NEWS: October – December 2017

Dewiswch o’r blwch i gyfieithu.

There are currently no guest exhibitions but a good display of the work by resident artists Bernard Barnes and Reyna Rushton. The gallery is now only formally open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 4:30pm. On week days if the lights are on, do knock on the door to have a look around and see the artists at work in their studio.

The acoustic folk music sessions have finished for the Winter. They may start up again in the Spring. Bernard Barnes is working on his Dissonant Britain painting which will eventually be added as one of the ceiling panels.

Books by Bernard Barnes

Bernard is a published author as well as artist. 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.

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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?

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 separately 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

Experimental ‘Mixed Tape’ Video Evening

On Wednesday evening (23 August) at the gallery we had a trial run of a format for an evening of sharing video clips from YouTube (could be from other sites, but YouTube has the playlist facility).

This is the playlist that was prepared before the evening, if you wanted to look.

The idea we have had is that instead of watching things on individual devices by yourself, watching with others gives another dimension. People laugh at the same points, you can discuss things that come up, you see things you wouldn’t have come across otherwise. There could be themed evenings on a particular topic. Or like this one an eclectic mixture of things that the audience may not have seen and may find interesting.

The test evening was to try out equipment. Getting a good sound quality is important if you are listening to music. By the end of the evening we had a working set up that sounded good, but there were lots of cables all over, so that still needs some working out.

The projector and internet worked well. From a practical point of view it would be better to set up the projector as a ‘second monitor’, so that one screen can be used to cue up other extra videos suggested by the audience while one is playing. These could be added to the playlist while it is running.

Other things to note: You do have to be ready to skip adverts and alter the volume because the levels vary between videos.

What name could we give to these evenings? Any suggestions?

Open Day and Carnival

carnival-poster a4

Giant Puppet Dance – Calling for Puppeteers

DSCN4411

Fancy being a Puppet Master? We are experimenting with creating a Giant Puppet Dance Group, to perform, initially, at the Puppet Carnival on July 23rd. The aim is to create simple round dances that can be performed by these giants. Hard and hot work, but could be a lot of fun.

First meeting will be on Friday 15th July at 7.30pm in St John’s Hall Gallery, Barmouth

Just turn up if you’re interested.

Volunteers Wanted for Help on Carnival Day 23 July

appeal for help poster

Are you available on Saturday 23rd July to participate in the carnival at the gallery and to parade through the streets of Barmouth? This is the 3rd year that the gallery has held a giant puppet parade and carnival. If you want to perform during the day or in the evening, any music, poetry, puppetry, dance, theatre or magic, anything creative, please get in touch to be part of the programme.  To get a flavour of what happened last year see pictures here and video below.

A kind of Cubism that I keep returning to

dense-centre-web

I keep returning to this style. Cubism in first appearance, but from a different angle.

There is so much to explore in this style of painting. I return to it over and again. This time I come to it as a complex in the centre of a web. As we go closer to the centre of the web, so the image becomes more complex, until an illusion of reality begins to appear. It parallels the working of the eye, where only a small area of the retina is sharp.

I will explore this approach a little more, maybe combining clusters into the same image.

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.

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.