David Rees Davies
I'm a fan of the work of David Rees Davies, the artist who has been at the centre of a storm at the National Eisteddfod in the Vale of Glamorgan. His portraits depicting teenage killer Joshua Davies and victim Rebecca Aylward were withdrawn from the festival after understandable criticism from the victim's mother. David Rees Davies apologised for the offence caused by the paintings which formed part of an exhibition entitled: People I Know. People I Used to Know. And People I'd Rather Not Know. The incident has raised familiar questions about freedom of expression, censorship and what constitutes appropriate subject matter for art - well-trodden critical ground, of course, as responses to pieces such as Myra (1995) by English artist Marcus Harvey have previously demonstrated. The exhibiting of these paintings so soon after the appalling murder and in an area close to where the victim's family live was unquestionably insensitive and ill-advised, but I'd just like to register my support for David Rees Davies and his right to explore dark, even unpalatable subject matter in his art.
*The above painting by David Rees Davies is titled: To The Edge of Quarella Road