by the Minister of Culture. I had a workshop which was attended by Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands as a student. When I did a workshop at Quick Silver's Place at Middlesex University, I was awarded an Honorary Degree in Art. I also assisted two University students with their Dissertation of they passed their dissertations.
The following is an overview of workshops and exhibitions I did;

Workshop Nertherlands Nimegen 2014
Exhibition United Kingdom Crew Hall, Cheshire 2013
Both United Kingdom Urban Art Centre’ Stoke-on-Trent
AfricArt Brighton 2012
Both United Kingdom RHS Gardens Hyde Hall 2011, 2003
Both United Kingdom Afric Art Brighton 1998 to 2011
Workshop United Kingdom Princess Royal Haywards Heath Hospital 2000/2/5/6
Both United Kingdom Clarkenwell Centre, London 2002/10
Both United Kingdom Botanical Gardens, Birmingham 2008/10
Both United Kingdom Oxford Botanical 2007
Workshop UNITED KINGDOM Highgate High School/ London 2000/1/2/3/6/7/8/10
Workshop UNITED KINGDOM Ramster Gardens 2007
BOTH UNITED KINGDOM The Joy of Africa/ Eastbourne 2005
Workshop UNITED KINGDOM Henfeild/ Sussex 2005
KINGDOM Broodhembury/ Honington. Devon 2005
Both UNITED KINGDOM Hastings Festival 2004
Both UNITED KINGDOM Commonwealth Conference Centre/ London 2004
Both UNITED KINGDOM Commonwealth Conference Institute/ Bristol 2004
Both UNITED KINGDOM Lower Shaw Farm/ Swindon 2003
Workshop United Kingdom Middlesex University/ Quick Silve rPlace/London 2003
Both United kingdom Booth Museum Brighton 2003
Workshop United Kingdom The Grace Eyre Foundation Brighton 2003
Both UNITED KINGDOM Bhawnagree Gallery/ London 2003
Both united kingdom Hornman Museum/London 2003
Workshop United Kingdom St John of Ark School. Highbury/ London 2000/1/2 1997/8/9
Both UNITED KINGDOM Swindon Rail Museum 2001
Workshops UNITED KINGDOM Brighton Schools/Brighton 1998-2000
BOTH UNITED KINGDOM Peterborough Friends of Kwekwe 2000
Both The Netherlands Afrika Museum/Arnehem 2000
Both U SA World Art Festival Houston/Texas 2000
Workshop United Kingdom Humbrokhill North/ Cherchster 200/1999
Workshop UNITED
KINGDOM White Cliff Café/ Saltdean 1999
Workshop The Netherland Stone dream 1999
Both The Netherlands World Art Foundation 1999
Exhibition United Kingdom Zimbabwe House/London 1999
Both Germany Manheim museum 1999/97
Both Germany Out of Afrika Nunburg museum 1997
Both Belgium Antwerp Museum 1997
Exhibition Belgium Zimbabwe House Brussels 1997
Both The Netherlands Kasteel Museum/ Loosdrecht 1997
Both Zambia Zambia National Visual Art sCouncil/Lusaka 1996
Exhibition Zimbabwe National Art Gallery/ Zimbabwe 1990/3/4/7
Exhibition Zimbabwe Unicef/Harare 1995
Both The Netherlands Bax Gallery/Geldermalsen 1995/96
Both The Netherlands Galerie destrang 1995
The Netherlands University of Twentee 1995
Both The Netherlands Wakaningen/Museum/ Nymegen 1995
Exhibition U S A Hermingway Gallery/ New York

I also have a number of sculptures which were ordered by commission for permanent collections in the following institutions, museums and galleries

Chapungu Gallery in Harare, Zimbabwe (1992-1993-1994-1995)

World Art Foundation in Holland (1996-1997)

Kasteel Museum in Holland (1998)

Bax Gallery in Holland (1996-1997)

Booth Museum in Brighton, UK (2002)

Unicef (commissioned piece) in New York, U S A (1995)

