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Focus on the happy memories

This painting was exhibited on the black gate on the town side of the bridge near M&S. When looking at the painting, you are looking at Maria's favourite place - underneath the bridge itself. 

This painting was exhibited between 7th - 9th May 2021. 

You can listen to the accompanying audio access resource below.


Transcript of the audio resource

The painting in front of you is made using acrylic paint and oil pens on a wooden plaque, measuring 30cm wide, 22.5cm high and 1.5cm deep. The edges of the plaque are bevelled and painted black. 

The painting is abstract, made up of many colourful layers, and across the middle is a band of white with cursive black letters spelling out the phrase “Focus on the happy memories”. 

The main colours in this painting are black, white, pink, blue and yellow. 

The top left of the painting is black, the top right is white and the bottom half is a bright Barbie pink. These colours are mixed with varying shades, rather than being flat colours. On top of this is a yellow layer across the middle, with the white band sitting over the top of it. There are grey coral - shaped marks coming out from behind the white band, two of them are three fingered and one looks like a soft rounded V shape. There are three of these shapes altogether, one below the white banner and two above.

There is also a trail of blue dots which travels from the top left, sweeping down to the bottom centre and then back up to the top right of the plaque. Mixed in with this blue trail are small dots of yellow, pink, white and black. There are paint splats of yellow across the whole canvas.

The white banner featuring the lettering is crisp and clean in contrast, allowing the words to really stand out. 

Keep listening to hear more about the painting in front of you. 

This painting was made with Maria. Her favourite place is under the bridge in Ynysangharad Park. Her words of wisdom are: “Focus on the happy memories”.

Maria: "You know the bridge to go over the park? I like that. Before, when I was younger, you could go under have a little fishing rod... used to fish in it. But then they closed it off. My parents and their friends with their kids as well, there was a group of us, and we did enjoy that."

Maria reminisced about the good old days, when as a kid she would spend the whole day outside, no matter what the weather. She shared that these days, her mobility isn’t what it used to be, and getting outside for even a ten minute walk is a bit of a mission. 

When she thinks about the things she used to enjoy but can’t do anymore, she says it’s easy for her to start feeling down.  

That’s why she chose “Focus on the happy memories” as her words of wisdom. She wants to think about those happier times fondly, and to realise that there will be happy memories ahead of her too. 

Maria’s favourite colours are pink, black and white - all of which I’ve included in this painting. Using the colour language I created for myself to use with these paintings - where I have given meaning to colours - I have chosen to add in yellow to her painting, which symbolises creativity and happiness - something Maria is striving to bring into her life every day. I also created a path of blue across the whole plaque which symbolises the River Taff that she has such happy memories of, and the shape it takes as it passes around the canvas is the same it takes as it passes around the park. Blue also stands for confidence - something Maria has worked very hard to build up for herself.

She’s refusing to let the sad thoughts take over, as she looks forward to making more of those happy memories for herself. 

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