Gustavius Payne

Born and lives: Merthyr Tydfil, Wales.



2009 - 2011, University of Glamorgan (PGCE).

2000 - 2005, UWIC (Cert. HE).

1993 - 1996, Cheltenham & Gloucester College of Higher Education (BA Hons Fine Art - First class).

1995, Athens School of Fine Arts, Greece (Erasmus exchange).

1991 - 1993, Mid Glamorgan Centre of Art & Design Technology, Pontypridd.


Selected exhibition venues (1 - 4 person shows):

Ffin-Y-Parc, Llanrwst.

Royal Cambrian Academy, Conwy.

Art Central, Barry.

Cwtsh, Newport.

Redhouse Cymru, Merthyr Tydfil.

Undercurrents Gallery, Deptford, London.

West Wales Arts Centre.

Washington Gallery, Penarth.

Museum of Modern Art Wales, Machynlleth.

Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Merthyr.

Oxmarket Centre of Art, Chichester, England.

Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon.

Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea.

Galeri, Betws-y-coed.

Rhondda Heritage Centre.

Kilvert Gallery, Nr. Hay-on-Wye.

Norwegian Church Arts Centre, Cardiff Bay.

Raw Gallery, London.

See some of Gustavius Payne's work in public collections on the Art UK website.


Born Michael Gustavius Payne in Merthyr Tydfil in 1969, he was raised during the 1970s and 80s on the near by Gurnos estate, leaving school at sixteen but returning to full-time education at 21 to pursue his interest in visual art. Payne won his first art prize at the 1993 National Eisteddfod of Wales as Student of The Year.


Today he is represented by Ffin-Y-Parc Gallery in Llanrwst, where his work is regularly shown and held in stock. Work is also held at Fountain Fine Art, Llandeilo; Kooywood Gallery Cardiff and Water Street Gallery, Lancashire. He has exhibited regularly since 1994, including an Arts Council of Wales funded collaborative touring exhibition, with poet and author Mike Jenkins during 2011 – 2012.


He has work in a number of collections including the University of South Wales, Museum of Modern Art Wales and the C&G Building Society.


“These paintings use references from myth, fairy-tale folklore, religion and our shared history. There are familiar stories and symbols which can be navigated; and archetypes which trigger more primitive emotional responses. His special potent magic is his ability to initiate a chain reaction of allusions and ideas and then to pull us through a series of uncomfortable emotions.


“He is aware of the tension and potential contradiction between these strong intellectual and intuitive elements, but his linkage of the universal with the intrinsically personal gives the work an unusual degree of commitment and intensity.


“The contemporary references in many of the paintings show an artist much concerned with the society around him – where it has come from and where it is going. This can give the work sharp satirical bite. The world he paints is both recognisably modern and timeless. There is tenderness and violence. There is mercy and despair, love and shame. Beauty and the Beast.”