Announcing Exhibition June 2016: Photographs by Helen Iles

We are pleased to announce that our first guest exhibition at the gallery for 2016 will be landscape photographs by Helen Iles. The exhibition will be open 11am to 5pm each day (except Mondays when the gallery will be closed), from Saturday 4th to Thursday 30th June.

Cwm Orthin Ruins copyright Helen Iles
Copyright Helen Iles

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Announcing September 2016 Exhibition by Artist Jon George

We are looking forward to presenting an exhibition of the work of artist Jon George 4th-30th September (every day 11-4:30 except closed Mondays). Please do come to the private view, if you can, on Saturday 3rd September at 7:30pm. Here is a preview of some of his work.

Print copyright Jon George
‘Vine’, photo-castprint 57x68cm (23″x27″)
Print copyright Jon George
Bath House Cafe, Barmouth, Wales. screen-print 66x49cm (26″x20″)
Print copyright Jon George
‘Baranyini’, hand-castprint 50×56 cm (20.5″x23″)

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Gallery Closed for Renovation Work over the Winter

Oriel ar gau St John’s Hall Gallery closed for renovations

Because of the renovation work that is currently taking place, the gallery will be closed until the Spring (Update – probably mid to late May 2016). Work is continuing on the puppet theatre and Bernard will try to post updates here on that and the renovations.

Work being done on the windows on 10 Dec
Work being done on the windows on 10 Dec

The weather has been severe recently at times. A tree on the land adjacent to the gallery was blown down in strong winds in November. More info on that here: The road was cleared of the bulk of the tree fairly quickly and thankfully no-one was hurt.

Image from Daily Post
SWALEC are currently digging up the road. Not sure if that is linked to the tree and storm damage.
SWALEC are currently digging up the road. Not sure if that is linked to the tree and storm damage.

Part of the development of the puppet theatre the gallery

This crude experiment is the first stage in the development of a scrolling background in the puppet theatre. It has established a traditional method to create illusion of movement while the figure remains stationary. It will form part of our introductory sequence to the opening of the talking head theatre.

Recordings of Summer Talks by Jasper Elgood

The recordings of the three evening talks by Jasper Elgood which took place in September 2015 at the Gallery are below:

The Transcendental Style in Cinema

(Is Robert Bresson “the greatest artist of the twentieth century?”)
An illustrated talk by Jasper Elgood
September 3rd 2015 at 7.30pm

The recording had to be split into 2 because of file size limitations. There wasn’t a break. The images that Jasper is referring to are included at the bottom of this post.
First part

Second part

Narrative versus Enquiry

(The duty to escape from the known to the unknown)
September 10th at 7.30 pm

The recording had to be split into 2 because of file size limitations. There wasn’t a break.
First part

Second Part

Getting out of the Light

(What should the self do with itself?)
September 24th at 7.30pm

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Exhibition of Photographs by Pete Telfer until 20th November

There is a new exhibition of photography by Pete Telfer on at the Gallery until 20th November. Pete will also be talking about the exhibition on Saturday 31st October at 6:30pm at the Gallery. Please do come.

ebglish poster for peter

Pete is an extraordinary film maker and photographer, whose mission has been to connect and document the arts scene in Wales. Continue reading

Photos from Puppet Carnival on 19/20 September

Walk through town on the Saturday

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At the Gallery

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Sunday in the Square

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Photos courtesy of Bernard Young.

Barmouth Puppet Carnival This Weekend (19 & 20 September)


This is just a quick post to say that the giant puppets that have been under construction for the past few weeks will be walking through the town on Saturday 19th Sept and Sunday 20th September from 2pm to 3pm. Catch them on the promenade.

If you want to be part of the parade call in the the Gallery from 11 am. Volunteers welcome to operate the puppets, no experience required. Roles for large and small.

There will be live music on Saturday evening from 7:30pm. Bring your own drink.

Carnival Postponed

The Gallery has decided to try an experiment this year, holding the carnival after the excesses of August. We may possibly get more support from people who are too busy in high season. Maybe we could have the procession on a Saturday at the end of September. This will give us more time to explore some of the interesting new ideas that are arising in our planning.

For example: We have been considering giving the carnival a theme – and incidentally give the Gallery another range of activity to explore. The theme of ‘The Talking Head’ based on the return of Bran (mentioned in the Mabinogion) has been hit upon.

We intend and have already started making 4 new large figures (each requiring 3 people to operate). We intend these figures to form up, at appropriate moments in a walk, or while in the gallery, to create a puppet theatre complete with drawing curtain, lights, back projection etc. This theatre could be used for string puppets or glove puppets.

There will also be a large puppet of the head of Bran which will preside over the event, making comment at appropriate moments in the day, like a narrator. The large puppets who form the body of the theatre would also make a contribution at intervals, rather in the manner of the chorus in Greek theatre. Thus there will be three tiers of comment possible in a singe performance. Anyone interested in contributing to this unusual theatrical set-up, please ring 07767862382.

Captives of the Cosmic Web book now available from Amazon


Captives of the Cosmic Web (the book about the wall) is a detailed look at the large wall painting in the hall. The book is now available from Amazon.

The work is a description of a large wall painting in St John’s Hall Gallery, Barmouth in North Wales. The work has been painted by artist Bernard Barnes. It is composed of 24 canvases painted in oil paint.

The painting is a modern cosmology, exploring different ideas about the origin of the universe and the place of the human world in it. It is a celebration of rational thought.

There is also a narrative in the picture in which Dante figures, emerging from the underworld. He is guide into the fresh air of rational thought where Beatrice will introduce him to Darwin, DaVinci, Mendelef, Max Plank, Rutherford, Maxwell, Crick and Watson, Bore, Feynman, and so on. Above is Newton, and finally Einstein and the Solvai conference.

The book is for sale through Amazon at the following link:

The Captives of the Cosmic Web