Helfa Gelf 2017, Christopher T Roberts back on the Trail


An artist who was part of the Helfa Gelf Art Trail in 2008 has decided to open his Prestatyn studio on 1, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17 September 2017.

Christopher T Roberts, artist working in oil paint, charcoal, ink, pencil and acrylic says:
I have decided to take part in Helfa Gelf again as I loved it so much the first time. I have been pleasantly surprised by how much Helfa Gelf has developed and grown since the last time I joined in. So many more artists across North Wales are now taking part and I am told people travel far and wide from across the UK to follow the trail, sometimes by the coachload. It is such a friendly and welcoming collective and it feels joyous to be part of the creative, talented family of artists and craft people producing beautiful works across the region.”

The Helfa Gelf Art Trail takes place across the counties of Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham from Friday to Sunday throughout September 2017. Artists pick the days they open their studios; more information is available at HelfaGelf.co.uk.

Christopher is a realist expressionist living and working on the North Coast of Wales. He grew up in Bangor and has always been a creative person. As a teenager he studied under the inspiring tutorship of Iwan Parry and the great Welsh master Peter Prendergast at the Coleg Menai Foundation course. He completed a BA in Fine Art at Cardiff and has shown his work all over Wales, Liverpool and Chester.

Christopher says:
My paintings have always represented what is going on in my life, the world around me. My earlier works were of the angst of youth, the uncertainty of what life will be, disappointments and heartbreak. Later on I progressed to look outwards and considered the landscape and seascape of my home. My family is my current muse, although recent paintings are of animals, people and flowers, and my wife and children often feature as various characters. Whatever the subject matter, it has always been my intention to create bold, strong, energetic and interesting paintings using a variety of techniques and mark making.”

A recent work, ‘Tommy’, has been exhibited at The Grosvenor Museum in Chester. The painting was inspired by his son, Clark, who dressed up as a WW1 soldier while on a day out to the Green Field Heritage Park in Flintshire.

Christopher says:
It gave me a strange feeling seeing my fresh-faced innocent lad dressed like that. Many of the WW1 soldiers were so young, some teenage boys, which made it even more poignant. The painting reflects deeper connotations. The title refers to the nickname ‘Tommy’ that was given to the British Soldiers. The red shadow represents blood and violence but also the colour of the poppy and is in the shape of a heart, representing remembrance and love. My wife Marcia initially hated the painting; she said it gave her a chill to see our baby as a soldier.

The studio is situated in central Prestatyn, not far from the High School. Christopher’s work is also exhibited at Oriel Plas Brondanw, Gwynedd and The Carriageworks, Denbigh.

Christopher says:
“I enjoyed meeting the wide range of people who came to see me working in my studio, including: my local MP, the Mayor, serious art lovers, neighbours, friends, fellow artists and people who were curious and just wanted to know what it was all about. Helfa Gelf is a perfect opportunity for artists to raise their profile within the community they belong to, as well as become better known by the wider public at large.

Helfa Gelf is funded by the Arts Council of Wales, supported by the National Lottery, and is sponsored by the Welsh Government; plus support from the Local Authorities across North Wales has allowed the development of the Helfa Gelf Art Trail.

To help you plan your art trail, a full-colour booklet, featuring all the artists, is available at galleries, libraries and local businesses and online at Helfa-Gelf-Brochure.pdf