Image: Portrait of Tony Goble in his studio by Bernard Mitchell.
Somewhere between what we see and what we imagine is the place to be.
– Tony Goble.
Tony died in 2007. It was an unexpected and tragic event that took a wonderfully able and creative talent from us. There are so many examples of artists who are forgotten after their death, not by their family and colleagues, but by the galleries that are charged with the task of being the creative depository of culture for not only the present, but the future population. As an artist and an artist in education I have used Tony’s work on so many occasions and know it value. I was determined that I would try to produce an exhibition that would celebrate Tony’s work and allow the public to meet and interact with it.
As on several occasions in the past Sybil Crouch of the Taliesin Arts Centre at Swansea University was only too happy to stage the show. She offered to make the show her contribution to Swansea International Festival of Music and the Arts for 2008. So the exhibition would become a reality. I worked closely with Janice, Tony’s widow to curate a show that I felt would reflect not only his work but his colourful personality.
I was pleased also to work with Sophie Hadaway, then Arts Adviser for Carmarthenshire and we arranged a schools project, using Tony’s exhibition, which allowed Primary School children and teachers to engage with, be aware of and be proud of one of our leading talents.
I made contact with Ruth Lambert of MoMA Machynlleth and they offered to take the exhibition the following year. Poet Paul Henry, Tony’s friend and collaborator, read at the opening. So the effort had paid off and Tony’s show would be seen in two galleries in Wales and better still MoMA bought a piece of work for their permanent collection.
2008: Tony Goble Passionate Pilgrim, Swansea Festival, Ceri Richards Gallery
2009: Tony Goble Passionate Pilgrim, Festival Exhibition, MoMA Machynlleth.