Exhibition of art by Richard Morgan at St John's Hall Gallery Barmouth 5-30 September 2017

Paintings, Prints, Photography and Sculpture by Richard Morgan

The exhibition will include paintings, prints, photography and sculpture by Richard Morgan from Llanfachreth, Gwynedd. The exhibition will be open every day 11 am to 4:30 pm except Mondays when the gallery is closed.

About the Artist

Richard Morgan is a native of South Wales. Having attended grammar schools in Bridgend and Pengam he completed his Art education at the University of Sussex in Brighton and at the University of Wales, Abertystwyth, before taking up a teaching post at Ysgol Y Berwyn, Bala. He taught alongside Glyn Baines, eventually succeeding him as Head of Art at the school. At Bala he was an important part of the strong tradition in expressive and performing Arts and the Art dept, and made a major contribution to this flourishing movement that continues to this day.

Having recently retired, Richard now spend his time shaping the land on his smallholding in Llanfachreth with his wife Eluned and assorted livestock. Winter months are spent travelling and taking photographs which often become the inspiration for developing Art on his return. There are photographs in this exhibition from Peru and North America, but the landscape of this particular corner of North Wales is an enduring influence on his work.

Artist’s Statement

Art has always been an important part of my life, without ever being my whole life. I can no sooner explain where Art comes from as explain what life itself is about. I know that for me Creativity is vital and life-affirming, and in some way connects me to the great universal forces that move through all of us. The natural world is filled with wonder and magic and it is this that inspires me to create artefacts and images. These images can be derived from real and imagined places – they do not seek to record the particular place but rather are the vehicle for an underlying abstraction that seems to strike a chord with our aesthetic sense of order, colour and composition. As such they are intuitive forms that try to convey the inherent music or poetry of a place rather than it’s purely visual appearance.

My artistic statement can be summed up in two quotes by Maurice Denis:

“Remember that a painting is essentially a flat surface covered with colours assembled in a certain way.”
and
“All that is necessary to paint well is to be sincere”

Work in this small exhibition is deliberately diverse in terms of style and media and reflects a cross section of pieces created over the last 2 years.

Links

If you are interested in viewing more work by Richard, please look at his website (awaiting link).

If you are on Facebook, please have a look at Richard’s pictures and like his facebook page there.

Preview

A few examples of Richard Morgan’s work below. Please click on any picture to open in lightbox.

Acrylic painting by Julia Wilson

Paintings by Julia Wilson

This exhibition of paintings by Julia Wilson will be open each day 11 am to 4:30 pm, except closed on Mondays. Additional examples of Julia’s work below (click on images to enlarge). There will also be greetings cards of Julia’s pictures on sale in aid of the charity Brooke, Action for Working Horses and Donkeys.

Artist’s Statement

I grew up in coastal Essex and now live in coastal Wales. Always attracted to ballet, plants and animals, I started drawing at an early age, and, as well as enjoying gardening and drawing, I sculpted anything miniature from crinoline ladies, with minuscule ringlets and facial details, to bowls of fruit and stylish animals. Furthermore, I designed & sewed many animals, dolls, and clothing.

As an illustrator I work in a realistic, photographic style using pencil, pen and ink, watercolours, acrylics, clay, photography and a variety of craft materials, however, I’ve been known to do a few ‘abstracts’.

From an early age I loved to draw, paint, sculpt and visit art galleries where I encountered the work of Gainsborough, Arthur Rackham, Constable and Turner whom I greatly admire. My inspiration continues to come from nature and a deep concern that man must protect and nurture our fragile environment as well as our own inner being. With the knowledge that mankind is becoming more impersonal I appreciate the value of developing artistic skills as a deep therapy.

In 1972 I left Colchester art college, where I studied graphic design, the old way, with poster paints, screen printing and cut and paste, to later return to take a graphic design course at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida, where I learned the digital method; that has been invaluable to me.

