Valerie Ganz RCA, Hons MA and Fellowship of Swansea University
Valerie Ganz was born in Swansea overlooking the dramatic sweep of Swansea Bay with the background of heavy industry. She attended Swansea College of Art and studied painting, sculpture and stained glass. She remained as a tutor until 1973 when she turned her attention to painting full time.
As her interest in the landscape of South Wales grew, her attention was drawn to the landscape of industrial areas and, in particular, the mining industry, over a period of many years, she worked at fourteen different collieries.
In 1985 she took a house and studio at Six Bells, Abertillery. For a year she worked at the Six Bells Colliery, alongside the miners both above ground and at the coalface. In the evening she made studies of the miners and their families at choir practice, in the snooker halls and in the chapel. This work formed the basis of many exhibitions, in particular the mining exhibition at the Glynn Vivian Gallery, Swansea in 1986, “Mining in Art” with Josef Herman, Jack Crabtree and Nicholas Evans.
Following her time at Six Bells a commission from British Coal led to a year working at three open cast sites culminating in a large exhibition. Many visits to South America where she painted and quite recently worked with the oil industry where she travelled out into the desert from Neuquen, Patagonia, Argentina to paint oil rigs and their workers.
Her curiosity with “Other Lives” has taken her to London for a year to work with the Dancers at the Central School of Ballet. This gave her the opportunity to study all the different disciplines, classical, character, jazz and modern. This was followed by an exhibition of ballet work in London. New Orleans followed to pursue her love of jazz and to paint the musicians.
Her interest in other people’s lives led her to Swansea Prison to study the lives of offenders and how they cope with “lives inside”.
She has since been working with Classical Musicians at various venues. A further trip to Beunos Aires where the centre of racehorse training triggered a whole new world to explore and found her leaving in the early morning to observe and draw their daily training and exercise.
Visits to France, Italy, India, Namibia, Brazil, Thailand, China and many other countries where she enjoyed painting the landscape and people. Her work is in many public and private collections in the United Kingdom and Worldwide some of which are listed below: –
- National Museum of Wales Cardiff
- Palace of Westminster London
- National Assembly Cardiff
- National Library of Wales Aberystwyth
- Brecknock and Carmarthen Museums
- The Glyn Vivian Art Gallery Swansea