Putting some ideas into practice

A busy few days has seen the central panel of the picture mounted in one of the bays of the gallery. Visitors may easily see the progress.

The central panel 8′ x 4′ will form the centre of a larger picture that may take its place on the ceiling of the gallery.

Its subject is the 20th century, leading to the enlightenment that is displayed on the north wall. It is a mystery that men who have behaved so badly can still have any redeeming features at all.

Copyright Bernard Barnes

I am planning to add a ring of events surrounding the inner chaos. Events of momentous proportions, the wars, the great characters, the arts and cultural references. My original hurricane shape based on the vortex I am thinking of bearing the multiple images.

Copyright Bernard Barnes

Throughout the images I am looking for small bubbles of tranquility where I can paste a small scene, an aside, a reference that together will all the rest paint a summary of a momentous century.

Copyright Bernard Barnes

You may be able to see from these pictures that I have cut boards that fit around the edge of the central picture. It will be made up of pieces that I will fit together on the wall, but which I can work on seperately on the easel.

I am also beginning to adapt the central image, adding new ideas to fit the theme. I have been experimenting with an optical illusion that can be built out from the surface of the picture to give the illusion of an inner recession.

Copyright Bernard Barnes

Here I am interested in suggesting the receding streets of fear exploited by Giorgio de Chirico in the surrealist paintings and it does add to the tension of the work.

A new ceiling panel is taking shape, and will be on display in the gallery from 18th September

Original painting copyright Bernard Barnes

This painting is 12′ x 6′ and intended for a place on the ceiling of the gallery along with 7 other pictures. Its theme is the 20th century, and it reflects a century of turmoil, war, etc. This image is an artist’s mockup, showing my intent. I will be adding the decorative border while the picture is on display. Here on a blog, I will try and document the development of the picture.

Address of Blog: http://bernardbarnes.com/blog/

Bernard Barnes

You are invited to the Preview on Monday 4 Sept for New Exhibitions

We hope that you will be able to join us on Monday 4 September starting at 7:30 pm for the preview evening for exhibitions of art by Richard Morgan and Julia Wilson. There will be wine and folk music as part of the preview evening.

If you aren’t free on Monday, please do come and have a look at the new exhibitions at some point while they are on view. The gallery is open every day from 11 am to 4:30 pm, except for Mondays when it is normally closed during the day.

Paintings, Prints, Photography and Sculpture by Richard Morgan

Open to view 5 – 30 September

Read more

Exhibition of art by Richard Morgan at St John's Hall Gallery Barmouth 5-30 September 2017

Paintings by Julia Wilson

Open to view 5 – 17 September.

Read more

Paintings by Julia Wilson Exhibition 5-17 Sept 2017 at St John's Hall Gallery Barmouth

Photos from the Mawddach Art Group preview of the exhibition that is open until 2 September

There was a very pleasant evening of art and music yesterday at the preview of the Mawddach Art Group exhibition combined with the regular Monday acoustic folk music. If you have chance to call in and have a look at the exhibition before it closes on 2nd September, it is well worth a look. A variety of styles and materials and perhaps something you would like to buy at a very reasonable price. Here are some photos of the evening (if you click on any image the set will open up to scroll through in a larger format).

Photographs by Bernard Young

Dissonant Britain Painting by Bernard Barnes

Painting copyright Bernard Barnes St John's Hall Gallery Barmouth

For this latest work by Bernard Barnes he has cut up two of his paintings and swapped pieces between the two paintings to see the effect of merging one into the other.

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

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

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

Fragments of Devon catalogue available to buy from Amazon

Cover of Fragments of Devon by Bernard Barnes
The catalogue to accompany the exhibition of Fragments of Devon paintings and drawings by Bernard Barnes is now available to buy from Amazon.

The catalogue contains 24 works, completed in 2017, with descriptions connected with each one. The works are also displayed on his website. The book is full colour (matt), 8.5″ square, 64 pages.

We do not have a date yet for the reopening of the gallery and consequently this exhibition. Work is progressing well. It is hoped that the gallery will be open by June, but it may be earlier. There will be notification on the website as soon as we have any firm dates.

Buy from Amazon.

Video Interview with Bernard Barnes and Harald Gassner from 2014

We’ve recently rediscovered a video from 2014 of an interview with Bernard Barnes where he talks about his life as an artist, the large painting on the north wall, ‘Captives of the Cosmic Web’. He and Harald Gassner also talk about their hopes for the gallery to become a Centre for the Creative Mind. The interview and the video were made by Larissa Siegrist.