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Review of the 50fifty exhibition, Swansea, October 2019
Professor Emeritus Howard Riley PhD MA(RCA) CertDes FRSA FHEA
Swansea College of Art 1991-2015
Swansea College of Art is the oldest in Wales (1853). The city is the youngest in Wales (1969). How fitting that an exhibition celebrating the city’s 50th anniversary should be curated by two of the College’s present students, Alice Oliver and Alicia Hughes. These two had the onerous task of selecting fifty participants working across the wide range of media representing fifty years of visual culture in the city: the 50fifty exhibition, 4-11 October 2019, on display in two venues: the College, and the Elysium gallery spaces facilitated by Jon Powell and his co-directors.
Alicia and Alice’s choices emphasised the work of recent graduates beginning to make their mark in the contemporary art world, leavened with examples from lecturers past and present. A visually-intriguing mix, evidence of the curators’ joint ‘eye’ for quality, their administrative skills, not to mention their capacity for patience and tactfulness!