Diffusion Festival Logo Revolution 1-31 May 2017 bullhorn Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch.

Projectile + Tears

David Garner is developing a new work for Diffusion, Tears, looking at Nye Bevan’s legacy, inspired by an archival photograph depicting Bevan rubbing his eyes, as if weeping at the dismantling of the National Health Service, whose establishment he spearheaded.  Tears will be sited as an intervention in the National Museum Cardiff, alongside 19th Century paintings and artefacts in one of the art galleries. Between the stammer and le mot juste features the only two remaining speeches by Aneurin Bevan sourced and then reconfigured into twenty five segments, in order to emphasise the significance and stress the importance of the NHS and the need for a just society in the narrative. 

In Respond, the artist presents two contemporary works that link the Chartist movement with the current austerity climate in South Wales. In one of these, Pennies for the People, an ornate chandelier, a symbol of decadence associated with opulent lifestyles, is constructed from 576 coins with a monetary value of a mere £11.52. Each coin has been hand stamped with bilingual words relating to the media vocabulary of austerity. 

Artist Profile(s)

David Garner

Portrait of David Garner
Portrait of David Garner

David Garner

David Garner was born in Ebbw Vale, South Wales. He studied at Newport and Cardiff College of Art and the Royal College, London. He has exhibited widely including the National Museum Cardiff, the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow and the Hubert Winter Gallery Vienna. His work has been purchased by the National Museum and Galleries of Wales, Contemporary Arts Society of Wales and the ‘Richard and Rosemary Wakelin Purchase Award’. He was awarded the ‘Ivor Davies Award’ for work that “conveys the spirit of activism in the struggle for language, culture and politics in Wales.”

Garner's 2013 exhibition, Shift, at Newport Art Gallery, was launched by a public demonstration against the proposed closure of the city's temporary exhibition programme. Garner created a new work, A Case of the Great Money Trick, which was inspired by the campaign against the gallery closure.

As a result of an ACW Creative Wales Award, Garner staged Call and Response, a one-off installation and performance, comprising a chandelier and an improvised harp response from Rhodri Davies, at the Chartist Cave, Trefil, Llangynidr on 20 August 2015.

Garner was included in Tomorrow Today at ‘Created by Vienna’ 2015, a city festival of contemporary art which reflected on the interface between art and capital.