By Welsh standards the Royal Cambrian Academy is a venerable institution. It was founded in 1881, on the pattern of the Royal Academy of Arts, to promote the visual arts in Wales. Its Fellows are well-established artists and you might expect the Academy to be clubbish and insular. But under its current President, Jeremy Yates, it’s recently thrown its energies into encouraging emerging Welsh artists. In 2017, with the financial support of the Arts Council of Wales and others, it inaugurated a biennial prize competition called Nova. Work by the selected artists was shown at an exhibition held in the Academy’s gallery in Conwy in November and December 2017, and will be on show in Abeystwyth by the time this issue of Planet is published.
The competition was open to Welsh artists aged 35 or under. ‘Welsh’ is interpreted almost as liberally as it is by the Welsh Rugby Union, and the 31 artists chosen by the seven artist/curator selectors are diverse in location and background. If you were being particular you might complain that age isn’t necessarily a sure indicator of ‘emerging’ artistic status.Sign in to read more