Zimbabwe House in Belgium. Brassels (1996)

Zambia Visual Arts Council in Lusaka, Zambia (1997)

Out of Africa Gallery in Nunberg,Germany(1996-1997)

Manheim Museum inGermany(1997)

Stone Dreams Gallery in Nymegen, Holland (1996)

Tengenenge Art Community in Guruve, Zimbabwe (1989-2000)

AFRIC ART GALLERY BRIGHTON (1998-1999-2000-2007 -2008-2009-2010)


Mon 4th May 15
Thu 7th May 15
STARTS 10 am
Sculpture For Everyone: Wax, Wire & Paper
This 4 day module is designed as an introduction to the practical elements of working in 3 dimensions, using wire, wax and paper mache. Ideas will be initiated by studies of observational drawings set by the tutor and developed in a visual diary. You will be encouraged to investigate historical and contemporary references and explore drawing with wire, using a variety of drawing medium. Tutor demonstrations will give practical techniques needed to realise and develop ideas using the mediums of wire, paper and wax.
£100 (£80 fee waiver) Level 1 10 credits Judy Macklin CF305
Reasonable accommodation is available at the venue which is easily reached by public transport.

You can pay by cash, credit card or cheques to Aberystwyth University
01970 621580 learning@aber.ac.uk

Sun 31st May 15
Wed 30th Sep 15
Islwyn Watkins 1960-2015
We are delighted to be holding a major exhibition of the sculptures, assemblages and collages by the renowned Welsh Artist, Islwyn Watkins
Islwyn was born in 1938 in Tonypandy, South Wales. From 1954 to 1959 he studied Fine Art at Cardiff College of Art and from 1959 to 1964 Lithography at Hornsey College of Art. In 1965/66 he did his Master's degree at University of Wisconsin Madison USA. He has his studio in Knighton, Gwent, and is a great admirer of Kurt Schwitters.

Artist's Statement: "Since the early 1960s my work has followed a steady development. While trained as a painter and potter, my work has evolved into three-dimensional relief or free-standing structures. These use found materials, wood etc., which have already had an existence. They bear not just the original workings of the joiner, carpenter or engineer but have over a period been modified by time, weather, sea or the hand of man. The surfaces are worn, bleached, distressed, the colours have been faded, paint has flaked or been abraded.
These elements are combined to create new identities indicated by the pieces themselves and constrained by the space and constraints of the context for which the work may be being produced. New materials and painted surfaces are used as necessary towards these ends and provide a contrast to the found material" (quoted, by kind permission of the artist, from 'Revelations - Processes of Making Art').

For most of his productive years Islwyn Watkins has created relief and free-standing constructions using found materials especially wood and leather. But he has also worked on paper to create collages (using mixed media e.g. materials such as paint, wallpaper, old bus tickets etc.) , intaglio prints & lithographs as well as small paintings in acrylic. As in his three-dimensional pieces, each work has its own identity and the same considerations of space, proportions & colour apply. Titles, if they exist, describe colours or are of an allusive nature or are associative (e.g. references to Schwitters, his role model). His titles identify rather than describe his work, which is a reflection of his curiosity, tolerance and sense of humour, something which he and Robert Harding have in common.

Teaching Experience: 1959-64 at a North London secondary school & part-time at South Hertfordshire College & the Working Men's College London; 1965 at James Graham College Leeds; 1965/66 part-time at the University of Wisconsinm Madison USA; 1966/67 part-time at Birmingham College of Art & Shenstone College Bromsgrove; 1967-77 Birmingham College of Art/Polytechnic.

Commissions: Former chairman of the Welsh Group and of the Association of Artists & Designers in Wales. Interested in & actively involved with antique ceramics.

International Exhibitions:
1966 W.V.Smith Gallery, Los Angeles (solo); Wisconsin Centre, Madison (solo); 1960s at the International Miniature Print Show in USA (mixed); also worked on a series of environmental & happening-type works in USA;

International Academia :1965-66 Master's degree at the University of Wisconsin, Madison USA.
Teaching at the University of Wisconsin.
Islwyn Watkins: 'Persian'Series of prints is in Public Collections in USA.

