A Week Working in Wales – Presentation 17 August Artists Pete Clarke and Georg Gartz

On Friday 17 August Pete Clarke and Georg Gartz will present the results of their week working collaboratively in Barmouth and the surrounding landscape. They arrived in the area on 11th August. There is a video below of them talking about their practice and what they will be doing. The evening presentation will start at 7:30pm all welcome. Read more about the collaboration of these two artists here.


Two lectures in August from award winning Guardian writer Jim Perrin

We are honoured to be able to offer talks on two fascinating topics this August by award winning writer, Jim Perrin.

About Jim Perrin

Jim Perrin is a mountaineering, travel and outdoor writer, and in his youth was an accomplished rock-climber. He writes the Country Diary for the Guardian. His book ‘Shipton and Tilman: The Great Decade of Himalayan Mountaineering‘ won the Kekoo Naoroji Prize for Himalayan Literature in 2014. He is a Fellow of the Welsh Academy and an Honorary Fellow of Bangor University.

Jim Perrin Lecture Eric Shipton and H.W. Tilman

An exploration of the friendship and literary legacy of the Himalayan Mountain pioneers Eric Shipton and H.W. Tilman – Thursday 16th August

This lecture will examine the fascinating story of the friendship between the 1930’s Himalayan mountain explorers, Eric Shipton and H.W.Tilman and the importance of their literary legacy.

The lecturer’s award winning book on this subject illuminates the character of these intriguing individuals and their writings along with detail of this exciting decade of Himalayan exploration.

H. W. Tilman lived near Barmouth for many years until his death in 1977. He is revered for his mountaineering and sailing achievements and his record in both world wars.

Jim Perrin Lecture on Thoreau 23 August 2018

Thoreau – prophet for planetary survival – Thursday 23rd August

One of the great figures of American literature, Henry David Thoreau’s reputation and popularity have grown immeasurably over the last century. He is recognised as finest of all writers on nature, and his ecological awareness is of enormous and growing influence. Jim Perrin, himself a nature writer and the Guardian’s country diarist for Wales, looks at Thoreau’s writings and his exemplary life.

About the Venue

These lectures are free to attend, but we would be grateful for any donations for the running of the gallery (suggested amount £2). This is a new kind of venture for our small venue. We do not know how many people will attend and seats may be limited. Please email ahead to reserve seats – info@stjohnshallgallery.com. Both lectures start at 7:30pm.

4 Talks in July: Towards a synthesis of philosophy, theology and psychology

4 Talks in July: Towards a synthesis of philosophy, theology, and psychology

Avon Athens will be speaking on 4 consecutive Thursdays in July on the following topics under the overall heading “Towards a synthesis of philosophy, theology and psychology“:

  1. The existential question: What is the meaning of life? – 5 July
  2. Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam – 12 July
  3. Hindu philosophy: Yoga, Vedanta and Tantra – 19 July
  4. Transpersonal psychology: The modern study of spirituality – 26 July

Each talk is free to attend and starts at 7:30pm.


These presentations will review aspects of the Western tradition (the Abrahamic religions and the esoteric doctrines connected therewith), the Eastern tradition (Hindu philosophy and Yoga), Western philosophy both ancient and modern, and transpersonal psychology as a modern development.

These academically distinct areas share common ground and principles which only come to light when they are studied in combination. The general directive for this program is to explore these commonalities, to investigate various mysteries and enigmas of traditional teachings by cross referencing the systems with each other, and to relate the understanding thus gained to the problems of life in the modern world.

This work is the outcome of more than a decade of study, introspection and contemplation.The approach is original and uncovers various principles that are rarely explained clearly in the open literature. The content is not just of academic interest but also of practical relevance to anyone on the path of Self-realization.

Biography of the speaker

Growing up in the counterculture of the 1960s and 70s exposed Avon to spiritual and new age ideas during his adolescent years. Around his 20th birthday, he had an experience of cosmic consciousness facilitated by an entheogen. This life-changing event was a direct personal experience of the numinous realms that marked the beginning of Avon’s spiritual quest. In the course of the next few years, he spent time in India, started reading books on Hermetic philosophy and Theosophy, had a brief encounter with Scientology, and practised Transcendental Meditation.

