‘Backstage’ is our fantastic new exhibition by Neath artist, Paul Rees. Born in Pontypool in 1971 and brought up in Neath, Paul studied Fine Art at Swansea Metropolitan University graduating with first class honours in 2008. He has since exhibited regularly throughout Wales.
Paul is known for his moody backstage theatre paintings. Many depict Neath Little Theatre, where he has acted, designed stage sets and worked as a stage manager for many years. His paintings have an atmosphere and tension as well as provoking feelings of nostalgia.
“My paintings generally depict actors preparing for a theatrical performance – applying make up and getting into costume in the dressing room, or waiting in the wings moments before stepping onto stage. This (usually hidden) backstage environment is a shadowy, private world inhabited by stage crew and performers, quietly working behind the scenes amongst the scenery flats, lighting, props and general clutter backstage. I used to sit there at the side of the stage thinking it would make a wonderful painting. You’re there in the gloom with all the clutter and equipment stacked up and you’ve got the glow from the stage lighting spilling backstage slightly and you see the actors waiting silently in the wings looking very excited and very pensive – it can be wonderfully evocative.”
‘Backstage’ runs at the Hours Café & Bookshop until the end of February 2017.