REVIEW by Anna KiernanNWR Issue 103
Relationships with Pictures: An Oblique Autobiography
by Peter Lord
Peter Lord was once an ‘incomer’ to Wales, but has ‘gone native’ through learning the language, engaging with the politics of independence and leading research on the historically overlooked visual arts in Wales. ‘In this way’, says John Barnie in the prologue, ‘painters like Archie Rees Griffiths, John Cyrlas Williams and Maurice Sochachewsky… are brought back into the light to live once more in our culture, each adding to and changing our understanding of Wales’ visual past.’
Renowned for his work on artisan and industrial paintings from Wales, particularly from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Lord’s arts criticism seems to sit comfortably alongside contemporaries such as Catherine Belsey and John Berger. Like them, he is interested in rethinking not only visual and cultural identities but also what constitutes ‘art’ and from whose perspective. In Berger’s oft-quoted words, Lord seems as much preoccupied with ‘ways of seeing’ – that is to say, the loaded act of viewing – as with the artwork itself....
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