The first of the year exhibition at Garter Lane Arts Centre is the Solva based artist, Jay Lear, who had his first solo exhibition at the seminal West Wales Arts Centre, run by the legendary arts organiser, Myles Pepper.
Entitled Drift For A While, it has a dreamy mixed media scraped down through layers to establish tones and shades until the artist decides the image makes sense for him. This individual style has its plus and minus factors.
The minus is a sort of pretentious view of contemporary art and it is difficult to get the drift of what the artist wishes to achieve. Some pieces seem too reduced and, for me, are marred by crayon like words and markings on the surface. A piece, The Contented Tree, puzzled me and I was far more interested in a real tree in the centre’s garden.
I saw the work in an almost empty gallery before the official opening and there was a fine sense of peace and at-one-ness in the inner room, where 2 HUTS had a summery quality of pink and rust bathing booths in a faded seaside.
PRIMA BLUE fascinated me with its square mirror-like panel and rectangular panel, all within the edge of the painting. OPEN SPACES created a sense of looking out a window on a bland seascape. I did like the simplicity of CANOE where layers of vague colour allows the artist to mark, or gorge out the curve of a canoe like in a primitive wall painting.
MARKINGS had a deep satisfying quality like knots on a veneer of wood.
Exhibition runs until 27 February.