Ivor Davies (artist)

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Ivor Davies MBE
BornNovember 1935
EducationCardiff College of Art
Swansea College of Art
University of Lausanne
University of Edinburgh
Known forPainting / Multi-media / Conceptual / Mosaic
AwardsFine Art Gold Medal winner, National Eisteddfod of Wales
Vice-President of the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art
ElectedThe Welsh Group[1]
Royal Cambrian Academy

Ivor Davies MBE is a Welsh-speaking, Welsh artist born in Treharris, in November 1935. He currently lives and works in Penarth.[2]

As a boy Davies went to Penarth County School. He studied at Cardiff College of Art and Swansea College of Art between 1952 and 1957 and then from 1959 to 1961 he studied at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. He then began teaching at the University of Wales before moving on to the University of Edinburgh where he also completed a PhD on the Russian avant-garde. Davies finally retired from teaching at the Gwent College of Higher Education in 1988.[2][3][4]

He was elected Vice-President of the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art in 1995[3] and is a member of The Welsh Group.[5] He was made an MBE in the 2007 New Year Honours list.[6] At the 2002 National Eisteddfod of Wales he won the Gold Medal for Fine Art.[7][8][1]


Davies is passionate about the culture, language and politics of Wales, which inspire his artwork. For a number of years he has sponsored the Ivor Davies Award at Y Lle Celf (Art Space in Welsh), at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, for an artwork "that conveys the spirit of activism in the struggle for language, culture and politics in Wales".[9]

Davies' early works in the 1960s used explosives as an expression of society's destructive nature. Davies took part in the Destruction in Art Symposium in London in 1966.[2][3][4] More recent work has included painting, installations; he has also designed and installed a mosaic of Saint David at Westminster Cathedral.[10][11]

A major retrospective exhibition of his work from the 1940s onwards, Ivor Davies: Silent Explosion, opened at National Museum Cardiff in 2015. This is the largest exhibition dedicated to the work of a single contemporary artist ever held in Wales.[12]


  1. ^ a b "The Welsh Group – Ivor Davies". thewelshgroup-art.com. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Wales – Arts – Ivor Davies – Ivor Davies". BBC. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "The Royal Cambrian Academy – Ivor Davies". Rcaconwy.org. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Byd o Liw". S4C. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  5. ^ "Ivor Davies". The Welsh Group. 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Knights Bachelor" (PDF). BBC News. 28 December 2006. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  7. ^ "Ivor Davies to open Y Lle Celf at the Vale of Glamorgan Eisteddfod | The National Eisteddfod of Wales". Eisteddfod.org.uk. 11 August 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  8. ^ "UK | Eisteddfod art turns political". BBC News. 4 August 2002. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  9. ^ "Visual Arts Exhibition, Y Lle Celf at Blaenau Gwent" (PDF). 15 October 2009. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  10. ^ Germaine Greer (19 September 2010). "Catholic art was once the domain of Titian. Now, we get Susan Boyle | Art and design". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  11. ^ "CatholicHerald.co.uk » Pope to bless mosaic with holy water from Wales". catholicherald.co.uk. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  12. ^ "Ivor Daves: Silent Explosion At National Museum Cardiff", CCQ, 13 November 2015, retrieved 13 November 2015

Hard copy references

  • Certain Welsh Artists by Iwan Bala. Publisher: Seren (1 July 1999); (includes many references and illustrations of the artist's work on various pages throughout the book). [14]
  • Stephen Bann – "Ivor Davies – Recent Works", (touring catalogue), Clwyd County Council (1991).
  • Ivor Davies – "Notes towards the Definition of the Artist: Ivor Davies explores the indigenous roots of his work', Planet – The Welsh Internationalist Magazine, No.106 pp.40–48 (1994).
  • Jan Morris & Ivor Davies – "Ivor Davies – Legends from the White Book", (touring catalogue) Wolseley Fine Arts Ltd., London (1998).
  • Ivor Davies, 'Politics of the Picturesque Cambrian Landscape' (short history & background of the artist's life), in City Scape & Land Shape, a symposium; published by Cumbrian College of Art & Design, pp. 1–20 (2001).

External Artist's Profile links[edit]

  • The Welsh Group [15]
  • Royal Cambrian Academy [16]
  • Art in Wales website [17]