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Sebastien Boyesen

Art GalleryPosted by Communications Officer Tue, July 21, 2015 13:34:16

Sebastien Boyesen now lives in the coastal village of Llangrannog in Ceredigion and has done so for a number of years. This allows us to claim him as a Welsh artist although he was born in Sussex in 1960. On Tuesday 13 October we have a talk by Sebastian entitled ‘The Works of Sebastien Boyesen’. Even if you do not know his name you will be familiar with his works of art especially the ‘Guardian’ the Six Bells Miners Memorial commissioned to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the 1960 Six Bells Colliery disaster. Sebastien Boyesen studied at Cambridge College of Art and Technology between 1976 and 1978 and at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design from 1978 to 1981. This was followed by a one year postgraduate course in Stage Design at the Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. In 1983 he won the Welsh Arts Council Young Artists Award. Between late 1987 and 1989 he was Sculptor for Heritage Projects in York, working on figurative museum exhibits.

Sebastien Boysen has a particular relevance to Newport. In 1991 the Merchant Navy Memorial that he created was unveiled in the city and shortly afterwards he took up the post of town sculptor for Newport Borough Council. Thus we have many examples of his works of art and perhaps FoMAG should organise a walk around the city encompassing his art. I am sure his talk to FonMAG in October would be enhanced by seeing the works of art in situ. Works he produced at this time include ‘This Little Piggy Went to Market’ and ‘The Vision of St Gwynllyw’, also known as ‘The Bell Carrier’. There are also works in The Riverside.

The two sculptures with which we must all be familiar are 'Chartist Man' and the ‘Guardian’ Six Bells Miners Memorial. The sheer enormity of the sculptures takes your breath away.The Chartist figure stands on the roundabout by Chartist Bridge on the Sirhowy Enterprise Way. It shows a Chartist striding towards Newport. Sebastien Boyeson often creates steel open structures which allow the light to filter through creating different effects at different times of the day. They also create an ethereal yet permanent quality. With the 'Chartist Man' he used a mesh, but the 'Guardian' is created with steel bands.

The Six Bells Miner at Abertillery was designed to coincide with the 50 year anniversary of the Six Bells Colliery tragedy. The memorial cost £200,000 and is a statue of a miner constructed in steel standing on a high plinth. The name, age and occupation of each of the 45 victims surrounds the plinth. If you have not seen these sculptures I suggest you have a Sunday afternoon drive to see them. I took my 9 year old grand-daughter and she was amazed by the size of the miner and the beauty of the locality. The monument is located on the site of the former colliery which today has a stream and grassland with and abundance of wild flowers. The visit provoked a lot of questions about the area today and the area in the past.

The Six Bells Colliery disaster took place on 28th June 1960. It was caused by an ignition of gas known as firedamp at about 10.45am. 45 men were killed in the disaster.

ARTWORK to commemorate the Chartist March on Newport and their fight for democracy is set to take a prominent position at the new Friars Walk retail and leisure scheme in the city centre. Two original and striking art works have been created for the scheme by artist Sebastien Boyesen. Both pieces of art work were commissioned by Queensberry Real Estate, which are developing the £90m scheme, which is set to open to the public on November 12.

Please note that his talk to Fonmag has been postponed until next 2016

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