fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting

Valerie Ganz

Welsh ( b.1936 - d.2015 )


  • Oil on Artist’s Canvas Board
  • Signed lower right

Image size 15.4 inches x 19.3 inches ( 39cm x 49cm )
Frame size 20.9 inches x 24.6 inches ( 53cm x 62.5cm )


Free Shipping to the UK, USA, Canada & Europe

Enquire about shipping elsewhere

Learn more

Buyer Protection Guarantee

Your purchase will arrive as described.

Find out more

Questions about this piece?

Ask the seller

Available for sale from Big Sky Fine Art in the English county of Dorset is this original oil painting by the Welsh artist Valerie Ganz which dates from around 1985. It is presented and supplied in its’ original wooden frame (which is shown in these photographs).
This vintage painting is in very good condition, defying its age. It wants for nothing and is supplied ready to hang and display.
The painting is signed lower right.

Valerie Ganz was a highly acclaimed contemporary Welsh artist, recognised for her insightful figurative art, especially of workers in industrial settings.

Born in Swansea in 1936, she started painting at a young age. She later attended Swansea College of Art where she studied painting, sculpture and stained glass. She then remained there as a tutor until 1973 when she turned her attention to painting full time. Her first solo exhibition was at the Attic Gallery, Swansea.

Valerie spent much of her career depicting the industrial heritage of Wales, from the bombsites of her Swansea childhood to the coalfaces of the South Wales Valleys. She was particularly interested in the mining industry and over the years she worked in fourteen different collieries.

In 1985 she took a house and studio at Six Bells, Abertillery, and for the following year she worked as an artist at the Six Bells Colliery. She worked alongside the miners, both above ground and at the coalface and in the evenings she made studies of them with their families at choir practice, in the snooker halls and in the chapel. This work formed the basis of the mining exhibition at the Glynn Vivian Gallery, Swansea in 1986; “Mining in Art” alongside works of Josef Herman, Jack Crabtree and Nicholas Evans.

Valerie then spent a year in London, where she set up her studio and worked every day at the Central School of Ballet, capturing images of the dancers. She found a common link between the miners and dancers; she wrote ‘Their world is a centralised one and their work depends on trust in the colliery and on their colleagues to work safely, while in ballet the performance depends on the excellence of those around you and their dedication to the craft; when a miner goes underground he’s cut off from the outside world and in the same way a ballet dancer, no matter how big a star he or she is, must line up with the junior members of the company and similarly rely on their professional competence“.

In 1990, following on from her time at Six Bells Colliery, British Coal commissioned her to work at three open case sites, where she again captured the working culture of the men who worked there. This culminated in a further large exhibition.

Valerie went to South Africa several times, where she painted workers in the oil industry, and also travelled into the Patagonian Desert in Argentina to paint oilrigs and their workmen.

Her curiosity with “other lives” and interest in figurative drawing also took her to New Orleans where she painted jazz artists and to Swansea Prison where she painted offenders, one such works now adorns the National Assembly building in Wales. She also visited various nightclubs to capture dancers and revellers and worked with classical musicians at Dartington Music School and the Brecon Jazz Festival.

Ganz explained her interest in figurative art; “People in their working lives, whether in a deep mine, in the theatre or in a jazz club is what fascinates me and makes me want to study them and try to say something about their achievements”.

Ganz travelled widely throughout her career, painting the people and also the landscapes of China, France, Italy, India, Namibia, Brazil and Thailand. She has also painted the urban landscapes of New York.

Valerie’s Ganz last major solo exhibition was at the Attic Gallery in Swansea in 2010. In her later years she was a regular visitor to the Liberty Stadium in Swansea, where she sketched the Ospreys rugby team from the touchline.

The work of Valerie Ganz is now found in prominent public and private collections in the UK and worldwide, including the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff; the Palace of Westminster, London; the National Assembly, Cardiff and the National Library of Wales. Her work is highly collectable, especially the early mining works, which capture a life that has all but disappeared over the last generation.

Valerie Ganz was an elected member of the Royal Cambrian Academy.
She died on 28 September 2015 aged 79.

© Big Sky Fine Art

This magnificent oil painting by Valerie Ganz depicts three miners working deep underground in the overwhelming darkness of a coal mine. Each man wears an orange uniform, one in a vest, the other two in shirts with rolled up sleeves, and a helmet with a headtorch. The beans of pure white light from the headtorches provide the only illumination, showing us that the men are placing a charge to detonate an area of rock, with bright red leads protruding from the rockface. We gain in insight into the danger, importance and dignity of this work and the artist’s immense respect for the men who spend their working lives in these conditions. This is an extremely intimate and atmospheric work, in the exact genre for which Ganz is best known.

We provide a professional shipping and delivery service which is free to customers in the UK, Europe, USA and Canada. We can also provide other worldwide delivery on any purchase. Please contact us for further information.

For UK deliveries, prices are inclusive of VAT. We will supply a VAT invoice under the margin scheme for Work of Art as per the HMRC definition.

For deliveries outside of the UK you will be liable for any import duties to the country of destination and any local sales/consumer taxes applicable to the delivery address. We will ship the consignment with the appropriate harmonized commodity code and with a comprehensive invoice. The appropriate Common Customs Tariff number is 9701000000 if you need to check before purchasing. All duties and taxes, if any, will be collected by the courier or delivery company and they will charge a modest standard administration charge, including on Duty Free goods, for performing this function on your behalf.