Gilly Thomas: At Seventy

19 August - 12 September 2018



To coincide with her 70th Birthday, we are pleased to present a new collection of Gilly's work. These paintings, structured and lit dramatically like a scene from a play, or a frame from a film, or a snatched still from a dream, or nightmare perhaps, come straight from a strange internal world that's both unsettling and absurd. It is a world full of swooping perspectives, hidden clues, repeated symbols; the light can be harsh and strong, the shadows deep and sharp.


These paintings grow in the dark, inspired either by dreams or wakefulness. There is ambiguity, but also a fierce focused clarity.


Here is the artist as both prisoner and jailer: forced to observe her own predicament, tormented by her gifts, mocked by her own self-awareness. At once yearning for isolation and demanding attention. Simultaneously barbed and tender.  So while the work is internal and introspective, there are gusts of emotional ambivalence and frequent showers of irony which rinse out all traces of self-pity . And while there is humour, there is seriousness, skill and utter sincerity in her skewering of the pain, contradictions and absurdity of our inner lives.


She is both hunter and prey!


Gilly lives near Bangor and is a member of the Royal Cambrian Academy. Her work appears in many collections.