Some of my work history includes:

  • Being site drawer on the Egyptian Akhenatan Temple, and Peruvian Cusichaca Indian, projects;
  • illustrating several books for Indian authors;
  • creating artwork for the Florida Natural History Museum including making replicas of the Calusa Indian jewellery, masks and mannequins, as well as painting watercolours for the field guide of endangered species, themed hut and river exhibit plaques;
  • illustrating Forestry Commission signs in Denbighshire;
  • designing costumes for a fancy dress shop;
  • making costume jewellery and flower arrangements for hundreds of functions;
  • teaching arts and crafts in several public and private schools abroad;
  • writing, editing and taking photos for college and local newspapers
  • making business cards, letterheads and cards for all occasions.

Links

Examples of Julia’s cards that will be on sale for the charity, Brooke, Action for Working Horses and Donkeys.
Paintings copyright Keith Durrant

Times, Places and Dreams – Paintings by Keith Durrant

Recent work by Keith Durrant, acrylic on canvas, landscapes from Mid and North Wales.

The gallery is open 11am to 4:30pm, closed on Mondays.

Read more about Keith’s life and work here.

Announcing July Exhibition of Paintings by Keith Durrant

Times, Places and Dreams 4-30 July

The gallery is pleased to announce the guest exhibition 4-30 July will be paintings by Keith Durrant titled “Times, Places and Dreams”. The exhibition will be open as usual 11am to 4:30pm, every day except Mondays when the gallery is closed.

Painting copyright Keith Durrant
The storm will pass the sea remains – Acrylic on canvas – 31.5″ x 23.75″

Artist’s Statement

I served with the Royal Air Force on ground radar, both in this country and the Middle and the Far East for seven and a half years. When in Cyprus, I was immensely proud to serve under Squadron leader Ginger Lacey. D.F.M., who in 1940 as a Sgt pilot was the highest scoring Battle of Britain pilot. It is no accident that there are two paintings in the exhibition dedicated to his memory. After demob, I finished up working on Hunter’s and Canberra’s for the MOD at RAF St Athan. It was on finishing at the latter, that I opened my sign writing business in a very small cowshed by the ford in Llanblethian. It was while so engaged with paint and brushes that I really began to develop my interest in fine art. Although I still remember the exquisite joy of selling a black and white emulsion seascape to a fellow aircraft fitter for thirty bob!

Painting copyright Keith Durrant
Derelict quarry men’s cottages – Acrylic on canvas – 12″ x 10″

A change in family circumstances in the late eighties caused the painting to be laid aside. There were a few false dawns between then and now. It is said that if the artist is within you, it will keep pressing to get out until it is free again… Well it is out and on the rampage!

Some of my earlier scene painting work and murals still survive on the walls of a number of visitor centres in North Wales. Large scale, some hangar wall size! While the sign I painted on the old guardhouse at the entrance to what was Maes Artro Craft Village in Llanbedr in 1979, steadfastly refuses to completely be obliterated!

Painting copyright Keith Durrant
Paired for life. Canada geese over Glaslyn – Acrylic on canvas – 16″ x 12″

The work that I am presenting to you here at St John’s Hall Gallery comprises recent work of both Mid and North Wales. Almost all painted since my move back to this my home town of Brecon. Alongside others, mostly aviation and marine subjects, done while living in North Wales

Writing this artist’s statement has brought a smile to my face. I realise that while my home town is Brecon. My soul belongs up here with you all. For it is here in North Wales that I have spent more years than anywhere else. Hiraeth…

Keith Durrant May 28th 2017

New art inspired by the Refugee Crisis

Bernard Barnes and Reyna Rushton will be working in the gallery as their studio space as usual during October. See them working on their latest pieces inspired by the refugee crisis (read more). Also work by Alyosha Barnes.

Paintings and Prints by Jon George

The exhibition will be of paintings and prints by Jon George, some scenes local to the gallery (such as the Bath House, Barmouth seen below).

The exhibition will be open 11am to 4:30pm every day (except Mondays when closed). The private view for this exhibition is at 7:30pm on Saturday 3rd September.

About the artist

Jon George was born in 1944 in Barrow-in-Furness, a shipbuilding town in Cumbria. He studied fine art at Falmouth 1965-68 specialising in painting, following his own wish to refer increasingly to landscape and other aspects of the seen world. Jon says:

“I questioned the place and purpose of art and its contribution to society and in this respect became interested in printmaking for its socialistic values.”

