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.