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Page last updated at 16:08 GMT, Wednesday, 16 June 2010 17:08 UK
Swansea art exhibition highlights major figures
Detail from a drawing by gordon stuart of Aeronwy
Gordon Stuart sketched Dylan's daughter Aeronwy Thomas and her brother

When Gordon Stuart first sketched Dylan Thomas it was in a Carmarthenshire pub, but ultimately the poet agreed to sit for him at his Laugharne writing shed.

And so the artist, originally from Canada, was the last to paint Dylan while he was still alive.

An exhibition of his work, which reads like a roll call of major figures of the 20th century, is officially opened at the Dylan Thomas Centre on 16 June.

He has been the centre's artist in residence since 1995.

During that time the Swansea-based artist has worked on portraits of writers, artists and politicians who visited the centre.

The list of figures painted and drawn by the Toronto-born artist includes Seamus Heaney, Allen Ginsberg, Jimmy Carter, Beryl Bainbridge, Peter Blake and Aeronwy Thomas.

His work is exhibited all over the world and he has five works at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Other high-profile people who sat for him included Sir Thomas Beecham, Marcel Marceau, Sir Kingsley Amis and Wynford Vaughan-Thomas.

Some people came to his studio to sit for him. Others he sketched while they were performing at the Dylan Thomas Centre.

Image shows a detail from a work depicting RS Thomas
Image of the poet R S Thomas

Among them the poet, R S Thomas, who he recalls glanced frequently at his watch.

Others have been completely quiet while he's sketched or painted them, while some chatted, while he worked on their portraits.

And despite his age, he is now 86-years-old, he still starts work on a daily basis after breakfast.

Nick McDonald of The Dylan Thomas Centre said: "We are delighted to recognise Gordon's commitment to the Centre over many years with this exhibition.

"It draws on a fascinating array of prominent figures from politics and the arts, represented in Gordon's humane and sensitive style."

The exhibition runs until 11 July, and will be officially opened at 7pm on Wednesday, 16 June.

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