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.

Fragments of Devon prints now available to buy from Red Bubble

A selection of the paintings by Bernard Barnes from his new Fragments of Devon collection have been photographed at high resolution and are available as prints from a third party service, Redbubble.com. The prints are produced by this services and shipped to you direct with a percentage commission to the artist. Prints are available as posters, art prints (on high quality paper), framed art prints (with various frame options), canvases – all of which have various size options. The gallery is not responsible for any issues about the production or delivery.

Bernard is preparing a book about this collection, and more information about each painting and drawing can be found on his newly designed website. Details of exhibition dates will be announced in due course.

Painting copyright Bernard Barnes

Guide Prices

Check the Redbubble site for definitive prices. All prices need to add delivery. There are also offers from time to time. An indication of the range of prices is given below:

Art Prints

Small (300mm x 400mm) £12.47 to Extra Large (600mm x 800mm) £37.92

Framed Art Prints

Small (square 203mm x 203mm; rectangle 203mm x 256mm) £64.07 to Large (square 407mm x 407mm; rectangle 407mm x 511mm) £108.89
Framed prints have a choice of 2 frame styles, 4 frame colours and 3 mount colours, which may affect prices.

Canvas Prints (unframed)

Small (square 203mm x 203mm rectangle 203mm x 256mm) £48.00 to Extra Large (square 508mm x508mm; rectangle 508mm x 639mm) £108.00

Poster

Small option only (rectangle 418mm x 525mm) £10.31 to (square 418mm x 418mm) £11.79

New Work by Bernard Barnes – Devon Series

As the gallery is closed for the winter Bernard has had a couple of trips to Devon and from photos and sketches he made while down there, he is now working on a series of Devon paintings. Here are a few previews:

Photos of the Carnival in July 2016

For the 3rd year, the gallery organised a carnival with giant puppets, live music, poetry, art and bubbles. The weather wasn’t on our side this year on Saturday 23rd July. Below are photographs taken by Bernard Young and edited by Karen Cropper. To see them larger, click on one.

Recent Art Inspired by the Refugee Crisis

4 panels not all complete yet, 3 by Bernard Barnes and panel on left by his son Aly Barnes
4 panels not all complete yet, 3 by Bernard Barnes and panel on left by his son Aly Barnes

Bernard and Reyna will be working in the gallery as their studio space during October and things will be moving around in preparation for further renovations of the building that will be taking place November to May, during which time the gallery will be closed to the public.

Bernard, Reyna and Aly have been emersing themselves in the issues around refugees over the last few months leading to the creation of new art works.

Bernard says “The idea is to create a wall combining the paintings. Ideally, in the appropriate setting, where the wall could be extended. The origins of this terrible conflict can be examined, and the consequences explored. On the other side of the barbed-wire wall will be the scrafeto wall.”

Mock up image of wall with barbed wire
Mock up image of wall with barbed wire

“It was originally designed to be a component in an exhibition concerning refugees. Visitors would be asked to leave an image, a comment, an object that will refer to this extraordinary human phenomena. We are thinking of building this as a winter space in the gallery, before it closes for the winter renovations.”

The left panel in the above image is still being painted by Aly Barnes. It is based on an extraordinary image of people gathering in Aleppo in a ruined street.

Please call in to see progress on this work. And if you have any options of places that these pieces can be displayed over the winter, please let Bernard know.

Three panels by Bernard Barnes on the Refugee theme
Three panels by Bernard Barnes on the Refugee theme

Images from the successful castprinting workshop September 2016

We were fortunate to have the pleasure of Jon George sharing his expertise and castprinting technique in the workshop at the gallery 24-28 September. All the places were taken up and everyone enjoyed themselves and worked hard.

This post has photos from the workshop. I’ve included at the end a list of all of the equipment and materials needed for this process. It isn’t a full explanation of the process, but just intended as a reminder for if we run the course again or any people who attended. And the photos are roughly in the order of the process except for the prints that I have included next to their glass painting or cast block for comparison purposes. Clicking on any image will enlarge it and allow you to scroll through the set as a slideshow.

For this printing process you need:

  • Ingredients for gesso – chalk and a water soluble binder
  • A small water bottle with suitable lid for allowing small drops of water
  • A piece of glass to paint your image on, bigger than the image you want to make
  • A smaller piece of glass or tile to mix the gesso on
  • Another piece of glass to roll out your ink on at the printing stage
  • 4 pieces of wood the same thickness, bigger than the image you wish to make
  • Palette knife (knives) to mix your gesso
  • Paint brushes to paint your image with gesso
  • A handful of clay to seal the wood on to your glass as a frame to then pour plaster into
  • Plaster
  • A bucket to mix the plaster in
  • 2 cups – one to measure the dry plaster the other to measure water – preferrably with handles
  • A wet area for washing off plaster from any buckets and cups and washing the gesso of the plaster cast
  • Ink
  • Paper
  • White spirit or turps (to clean off the oil based ink)
  • Rollers for the ink and for pressing the paper on to the cast block
  • Lots of cloths and newspaper for cleaning up

Future plans

Jon George is working on a book about his work, life and the castprinting process. We hope that he will be able to return to the gallery next year and run some more workshops on this technique and also painting with egg tempera. If you are interested in any of these things, please contact us  (if you are not already on the mailing list for updates) or check back on this website regularly.

Photographs by Karen Cropper and Bernard Young.