At Cross Purposes – 56 Group Wales at QSS

QSS is delighted to host At Cross Purposes in Gallery 1,a creative curatorial project commissioned by 56 Group Wales.

Opening event: Thursday 7th September from 6pm. No booking required, please see the ‘visitor information’ section of our website for further details on visiting the gallery  

Exhibition Dates: 7th – 28th September 2023

General opening hours: Monday – Thursday, 10am-5pm.

At Cross Purposes is a creative curatorial project commissioned by 56 Group Wales.* Through correspondence and conversation, it has forged new connections, new work by 32 artists, a touring exhibition and an accompanying book.

Each member of 56 Group Wales has been allocated a partner artist by the curator. In that respect the curator became a matchmaker!   The partner artists have been invited by the curator, Dr. Frances Woodley, to explore various perceived boundaries – gendered, geographical, generational, thematic and processual. The resulting conversations naturally seek out commonalities but also expose the artists to unfamiliar ideas, practices and contexts, so that at times they are ‘at cross purposes’. The tension that arises out of misunderstanding, whilst simultaneously trying to understand the Other, often pushed the artists beyond themselves. It was a step in the dark, but one that led to productive outcomes and unforeseen openings, creative friendships and various degrees of collaboration.

All this happened in the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic. Indeed, the project has embodied its progress: the lockdowns, frustrations, sadness and eventual freedom. In some ways there couldn’t have been a better time for reflection and correspondence than enforced isolation of artists’ adapted studios.

Artist Pairings:

Robert Harding & Tim Dodds

Martyn Jones & Martin Finnin

Sue Hiley Harris & Michael Geddis

Luis Tapia & Louise Manifold

Carol Hiles & QSS member Jane Rainey

Dilys Jackson & Keith Brown

Pete Williams & Mark Doyle

Harvey Hood & Molly Thompson

Sue Hunt & Paula Mac Arthur

Tiff Oben & Garry Barker

Peter Spriggs & Christine Roychowdhury

Alison Lochhead & Judith Tucker

Ken Elias & Morwenna Morrison

Rhodri Rees & Ellen Mitchinson

Kay Keogh & QSS member Michelle McKeown

Corinthe Rizvi & Louise Barrington

The accompanying 184 page book is an edited version of these conversations. It includes over 130 photographs of artworks either created during the project or referred to in these conversations. There is a foreword by Bedwyr Williams. The publication is available at £24 from the gallery office; there is also an inspection copy in the exhibition space.

*56 Group Wales was founded in 1956 to bring modern art to a wider audience in Wales. Over the intervening years the Group has evolved to promote contemporary Welsh art and to explore the possibilities of exhibiting visual art in non-traditional venues. Through these ventures, and other informal collaborations, a sense of community has developed among the geographically spread members who now think of themselves as a ‘constellation’, as theorized by the social critic Walter Benjamin. For further information on the history of 56 Group Wales, David Moore’s book, A Taste of the Avant-Garde (2012) is an invaluable source of information. See also


Sep 07 - 28 2023

Annual Members Christmas Exhibition and Sale