Meet Artist and Performer Chase Valentin

You might expect to find a multi-disciplined and talented artist such as Chase Valentin, a resident of a major European city, his art gracing the walls of trendy galleries, and his music, performing and directing prowess showing at popular arthouse theatres. But, as the saying goes, he’s been there and done that, and in his wake has left an enviable portfolio of art, film, shows and music that demonstrates his talent runs deep and wide.

His website (https://www.valentinbardo.net/) tells a story that offers a glimpse into an artistic journey that began in North Wales as a student nearly 40 years ago. It has taken him from music on the post-punk live circuit through graphic design, ceramics, oil paintings, performance art, films and theatre. 

Along the way, he met up with and sought inspiration from other artists who challenged him to take new creative avenues, stretching his horizon. He gave back by mentoring other young artists, and it is his desire to share that ever draws him to performance art.

After a lifetime of work and travel that took him across Europe, he sought a sabbatical from an artist’s solitary rigour, and in 2017 returned to his native Wales. Settling in Fishguard, Chase found a group of like-minded individuals and, tantalisingly, a small independent theatre!

It was here he rekindled his love for theatre, performing and collaborating with other musicians and actors. It was not long before he hosted a Rocky Horror night at Theatr Gwaun, appearing as the gender-neutral Vladimira-Mira. There followed a role as Rum Tum Tugger in Rain Malone-Hallett’s engaging production of Cats.

His appetite and love for performance truly had been wetted, which set him to work combining his music and artistic talents to collaborate with musician David Pepper, producing two shows of Sound & Vision. Vibrantly colourful and hugely entertaining, the evenings featured the songs of David Bowie, with whom Chase’s stage presence and soulful voice have parity. Sadly, soon after the second show, the pandemic put paid to further musical collaborations.

In the introverted confines of lockdown, he has not been idle, recording and publishing an album of Bowie Songs (https://soundcloud.com/valentin-bardo) and planning shows that, now the darkness of Covid is lifting, can see the light of day, and I for one am excited by that prospect.

On 23 July he is hosting a one-night, double-showing of his latest production, Bardo’s Electric Love Cabinet, which he describes as an evening of “dark cabaret” featuring music and songs from the likes of Lou Reed, Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Nina Simone.

There is edgy darkness to Chase’s work, and he describes his theatrical alter ego as “a flamboyant old libertine who knocks out art-rock and dark cabaret”. His artworks are deeply fascinating, a delicate mix of surrealism-meets-renaissance-meets-modernism that are unique and unquestionably top-drawer. When you meet him, there is restless energy, playfulness, and strength of character that at times has found frustration in the confines of a conservative, small town. But Fishguard is a creatives’ town, with a keen musical, artistic and theatrical leaning so, despite any underlying conservatism, there is an appetite for new and more progressive art, theatre and music, all of which are the hallmark of Chase’s work.

Tim Wickenden was born in 1962 and has been a hobbyist writer since his teens, writing many short stories and a number of plays. He lives in the fabulous town of Fishguard and still works as a carpenter/furniture maker, writing in the afternoons, evenings and weekends. Tim always finds time to spend with his autistic 12-year-old son, playing games on the PS4, going swimming and walking. If you want to know more about his work, he can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and his author website is www.timwickenden.com.

Tim’s books can be found on Amazon and are available direct from Tim (signed: both hardback and paperback), or you can order eBooks and a paperback from Amazon. He has donated five copies to the Pembrokeshire library service to go in the five main libraries, and it is on sale in Victoria Bookshop (Haverfordwest) and Seaways (Fishguard).

Contact Tim: pontiagotim@gmail.com

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