He's arguably Wales' biggest rock star. Now Nicky Wire of the Manic Street Preachers has unveiled his first exhibition of paintings and photography. David Owens reports...
People and places that have influenced the Manic Street Preachers' Nicky Wire form the inspiration for the artwork that features in the musician's first solo exhibition which opens this week.
Paintings and Polaroids, at Tenby Museum and Art Gallery, collects a series of pictures that Wire has worked on both at home in Newport and at the apartment he owns in Tenby, and at Manic Street Preachers' studios - both their former studio Faster in Cardiff and their new residence Door to the River in Newport.
"This exhibition sees me following in a fine tradition of bass-playing artists - The Clash's Paul Simonon, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Paul McCartney," said Wire, who is from Blackwood.
"It's something I've wanted to do for a long time and Tenby Museum and Art Gallery really is the most perfect setting - it's one of my favourite places to let my mind drift.
"Mark the curator of the art gallery had got hold of a copy of my Polaroid book (Death of a Polaroid, Faber & Faber) and asked if I'd ever fancy exhibiting. This summer finally felt like the time was right to pull three decades worth of work together for this show."
Wire added: "These artworks are mini tributes to people and places that have given me comfort and inspiration over the years.
"I grew up obsessed by Polaroids - with the beauty and simplicity, the accidental moment caught, the initial vivid colour and the eventual sad fade.
"I've been lucky enough to have a flat here for the last 12 years and it is a very special place with such a rich artistic history.
"The works themselves are truly mixed media - foil, superglue, gaffa, masking and Sellotape, nail varnish, glitter, make-up and of course paint."
Wire explained the exhibition was inspired by many different icons from the world of art and literature.
"The exhibition is a celebration of inspiration - Warhol's repeated images, the quilt paintings of John Uzzell Edwards, Yayoi Kusama, Richter, Tracey Emin, Bert Stern, Dylan Thomas, Miles Davis.
"The list is endless. I'm so pleased to be having my first exhibition in Tenby, but it's more nerve-racking than any gig I've done as a musician. I hope people enjoy it."
Nicky Wire's Polaroids have adorned Manics record covers over the years, including their first number one single If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next.