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page 76 REVIEW / AUTUMN 201145WELSH ARTtime of Caernarfon Castle, is halfobscured by a pile of 6,500 cardboardbird boxes. Carwyn Evans' installationUniliw(2002) is a comment on planningpolicies in rural Wales. It also goes toshow, that as Parry-Williams wrote inHon, you can take the artist out ofWales, but you can't take Wales out ofthe artist. "If your favourite place or artist is notrepresented, please come back,"suggests a polite notice on the wall. Aselsewhere, the Welsh Landscape displaywill change regularly. "We're consciousthat any museum has to be a livingentity," says Fairclough, who goesfurther in his introduction to themuseum's new companion guide, agenerously illustrated cataloguespanning 400 years of art. "More of thecollection will be seen, and under muchbetter conditions than ever before," hepromises there, before adding that theNational Museum of Art is only "a half-way house".Above:RichardLong'sSnowdoniaStonescan be found in oneof the sixcontemporarygalleriesLeft:Welsh artistCarwyn Evansalso has aninstallationwithin thecontemporarygalleries -UnlliwHis long-term objective, the creationof a separate National Gallery of Wales,is still at least a decade away. "There isno funding for such a project for theforeseeable future but we want to get itout in the open," he says. Other treats to seek out include theworld's largest collection of Welsh 19th-century sculpture, a new rotating galleryof famous Welsh portraits and theaforementioned Davies collection, withits Monets and Rodins but also awonderful survey of Wales' ownAugustus and Gwen John. Hanging above the main staircase asyou leave the museum is a sentenceflickering in halogen. "Look at thatpicture, how does it appear to younow... Does it seem to be persisting?"The quote is from American poet William S Burroughs; the artwork bycontemporary Welsh artist Cerith Wyn Evans. Originally exhibited at theWhite Cube in London, the piecenonetheless seems to sum up beautifullythis museum's success: how only bysetting in conversation the old and thenew, the art of Wales with the art of the world, can we better understand this country. National Museum of Art, CathaysPark, Cardiff; Open Tuesday-Sunday10am-5pm (Galleries close at4:45pm); (029) 2039 7951,

Left:Blue silk satingentleman'sevening coatwith waistcoatdecorated withsequins, c1780-1790Top (left):Pinksilk spencer withturn down collarand applieddecoration ofpink satinrouleau loops,c1815Top (right):Detailof floral silkembroideredpocket andbutton from agentleman'sgreen velvetcoat c1760-1770Age of eleganceThe 1790s are one of the most recognisable periods in clothing history: in a few short years, theextravagance of dress made way for a silhouette that was more simple, elegant and free. Hannah Phillipexplains how powerful social and political change were responsible for this sartorial transformationFAIRFAX HOUSEThe final decade of the 18thcentury witnessed dramaticchanges in fashion - changes thatcan justly be termed revolutionary. Forits new exhibition of Georgian costume,Fairfax House will be exploring the'revolutionary' fashions of 1790 to 1820,an era synonymous with the heroes andheroines of Jane Austen, and arguablyone of the most distinctive andrecognisable periods in clothing history. The 1790s were indeed a criticalmoment in fashion history. In less than adecade, the female silhouette that hadbeen fashionable throughout much ofthe 18th century had been completelytransformed. Away went theextravagance of form, the boldness ofthe textiles and the somewhatcumbersome nature of women'sfashionable dress supported by hoopsand rigid corsetry in favour of restraint,delicacy and simplicity of line. The luxurious and highly-prizeddamasks, brocades and elaboratelyembroidered silks of the previous 50years swiftly disappeared to be replacedby muslins, gauzes and soft silks -lighter, more translucent fabrics that clungto the body and emphasised its outline.Such fabrics did more to reveal than toconceal, and when combined with newcutting and styling techniques made thefemale form more visible than ever before.Fashionable dress was, in fact, simplymirroring the transformations of a periodof rapid and dramatic change driven bysocial and political forces both withinEngland and from the external forces ofconflict across the Channel. Theserevolutionary changes were propelled bythe immense ideological and culturalimpact of the French Revolution (1789)and Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars(1793-1815) and the technological andsocial effects of the Industrial Revolution.Fashion, of course - then as now - is46NADFAS REVIEW / AUTUMN