JAMES SELWAY: Artist
James Selway was born in a small mountain village in South Wales, in a valley famed for its contribution to the creative and performing arts. He studied at Swansea College of Art and Trinity College, Carmarthen. After a period teaching in a London secondary school, he moved to East Anglia to concentrate on his painting. Included in his work were many commissions, such as a large painting of the Annunciation for the Roman Catholic National Shrine in Walsingham, Norfolk and design work for Southwark Cathedral in London. In 2001 he moved to Catalunya and now lives and works in Castellar del Vallès. Selway has exhibited extensively in various galleries throughout the UK and Spain and his work has been purchased by private collectors in the US and Europe. He paints with oil, acrylic and water colour, and his subject matter is extensive although he tends to choose particular areas as a source: Barcelona and the Catalan countryside, other regions of Spain, Southern France, Italy, Morocco, England and his native Wales.
Favourite art galleries and museums in Barcelona
I find pleasure in visiting the various commercial galleries dotted around Barcelona. However, I still frequently find myself heading for established art centres such as CaixaForum which is always a delight to visit. Of course, the Fundació Joan Miró continues to be sensational, as a building as well as its inspiring exhibits. The same can be said for the Fundació Tàpies and I have greatly appreciated several recent temporary exhibitions provided by Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya.
Local artists I recommend and why
I love the freedom and feeling of spontaneity shown in the work of Antoni Granja Llobet. He takes you into his world of the ordinary man and captures images with richness and affection. His canvases show remarkable freshness... It would seem as if the painter had just left the canvas with the paint still wet while he purchases and refreshes himself with a well-deserved beer. I greatly empathise with the painter Manuel Duque Domínguez, born 1919. I admire him as a man as well as an artist. After working at various laborious occupations for several years, in 1941, he moved to live in Sabadell and worked in a wool merchant’s. Initially he created pictures from left-over wool samples which were a basis for his first, successful exhibition. It was about the same time that he bought an easel and paints, which became the start of his exciting entry into the world of painting. Although his work is highly regarded, I believe that it is deserving of much greater global recognition.
Future plans and projects
My next exhibitions include the Summer Exhibition at the Blackheath Gallery, London and the new Rooms Gallery, Llandeilo, Wales. Further plans are being made for a joint exhibition at the Washington Gallery, Cardiff with my relative, Aneurin Jones, who is a legendary Welsh artist. Discussions are also in progress for a third exhibition at the Belles Arts Gallery in Sabadell.
Galleries and museums outside Barcelona (in Catalunya/Spain) that I think are worth travelling to
Canals Gallery in Sant Cugat is always worth a visit. The same can be said for Galeria Sicart in Vilafranca del Penedès. On occasions I exhibit at Sabadell’s Academia de Belles Arts. There are three rooms in the gallery which normally display the paintings or sculptures of three different artists. Some are established while others are emerging.
Other Barcelona recommendations
Favourite restaurant: I enjoy eating at the Baroque-style Italian restaurant Mercante di Venezia on Josep Anselm Calvé.
Favourite shop: The Oriental spice shops along Sant Pau Street.
www.jamesselway.com; tel. 93 714 4328