Penarth’s Turner House Art Gallery – which (along with a collection of invaluable and now never-seen Turner paintings) was bequeathed in trust to the people of Penarth – is remain as just a venue for exhibitions of photographs.
The Turner House Gallery – the ownership of which was controversially transferred to the National Museum of Wales – is currently rented-out to the taxpayer-funded “charity” Ffotogallery which only exhibits photographs – not paintings.
Vale councillor Chris Franks (Plaid Cymru Dinas Powys) has called for a report by the council’s “Interim Director of Learning and Skills” on the arts, arts development and heritage across the Vale of Glamorgan.
One of the points on which Cllr Franks wants information on is on the issue of “further co-operation” between the Vale of Glamorgan Council and the National Museum of Wales on the Turner House Gallery in Plymouth Road, Penarth .
The internal report – to be discussed by councillors next week – says “In discussions with the National Museum, they ….[PDN Note: It’s not clear who “they” are]… have confirmed that they are currently supportive of Ffotogallery residing at Turner House and feel they are an ideal Arts Council of Wales revenue supported organisation to have in residence. Ffotogallery have a planned programme until the end of the year.”
Earlier this year it was revealed that Ffotogallery had carried out unauthorised alterations within Turner House – which is a Grade II listed building – and had done so without planning permission from the Vale of Glamorgan Council.
Ffotogallery had also arranged to sub-let the gallery for monthly retail “food fairs”.
The food fairs were cancelled and building work was put in hand to restore Turner House to its original configuration – including the central atrium – which had been boarded over and had its classic balustrade removed and “put in store”.
The report also states that “”Turner House Gallery has been home to Ffotogallery, since 2003. Ffotogallery is the national development agency for photography and lens-based media in Wales and a registered charity.”
The Vale of Glamorgan Council report on Turner House and Art in th Vale says “Established in 1978, Ffotogallery operates with a small team of staff. They show a regularly changing programme of photography and digital arts, film and multi-arts based media by national and international photographic artists.”
The internal report is to be considered by the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Learning and Culture Scrutiny Committee on Monday next week.