Welcome to The Floating Gallery
The Floating Gallery is a living exhibition space for fine art that spans a broad variety multiple media disciplines, all created by the founder, Shirley Griffiths.
The Gallery has been designed for ease of use, to allow the viewer a more realistic gallery experience.
I hope you enjoy browsing the work available to view here.
I am professional artist and tutor from Newport, South Wales.
I decided to create this gallery during 2020 lock-down as I became more aware of the advantages of virtual space and began teaching on-line classes.
I wanted to create a gallery space that resembled the experience of a real gallery. A space free of clutter and distractions that gave the viewer not only a chance to peacefully view works of art, but also to have a calming and inspiring experience.
The Floating Gallery has been designed to provide you with a selection of rooms to view exhibitions and a gallery shop at the end, where you can purchase prints and cards. You can also purchase artworks from this site via a personal transaction.
Where to begin? Well I guess discovering Ceramics was a Catalyst for taking my artistic skills work more seriously. I had always been creative, and preferred to spend my free time drawing, sewing and experimenting with media. When I began creating Ceramics I felt immediately in tune with the visceral experience of handling clay. In my early 20’s I took employment as a Ceramics Technician at The Workshop Gallery in Chepstow. A position I absolutely loved, though the work was extremely strenuous at times, with lots of heavy lifting, mixing large quantities of glazes and plaster. Sometimes it was more technical, experimenting with glazes and slips and firing the kiln. Another aspect of this work that I deeply loved was the setting up of gallery exhibitions from start to finish. From filling nail holes, repainting the gallery space, assembling stands and setting out the exhibitions, to labelling the work and opening preview nights and sales. During this time I also worked in the Makers Gallery on the Hayes in Cardiff, I set up exhibitions for South Wales Potters and joined the Makers cooperative in Penylan Road, Cardiff.
I began renting space from the gallery and creating my own ceramics. My passion at that time was designing and making ceramic masks. I made the items, marketed them and sold them, not only in local shops and exhibitions, but also at the then, very popular and well organised monthly craft fairs in Brecon and Abergavenny.
After 3 years, when recession hit, I decided to end trading and go to college to train as an artist. I studied BTEC Art and Design, and then went on to study for my fine art Degree. I had grown away form ceramics for the time being and my focus at that time was Drawing, Painting and Photography. At the end of my degree I was specialising in Fine Art Oil Painting and sold 3 pieces at the final show.
After my degree I spent some time as a book seller, specialising in art books, before starting my teacher training. I loved this time in my life, I soon became quite a swat, and revelled in high grades becoming one of only 4 who gained a distinction.
I worked for 17 years in community education teaching Painting and Drawing, Oil Painting, Ceramics, Interior Decorative effects and crafts. During this time I was still creating my own artwork, but didn’t see myself as a professional artist, as the paperwork was overwhelming and provided me with little time for my own development. I was teaching in 4 boroughs, Newport, Torfaen, Caerphilly and Cardiff. I also took 3 years City and Guilds Interior decorating and decorative effects and qualified as a YMCA Exercise to music instructor.
When I was made redundant In 2014, I decided the only way to continue teaching was to start up independently. I set up Art School Wales to deliver the kind of fine art courses I always wished were available to me. Courses that focus on the fundamentals of good practice and ethic. My courses teach both the basics, and advanced skills to allow artists to improve and forever expand their comfort zones. You can find out more about Art school Wales at my website artschoolwales.co.uk.
It wasn’t long before I realised just how much of my time had formally been taken up with excessive paperwork. While teaching 12 frequently sell out classes to over 140 students as Art School Wales, I was able to create much more of my own work. And I now work as a professional artist alongside teaching.
As an Art Tutor I have to be up to date in my skills in all media, techniques and subjects. This has resulted in my not having a specific theme to my work or preferred media.
Instead I create work across a broad spectrum of genres and media, there is not much I am unable to achieve. There is one element that I have always focussed on, which is present in most of my work and has been prevalent since my days at University. That element is visible signs ageing on my painting subjects. Whether it be a much loved battered briefcase, or other personal object, or the lichens on rocks and tombstones, I love to replicate the signs of time passing, and the toll it takes as the seasons roll by.
So my journey continues. I continue to teach both on-line and face to face, attracting students from further afield such as North Wales, London, Scotland and Spain.