One of the people that make this world a better place to live - Cefyn Embling-Evans
Updated: Dec 22, 2020
An art curator is in charge of managing collections of works of art for a museum, foundation or an art gallery. Curator's job is to build up collections, often in specialist areas. Curators develop ways in which objects, archives and artworks can be interpreted, through exhibitions, publications, events and audio-visual presentations. Ours is Cefyn , an amazing person in whose presence you feel honored, an educated person with vast life experience and definitely a person from whom you can learn a lot about art. As a volunteer I am really happy that he is one of the people I work with and that is why I decided to bring him closer to you.
I asked him few questions: when the love for art was born and what is Cefyn's history in this field ..How did the collaboration with artem started and why he chose Madeira to live and spread his art spirit.
I come from a poor village background but I have always been fascinated by objects that have history, and as a child of ten I remember I desperately wanted to become an archeologist, as I was already curating the school museum ! As a young teenager I delivered fresh bread to houses as a way of earning money which I saved up and used to travel by train to the big city (Cardiff, which lucky for me has an outstanding collection of Impressionists) museums and castles. History became my love and I trained as a teacher of history, English and music, leaving home at 18 never to return. I started collecting as a student, spending money on art and objects even if it meant going cold and without food! In 1996 retiring from careers in social work and complimentary medicine, I bought my first gallery premises and filled it with my extensive collection as stock for sale. This gallery was later moved to Columbia Road in London to specialise in 20th Century Art and Design. During this time as an art dealer, I worked part time as the commercial manager for Pallant House Gallery and Museum in Sussex, and I returned to university to gain an honours degree in fine and decorative art evaluation. I managed a provincial auction rooms, alongside working on ITV television series as an evaluation expert. In 2008 I visited Madeira for the first time which had such an impact on me that I sold up everything in the UK and moved here in 2009 having bought a tiny modernized goat shed on the edge of the cliffs on the north coast, bringing with me only a very few art pieces I was too attached to to sell, including a small collection of portraits of artists. Portraiture has remained, throughout my life, my biggest love, along with classical and neo-classical decorative art... there is something extraordinary about offering guests peanuts in a 4th century BC Apulian bowl ! I am also very drawn to fin de siecle schools of art and early 20th century design.
In 2016 I walked in Art Center Caravel, having met Sveta and Alex some months beforehand through English language classes I gave at the English church in Funchal, where I am the archivist. I was delighted by the energy and enthusiasm I saw at work at Caravel and immediately offered my help. I have been their art curator ever since, designing, producing, and presenting all their curated art exhibitions. When ARTE.M was formed it seemed a natural progression for me to become involved with my experience over the many years in both art and education. Art production in Madeira has a long but limited history, to some degree due to its geographic isolation. However, as a crossroads and hugely popular holiday destination, it is not difficult to see how the island has a future as a possible international art colony. There already exists a large pool of artistic talent on the island, a pool that Art Center Caravel together with ARTE.M and others have fostered and continue to nurture... applying a gentle breath to oxygenate and ignite it into a flame that may one day explode into its own artistic colony of international repute.
Veronika Zhezhovska 21.12.2020