Approved: 16.08.2006

George Little 1927 - 2017


Approved: 16.08.2006

Artist Statement


George Little died in June 2017 and this profile will remain online as an archive

"My paintings are of landscapes and marinescapes particularly in those where industry takes place or has taken place. These areas with their colour, pattern and texture stimulate me as a painter." George Little was born in 1927 in Danygraig, Swansea where his earliest visual memories were of looking down on to the then constantly busy docks, full of ships with their multicoloured smoke stacks and the dockside bristling with coal hoists, cranes, engines, wagons, sheds, buoys and capstans. He started his art training as a sculptor at Swansea College of Art on his return from military service but, having seen his paintings, the principal KW Hancock and the Swansea painter Will Evans suggested that he took up painting. At the end of his studies in Swansea he was awarded a bursary to go to the Ruskin School of Drawing of Oxford University. After two years at the Ruskin he started a forty-one year career in teaching beginning at Oxford Street Secondary School in Swansea then Barnsley School of Art, Swansea College of Art and finally the University of Wales Swansea, all of which he found very rewarding and with the fortunate luxury of time to also paint and exhibit. His subject matter as a painter is often based on the industrial environment in which he grew up and his later work has reflected the decline and eventual decay of those areas as heavy industry has been replaced. He also works in other industrial areas such as the Welsh valleys, Cornwall and the North of England where he can still find the remnants of the past in the dereliction of factories, mines and dockyards from which he constructs his own and very individual interpretations of the colours, shapes and textures that he sees there. He finds similar inspiration in the colours and patterns of landscapes and marinescapes, especially in Wales and in Brittany. From the inception of an idea, the final work may take as long as three years to complete and many of the images used in his industrial paintings are from studies made as early as the 1950's. Some research for his industrial paintings has been supported by the Arts Council of Wales. Awards and prizes Awarded Open Scholarship in first year Swansea School of Art Bursary for Post-graduate Study, Ruskin School of Drawing, University of Oxford A number of prizes awarded during post-graduate studies Prize, Industrial Britain Open National Competition, Chenil Gallery, London 1955 Purchase Prize, Industrial Wales - Arts Council Exhibition 1960 Special Prize (John Piper), Mid Wales Open Art Exhibition, Aberystwyth 1983 First Prize, Coal Industry National Art Exhibition, Blackpool 1989 Arts Council of Wales Travel Grant 1999 Public collections and commissions Barnsley Education Authority Bertshinger & Co. Ltd., London British Rail Contemporary Art Society for Wales EMBS, University College, Swansea Ivor Russell & Partners, Swansea Kirk Sandall New Junior Modem and Infant School, Yorkshire Lloyds Bank Metal Box Co. Ltd. Mid Glamorgan Education Authority Miners Library, Hendrefoilan, Swansea National Library of Wales Royal National Eisteddfod Collection Ryburn Secondary School, Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire School for Deaf and Dumb Children, Llandrindod Wells Ty Olwen Hospice, Morriston Hospital, Swansea University of Wales Swansea Welsh Arts Council West Glamorgan Education Authority West Wales Association for the Arts Picture Loan Scheme West Yorkshire Schools Collection Mural 27 ft x 7.5 ft for Home for Mentally Handicapped, Swansea Mural 40 ft x 4 ft for Sports Pavilion, University of Wales Swansea 1996 Book jacket design : "History of Wales 1906 - 2000"- University of Wales Press 2000 also on cover of University of Wales Press catalogue 2000 Private collections Great Britain, Eire, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Spain, USA, Canada, Australia and Far East

CV & Education

Solo exhibitions:   2013 A painter's anthology, Attic Gallery, Swansea - 2010 Here and There, Attic Gallery, Swansea 2007 - Lost Landscapes, Attic Gallery, Swansea 2001 - Journey's, Swansea Festival Exhibition, Levi Richards Gallery, University of Wales, Swansea 1995 - Camborne School of Mines Museum and Art Gallery Redruth Cornwall 1994 - Touring Exhibition: Ceri Richards Gallery; University of Wales, Swansea; Heritage Park Gallery, Trehafod, Rhondda; Pembroke Library Gallery, Pembroke Dock; National Library of Wales, Aberyswyth; Brecknock Museum, Brecon Group exhibitions 2008 - Welsh Artist of the Year Exhibition, St David's Hall, Cardiff 2007 - Joint Exhibitions: with Carolyn Little, National Botanical Gardens, Carmarthenshire 2007 - Myths and Landscape, Joint exhibition with Robert Macdonald, Cynon Valley Museum & Art Gallery, Aberdare 2007 - Urban and Rural Wales, Joint exhibition with Robert Macdonald, Llanover Hall, Cardiff 2006 - Celtic influences, St David's Hall, Cardiff 2006 - Wales Modern, The Gate, Cardiff 2006 - Welsh Artist of the Year exhibition, St David's Hall, Cardiff 2005 - Joint Exhibition with Carolyn Little, Muni Arts Centre, Pontypridd 2005 - Swansea Print Workshop exhibition, Grand Theatre, Swansea 2005 - Wales Modern, Cynon Valley Museum & Art Gallery, Aberdare 2004 - 'A Healthier Tomorrow No 2' - charity auction, St David's Hall, Cardiff 2004 - Dyed in the Wool, Joint Exhibitions with Graham Matthews, national Library of Wales, St Fagans Folk Museum, Heritage Park, Aberystwyth, Cardiff, Trehafod 2004 - Group Exhibitions: 'Essence of Wales 2', St David's Hall, Cardiff 2004 - 'Visions of the Valleys', Attic Gallery, Swansea 2003 - Dylan's Swansea, Ceri Richards Gallery, University of Wales Swansea 2002 - 40th Anniversary Exhibition, Attic Gallery, Swansea 2002 - Selected Artists, Oriel Ffynnon, Llandeilo 2002 - St David's Hall Summer Exhibition, Cardiff 2002 - Wales Drawing Biennale, touring 2002 - Welsh Artist of the Year 2002 Exhibition, St David's Hall, Cardiff 2001 - Christmas Exhibition, Gallery, Swansea 2001 - Joint Exhibition with Steve Hurst, Christ Church Picture Gallery, University of Oxford 2001 - Summer Exhibition, Attic Gallery, Swansea 2001 - Welsh Artist of the Year, St David's Hall, Cardiff 2001 - exhibition, Heritage Park Gallery, Rhondda 2000 - Joint Exhibition with Steve Hurst, Brunel University 1999 - Joint Exhibition with Carolyn Little, Library Gallery, Haverfordwest 1999 - Joint Exhibition with Steve Hurst, Malvern Library Gallery 1999 - Joint Exhibition with Steve Hurst, University of Wales, Swansea 1999 - Welsh Drawing Biennale , Galleries, Wrexham, Aberystwyth, Cardiff, Swansea 1998 - Artists in Arms (Red Cross) Cardiff, Edinburgh and London 1998 - First Swansea Open Exhibition, Gylnn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea 1998 - Singer/Friedlander, Sunday Times Watercolour Competition: London; Leeds; Manchester; Birmingham 1998 - The Swansea Group, Grwp Abertawe Museum of Modern Art Machynlleth 1998 - Watercolour Society of Wales, Brecknock Museum, Turner House, Penarth, part of National Museum of Wales, Cardiff 1997 - Fountain Art Gallery, Llandeilo 1996 - George and Carolyn Little Guildhall Gallery, Winchester 1995 - Fosse Gallery, Stow in the Wold 1993 - Laing Art Exhibition (final selection), Mall Galleries, London 1993 - Royal West of England Academy, Bristol 1992 - S4C and Post Office Exhibition Cardiff