Cherry Pickles, a well renowned self-portrait artist who has exhibited internationally and who lives in the local village of Trefin, was the perfect choice to produce a collection to complement the interior design and atmosphere of Cornel bar.
Born in Bridgend, Wales, Cherry did a mathematics degree In Northern Ireland before going to art school at Chelsea and Slade. After that, she did various commissions of teaching and residencies, most substantially; Falmouth School of Art, Corsham and St Andrews University.
In the early/mid 80's Cherry moved to Wales and started teaching at Cardiff Art School. At the same time she did some drawing workshops in Como, Italy, followed by an International Artists residency at Omi, in Upstate NY and enjoyed several Greek Government Scholarships where she travelled the country extensively sometimes with family and sometimes alone.
Cherry taught at Cardiff for a number of years and took time out to do a Residency at Altos De Chavon, a very strict and impressive art school in the Dominican Republic. The school was housed in replica Italian village designed by Felini's set designer and ranked as one of the 9 best art schools in the world.
More recently, she completed a residency did the Guston McKim in Yaddo, which is one of the oldest artists and writers colonies in the US. Its former residents include, Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, Guston, John Cheever, Truman Capote and Patricia Heysmith and many of these she used as characters in her self-portraits, and with the help of other residents, re-enacted some scenes, which may or may not have happened between them.
Cherry currently teaches at the Royal Drawing School, London and paints in both London and Pembrokeshire.
The series of works on display at Twr y Felin Hotel is loosely based on the kind of hedonistic lifestyle Dylan Thomas and his friends pursued. This lifestyle, which made Dylan Thomas a role model for the beat generation of poets in America, has often been a subject of Cherry’s self-portrait painting.
The title of the biggest painting is a quote from an account of a trip to St Davids by John Malcom Brinnin, Director of the 92nd Street Y Poetry Centre in New York, who, with his friend Bill Read came to stay with Dylan and Caitlin in Laugharne. During their stay, the four, along with Laugharne local Billy Williams acting as chauffeur, visited St Davids. They visited the Bishop's Palace and took photographs among the ruins. Brinnin goes on to describe their antics like hanging upside down from the battlements.
The ominous skies in the works are partly a homage to Constable's ‘Salisbury Cathedral’, recently on loan to Oriel y Parc, the Class National Museum Gallery that sits opposite Twr y Felin.
Cherry’s self-portraits as Dylan Thomas have been exhibited widely, including at the following galleries:
The Ruth Borchard Collection
National Open Art (prizewinner)
Chichester Art Gallery
"Smoking with the Boys" The Room, London
"Women can't Paint " Turps Gallery, London
"Total Eclipse of the Heart", Watson, Farley & Williams, London