Chin strokers unite at Llandudno’s Mostyn Gallery

A man in a cravat. A women in a rainbow-hued poncho. A man with a goatee sat in what looks like a garden shed, reading difficult verse above the hubbub. And me.

It seems like every Late Review viewer in North Wales was in Llandudno last Friday for the preview of the newly re-opened Mostyn Gallery and its relaunch exhibitions.

Delayed opening

Mostyn has been closed for three years and, after much delay, is re-opening with light, high-ceilinged galleries to show off the work.

The building, finally freed of scaffolding, looks aesthetically striking with the original terracotta facade restored to its turn-of-the-century finery.

Current exhibitions

But what of the art itself? I saw Ronald McDonald meet a watery grave (Flooded McDonald’s, Superflex), a collection of slogans amid various installations, sculptures and paintings (We Have the Mirrors, We Have the Plans, various artists) and some recycled ironware from the local tip (The Junkyard Museum of Awkward Things, The Junkman from Afrika).

So far, so Jarvis Cocker.

More striking, but somewhat lost amid the cafe-bar area, was Along the Line, a collection of photographs by local photographer Darryl Lonsbrough, documenting life along Arriva Trains North Wales Coast Line.

The route passes through the likes of Rhyll and Prestatyn – Wales’ answer to Basra.

Young British artists

Chin-stroking North Walians looked vaguely dazed and confused by the works on show. Or maybe that was just the queue for the bar as the preview bulged Mostyn well beyond its normal capacity.

But is North Wales hungry for Chris Ofili turds, or Tracey Emin‘s soiled panties?

Maybe the regulars at the design-led Escape B&B in Llandudno will be beating a path to Vaughan St, clutching copies of Frieze magazine as they go?

Or will they all be down local favourite Fish Tram Chips, eating a bargain fish supper with mushy peas and a pot of tea.

Curry sauce

Community art projects and school-holiday workshops for kids indicate that Mostyn will seek a wider role in Llandudno life but, on Friday’s showing, it has some way to go to win a place in the heart of the town.

And me? Feeling suitably postmodern, what else could I do?

I went for chips.

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