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Author of the Month: Bernard Mitchell (November 2017)

2017, Author of the Month, Authors, Bernard Mitchell -

Author of the Month: Bernard Mitchell (November 2017)

Last month we released Bernard's photography collection Pieces of a Jigsaw: Portraits of Artists and Writers of Wales, and this month we want to showcase him and his amazing work!

Bernard Mitchell was born in Morriston, Swansea, in 1947. His interest in photography began at junior school with a cardboard pinhole camera. The present of a Kodak127 and various cameras throughout school helped him develop his knowledge and interest in the fundamentals of photography. After leaving school, he studied photography at the Berkshire college of art Reading Before joining Thomson Regional Newspapers as an indentured photojournalist. Following a long career in newspapers, Bernard returned to Swansea in 2003 to study for a Masters degree in photography at Swansea Metropolitan University. In 2016 Bernard gifted his archive of photographs of artists and writers of Wales to the Richard Burton Archive at Swansea University.

Pieces of a Jigsaw is an unprecedented collection of photos by Bernard Mitchell who has compiled a gallery of notable characters within the Arts community in Wales.

Pieces of a Jigsaw is based on the on-going Welsh Arts Archive project. The project began in 1966 with a series of portraits of the Swansea friends of Dylan Thomas, including the artists Ceri Richards and Alfred Janes, the poet Vernon Watkins and the composer Daniel Jones. The collection kept growing: since 1990, Bernard Mitchell has added many artists who have since passed away, including, Will Roberts, Josef Herman, John Petts, Ivor Roberts Jones, John Elwyn, David Tinker and Ernest Zobole. The work continues with the artists working today.

In 1999, a large exhibition of photographs of artists was held at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth. Photographs are also held in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery, London, the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff and the Glynn Vivian Gallery, Swansea.

This is a unique collection of photo-portraits from the Welsh arts scene. For more information on the Welsh Arts Archive project, visit bernardmitchell.co.uk/welsh- arts-archive.