Emma Geliot's picture

Cherry Pickles - Dylan Thomas Centenary Self-Portrait


Cherry Pickles is renowned for her self-portraits, and self-portraits are central to her work: whether trespassing into the lives of Dylan Thomas, William S Burroughs or Phaedra in her role-playing self-portraits, or catching a glimpse of herself in a mirror or at an unusual angle; even a bunch of flowers may reveal a hidden Cherry on closer inspection.

Starting on Saturday March 28, Oriel Mwldan will be showing the work of Cherry Pickles. The exhibition opens at 4pm and includes a chance to meet Cherry and see a range of paintings and collages from her body of work.

Pickles works in a way that is incredibly mindful that the process of looking is an active one. You are persuaded to really look at her work. The whole of the picture surface is animated as the eye is drawn from a face to some marks on the mirror in which it is reflected, to the area beyond the mirror, and so on.

Through her paintings she pokes fun at the inflated status bestowed upon the male artist. Recent works see her recreating infamous moments from the lives of Pollock and Burroughs.

Pickles paints the world over and the landscapes, and hues, of her works tell of travels to Greece, Haiti, Miami and of times at Yaddo or her Pembrokeshire home. Painting self-portraits removes certain constraints from her practice - she is available whenever she wants to work and willing to pose in any way that she wishes. The results are rich, intriguing, captivating, and at times gleefully ridiculous.

Pickles was born in Bridgend and studied mathematics in Ulster, then later painting at Chelsea and the Slade. She has taught at Cardiff Art School and is a tutor at the Royal Drawing School.

Awards include the Guston-McKim Residency at Yaddo, New York State (2014) prizewinner in the Lynn Stainer-Painter Prize Exhibition (2013) and finalist for SELF (2013) and Sky Arts Portraitist of the Year (2013).

The exhibition runs until May 16.


Admission to the gallery is free. Please see www.mwldan.co.uk or contact 01239 621200 for further details.

Image at top: Dylan Thomas Centenary Self-Portrait (2014)