NEWS: July 2017

Dewiswch o’r blwch i gyfieithu. The gallery is open again after refurbishment over the winter.

The guest exhibition of paintings by Keith Durrant, titled ‘Times, Places and Dreams’ will be on 4-30 July. Read more.

The acoustic folk music sessions are running again every Monday, 7:30 pm start. On Monday 3 July this will be combined with a preview of Keith’s exhibition and a celebration of the reopening of the gallery.

The current Resident Artists’ Exhibitions have work by Bernard Barnes and Reyna Rushton, plus guest exhibitions by two of Bernard’s  progeny – Sasha and Alyosha Barnes.

Jasper Elgood will be returning for four evening philosophy talks. The topics are ‘Mysticism and Class‘ on 13 July and ‘Continuity‘ on 20 July and ‘Environmental Ethics’ on 27 July, and a recently added fourth talk ‘Mysticism and Class part 2: the politics of the contemplative life’ on 3 August. The talks start at 7:30pm. All welcome. No charge.

Books by Bernard Barnes

Bernard has had a self publishing spree. Check out his titles on Amazon or signed copies available in the gallery. The Captives of the Cosmic Web, City as Superorganism, Travels with an environmentally friendly puppet and The cat who said woof. The catalogue of his most recent work, Fragments of Devon, is also available to buy.


Goethe Quote

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

Quote from Goethe, or is it?

Upcoming Events


Evening Events

Celebration evening (all welcome)
Monday 14 August 7:30 pm
Preview of Mawddach Art Group Exhibition and Acoustic Folk Music evening 

Philosophy Talks by Jasper Elgood
Thursdays 13, 20, 27 July & 3 August 7:30 pm

New Exhibitions

Work by Bernard Barnes, Reyna Rushton, Alyosha Barnes and Sasha Barnes
from 16 May 2017

“Times Places and Dreams” – Paintings by Keith Durrant
4 – 30 July 2017
Read more…

Mawddach Art Group Exhibition
12 August – 2 September 2017

Monday Music Unplugged

Every Monday from 15 May starts at 7:30 pm. Read more…

The gallery’s events also appear in:

Recordings of Jasper Elgood Philosophy Talks Summer 2017

The recordings of the talks by Jasper Elgood will be added to this post as they become available.

Please note, a fourth talk has been added to the programme to be given on Thursday 3rd August.

Mysticism and Class 13 July 2017

1 hour 23 minutes. First 7 seconds blank. Click on play button on the left of the bar..

Continuity 20 July 2017

1 hour 9 minutes. Click on play button on the left of the bar.  The recording below is the end part with audience discussion. The cut point was arbitrary as there is a file size limit on the recorder.

20 minutes. Click on play button on the left of the bar.

Environmental Ethics 27 July 2017

Not yet available

Mysticism and Class part 2: The politics of the contemplative life 3 August 2017

Not yet available

A Return of Jasper Elgood’s Philosophy Talks Thursdays in July

Jasper Elgood has given philosophical talks at the gallery for a few years now in July. This year there will be three talks. The topics are ‘Mysticism and Class‘ on 13th July, ‘Continuity‘ on 20th July and ‘Environmental Ethics‘ on 27th July. The talks start at 7:30pm. All welcome. No charge.

For a taste of previous talks, there are some recordings from 2015 in this post.

The area of philosophy that Jasper will be talking about on 27th July is sometimes called Environmental Philosophy, Ecolosophy or Environmental Ethics. There is an interesting article on this subject here: “Three Challenges for Environmental Philosophy”, Jim Moran, Philosophy Now (2012)

If you wonder what the purpose of philosophy is, here is a video:

Photos from the Preview of Keith Durrant’s Exhibition and Celebration of the Gallery Reopening

There was a good turn out on Monday for the celebration event. Lovely harp music early on from Chris Knowles, and acoustic folk session towards the end of the evening. These pictures should give you a flavour of Keith’s exhibition which is on until 30th July, but please do come and have a good look at them in the flesh. Please click on an image below to view larger.

