Michael Gustavius Payne

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Gustavius Payne
Gustavius Payne - Welsh artist - 2011.jpg
Gustavius Payne in his studio, 2011
Michael Gustavius Payne

EducationCheltenham School of Art

Athens School of Fine Arts

Mid Glamorgan Centre of Art and Design Technology.
Known forPainting
AwardsPurchase Award, Museum of Modern Art Wales.

Project Grant, Arts Council of Wales.
Purchase Prize, Visitors Choice, University of Glamorgan.

Prize Winner, Young Wales III, Royal Cambrian Academy.

Purchase Prize, Cheltenham & Gloucester Building Society.

Student of the Year, National Eisteddfod of Wales.
ElectedThe Welsh Group

Michael Gustavius Payne (born 1969) is a Welsh figurative painter. He paints primarily in oils and is influenced by mythological themes within a contemporary context.[1][2] During his early exhibiting career he was known as Michael Payne, before he began using his full name. Since late 2012 he has dropped his first name and now uses the shorter Gustavius Payne.[3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Payne was born in Merthyr Tydfil and raised on the town's Gurnos estate during the mid-1970s until the early 1990s.[5][better source needed] During 1991–1993, he attended the Mid Glamorgan Centre of Art & Design Technology, Pontypridd, where he won the Student of The Year Award at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, prompting the BBC arts programme The Slate to include an article about the artist on their Eisteddfod Special in 1993, shown initially on BBC1 Wales and also, shortly after throughout the UK, on BBC2.[5] During 1993–1996, he studied at Cheltenham School of Art, where he gained a First Class BA Honors degree in fine art painting.[6] During his time at Cheltenham, Payne was granted a place on the ERASMUS programme at the Athens School of Fine Arts. Upon completion of his degree at Cheltenham he won the Cheltenham & Gloucester Building Society's Art Purchase Prize, before returning to Wales to live initially in Cardiff,[6] then later in Dowlais.[7]


Recent work has drawn reference to Welsh culture, globalisation and exploitation. His 2011 joint exhibition with poet Mike Jenkins used a common political theme, with the traditional coal miners' canary as a symbol of exploitation of the 'little guy', as well as the exploitation of nature.[8] Similar ecological and socialist themes can also be seen in more recent exhibitions[9] together with his painting "Our Very Own Eco-System" held in the University of South Wales collection,[10] and his cover illustration for Red Poets #19 magazine.[11]

His work is also held in other collections including the Museum of Modern Art Wales' Tabernacle Collection[12] and the Cheltenham & Gloucester building society.[13]

Dim Gobaith Caneri exhibition at the Washington Gallery, with text by poet Mike Jenkins.

He was elected into The Welsh Group in 2013.[13]

Notable exhibitions[edit]


Gustavius Payne: Artwork 2007–2012 (self-published book)

Payne has also co-edited and written forewords for three Merthyr Tydfil anthologies,[citation needed] All Roads Lead To Merthyr, Never Mind The White Socks Here's Merthyr Tydfil and Merthyr Writing.


  1. ^ Peter Wakelin, Focus on Wales, Art Review, pp. 57 – 58 (April 1997)
  2. ^ Jones, Hanna (2000) Religions & Myths Inspire Collection, Western Mail, p. 10. (16.10.00)
  3. ^ "Gustavius Payne". Mgpayne.com. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Gustavius Payne - Welsh Art - Ffin y Parc Gallery". Welshart.net. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  5. ^ a b "BBC One - The Slate - Episodes by date, August 1993". BBC. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  6. ^ a b McLean, Pauline (1997), "Drawing on Myths & Legends – With A Dog on the Loose", Western Mail, 24 May 1997, p. 8.
  7. ^ a b Ellis, Geraint (Director) (2008), Sioe Gelf, episode 14, Cwmni Da, first broadcast (in Welsh but with English subtitles available) 05/11/08 on S4C
  8. ^ "A Mine of Information", Western Mai (supplement), 10 August 2011, pp. 10–11.
  9. ^ a b "Art Central Gallery exhibition - Gustavius Payne 'The Cause and Effect Hypothesis'". Barry And District News. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  10. ^ 1 painting by or after Michael Gustavius Payne, Art UK. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  11. ^ "'RED POETS' LAUNCH - eto welsh fiction". eto welsh fiction. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  12. ^ "Collection « Moma Wales". Momawales.org.uk. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  13. ^ a b http://www.thewelshgroup-art.com/#!gustavius-payne/c8hq
  14. ^ "Arddangosfa Paul Rees & Michael Gustavius Payne". Golwg360.com. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  15. ^ "Poet Mike Jenkins and painter Michael Gustavius Payne collaborate on exhibition", WalesOnline, 19 August 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  16. ^ "Dim Gobaith Caneri". ArtRabbit. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  17. ^ "Dim gobaith caneri ac idiomau eraill". Golwg360.com. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  18. ^ "Events". Whatsonwales.co.uk. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  19. ^ "Masterstrokes of Contemporary Welsh Art". ArtRabbit. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  20. ^ o. "Myths, Folklore & Fairytale explores hopes, truths and desires". Metro.co.uk. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  21. ^ Knight, Maggie, "Telling Tales", Western Mail (supplement), 1 August 2008, pp. 10–11.
  22. ^ Lambert, Emily, "Universal Truths, Sea, Shore & Mountains", Western Mail, 4 May 2002, p. 14.
  23. ^ Jones, Hannah, "Quirky View of A Fragile Dreamscape", Western Mail, 26 October 2001, p. 12.