INSIDE | OUTSIDE – the blended worlds of Sam Vicary’s paintings.

To enter the exhibition of Sam Vicary’s recent paintings at Canfas gallery in Cardigan is to find oneself enclosed by a collection of works which suggest windows, or a sense of being indoors looking out. They open onto the north Pembrokeshire landscape– misty, half-glimpsed land, horizons dissolving into air and light.

This effect of being both inside and outside is created by the way the artist foregrounds in each painting an evocative sliver of the domestic interior. A tilting windowsill with its pot of a few wildflowers invites the eye to look through their delicacy to the fields beyond. There is a laid tea-table – cups set on fabric triangles, their angles and curves leading us out of the moment of domestic intimacy to a view of soft, blurred colours. Fragments of still life.

Sam’s carefully composed paintings are where inner and outer worlds blend and dissolve. We’re invited to feel held in a place of calm retreat while experiencing the wildness of coast and hills. She conveys the freedom of the landscape, yet also arranges it gently – into field patterns, lines of hedgerows, ploughed lines, enclosures. And in each painting there is, of course, the sense of a wide sky, where clouds sit on mountain tops and a distant horizon glints in a hint of sea.

The work is imbued with light and reflections; look carefully and the sparkle of a small glazed area suddenly catches your eye. The soft palette – creams and greys, greens and browns – is lifted by shades of purple and a flash of vibrant colour. A hedgerow is a meandering line of deep blue; an illuminated field shines lavender; soft pink glances off a hazy sea. Stand back, and the colours fuse into semi-familiar views which capture the sense of place, a recognisable interpretation of the Pembrokeshire land. Stand close, and colours you didn’t even know were there appear in the subtle blending, daubing, rubbing away. The beauty of the palette arises from the way the artist selects and applies colour but also because it has in it a kind of truth – the truth of the emotional connection and observation which comes from the hours Sam has spent walking the paths in all weathers, knowing the land and how its chameleon surface lights up and fades.

In ‘Pwllderi’ the expanse of sea in the distance shimmers in a pastel dazzle of sunlight. Closer, a shadowy green wartime shelter nestles in the clifftop, its concrete angles echoed in the open pages of a book on the windowsill in front of us. In the golden green trees of ‘Pengelli Woods’ we notice the tiniest snippet of blue in the leaves – a butterfly? a glimpse of sky?  And there it is again, revealed in some deep layer behind the pale clouds. These are paintings which offer satisfying and unexpected visual and emotional echoes, both in colour and composition.

‘Tapestry Road’, one of the two largest paintings in the show, takes us into the Preseli hills on a blanket of Welsh tapestry in a stream of purples and pale cream. The fabric floats away from the chairs and set table in the foreground as if in flight, shaken through an open window. The familiar portcullis tapestry pattern is here deconstructed into lacy grids of tiny apertures and marks which seem to hover over the surface. Textile seems to suggest text as it meanders into the distance, hinting at a story of lives lived in this place. Then, it vanishes through a violet gateway into misty woods and a glow of sun.

Sam Vicary’s work is restrained yet vibrant; quiet yet joyous. Her paintings – sketched and started on her walks and re-worked and recalled later – capture the elemental sense of landscape and, crucially, its emotional resonance. Her art has an almost ethereal quality, which tells of the ‘hud ar Ddyfed’ – in mythology, the magic that lies upon Dyfed, that far south-west corner of Wales where the land feels ancient, and people have lived within it with a deep sense of belonging.

Craft Festival Wales 2024 Call for Entries 

Applications are invited from makers working to the highest standards.⁠ ⁠You make ceramics, glass, textiles, jewellery, metal, wood, plastics, mixed media, leather, recycled materials, printmaking and paper.⁠ ⁠ Your work shows a dedication to quality of making, presentation and originality.⁠ ⁠You live anywhere in the world. ⁠

Craft Festival Wales / Gŵyl Grefft Cymru –

Cardigan. Craft Festival Wales will be held over three days at Cardigan Castle from 6 – 8 September 2024.

Embracing A Wonderful Summer & Exciting Times Ahead!

Canfas has had a very busy summer and is looking forward to upcoming events as well as some exciting news we want to share!

