Osi Rhys Osmond: life and works

By Gwylym Owen

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Osi Rhys Osmond (born Donald Malcolm Osmond; 28 June 1942 – 6 March 2015) was a Welsh painter and an occasional television and radio presenter.

Osmond was born in Bristol to Welsh parents from Wattsville, Sirhowy, Caerphilly, where his associates were miners. Air raids during the Second World War caused his relations to move incite to Wales in imitation of he was an infant. He superior adopted the pronounce Rhys from his second wife, Hilary Rhys, great granddaughter of the recognized musician John Thomas Rees.

He was educated in Newport Art College and Cardiff Art College. He was fascinated once colour throughout his career. “Colour is the basis of my craft – I chat through colour, I talk through colour, I use colour to publicize myself and convey my ideas”, he told the Western Mail in 2009.

In 2006, Osmond presented the Welsh-language television series, Byd o Liw, on S4C. He with presented features on BBC Radio 3. In March 2012, Osmond was profiled upon BBC 2’s The Culture Show. In June 2012 Osmond was co-presenter and mentor on the BBC Wales television series, The Exhibitionists, where participants compete to become art experts. He wrote on the visual representation of South Wales in periodicals such as Planet, New Welsh Review, Tu Chwith and Barn and Golwg. In 2006 he published Carboniferous Collisions, on the painter Josef Herman.

In April 2012 Osmond returned to the area of his teenage years to preserve an exhibition of his paintings, in tribute to his intimates and the local community. Osmond lived in Llansteffan, Carmarthenshire for 30 years. He became a zealot of the Gorsedd at the National Eisteddfod in Swansea in 2006, and was made an honorary fellow of the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David in July 2013. He was a lecturer at Swansea Metropolitan University and a supporter of the Arts Council of Wales.

Osmond died upon 6 March 2015, aged 71, after a long fight with cancer in Llansteffan, Carmarthenshire. He was survived by his second wife, Hilary, two sons Luke and Che from his first marriage to Linda Prime, and Hilary’s daughter Sara. At the period of his death he was completing a unqualified painting, with the process recorded in a documentary. The painting was due to go upon display in 2017 in Cardiff’s supplementary Maggie’s middle at the Velindre Cancer Centre.

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