March 26, 2015
The broadcast of a new hour-long programme Visions of the Valleys presented by Dr Kim Howells and produced and directed by Steve Freer is on BBC 1 Wales (29 March 2015 at 10.30pm) and BBC 4 (31 March 2015 at 8pm; 2 April 2015 at 2.45am).
Showing as part of the BBC Wales Real Valleys season, Dr Kim Howells celebrates two and quarter centuries of art in the Valleys, looking at how the place became a magnet for artists drawn by its natural splendour and the spectacle of the industries that grew up there. Former Pontypridd MP and Labour arts minister Kim Howells looks at how the South Wales Valleys have been portrayed by artists from the end of the 18th century to the present day.
He begins with JMW Turner who visited the Vale of Neath in the 1790s to paint the spectacular waterfalls, but soon discovers that it was the drama of industry that attracted the next generation of painters. By the 20th century artists became more concerned with social issues, showing the despair brought on by the Great Depression. But after the Second World War the mood changed and painters reflected the post-war optimism. Finally, he looks at the current generation of artists, including Valerie Ganz and David Carpanini, who portray the after-effects of industry and the natural beauty that has returned to the Valleys.
Dr Ceri Thomas was a specialist researcher for this BBC Wales television arts programme.
For more information, please visit BBC Website