Sun 31st May 15
Sun 12th Jul 15
Six Hands
Renowned Welsh artist Antonia Spowers and Martina Jirankova-Limbrick an artist from the Czech Republic have been meeting for more than a year to draw hands. Sometimes members of the family join in.
Martina is an illustrator and Antonia is primarily a sculptor so have different approaches to the process.
Hands are as expressive of personality and emotion as faces, the range of poses, singly or combined, relaxed, tense, gestural, holding, pointing or from ritual, is immense and from a draughtsmanship point of view, fascinating and addictive.
The title 'Six Hands' refers to four artist hands plus two hands of the model-all equally involved.
The exhibition will be presented in an installation format

Sat 20th Jun 15
Sat 20th Jun 15
Drawing Hands
Antonia Spowers will give a drawing workshop in the studio. All levels of ability welcome, a wonderful opportunity to learn from a talented artist, explore the use and potential of different media and realise the potential of our fascinating hands as an art form.
Course: £25.Booking essential.

Fri 26th Jun 15
Sat 27th Jun 15
Exploring Still Life By Karl Sylvester
Karl Sylvester MA, MFA, is an accomplished painter, he studied Fine Art and Fine Art painting at Edinburgh University and now lives and works in Rhayader, Mid Wales. He has continued to paint, draw and exhibit work since graduating in 1995.
We have been proud to exhibit some of his superb still life paintings at Mid Wales Art Centre and are delighted that he will be giving this 2 day workshop.

'It will take place in the inspirational atmosphere of the Art Studio and give you the opportunity to develop your sense of composition, observational skills, and use of paint. You will make some preparatory sketches, discuss their potential and be encouraged to explore and develop your ideas into a larger, finished piece of work.'

The cost per day is £30. Tea/ coffee and healthy lunch available £6 .

Artists Statement:
I am interested in working directly from observation. Making marks which suggest effectively, emotionally, the thing seen. The raw material is Nature, perception and expression the goal. This simple but difficult task is often overlooked as having much relevance in art today. But without a basic grounding in the act of looking I think little of much value is achieved. I take sides with the long tradition of artists who with hand and heart and eye, and a few simple tools, have wrestled with Nature.

Thu 9th Jul 15
Thu 9th Jul 15
Mid Wales Poetry Open Mic Evening
Our regular open mic poetry evening in the relaxed atmosphere of the gallery, for all those who enjoy poetry.

• Bring a favourite poem to read
• Read or perform your own work
• Or just come and listen!

Guest poets: David Calcutt and Nadia Kingsley (postponed from 9th April)
David Calcutt is a playwright, poet and novelist who has been widely published. See www.davidcalcutt.com.
Nadia Kingsley is a poet, flash fiction and short story writer, who also runs Fair Acre Press. See www.fairacrepress.co.uk.
They will be reading from their joint publications, "Through the Woods" and "Road Kill" (a journey into the secret lives of our native animals) together with individual readings.

Hosted by Jane Dards
Admission £3. All welcome. Refreshments available. Cafe-style seating.
A chance to view the current exhibition.
For more information, contact Jane Dards (01686 689082 or email jane@janedards.co.uk) or Cathy Knapp (MWAC)

Fri 17th Jul 15
Sun 6th Sep 15
The 56 Group Wales: Mid Summer Show
The 56 Group Wales is showing at Mid Wales Arts Centre for the first time. Members of the group have all shown in countries throughout the world and it is fitting that they are now showing in the very heart of Wales.
The book "A Taste of the Avant-Garde: 56 Group Wales 56 Years" by David Moore tells the story of this illustrious group.