Sarah Lees

Sarah Lees Interview 2023

Interview with Sarah Less about her April 2023 solo exhibition

Interview with Mathew Edenbrow

Interview with Mathew Edenbrow

Simon Whitehead – Stitching Soft Matter

Simon Whitehead Welsh book launch

Interview with Anne Cakebread – February 2023

Interview with Anne Cakebread February 2023

Interview with Steve Brockett February 2023

Interview with Steve Brockett

Leigh Sinclair interview 2022

Leigh Sinclair November 2022

Ceri Pritchard interview 2022

Ceri Pritchard interview - November 2022

Iwan Bala ‘Ethnograff(r)ica’ Review by Cathryn Gwynn

For several decades. Iwan Bala’s raw, unflinching work has shone a light on issues of culture, national identity, history and politics. One of its hallmarks, of course, is the integration of text – as slogan, poetry or comment – in strong black lettering, in paintings where landscape and figure merge in powerful, urgent messages.

Interview with Iwan Bala

Interview with Iwan Bala

Interview with Anne Cakebread

Interview with Anne Cakebread

James Naughton Interview

James Naughton interview

Interview with Charlotte Baxter

Interview with Charlotte Baxter

Kathy Thomson Film 2022

Kathy Thomson Film 2022

Eloise Govier Film 2022

Film of Eloise Govier's exhibtion

Film of Zena Blackwell 2022

Film of Zena Blackwell's exhibtion

Sophie Turner Films 2022

Sophie Turner film 2022

Sam Vicary Interview 2022

Sam Vicary talking about here June 2022 exhibtion here at Canfas

Sam Vicary – Cathryn Gwynn

Review of Sam Vicary's exhibition by Cathryn Gwynn

Affordable Art Fair – Hampstead Heath 2022

Canfas has been chosen to exhibit at Affordable Art Fair - Hampstead Heath 2022 - 5-8th May 2022

Interview with Elizabeth haines – February 2022

Elizabeth Haines talking about here February 2022 exhibtion here at Canfas

Lucy Burns ‘Folklore ‘ Interview

Lucy Burns talking about her February 2022 solo exhibition at Canfas

Film with Adrian Bradbury

Adrian Bradbury talking about his December 2021- January 2022 solo exhibition at Canfas

Natalie Chapman November exhibition

Natalie Chapman Exhibition

Film with Alison Lochhead

Alison Lochhead talking about her October 2021 exhibition'What's Happening?' at Canfas

Pete Bodenham – Neptune’s Bin Bag

Artist Pete Bodenham talks about his current exhibit at Canfas for the Art Of Protest gallery take over.

Angharad Taris – August 2021

Interview with Local artist Angharad Taris about her August 2021 exhibition at Canfas

Pete Bodenham – August 2021

August 2021 interview with Pete Bodenham about his ceramic exhibition

Adam Taylor – August 2021

Interview with Adam Taylor about his August 2021 window show in Canfas.

Meinir Mathias

Interview with Meinir Mathias about herAugust 2021 show in Canfas.

Sean Robinson

July 2021 exhibition with Sean Robinson

Clare Rose

July 2021 exhibition with local artist Clare Rose

James Charlton

James Charlton interview July 2021

Guto Morgan, James Charlton, Sean Robinson & Clare Rose

Sean Robinson

June 2021 window display interview with Natalie Chapman

A bright and vibrant window display with Natalie Chapman

Sophie Turner art

ArtDrop 2021 interview with Natalie Chapman

Interview with ARTDROP curator Natalie Chapman

Natalie Chapman

Natalie Chapman interview

Interview with Natalie Chapman about her social documentary photographic exhibition

Seren Stacey

Seren Stacey – Film

Interview with Seren Stacey

Sam Vicary

Interview with Sam Vicary May 2021

10 minute film with Sam Vicary talking about her new exhibition at Canfas

Cymry ar Gynfas 2: Meinir Mathias and Iolo Williams S4C

Meinir Mathias paints wildlife expert Iolo Williams

Pauline Latham

Pauline Latham Interview April 2021

Interview with Pauline Latham about her 2021 show in Canfas.

Exhibitions for 2021

Exhibition list for 2021 at Canfas

Come and work with us at Canfas

Are you on Universal Credit and aged between 18- 24years? Would you like to work at a busy independent contemporary art gallery in the old market town of Cardigan in South Ceredigion?

