1941 - 2016
Wilf Roberts was born in 1941 on the Isle of Anglesey. In his early years he was raised in the idyllic setting of Mynydd Bodafon, a setting to which he returned after thirteen years of working as a teacher of art in Croydon. During the 1960s and 70s in London, he exhibited extensively and successfully whilst studying part-time at Croydon Art College. In 1973, Roberts returned to Anglesey and continued to paint, accepting a number of private commissions and illustrating books and posters on a voluntary basis for a number of local and national charities. He did not publicly exhibit his work during this period until 1996 when he held a very successful solo show at Oriel Ynys Mon.
His inspiration comes from the stark and rocky landscape near his home. As a youngster he liked nothing better than to wander the naturally beautiful landscape which he represents in his work. In his landscapes he manages to simplify without losing the essence of the scenes depicted and produces work that is strong and powerful.
His palette tends towards the more sombre end of the spectrum (browns, greens, greys, etc)..'earthy colours' to quote the artist... Wilf's controlled and selective employment of white, for example, on cottages and other rural buildings that frequently appear in his compositions, brings the paintings vividly to life with a drama and vibrancy that is quite startling and emotive. With this inspired ability of juxtaposing bright elements and highlights against dark and sombre backdrops, the work manages to attain faultless tonal balance and harmony.
The majority of his pictures are groups of buildings in landscapes devoid of people, animals or birds and yet, like the empty chapels found all over the island, they contain invisible memories of people from the past. His interest in painting and drawing was always an integral part of his life. One can sense the affinity he had with his surroundings in his paintings; the tranquillity and sheer simplicity of stark stone cottages and peaceful olive groves, or the rugged cliffs and turbulent seas.
His work is held in public and private collections in The Hague, Paris, New York, Australia and the UK. Wilf died at his Anglesey home in September 2016.