Mountain reflected on water copyright Helen Iles

Landscape Photographs by Helen Iles

Helen Iles is a landscape photographer and addicted mountain walker, born and brought up in Wales. After extensively travelling she and her family are now living and working in and around Barmouth (Southern Snowdonia National Park).

She was shortlisted for the highly prestigious International ‘Outdoor Photographer of the Year’ award in 2014 and 2015, also shortlisted for ‘Landscape Photographer of the Year’ 2015. Helen has been published in many UK magazines, such as ’Outdoor Photographer’ and ‘The Great Outdoors’, and has had work exhibited in Venue Cymru, Patchings Gallery in Nottingham and Harbour Lights Gallery in Porth Gain, to name a few.

Living in the area, she has an empathy with the mountains and the explores the effect light, weather and seasons have upon them. Helen is particularly interested in composition, her images draw strength from simplicity. She can be found up mountains in all weathers and in any season.

More of her work can be seen at:

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

All photographs in the exhibition are available to buy and can be collected at the end of the exhibition. Prices range from £55 to £75 for the framed prints. All prints are matt, professionally printed on archival quality paper by Julian Wynne at The prints are generally A3 in size (heights less for panorama images) in wooden frames with glass, to approximately A2 size.

Cwm Orthin Ruins, copyright Helen Iles, no use without permission.
Cwm Orthin Ruins, copyright Helen Iles, no use without permission.
Snowdon reflected on water, copyright Helen Iles. No use without permission
Snowdon reflected on water, copyright Helen Iles. No use without permission

Cadair Idris

Cadair Idris copyright Helen Iles,  no use without permission.
Cadair Idris copyright Helen Iles, no use without permission.

Article by Helen Iles whose exhibition of landscape photographs is showing at the gallery from 4th to 30th June

‘Hiraeth: a Welsh word that has no direct English translation. It is a mix of longing, yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness, or an earnest desire for the Wales of the past’.

It is said that if you spend the night on Cadair Idris mountain you will either come down a poet, a madman or not at all. Many a Welsh Bard has slept up there in search of inspiration. According to other folklore it is the hunting grounds of Gwyn ap Nudd. If you hear his pack of hunting dogs beware, as they foretell of death, dragging your soul into the underworld. Other ancient Welsh tales from the book ‘Y Mabinogion’, talk of Idris the Giant who sat in his chair (chair = cadair in Welsh) removing grit from his shoes. Three of these pieces of grit are seen as huge rocks at the bottom of the mountain. Over time his chair, now flooded became Llyn y Gader Lake.

Born and brought up in Southern Snowdonia, I assumed that everyone had sea one side of them and mountains behind them. The reality of growing up here was being cajoled up wind swept never ending paths that sometimes rewarded you with a map like view. No surprise then that I have always had wanderlust. I’ve ditched my career twice to travel around the world, I’ve now combined photography with walking and strive to capture those illusive moments that nature casts our way. One of my favourite Welsh words is ‘crwydro’, which means ‘wandering’.

The mountain and I are like an old couple, with ups and downs but a long term respect and mutual understanding of each other. In the winter it can be anything from a downright miserable damp grey slog to exhilarating epic white outs. I’ve sheltered in the bothy peeling layers of wringing wet gortex in a vain attempt to dry out before the dreaded the journey down, only to be presented with hanging mists and illusive peeks of ridges reaching into the distance. In the summer I’ve been treated to views stretching out like tendrils, Snowdon and the Rhinogydd and  to the north with Mawddach Estuary weaving below, to the south west the rolling hills and valleys down to Craig yr Aderyn (Bird Rock). To the east the ridge leads your eye towards Cadair’s sister mountain of Aran Fawddwy.

At the risk of coming down a ‘madman or a poet’ the best way to really appreciate Cadair Idris is to spend the night there. This is not a mountain to dis-respect. There are no cafés, intermittent mobile signal and no running water at the summit. Temperatures and wind may be negligible at sea level but up high they are to be taken seriously, even on a balmy summer’s eve.

Helen Iles.

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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