Art in Brynmawr

“and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze” Exodus 35:31-32

Although I grew up in North London, I spent a lot of my childhood in south wales coming up to visit family. For this reason I have always viewed the area with rose tinted spectacles.

I have lived in Wales now for 12 years and despite having a clear London accent I can honestly say that this is my home and it is where my heart is! Wales has given me my education, my family and it is where I came to faith! So, I can now say that I was born (again) in Wales.

I love the people and the culture. The beautiful mixture of rural landscapes and heavy industry gives a great romanticism to the area that the Lord has called me to serve.

No other artist better captures what my heart sees of our beloved country than Goff Danter.

I had the pleasure of meeting Goff earlier this year and he kindly gave me a tour of his studio and gallery. Goff took time to explain his paintings that all refer back to his personal recollections of the area he grew up in.

The paintings are not of any particular place, but of memories of many places. So, to the consumer, Goff’s art embodies and excites memories that could represent anywhere in Wales.

Goff’s paintings are both exciting and soulful for this reason, they leave you with some work to do, so you can tell your own story about them.

Being a Pastor I sadly can not afford the original works but have two prints at home.

Raise the Ashes

Raise the Ashes

“Raise the Ashes” depicts an early morning scene, Goff’s memory behind the piece was at the start of the day you had to raise the ashes from the fire to start it, for heat, water and food. For me, it shows of a Valley town where the Gospel light has burnt out and the Lord has brought us here as His means to raise the Ashes.

A bit of Blue Sky

A bit of Blue Sky

“A bit of blue sky” is Goff’s depiction of Sunday School trips down to Barry. They took the bus, leaving behind them the dark clouded valley as they head toward the bit of blue sky to enjoy a nice summers day. I bought this for my wife, as she used to look for bits of blue sky (and still has to in Abersychan).

We love the prints as they have there own story, yet they allow us to put our own to them. This, I believe, is what makes Goff’s work so special.

The Coalstream

The Coalstream

Lastnight we were invited up to his gallery again for the BNB Arts and Heritage Festival. It was a wonderful evening of live music from “The Coalstream” and another oportunity to learn more about Goff’s art.

The picture at the bottom of this page is of the “Dirty Wall” where Goff paints. What fascinates me is that behind all the splatter and flicks, you can see echoes of the art that had been created beforehand.

The evening was again inspirational and I would recomend everyone to go to Goff’s gallery on Brynmawr.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

God created man and woman in His image, so we do, in our nature, reflect God’s own attributes. God created us, so we can create.

God gave Adam two jobs, the first (Genesis 2:15) was to work and keep the Garden of Eden. Our Lord reveals to us in His word that Eden was a place “pleasant to the eye” as well as a source of sustenance. So, working the Garden could not simply mean just harvesting it, but maintaining its beauty. Hence why God has given us a propensity to define what beauty is, to define “art”.

The Artist then is fulfilling God’s instruction to keep the garden by exercising the skills and tools that God has given them.

We must thank God for the beauty of His creation and that He has given us the ability to appreciate it and replicate it to some extent in artistic form.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

Goff Danter and Pastor John

Goff Danter and Pastor John in front of the “Dirty Wall”