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Vox Pop: Contemporary art well represented?

The Cardiff Contemporary 2016, is running from the 20 October – 19 November. A city wide festival of contemporary arts, it’s showcasing a program of exhibitions over four weeks.

While this festival aims to establish Cardiff as a progressive city for contemporary art and innovation, there is yet no permanent venue to house a collection of contemporary art in Wales. When compared with other platforms, and the level of representation in England, it looks like there is still work to be done.

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The National Museum of Wales hosts a number of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, including Artes Mundi, which brings major international artists and their work to the city.

Because of this, contemporary artists tend to rely on creating their own opportunities and are looking further afield to profile their work. This could pose yet another challenge to an already competitive market, especially for artists at the start of their careers, according to Chris Brown, co-director from g39, a gallery which focuses on contemporary work.

Gallery Ten director, Catrin Gardiner in Cardiff said: “People expect a contemporary art gallery in Cardiff.” She added, “We’re a country with such a rich culture, it shows that there’s a lack of funding in Wales’s visual culture, confidence, and a need to make a decision.”

With the re-opening of Swansea’s iconic Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, they have ensured it has a contemporary feel in its multi million pound renovation. Laura Sims, marketing officer of audience development said: “Given this big, new space, we’ve now got the opportunity to hold absolutely everything here. It’s really important to us that we’re not just a gallery that has just a collection. We’re also looking to the future and have a contemporary vision.”

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The historic Glynn Vivian Art Gallery re-opens in Swansea

Time to ask some gallery goers’ in Cardiff whether they think contemporary art is well represented here in Wales, or whether there is need for more?

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