The Paintings of Ivor John Powell

The vision of a border Welshman

Holy Trinity Church, Pontnewydd by Ivor Powell

42. Holy Trinity Church, Pontnewydd

[19 x 20cm. Canvas with owner's frame

Private Collection

This treatment of the church is quite different in spirit from his earlier version. Here Ivor is adding to his 'ideal community' series. This is a view of the church which could not, in fact, have been seen, and he seems to transfer his ideal image of it to a parallel, better world. The profusion of flowers, the inclusion of figures and the bright tones they bring with them, make his palette much lighter than it was for his first version of the church. Painted as a gift for the new vicar of the parish, there is more than a touch of humour here. As the vicar waits at the church door, figures hurry towards him (how inappropriate proportionate figures would have been), and members of the choir, already in their cassocks and surplices, loiter outside the vestry rather than prepare for the service. Knowing that the vicar shared his sense of humour, he must have felt free to transform the subdued formality of routine religion into something more light-hearted and sociable.

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