And Other Dreams

18 MAY, 10AM-3PM


A series of talks that explore creative process, Dylan Thomas, and translation.


To celebrate the opening of Dylan Thomas and Other Dreams in Gallery 1, and Cymraeg Ddrwg in our Billboard Gallery we are holding a series of talks on Saturday 18 May that will explore creative process, Dylan Thomas, and translation.


These talks will be either side of the opening of these new exhibitions, along with the openings in Gallery 2, our Café, and Foyer.


Places are limited and pre-booking is essential.


Sgwrs yr Artist Talk: Bonnie Hawkins, 10am


Artist and illustrator Bonnie Hawkins will share insights into her practice and process, surrounded by her new solo exhibition Dylan Thomas and Other Dreams. This series of over 30 meticulous pencil drawings take inspiration from the characters, word play, and humour, of Under Milk Wood, along with Bonnie’s family and friends who posed for portraits.


Bonnie Hawkins works in oil paint, watercolours and graphite images, and has a particular passion for the humble pencil, reminding us that basic, affordable tools can lead to amazing creations. Her subject matter ranges from expressive landscapes, abstract art, wildlife, equestrian and precise fantasy illustrations. Bonnie has illustrated books for the international best-selling author Joanne Harris, including: A Pocketful of Crows, The Blue Salt Road, Orfeia, and Maiden, Mother, Crone.


Book a free place via Eventbrite here.

Sgwrs yr Artist Talk: Ffion Williams, 11am


Artist Ffion Williams will be talking about their practice and their new artwork Cymraeg Ddrwg, which will be on display in our Billboard Gallery until Spring 2025. Ffion plays with language, layers text, and uses their own method of creative translation to explore, Welshness, protest, and hope.


Ffion Williams uses sound, metal work and protest banner motifs to create work that investigates language, place, protest, and industrialisation. They studied painting at Edinburgh College of Art and exhibited in our annual graduate exhibition Portal in 2023. Their work is based around Welsh language and identity.


Book a free place via Eventbrite here.

Under Milk Wood: John Goodby, 2pm


It’s seventy years since the first broadcast and publication of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, the greatest product of radio’s golden age of the 1940s and 1950s. Yet the origins of this apparently innocuous ‘play for voices’ lie in the dark days of WWII and the cold war world which emerged from it, and its manipulation of clichés has a mischievous, cutting edge.


While celebrating the sunny humour of Thomas’s best-known work, John Goodby will explore its strange and subversive dynamics; its odd blend of sentiment and pathos. In doing so, he will answer some of the questions that still surround Under Milk Wood. Why has it proved such an inspiration for other artists? Why did Thomas never finish it? Why was it first performed in the USA, and then broadcast in England, but not Wales? In doing so he will explore what the play tells us about the times in which it was written and the light it might shed on today’s world, with its debates about national stereotypes and identity politics.


John Goodby is a critic, poet, and Professor of Arts and Culture at Sheffield Hallam University. He is a leading authority on the work of Dylan Thomas, the author and editor of Dylan Thomas: A New Casebook (2001), The Poetry of Dylan Thomas: Under the Spelling Wall (2013), the centenary edition of Dylan Thomas’s Collected Poems (2014), Discovering DylanThomas (2017) and The Fifth Notebook of Dylan Thomas (2020). His biography of Dylan Thomas for Reaktion Books is due out in November 2024.


Book a free place via Eventbrite here.

Opening Event, 12-2pm


Join us for the opening of our next set of exhibitions from 12-2pm, including the solo exhibition, Dylan Thomas and Other Dreams by Bonnie Hawkins in Gallery 1; Cymraeg Ddrwg, the new large-scale work by Ffion Williams in our Billboard Gallery; Craft Festival: Award Winners, a group exhibition of makers that celebrates the 20th anniversary of Craft Festival in Gallery 2; Open Torfaen, an exhibition of work from artists living in Torfaen in our Café; and a group exhibition by students from the new Artist Designer Maker Foundation Degree at Coleg Gwent Crosskeys in our foyer.