How do Europeans see Wales? New Bangor exhibition looks at visitors' views


Mike Williams

A NEW public exhibition in Bangor looks at how European visitors see Wales. 

The EuroVisions exhibition at Bangor’s new Storiel gallery on Deiniol Road, is open now and runs until July 2. 

It draws on research from Bangor University’s School of Modern Languages and Cultures to look at how European visitors, including explorers, tourists and refugees, have viewed Wales since the mid-eighteenth century. 

Rita Singer, research assistant, said: “EuroVisions is a unique opportunity for museum visitors to see rarely displayed works of art from continental Europe that has been collected by various institutions here in Wales. 

“It is probably the first and only time that people will have the chance to see a drawing of Dolgellau during the 1770s by a Swiss artist side by side a twentieth-century hospital scene by a painter from Belgium. 

“The variety of styles, subjects and national backgrounds makes the exhibition so exciting.” 

The exhibition is traveling around Wales and makes its final stop in Bangor after stays in Aberystwyth and Swansea. 

Artists are featured from Switzerland, Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Austria and Poland from the Romantic period up to the present day. 

The exhibition grew out of a research project looking at portrayals of Wales and Welshness in European travel writing between 1750 and 2010. 

The three-year project has already identified over 360 travel accounts in which visitors from the European mainland describe their journeys around Wales since the mid-eighteenth century. 

It is a collaboration between Bangor University’s School of Modern Languages and Cultures and colleagues at Swansea University and the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies in Aberystwyth. 

Storiel is also showing an exhibition, Observations, of the work of Belgian artist Karel Lek who took refuge in north Wales in 1940. 

The paintings on show give a view of one traveller to Wales and the community which welcomed him. 

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