Club donates artwork to National Museum Wales

Date Posted: 01 August 2018 Club donates artwork to National Museum Wales

For over a century, Cardiff Business Club has served as a key hub for the capital’s business community to come together and make new, lasting business connections. It’s a tradition that has and will continue.

It is against this backdrop that the Club took the decision to commission the creation of a work of art to be donated to the National Museum Wales.

Last month, we were delighted to be joined by 100 or so members for a special presentation of the completed artwork. Here is a transcribe of what Andrew Renton, Keeper of Art, had to say:

“It’s my pleasure to thank the Business Club for being so generous to donate a work of art to the museum’s collection in celebration of the club’s anniversary.

“It’s got me thinking of the world of business and the contribution to the creative vitality of Wales, Cardiff and the museum itself. I think it makes people aware of the fact that without the flourishing of business in Wales and Cardiff, in particular from the 19th century, the generous support of this museum and its collections would not exist.

“You can look through most areas of the collection from paintings, ceramics and sculpture and you’ll find behind those cultural wonders, that the people enjoy coming here to see business and successful business people whose hands are on these collections.

“If you look elsewhere in the museum you will see portraits of successful business people as well as workers coal miners and steel workers in particular. There are additionally some fine objects that successful business has allowed commission.

“I certainly don’t need to persuade this audience that culture and business go hand in hand.

“I do want to make the point that just as business has helped create the economic and social vitality of this part of the world, upon which culture can thrive. Culture itself reinforces the economic success.

On investors:

“I remember several occasions on which Japanese colleagues in those supporting companies have made the point that it’s the vibrant culture of this part of the world that makes Wales such an attractive place for Japanese and other international businesses to invest.”

The art:

“The work that we are going to see is a sessile oak and it’s growing out of a Cardiff business directory from the year 1913, near the foundation of this club.

“The artist is Su Blackwell who is a paper sculptor. What she has done is cut into an open directory, a series of contoured lines that reflect the growing outline of Cardiff’s boundaries over the years in between 1913-2013.

“The paper cut out with the names and businesses from the directory has been twisted around the structure of the tree and branches, covering the tree and forming the leaves at the end.

“Why the sessile oak? I have found out it the national tree of Wales and is an appropriate choice as a symbol of strength and growth and survival.

“The main trunk of this structure sprouts from the location of City Hall, founded in 1913 and roots of the tree follow the routes of railway lines around Cardiff.

“As you’d expect the branches spread and reach upwards and that is a suitably optimistic representation of the growth and new beginnings.

“I think this is an opportunity to look backwards 100 years and I am delighted to receive this new work of art that represents the role that business plays in arts and culture, our city and our nation. I do trust in another 100 years our successes will be here to enjoy the fruits further.”