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

Poster advertising Art by the Barnes family at St John's Hall Gallery Barmouth
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.

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:

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
Pinting of House of Eduard Guyard

Fragments of Barmouth – Paintings by Bernard Barnes

Please note the gallery is closed on Mondays and also will be closed on Saturday 13th August for a private function.

About the Exhibition

Most of the paintings in this exhibition are recent. Although Barnes has been closely associated with Barmouth for many years, his previous preoccupation has been with the Captives of the Cosmic Web work on the north wall of St John’s Hall Gallery.

During a break necessitated by the restoration work in the gallery over the winter of 2015/16, he has been working on this series of oil paintings. The pictures are about his obsession with place and the power of art to explore new points of view, new ways of seeing.

The fragments of Barmouth and surrounding places, which are the subjects of this collection, are interpreted and observed through planes and facets, the nature of which are sometimes determined by the subject and sometimes not. It is as though the artist is indicating another layer of reality existing invisibly (save to the imagination) side by side with prosaic reality.

This type of visual exploration is consequent on the artist’s fascination with science and in particular the world of particulate physics. We are now aware of the limitations of our perceptions. Billions of elementary particles are passing through us every second, radiation of a wide range of frequencies, most of which are invisible to us, surrounding us, reflecting off us, passing through us at each moment. Dark matter, comprises nine-tenths of the universe, can hardly be detected, save for its gravity. We are brushing shoulders with a largely unknown universe alongside our prosaic present reality.

Barnes says “Humans have long suspected this other world to exist, and have been making up stories about its nature for as far back as language,  I guess.  Elaborate models based on nothing more than wishful thinking have dominated and defined millions of human lives.”

These paintings are making passing reference to these unknowns which accompany all our known. Spaces are mapped and divided, planes are tilted, light appears to be deflected and reflected, in an evocation of the unseeable and the untouchable.

In addition to these influential thoughts, the artist has also been reflecting his interest in neuropsychology, in which new discipline there is a growing understanding of the way the mind builds a private model of the universe, within the private universe of the mind.

The exhibition will be open 11am to 4:30pm every day (except Mondays when closed).

The image featured above is ‘House of Auguste Guyard’ copyright Bernard Barnes.

Private View and Reopening of Gallery Celebration

This evening will be the official re-opening of the gallery after being closed for renovation over the winter, plus private views of 2 exhibitions – new work by Bernard Barnes, “Fragments of Barmouth”, and Landscape Photographs by Helen Iles.

Announcing Exhibition: Fragments of Barmouth by Bernard Barnes

House of Eduard Guyard copyright Bernard Barnes, oil painting
House of Eduard Guyard copyright Bernard Barnes, oil painting

The Fragments of Barmouth Exhibition of Paintings by Bernard Barnes will be open 11am to 5pm every day (except Mondays when closed), from Saturday 4th June to Friday 30th September 2016. Most of the paintings in this exhibition are recent, painted over the winter while the gallery was closed for restoration work. Read more

Captives of the Cosmic Web book now available from Amazon

titlepage-for-web

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