The 56 Group exhibition will include new works by renowned Welsh artists:
Glyn Jones
Antonia Spowers
Peter Spriggs
Alison Lochhead
Robert Harding
Martyn Jones
Peter Williams
John Selway
Dilys Jackson
Justine Johnson
Ken Elias

Wed 29th Jul 15
Thu 30th Jul 15
Young People's Film Project
Judy Parkinson, Chanel 4 documentary film maker, artist, curator and author of several best selling books including: 'I before E except after C', ' Remember, Remember the 5th Of November and biographies of Elton John, Monica Lewinski and Diana Princess of Wales will give a special masterclass film making workshop for young people from 15-19. This 2 day course will take workshop will take place immediately prior to the Eisteddfod and give added focus to the importance of the Arts in Wales. Students will select an artist or sculptor exhibiting at the Centre: and research, plan, make and edit a short innovative documentary about an aspect of their life and work.

Thu 6th Aug 15
Fri 28th Aug 15
Children's Holiday Workshops 2015
By popular demand we will be running a new even better programme of children's workshops during the school summer holidays. Every Thursday and Friday 10-4 for four weeks we will be running Art Activity Days
Highly skilled local artists with teaching experience are offering a variety of enjoyable activities designed to develop skills and extend your child's creativity.
Aimed at 7-14 year olds these will include:
Clay modelling
Wire Sculpture
Paper Sculpture
Tie Dye
Plaster casting
Drawing Animals
Painting to Music
£15 per session. 10-4. includes all materials. Children should wear old clothes and bring a packed lunch. Drinks and biscuits provided
Tutors: Nicky Arscott, Becky Wade, Esther Thorpe, Cathy Knapp
Places limited so pre booking essential.
Dates:6th & 7th 13th & 14th 20th &21st 27th &28th August
e mail info@midwalesarts.org.uk for a booking form.
£15 a session
Contact info@midwalesarts.org.uk 01686 688369 to reserve a place

Tue 11th Aug 15
Wed 12th Aug 15
Enamelling Masterclass
Elizabeth Turrell is a world renowned expert in enamelling and has kindly agreed to return to MWAC for a two day masterclass.
You will have the opportunity to experiment with different processes and produce a panel or group of panels forming a mural.
Places are limited and early booking is strongly advised.
MWAC centre is the home to a unique collection of enamels by the late Stefan Knapp produced between 1954 and 1996
Cost of course: £50 per day including a healthy lunch, tea coffee and homemade cakes.
Accommodation is available at discounted prices.
contact info@midwalesartscentre.org.uk 01686 688369

Sat 5th Sep 15
Sat 5th Sep 15
Developing Lino Printing With Jeb Nichols
We have asked Jeb to return by popular demand!
Jeb is a talented, practising artist, printmaker and experienced teacher who is in demand to run courses throughout the UK. Enjoy a day in the studio exploring linocut techniques. Linocut is a traditional relief printing method in which pieces of lino are cut away using special carving tools to create a design. The lino block is then inked up using a roller, and printed onto paper either by hand or using a traditional printing press.
£35 per person based on 8 people to include basic materials for the day. Food available from the café, if pre booked a healthy buffet lunch can be provided for £6.

Fri 11th Sep 15
Sat 31st Oct 15
"Ymuno: A fascinating Exhibition of new projections, animations, prints and paintings by Suzybee & Gini Wade".

Sun 13th Sep 15
Sat 31st Oct 15
STARTS 10 am
A Personal Journey In Clay
Exhibition of Ceramics by Andy Warren that describe his ceramic and personal journey.
Andy will exhibit work made over a 40 year period from sixth form general studies, through a professional period making wood fired salt glaze, to his current status as a hobby potter. The exhibition will include a commentary on his personal journey over that time and how this is revealed through the pieces exhibited.

Sun 22nd Nov 15
Sun 20th Dec 15
Open Exhibition. Inspired By Wales
We invite artists to submit work describing the location in Wales that inspires them most.
Selection: Please submit images in the first instance by October 16th.
detailing size and media.
First prize: £200.
Under 25: £100
All works should be for sale.