Michael Flynn

In 2008 I received a “Creative Wales Award from the Welsh Arts Council. I needed time to reassess my work and imagery and wished to explore the relationship between Harlequin and Dionysus. Harlequin had long been a central character in my work, an expression of pre-urban consciousness active in the life of the city, he is Fool and Raggedy Man, a wild St Francis, a clown, a Man of Sorrows, “Man bleeding outwardly”, as opposed to “Woman bleeding inwardly”, to quote one reviewer of my work.

I needed to develop him further or to move on. Much of what fascinated me about Harlequin, I realized, was contained in the more sophisticated and far older identity of Dionysus. Harlequin is in fact the vernacular embodiment of the Dionysian and the means by which he has retained a foothold in urban consciousness is Carnival. I sought this connection through reading, through tracing artefacts and traditions referring to them, and through the experience of Carnival.

The forest is alive within us despite many attempts to expunge it.
“Forest” has become the focus of my work and I am seeking to express this notion through simultaneously working on related themes: “Mask and Dance”, “A Sofa for the Gods”, “Forest” itself.

“Forest” draws together all the major themes of my work over the last thirty years, my pursuit of the shifting significance of Harlequin, my love of drawing, of myth and especially of fairytale, my commitment to the material of ceramic which I embrace as most appropriate to the poetic expression of those concepts which develop, or do they attach themselves, as my thinking progresses. This is an ongoing project. I am not sure where it will end up. Several exhibitions are possible but each would assume a different emphasis and dynamic. This first small exhibition presents a selection of some of the images that have so far emerged.

Born 1947

1985-1986 Cardiff College of Art, MA, Fine Art
1975–1978 Cardiff College of Art, BA (Hons) Ceramics
1968–1971 Worcester College of Education, Teaching Certificate
1963–1965 Birmingham College of Art, Painting

Selected Exhibitions
2008 Michael Flynn, Nathalie Schnider-Lang, Silvia Siems, Galerie FrederikBollhorst, Freiburg
“Porzellan, Unikat und Editionen“, handwerksform, Hannover
London Art Fair (Adrian Sasson), London
“The Human Condition”, Galerie Melissa Muys, Antwerpen
“Collect” (Ruthin Gallery), Victoria & Albert Museum
“Art Athina” (Orpheus Gallery), Athens
European Ceramic & Fine Art Fair - Adrian Sassoon
2007 Orpheus Gallery, Limasol
“Menscheit” Kunstforum Solothurn
European Ceramic & Fine Art Fair - Adrian Sassoon
“The Figure”, Zobole Gallery, Pontypridd, Wales
London Arts Fair - Adrian Sassoon
“Collection”, Ruthin Gallery, Wales

Public Collection
2001 & 2002 Walbrzyk Museum, Poland
2001 & 2002 Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, Halifax, Canada






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