Born in Glynneath towards the end of the Second World War, he represents a new generation of artists, of working-class origin, whose childhood was formed in the Fifties and who went to art school in the heady Sixties. He is an artist who, whilst remaining deeply rooted in the visual culture of South Wales, and the Valleys in particular, has always been responsive to and reflecting of the wider world. This complexity has been enhanced by his early experiences of cinema which, together with his love of art and poetry and employment of memory and imagination, informs his striking images.
Ken Elias: Thin Partitions looks at Elias's whole career to date and coincides with a major retrospective exhibition. It brings together a set of new essays by Hugh Adams, David Briers, Jon Gower, Anne Price-Owen and Ceri Thomas, introduced by a masterly foreword by his Tonypandy-born contemporary Professor Dai Smith. Elias has exhibited widely in Wales, the UK and Europe. His work is represented in the principal art collections of Wales, as well as private collections.
Ceri Thomas is Research Fellow and Curator of University of Glamorgan Art Collections specialising in the post-war visual culture of south Wales. An award-winning artist and art historian, he curated the touring exhibition Ernest Zobole: a retrospective.