Elfyn Lewis RCA work is always technically daring, as he experiments with techniques to achieve the effects he needs to communicate his ideas. This constant enquiry and pushing at the limits, gives the work a rare excitement and energy.
But it is not mere technical exercise. Though mostly abstract, the works hint at glimpses and memories of landscape, and they are full of atmospherics: there are shadows and light, wind and rain and electricity are everywhere. But there are internal, psychological atmospherics too: often within the same image the mood darkens, or clears. Contradictory emotions coexist; the present overlays but cannot obliterate past memories.
Elfyn was born and grew up in Porthmadog. He now lives and works in Cardiff. Over the course of his 25 year career he has won numerous awards and prizes for his paintings including the Gold Medal for Fine Art in the National Eisteddfod in 2009, and the prestigious Welsh Artist of the Year award in 2010. He has also recently been elected to the Royal Cambrian Academy, Conwy.
Surfaces are layered with paint that overflows, dripping. Congested, thick impasto paint has been pushed and forced to create a painting, which is also an object of desire. These paintings are layered time after time until the upper layer explodes and transforms from its volcanic creation into a vivid landscape. These are eruptions of colour and beauty intended to transfix the viewer.
Rhoddir haenau o baent sy’n gorlifo, diferu, dros yr arwynebau. Mae paent impasto trwchus, gorddwys yn cael ei wthio a’i gymell i greu llun sydd hefyd yn wrthrych chwant. Rhoddir haen ar ben haen ar y paentiadau hyn nes bod yr haen uchaf yn ffrwydro, gan drawsnewid eu creadigaeth folcanaidd yn dirlun lliwgar. Echdoriadau o liw a harddwch yw’r rhain, a’u bwriad yw hoelio sylw y gwyliwr.