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.