Photos of the Carnival in July 2016

For the 3rd year, the gallery organised a carnival with giant puppets, live music, poetry, art and bubbles. The weather wasn’t on our side this year on Saturday 23rd July. Below are photographs taken by Bernard Young and edited by Karen Cropper. To see them larger, click on one.

Carnival and Open Day

If you are in Barmouth, we hope you will join us on Saturday 23rd July for our annual Carnival Day. There will be family activities during the day in the gallery and Talbot Square. If you would like to take part by being one of the giant puppeteers, please contact Bernard Barnes (07767862382) before the event to volunteer. Similarly, if you want to be involved in making puppets or the puppet theatre or you have some other performance that you want to do.

10:30 am Puppeteers arrive at the gallery.

11 am – 12 noon Talbot Square – giant puppets dancing including dragon, giant bubbles and live music.

In the gallery for the rest of the day, these activities will be taking place:

  • Various music performances
  • Caricatures with John Ruskin
  • Still life with Reyna
  • Calligraphy with Hakim
  • Puppet workshop with Sue
  • Poetry with Bernard Young
  • Puppet show

This is a chance to sample a variety of artistic activities, maybe have your caricature sketched, or join in one or more of the workshops.

4pm-ish Puppet Parade through the town (weather permitting). From the gallery, along High Street, round the harbour, past Bath House, along promenade, over the level crossing and back to the gallery.

The day’s events will be concluded by live music from Andy Wickett’s World Service . See separate entry for more information. During the day, members of World Service will also be performing acoustically, and so will artist and event organiser Bernard Barnes and friends, including Gwynfor Morris, Welsh baritone and bluesman.

The day time and evening events are both free, but with voluntary donations towards the running of the gallery.

Video of Puppet Parade from last year:

Draft Programme for Giant Puppet Parade and Open Day

The arrangements for the open day and parade are still fluid and the date as been POSTPONED (more info here). Anyone who would like to take part on the day or help with preparations, please contact Bernard by calling in to the gallery or ringing on 07767 862382.

The draft timetable for the day is: Continue reading

Review: ‘Outside Looking In’ by Bernard Young

Front cover 'Outside Looking In'

They’re tiny, these huge poems. They take up so little space on the pages – self-deprecating – allowing for the bigger pictures. They don’t need the spotlight. They are the spotlight. They’ll wait.

It might seem, at first, that they’re locked out; hacked off. In melancholy tussle with barriers or boundaries; keep out, keep off signs. Stuck on the wrong side of (poetic) interfaces.

Wrong. These poems spin on moments; the ones when the smooth transitions of the mundane are caught in the headlamp and there’s an instant of enlightenment – almost calm. Panoptical clarity- 360 vision. And stillness. Those dream-like, meditative states when thought unexpectedly catches up with what’s really happened, happening and will happen. They can’t know the future but they wish it well. They can’t change the past but regard it with a wiser eye. Now is all there is. When the person we know on the inside and the louder, loose-cannon outsider, look each other in the eye and each recognises the other – fellow travellers, stopping short. Each seeing the other as vulnerable and in need of understanding, just like everyone else. And a break.

They hold those moments of pause and balance, surprise and truth, in gentle hands and tell them quietly, with wry wisdom. There is sorrow. There are regrets. But no judgement because to be human is, ultimately, to be only human. In their loneliness they connect the lonely.

This isn’t poetry to exclude. It’s without pretension. The words are simple. No tortuous nonsense – no language instead of meaning, no meaning lost to language. These are poems mercifully without any sense of a Poet, declaiming grandiloquently that which He knows Best. They are a human voice, generously available. And lots of them are funny.

So, they’re not still life, but real minutes of living time when it is possible to see out beyond the frame – or look inward past the lens. These poems are the moment when the drop of rain hits the muddy puddle and the ripple begins to move. They offer a workable catharsis, gentle self-acceptance and they’re uplifting in the end.

Review by Kate Hampton

‘Outside Looking In’ is available from Amazon or Lulu.

Poetry Workshops on Monday 18th August

Poster advert for poetry workshops

On Monday 18 August, poet Bernard Young led two poetry writing workshops at the Gallery. This was a new activity, kindly funded by the National Theatre Wales TEAM, which meant we could offer the workshops for free.

The first workshop, 11am to 1pm, was aimed at family groups. We had a disappointing turnout of just one family of mother, father and 4 year old daughter (3 in total). But the workshop went ahead anyway. Bernard performed some of his songs with guitar (videos will be on the Gallery YouTube channel soon) and read example poems and then worked with the group to write their own, a short one was then read out and recorded.

A participant in the workshop

The second workshop 2-4pm was aimed at adults. This had better attendance. 9 adults in total, 4 who had never written any poetry before. All ‘locals’ not holiday visitors. 1 came by train from neighbouring village. Bernard read a few of his poems then did some short writing exercises and each person read out what they had written. Then they wrote a poem about earliest memories. Then looked at pictures in the gallery and postcards as a source for inspiration. They again read out their pieces. All seemed to enjoy the experience of both writing and performing to others.

It’s hard to know whether the poor response to the morning workshop was a result of marketing not being targeted right or lack of demand. We discussed it and feel that if aiming at holiday makers in future then maybe towards the end of the week (Thursday or Friday) is better, as there is generally a weekly turn around of visitors arriving on Friday or Saturdays, so that would allow time to see the marketing. But we suspect the tourist population visiting Barmouth in the school holiday season are more interested in beach-based activities and we may have more success aiming at locals out of season.

If you would be interested in more regular activities like this at the Gallery, please comment below or use the contact details on the contact us page.

Three participants in the workshop