Photos by Bernard Young and Karen Cropper

Please Come to Celebration Party and Guest Exhibition Preview 3 July

Please come and join us on Monday 3rd July, starting at 7:30 pm, to celebrate the reopening of the refurbished gallery and preview the guest exhibition of paintings by Keith Durrant, titled “Times, Places and Dreams” and the Resident Artists’ exhibitions. There will also be live music from the regular Monday night acoustic session musicians.

Announcing July Exhibition of Paintings by Keith Durrant

Times, Places and Dreams 4-30 July

The gallery is pleased to announce the guest exhibition 4-30 July will be paintings by Keith Durrant titled “Times, Places and Dreams”. The exhibition will be open as usual 11am to 4:30pm, every day except Mondays when the gallery is closed.

Painting copyright Keith Durrant
The storm will pass the sea remains – Acrylic on canvas – 31.5″ x 23.75″

Artist’s Statement

I served with the Royal Air Force on ground radar, both in this country and the Middle and the Far East for seven and a half years. When in Cyprus, I was immensely proud to serve under Squadron leader Ginger Lacey. D.F.M., who in 1940 as a Sgt pilot was the highest scoring Battle of Britain pilot. It is no accident that there are two paintings in the exhibition dedicated to his memory. After demob, I finished up working on Hunter’s and Canberra’s for the MOD at RAF St Athan. It was on finishing at the latter, that I opened my sign writing business in a very small cowshed by the ford in Llanblethian. It was while so engaged with paint and brushes that I really began to develop my interest in fine art. Although I still remember the exquisite joy of selling a black and white emulsion seascape to a fellow aircraft fitter for thirty bob!

Painting copyright Keith Durrant
Derelict quarry men’s cottages – Acrylic on canvas – 12″ x 10″

A change in family circumstances in the late eighties caused the painting to be laid aside. There were a few false dawns between then and now. It is said that if the artist is within you, it will keep pressing to get out until it is free again… Well it is out and on the rampage!

Some of my earlier scene painting work and murals still survive on the walls of a number of visitor centres in North Wales. Large scale, some hangar wall size! While the sign I painted on the old guardhouse at the entrance to what was Maes Artro Craft Village in Llanbedr in 1979, steadfastly refuses to completely be obliterated!

Painting copyright Keith Durrant
Paired for life. Canada geese over Glaslyn – Acrylic on canvas – 16″ x 12″

The work that I am presenting to you here at St John’s Hall Gallery comprises recent work of both Mid and North Wales. Almost all painted since my move back to this my home town of Brecon. Alongside others, mostly aviation and marine subjects, done while living in North Wales

Writing this artist’s statement has brought a smile to my face. I realise that while my home town is Brecon. My soul belongs up here with you all. For it is here in North Wales that I have spent more years than anywhere else. Hiraeth…

Keith Durrant May 28th 2017

A video tour of the new arrangement inside the gallery

If the video above does not display correctly, you can view it on YouTube at

St John’s Hall Gallery is open again, please come see

St John's Hall Gallery Exhibition poster to end June 2017
The gallery is now open to the public again after long refurbishment work over the winter and spring. There is a new internal layout of the display boards creating four ‘rooms’. The large painting, Captives of the Cosmic Web, has been rehung on the north wall and the first of the ceiling panels (the Mythic Dreamer of the Gobekli Tepe – read more) has been put up.

The new exhibitions are a family affair. The art by Bernard Barnes (Fragments of Devon), Reyna Rushton, Sasha Barnes and Alyosha Barnes is all on display and for sale. There will also be an area inviting your participation in considering the refugee crisis.

Exhibition at St John's Hall Gallery, Alyosha Barnes
Alyosha Barnes resting after putting up his exhibition
Painting by Bernard Barnes
The first of 3 panels that make up the Mythic Dreamer of the Gobekli Tepe, being fixed to the ceiling

Monday Music Acoustic Open Sessions Restart on Monday 15 May

After the gallery has been closed for refurbishment, the first Monday Music Unplugged session will be on Monday 15 May starting as usual at 7:30pm.

These sessions first started in June 2016 after the success of the music at the opening event on Friday (see video below). These sessions are open mic (but without the mic) with a folk music bias. If you are a musician or like to listen, please come along. All welcome.