Print copyright Jon George
Bath House Cafe, Barmouth, Wales. screen-print 66x49cm (26″x20″)

Later he developed his own kind of block-printing method, which he calls Castprinting. Jon is running a workshop at the gallery on how to do Castprinting (see separate post).

In 1980 Jon was a founder member of a group of artists who took over an old factory in East London to convert it into studios by their own hands, and they are still there today.

Print copyright Jon George
‘Vine’, photo-castprint 57x68cm (23″x27″)

Artist’s statement

As a landscape painter I recognize that I am in pursuit of beauty and believe that, in itself, this is worthy enough an object in my art. However, alongside this is another need to observe truthfully those things, due to human activity, that disturb the beauty and constantly threaten it. So my art aims to take both elements to create a balanced view of reality. The act of being in the natural environment and spending time drawing it in the field is crucial to my belief. Between seeing and the drawn rendering of pencil to paper comes a personal, poetic change due to interpretation, which is not self conscious.

My paint media of choice is egg tempera, which I took up when needing a quick drying paint but it proved to be much more than that – delicate, subtle, and translucent with colour so pure. Again from the drawings to the making of paintings or prints in the studio come another contemplation and the application of colour and ideas, which is now conscious and inventive.

More information about Jon George: www.jongeorgeartist.co.uk

Print copyright Jon George
‘Baranyini’, hand-castprint 50×56 cm (20.5″x23″)

A Celebration of the Meirionnydd Landscape

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

About the Exhibition

This exhibition includes paintings by Clyde Homes and Bernard Barnes (resident artist) inspired by the Meirionnydd landscape, and there will be screenings of ‘Meirionnydd, a very special place‘, a short film featuring beekeeping in this beautiful county. The film is produced by Greengage films.

The exhibition will be open every day 11am to 4:30pm except for Mondays when the gallery is closed.

About Meirionnydd

Meirionnydd is a coastal and mountainous region of Wales,and was a sub-kingdom of Gwynedd, founded, according to legend, by Meirion (or Marianus). The kingdom lay between the River Mawddach and the River Dovey, spreading in a north-easterly direction. For more information see Wikipedia.

Clyde Holmes

ClydeFeatureClyde Holmes was born in London. His father was a Londoner who worked for the Royal Mail and his mother, who was Polish, worked in a factory. Clyde spent two years working as a session musician for various bands before going to study fine art at Hornsey College of Art and St Martin’s School of Art from 1965 to 1968. He then got a job at the British Library working with blind people until he made the decision to leave London in search of a more rural life.

In 1970, Clyde searched for a place in north Wales that would feed his imagination and inspire his work. He found a remote Snowdonia farmhouse that had been abandoned in 1947, when the house was covered in snow and the resident farmer lucky to escape with his life. But Clyde felt it was the perfect place, and during the ensuing decades, the area became a home to him and his family and very much part of who he was.

img-4847 (1280x844)This isolated and unspoilt location has been described by Clyde as an ‘island’, a pocket of wilderness that survives against the human desire to build, cultivate and control. The uplands inspired both his painting and his poetry.

Clyde’s paintings were concerned with expressing the mystery and power of the wilder aspects of the landscape – of which he believed we are all part. Clyde tried to communicate the mood swings of Snowdonia through cloud-shadow, wind and light working off one another, that constant flux of light and shadow. The traditional landscape view may be cropped and aspects zoomed in on, to explore their abstract potential.

Clyde’s work featured in BBC2’s Visions of Snowdonia (1997) and is represented at the Victoria & Albert Museum, MOMA Wales and the National Library of Wales. His final collection, Watermarks, which was Arts Council-funded, comprises oil paintings comparing the “lakescapes” of Finland and Wales.

img-4818 (1280x849)During his life Clyde published four poetry collections which portrayed his love of the landscape and wildlife, and Guardian First Book award winner Robert Macfarlane chose Skywalls (1998) to represent Snowdonia in a 2005 Guardian article mapping nature, from south to north. But above all, Clyde’s poetry was a celebratory act arising from his passion and concern for the rare birds, plants and insects that lived all around him.

Clyde Holmes died in May 2008 aged 67.