Jonathan Retallick

Jonathan Retallick – short film

A short film of Jonathan Retallick introducing his exhibition at Canfas, December 2020

Rose Sanderson - lichen

Rose Sanderson – December 2020

Interview with Rose Sanderson about her exhibition of 'Lichen' paintings at Canfas in December 2020

Suzanne Harris – Film November 2020

Interview with artist and painter Suzanne Harris about her November 2020 exhibition at Canfas

Ag cain

Ag Cain – October 2020

Ag Cain talking about his October Exhibition at Canfas - October 2020

Elizabeth Haines filmed Interview 2020

Filmed Interview with Elizabeth Haines talking about her exhibition at Canfas in September 2020

Carole Hodgson film October 2020

A filmed Interview with Carole Hodgson in October 2020 talking about her work and her solo exhibition at Canfas Gallery in Cardigan.

Meinir Mathais

Meinir Mathias 5

This is the fifth of a series of short films by Meinir Mathias

Meinir Mathais

Meinir Mathias – 4

This is the fourth of a series of short films by Meinir Mathias

Meinir Mathias – 3

This is the third of a series of short films by Meinir Mathias

Meinir Mathias – 2

This is the second of a series of short films by Meinir Mathias

Rebecca Riots

Meinir Mathias – Introduction

This is the first of a series of short films by Meinir Mathias

Artists on Art: Sam Vicary by Martha Lloyd Morgan

In this, the first of a new series, Artists on Art, Cardigan based artist and regular Canfas exhibitor, Sam Vicary, contemplates artistic influences, beloved works, and her own creative process.

Open Call for New Artists for 2021/2022

Once a year we invite Welsh artists or artists based in Wales to submit their work for future exhibitions. Deadline extended due to Covid 19 lockdown until February 28th 2021

Carole Hodgson

2020 Exhibitions

List of Exhibitions for 2020 at Canfas

Exhibition review October 2020 – Carole Hodgson

Carole’s exhibition at Canfas is a masterful celebration of texture, form, light, and shade. Simply but effectively displayed, Carole’s works are allowed to speak for themselves, without interference, and invite contemplation from every angle.

Elizabeth haines

Elizabeth Haines – Review by Caroline Juler

Elizabeth Haines has a new show at Canfas. It consists of a handful of relatively large, confidently handled abstract paintings which she has made over the last 18 months and during the pandemic lockdown this year. She says the enforced isolation allowed her to focus better on her work which has so often relied on…

Pine Feroda – woodcuts

Short film of our Pine Feroda window exhibition August 2020

Unaiza Ismail talk at Canfas, 6pm Friday 13th December 2019

We are delighted to welcome artist Unaiza Ismail to talk about her practice and show artwork from her 2 week residency in CreateSpace Wales in Ferwig.

Meeting 7.30pm Sat 9th November @ Stwdio 3

On Saturday 9th November at 7.30 in Stiwdio 3, Cardigan, I will be giving a talk and facilitating an open discussion along with Suzi and Beth on ‘what and how do art schools teach?’

‘Other Voices’ at Canfas

We are very excited to be part of the 'Other Voices' Music Trail, and to be hosting these two wonderful artists: 5pm - Friday - Particpant 5pm - Saturday - Accü

Pembrokeshire Online Review

One of the latest winds to blow into Cardigan’s flying sails is Oriel Canfas. It’s not the only art space here, but the gallery which opened in July is offering something different enough to make it stand out.

Talk by US artist Julia Rymer Saturday 12th October 2019 at Canfas

Artist Julia Rymer to talk about her work and showing drawings and paintings from her 2 week residency in CreateSpace Wales in Ferwig. 

Ian Phillips – 28/9/19 – 22/11/19

New exhibition from Aberystwyth based printmaker Ian Phillips

paint tubes

10% discount on Fine Art Materials for ‘Friends of Canfas’

10% discount on Fine Art Materials for 'Friends of Canfas' at Y Wiber

Dylan Thomas

Malcolm Gwyon 14/09/19 -19 /10/19.

Malcolm Gwyon - New Exhibition at Canfas Gallery

Landscape with still life II

Sam Vicary

34.5cm x 34.5cm

Oil on canvas


Landscape with still life III

Sam Vicary

34.5cm x 34.5cm

Oil on canvas


The Pilgrimage Y Bererindod 2

Sam Vicary

129 x 128.5cm

Oil on Canvas


Spring the Memory of Garn Fawr

Sam Vicary

70 x 50cm

Oil on Canvas


Landscape with Still Life

Sam Vicary

31 x 31cm

Oil on canvas