Soldier's homecoming celebrated in exhibition
1:40pm Monday 30th April 2012 in News
Homecoming for all soldiers is a highly significant date, but for artist and Colour Sergeant Barry John, of the 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh Regiment, it’s the feeling and title he’s given to a major exhibition in his home county of Pembrokeshire, currently running at the Waterfront Gallery in Milford Haven Docks.
The artist, who relocated to Swansea as Army Recruiting Team 2IC in April, was awarded the MBE in 2010 for his work in Army recruitment.
He was born in Neyland in 1974 and joined the British Army aged only 16.
His subsequent military career involved him in extensive travel to Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Jamaica, Cyprus, Kosovo, Northern Ireland and Germany, and these travels and his experiences formed the basis of his initial inspiration.
In 2003, fuelled by a life long interest in art, but without formal training, he felt the need to put down stories on canvas, and so his artistic career started.
Barry said: “I find that I tend to work on three or four pieces at the same time. All are based on memories and reflections of past personal experiences, spontaneously executed, which help me create multi-layered images which I come back to time and time again. The immediate mixed media process gives me energy which I ply back into the work and enables me to create my own visual language.”
The exhibition is split into three distinct sections. These are his work on conflict as a war artist, his street art graffiti on current day predicaments and landscapes, using inks and acrylics based around his native River Cleddau which are inspired by his childhood memories and relationship with his grandfather.
Acclaimed Welsh artist Andrew Vicari will open the exhibition. Mr Vicari said: “It gives me great pride to be associated with a most exciting new talent.”
The exhibition runs until May 26th.