More information about Clyde Holmes:

Greengage Films

Greengage Films is an independent production company based in Mid Wales, the dedicated team provide oustanding films for internet and broadcast purposes. The company work closely with ethically minded organizations including NGOs and charities, providing them with the opportunity to use the powerful tool of moving imaging to promote their work

greengage1After graduating in fine art, Malka worked as a photographer for RTL television in Germany, then went on to assist the environmental and wildlife photographer David Woodfall. She then specialised in moving imaging. After breaking into the TV industry working on various programmes, including Time Team(C4), Climate Chaos(BBC4) and Iolos Welsh Safari(BBC wales) it became apparent that Malka wanted to work closer to the subject she was filming. She started volunteering for NGO’s and charities including the London Wildlife Trust and the RSPB, getting her hands dirty digging, hedge laying and fulfilling other tasks required. From this the seed for Greengage Films has grown.

More information about Greengage Films:

Reyna Rushton Exhibition at the Treehouse Aberystwyth in August

The six paintings below by Reyna Rushton will be on exhibition at the Treehouse in Aberystwyth in August (on the top floor). Please click on the images to see larger.

Original oil painting copyright Reyna Rushton

Original oil painting copyright Reyna Rushton

Announcing: Summer Exhibitions 23 May to 16 August 2015 at St Johns Hall Gallery

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Bernard Barnes – City as Superorganism

Saturday 23 May – Sunday 16 August 2015
Gallery open every day 11am – 5pm

This exhibition and the accompanying book are the result of an idea that occurred to Barnes when he was teaching in a North Wales Art College. On his desk were two pictures. They are here at the beginning of this exhibition. One is a diagram of a living eukaryote cell , the other is the excavated ground plan of a Neolithic Greek settlement. Their similarities in form and function played on his mind as he went for a night walk above the iron locks in Cheshire where his boat was moored at the time. Suddenly in the darkness he found himself looking down on Chester at night. It was like looking down on a giant amoeba, dynamic, hot, noisy.

These coincidental observations set him thinking along lines that have produced several large exhibitions of paintings with this show in St Johns Hall Gallery as the latest in a series. Now there is the book which this exhibition displays.

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Robert Perry – Pictures of the Black Country and Wales

Saturday 23 May – Sunday 16 August 2015
Gallery open every day 11am – 5pm

Robert Perry is a landscape painter who uses a combination of traditional and unorthodox techniques. He works exclusively on location, in oils, gouache and mixed drawing media from his unique “mobile studio workshop” (a purpose converted Renault Trafic van). His works are in both private and national collections in Britain, Germany and France and are featured in “BBC Your Paintings. Uncovering the nation’s art collection, in partnership with PCF (Public Catalogue Foundation)”.

This exhibition is of landscapes of the Black Country and Wales. Given the strong connection between Barmouth and the West Midlands, we believe this subject matter will resonate with many of our summer visitors. Born, brought up and educated in the industrial zone of the English West Midlands, known since the Industrial Revolution as “The Black Country”, Perry’s exposure to its culture of hard work, engineering, problem solving and craftsmanship has profoundly influenced the development of his working practice and methods.

Robert Perry and his mobile “Field Studio” on site near Jenlain, Northern France
Robert Perry and his mobile “Field Studio” on site near Jenlain, Northern France

“For me, drawing/painting is simply a kind of lens which both enables and stimulates me to study the world in greater depth. The resulting images/pictures are merely a by-product, and not an end in themselves” he writes in An Artist’s Diary (an account of a trip to the Somme Battlefields Winter 2000).

There is an account on his website of his trip to Barmouth in November 2014 when he produced some of the pictures that are in this exhibition. The trip was sadly marred by vehicle problems and then followed a bout of illness, but there is a happy ending to the tale.

Day three, building a frame for monoprinting on canvas

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpHDzAqm91k]

Monoprinting is a technique for creating a beautiful line on canvas and paper. It requires drawing on the back of the picture surface so that the line is pressed against an inked or painted surface. The resulting line is often very beautiful and quite unlike the link of line produced by a brush or a pen. It often picks up slight texture around the line which gives it a unique quality.

It is not a technique that is easy to use with canvas, the cloth must be quite thinly woven, and must be held at a slight distance from the painted board.  I have never heard of it being used for a canvas as large as the ones planned for the hall ceiling, and so some experiments must be tried.