No School, Not Too Precious and Flora.

I recently travelled to North Wales, with husband and younger daughter, visiting some galleries that were either new to me or that I haven’t seen in many years and that have undergone significant development.

Oriel Mostyn Shop
Oriel Mostyn Shop

Oriel Mostyn was first on the itinerary – the main exhibition ‘No School’ – Camille Blatrix was intriguing but there was little in the way of information and I have to admit to spending most of the too-short time we had there in the lovely craft shop area. So much to see and admire but no money to buy unfortunately.

The next day we went to Ruthin Craft Centre and had a wonderful time at the international jewellery exhibition ‘Not Too Precious’. Here I should say I’d intended this trip for a month or two later but having a daughter, Hannah – a final year student on the Contemporary Design Craft course in Hereford desperate to see this exhibition I brought the trip forward.

So pleased I did as this is a brilliant show in a beautifully designed gallery. I loved not simply the jewellery but also the video of people trying some of the exhibits on – also enjoyed being able to try one on myself! It was a piece I wouldn’t choose visually but was wonderfully tactile. My favourite piece was by the Hungarian jeweller Flora Vagi and I thought it might have been ceramic but it isn’t!

Adam Buick at Ruthin
Adam Buick

The retail space is fantastic too (I coveted an Adam Buick pot with a ‘crack’ snaking up one side!) and the member of staff there was extremely welcoming and helpful especially to Hannah as a student. We could have spent much longer there but instead had a delicious lunch in the cafe then headed off to Oriel Davies in Newtown.

This is a gallery that is completely new to me and another very attractive exhibition space quite different to the other two with a different focus and a retail space with little in the way of craft but a great selection of books. The ‘Flora’ exhibition was on at that time and we all enjoyed it – it is moving on now to Oriel Myrddin in Carmarthen so it will be interesting to see it there too and see how/if it changes the experience.

I had a great time in all these galleries and can’t wait to go again. Maybe next time I’ll even take some photos. I was too busy drinking it all in so these photos are courtesy of my husband, Alastair Duncan – thank you Alastair!

Anya Galaccio at Oriel Davies
Anya Galaccio at Oriel Davies