Girls’ World

A new exhibition in Cardiff is dedicated to the world of women-only artists. Mari Ropstad talks to four of those featured about what inspires their creations.


Catrin Williams

Motifs of Welsh life

Catrin represents a generation of young and talented Welsh artists, but she has a remarkably traditional way of working.

The most noticeable feature of many of her paintings are the homemade tea towels with unmistakably Welsh motifs.

“My paintings are textile strong and I do a lot of hand sewing which women have done for centuries,” says Catrin. “The tea towel idea came to me when I was travelling around the Llyn peninsula. The tourists take these tea towels with motifs from Welsh life home as a memory of where they have been.

“To me the tea towels became an opportunity of taking the p*** out of the Welsh identity in a friendly but ironic way. My work is abstract but people really get it and that’s so satisfying.”

Catrin, who lives in Pwllheli, finds inspiration in familiar things around her which she then personalises by painting them in her own way

She says her Welsh identity is always present in her work and believes more young Welsh artists are working in the same way.

“I participate and run a lot of workshops for young artists with huge talent. Many of them are women and I think they are using their Welsh identity more than ever. It’s a really exciting time for Welsh art and the Women Only exhibition showcases that talent and excitement.

“It has always been so much easier for men to be artists because women do so much more than just earn money.

“The energy they might have had to paint is taken away by other stuff - it has been like that for me with children and a home to take care of.

“But I know with myself that if I didn’t continue creating through all of that I’d go mad.”

Hawlfraint © Catrin Williams
Cynllun - Almon