Saturday 3 February will see the official opening of the exhibition Remains of the Day by artist Barry John at Tenby Museum and Art Gallery.
Barry was born in Neyland and studied at Sir Thomas Picton School. He served in the British armed forces, being posted to Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Jamaica, America, Northern Ireland and Kosovo. His art is very much formed by the experiences he has had during his time in the army. Through his work he expresses stories, memories, demons, harsh and sometimes brutal truths and, yes, the beauty and colours and resilience of our conflicted world. To paraphrase Christopher Marlowe, his art shall play the orator for us.
Barry left the army in December 2013 after 24 years service. His design was to set up a community art gallery, which he achieved in 2014 with the opening of The VC Gallery in Haverfordwest. He had had previous experience during his service with mental health work and PTSD and, combined with his artistic skills, he realised a need in his community for such an undertaking. The gallery, located now in High Street, works with veterans, older people, children and those who just feel they need time to express themselves through art. As Barry says, “its all about socialising, community and art.”
The exhibition will feature a number of works including examples of his ‘black graffiti’ and Geisha girls. Themes may be challenging, riots and terrorism among them, but Barry is all about the challenge in life and in his work and in “being brave” in art, with form and shape and colour and execution. I for one am very much looking forward to seeing the works exhibited here in Tenby Museum.
The exhibition runs until Saturday 3 March.
Barry John (left) with artist Sally Green and Donna Wright (Tenby Youth Club) undertaking a beach pollution graffiti project at Tenby Museum