Muscular images of the South Wales Coast

This week at the Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay, I visited Guy Pitt’s exhibition of paintings, drawings and photographs of the South Wales coast and the Severn estuary. Using large-format cameras, one of which he built himself, he distils years of close observation into magnificent contrasty enlargements of quirky sand banks off-shore at low tide, and the rocky bulk of Steepholm island. His drawings and paintings of the coastline are in a mixture of inks, watercolour, gouache and unconventional DIY materials. Often radically abstract, but sometimes painstakingly descriptive, these evoke the map-drawing precision of his father, an army cartographer in the middle east in WWII. One of Pitt’s major passions is drawing the coast at night, by moonlight or on a dark night on the coast of western Barry, working by the light of Cardiff Airport over-spilling from the cliffs at Rhoose. Drawn by moonlight, viewed down a telescope, his images of Steepholm have a visionary quality. Sadly, this exhibition lasted only ten days, but most of the images can still be seen on his website.

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