There are cities, in the UK and around the world, in which art is inaccessible to many residents. Many of these cities are famous for their art and artists, but they fail to include and inspire the wider population.
Swansea isn’t one of those cities. Jeff Phillips, for one, won’t let it be. For years Jeff has told our story through his vivid paintings of Swansea’s industrial landscape and our collective journey through war and peace. And he’s sharing them with all of us.
In 2021 Jeff’s work is the focal point of Swansea Past, Present and Future. A series of events built around Jeff’s inspiring and evocative art will bring together the people of Swansea in celebration of a city that’s still moving forward.
We’ll embrace a past that saw our port become an essential link in the chain of global trade, saw our landscape lose its greenery and our sky turn from blue to grey as we paid the price for our status as a hub of heavy industry, and saw our streets reduced to rubble in the midst of war. We’ll celebrate the spirit that saw us rise again in the second half of the 20th century and has seen communities pull together in the face of a new health crisis in 2020. And we’ll look forward to the future of a city whose people, employers and institutions are geared up to adapt to whatever the coming decades have in store for us.
About Jeff Phillips
Jeff Phillips is a committed environmentalist, a passionate educator and in many people’s eyes, Swansea’s greatest living artist.
Decades as a distinguished portrait artist and illustrator have produced a body of work that tells Swansea’s story, often far more eloquently than any words could. As well as reflecting on Swansea’s past, Jeff is constantly looking forward. His work with students and schoolchildren brings the arts to life for the next generation. In 2021 this inspirational sharing of ideas will be taken to a new level with Swansea Past, Present and Future.
About Swansea MAD
Swansea MAD is a value-driven charity located in an area of high deprivation. Activities at Swansea MAD take place for the prevention of poverty, advancement of social justice and equality; addressing barriers which communities tell us they face. We seek to sustain and grow the organisation’s impact, by continuing to develop inclusive, safe spaces for people to access advocacy, creative arts, education, digital access, employability support, training, campaigning activities and projects to bring fairness and belonging and to influence change for the better.
We are proud to be working with Jeff Phillips to explore and widen access to the history and heritage of Swansea and to support the arts.
Jeff has kindly donated 30 paintings from his Swansea Past, Present and Future collection to Swansea MAD. Purchases of the prints will support the Jeff Phillips Art Scholarship, which provides mentoring and development opportunities to young artists.