Pit Girls Exhibition Opens at Merthyr Tydfil

Dawn Bowden and Hilary Barry at the opening of “Pit Girls – Forgotten Women”

It was a pleasure to meet Dawn Bowden, Welsh Assembly Member for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, at the opening of the “Pit Girls – Forgotten Women” exhibition at Cyfarthfa Castle Museum on 8 March 2020.

You can learn more about the paintings and the background to the exhibition here. I’ve just finished updating the page to include audio recordings of the women’s testimonies to the 1842 Parliamentary commission.

BBC Radio Wales Interview

The day after the launch of the “Pit Girls – Forgotten Women” exhibition, BBC Radio Wales invited me talk about its background and the significance of the women to the Welsh mining industry.

Click on the link below to listen to the interview.

Great Big Art Exhibition

I’m taking part in The Great Big Art Exhibition. ⁣This is the first of two charcoal on paper pieces I’ve prepared.

Dog and Ball

The idea is for people to create an artwork at home – it can be a painting, drawing, sculpture or whatever you want – to display in their window or garden. The plan is to create a rolling nationwide exhibition, inspired by the rainbows people made to celebrate the NHS and keyworkers during the first lock-down. ⁣

This is how it works. Every two weeks, a different artist chooses a new subject: the theme for the first fortnight, chosen by Antony Gormley, is animals. When I first moved to Kessingland, people I met didn’t ask “How are you?” but “Where’s your dog?” (I don’t have one) so, in their honour, I’ve chosen dogs as my first subject. ⁣

Dog(s) in the Window

You can learn more about the exhibition and how to take part here, or follow it on social media using the hashtag #greatbigartexhibition.

Preparing Canvases for New Work

Photograph of British artist Hilary Barry priming canvases in her Kessingland studio.
Priming canvases in my studio, ready for the next series

2020’s been a busy year, apart from the obvious issue of dealing with Coronavirus and the associated difficulties.

With the Pit Girls exhibition in March followed by two Easterly Artists virtual exhibitions in May and September, it’s time to start the process of framing and preparing new canvases.

BBC Look East films Suffolk Open Studios Showcase artists

A good evening at last night’s Suffolk Open Studios 2019 Showcase, at the Apex Gallery in Bury.

As well as having Ania Hobson there as our special guest, the BBC recorded the event for that night’s Look East broadcast, and interviewed several of the participating artists.

Click here to watch the video – my piece is at the end!

The show runs till 31 March so get there if you can, as there’s some excellent work on display.

Photograph of Hilary Barry showing her work at the Suffolk Open Studios 2019 Showcase
Hilary Barry with her work on show at the Suffolk Open Studios 2019 Showcase, 26 Feb-31 March
Photograph of the crowds at the Suffolk Open Studios 2019 Showcase Main Gallery
Good turn-out for the Suffolk Open Studios 2019 Showcase

Pit Girls Regain Their Voice

Exciting news – the Cyfarthfa Castle Museum in Merthyr Tydfil has agreed to host my series of 12 “Pit Girl” portraits as part of a new exhibition titled “Pit Girls: Forgotten Women“!

The exhibition runs Tuesday 3 March – Sunday 31 May 2020. Opening times:
• 1 Oct – 31 March: Monday (Closed); Tuesday-Friday: 10am-4pm; Weekends: 12pm-4pm
• 1 April – 30 Sept: Monday-Friday: 10am-5pm; Weekends: 12pm-5pm.

You can learn more about the Pit Girls’ history and how I came to paint their portraits here.

The museum is located at:
Cyfarthfa Park, Brecon Road, Merthyr Tydfil, CF47 8RE
T: 01685 727371 | W:

Cyfarthfa Park is located north of Merthyr Tydfil town centre on the A470. The museum is 20 minutes’ walk from the centre or there is a regular bus service.
By car: Satnav postcode CF47 8PA.


Dawn Bowden (Welsh Assembly Member for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney) has agreed to open the exhibition: 2pm, Sunday 8 March, to coincide with International Women’s Day.

Get in touch if you’d like an invitation!

Easterly Artists in the News

Some nice coverage of our art group Easterly Artists’ exhibition “Change” at the Gallery Upstairs (Fisher Theatre) in Bungay, which runs till 14 March (apologies for the poor quality of the image).

8 artists have combined forces to put on a remarkable display of work across a wide range of media – catch it before it goes!

Press cutting from the Beccles & Bumgay Journal, 1 Feb 2019, on the Easterly Artists group exhibition titled "Change", at the Gallery Upstairs in Bungay.
Beccles & Bumgay Journal, 1 Feb 2019

New Show: “Change”

Very proud and pleased to be taking part in the inaugural exhibition of our local artist group: Easterly Artists.

You can learn more about them and the remarkable artists who make up the group at but, meanwhile, hope very much to see you at the Private View:

4-6pm, Sunday 17 February
Gallery Upstairs at the Fisher Theatre

Broad Street, Bungay NR35 1EE

And if you can’t make that, the exhibition runs 10am-3pm, till Thursday 14 March 2019. That said, the gallery isn’t open on Sundays and not every day in the week, so it’s worth checking the theatre website or calling 01986 897130 beforehand!

Hope to see you there!