Curious Travellers: Movement, Landscape, Art


10 October – 16 December 2016


Private View 10 October 5-7pm



Exhibition exploring responses to travel in North Wales over 250 years
“I beg to be considered not as a Topographer but as a curious traveller willing
to collect all that a traveller may be supposed to do in his voyage; I am the first
that attempted travels at home, therefore earnestly wish for accuracy.”
Thomas Pennant, May 1773.
This exhibition presents a range of responses to the writings of the Flintshire travel writer Thomas Pennant (1726-1798), whose Tours of both Wales and Scotland ignited public interest in the ‘peripheries’ of Britain.  A diverse and exciting range of contemporary Welsh artists, working in various media from paint and etching to film and sound, revisit and reimagine Pennant’s words and places from C21st perspectives.


‘Curious Travellers: Movement, Landscape, Art’ is linked to a major AHRC-funded research project run by the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies and Glasgow University. The project opens a window onto the vivid and often entertaining accounts of the visitors who headed for the edges of the British Isles in search of the primitive, the picturesque and the sublime – and often found the foreign, and the unsettling, surprisingly close to home.


This exhibition is accompanied by a series of events all held within the gallery. Free to attend:


List of Events


Monday 10 October, 5-7pm


Exhibition Launch & Private View


Please join the 13 exhibiting artists, Professor Estelle Thompson, and guest curators Dr Mary-Ann Constantine and Dr Elizabeth Edwards (University of Wales) for a glass of wine and short introductory talks about the exhibition. All welcome!


Wednesday 12 October, 7pm


Sophie McKeand & Rhi Moxon, Handmade Cities: Exploring Poetry and Travel in Wrexham


Sophie McKeand (Young People’s Laureate Wales) and Rhi Moxon (artist and printmaker) discuss their recent collaboration with Oriel Wrecsam, the ‘Explorer Project’ ( Sophie and Rhi worked with young women from Wrexham’s Roma Traveller community, remapping the contemporary urban landscape through poetry and print. They reflect back on the project in this hour-long talk.

Saturday 22 October, 4pm 


Philip Gross, Travels at Home: a poetry reading & Martin Crampin, ‘The church is extremely handsome’: Art and History at Gresford


T.S. Eliot prize-winning poet Professor Philip Gross (University of South Wales) reads new work on the themes of travel and landscape. Historian and contemporary artist Dr Martin Crampin (University of Wales) reveals the medieval decorative art at All Saint’s Church, Gresford.



Thursday 27 October, 7pm


Aled Lewis Evans, Llwybrau Llonyddwch a Cherddi Newydd


North-east Wales-based writer Aled Lewis Evans explores the themes of travel writing, highways and byways, and reads his new poetry (Welsh-language event).


A Tour in Wales by Thomas Pennant Volume 1
A tour in Wales by Thomas Pennant Volume 2