Missing out on secondary school, Avon lacked formal qualifications and career prospects so began to study for O-levels at the age of 25. The plan at the time was to train as a practitioner of complementary medicine but while attending college, he discovered a talent for science which took him in a different direction. He later took A-levels then went on to study astronomy, mathematics and physics at the University of Glasgow, graduating in 1994 at the age of 35.

Avon found his first professional job in 1999 soon after studying for an MSc in signal processing. He worked as a research scientist at QinetiQ, a defence and security research organization. This was a learning experience for a few years but ultimately led to a point where Avon felt the need to take his career in a new direction away from the professional and corporate world.

Avon took voluntary redundancy from QinetiQ in 2009 to conduct independent research into philosophy, science and transpersonal psychology. This was also a time for exploring “postmodern counterculture” which deals with subjects like near death experiences (NDEs), out of body experiences (OBEs), UFOs, geopolitics and the deep state which receive little attention in academia or the mainstream media.

Avon completed a second MSc in 2015 and continues with independent research as a main activity. He is currently developing a website to present his work.

Video Promotion from the Avon Athens

You are invited to the first exhibition preview of the season

Invitation to preview of Patrick Boyd Exhibition at St John's Hall Gallery Barmouth 2nd April

St John’s Hall Gallery is delighted to be showing a very unusual exhibition of 3 dimensional holographic images by artist Patrick Boyd as the first exhibition in our Spring/Summer season. This work is an interesting fusion of science and art.

If you are free, please come to the preview event at 7:30pm on Monday 2nd April (Easter Monday). Patrick will give a short talk about the process and there will be wine and live acoustic music.

The exhibition is showing from Tuesday 3rd to Saturday 28th April – 11am to 4:30pm each day, except closed on Mondays.

Read more about the exhibition.

Poster for Exhibition at St John's Hall Gallery Holographic Art by Patrick Boyd

Recordings of Jasper Elgood Philosophy Talks Summer 2017

The recordings of the talks by Jasper Elgood will be added to this post as they become available.

Please note, a fourth talk has been added to the programme to be given on Thursday 3rd August.

Mysticism and Class 13 July 2017

1 hour 23 minutes. First 7 seconds blank. Click on play button on the left of the bar..

Continuity 20 July 2017

1 hour 9 minutes. Click on play button on the left of the bar.  The recording below is the end part with audience discussion. The cut point was arbitrary as there is a file size limit on the recorder.

20 minutes. Click on play button on the left of the bar.

Environmental Ethics: I’ll fault s’abêtir 27 July 2017

Because of a technical fault there is unfortunately no recording of this talk.

Mysticism and Class part 2: The politics of the contemplative life 3 August 2017

Not available.

A Return of Jasper Elgood’s Philosophy Talks Thursdays in July

Update 23/7/17: A fourth talk has been added to the programme on 3rd August

Jasper Elgood has given philosophical talks at the gallery for a few years now in July. This year there will be three four talks. The topics are ‘Mysticism and Class‘ on 13th July, ‘Continuity‘ on 20th July and ‘Environmental Ethics: I’ll fault s’abêtir‘ on 27th July and ‘Mysticism and Class part 2: The politics of the contemplative life’ on 3 August. The talks start at 7:30pm. All welcome. No charge.

For a taste of previous talks, there are some recordings from 2015 in this post.

The area of philosophy that Jasper will be talking about on 27th July is sometimes called Environmental Philosophy, Ecolosophy or Environmental Ethics. There is an interesting article on this subject here: “Three Challenges for Environmental Philosophy”, Jim Moran, Philosophy Now (2012) https://philosophynow.org/issues/88/Three_Challenges_For_Environmental_Philosophy

If you wonder what the purpose of philosophy is, here is a video:

Philosophy in July from Jasper Elgood

Jasper Elgood

For those interested in philosophy, Jasper Elgood is giving a series of 4 talks in July on Thursday evenings, each starting at 7:30pm. The titles and dates of his talks are:

  • Thurs 7th July: Malice – Invasion of the Narcissists from Hell
  • Thurs 14th July: Barrack Obama and Donald Trump – The Noble and the Base a Lost Theme in Political Discourse
  • Thurs 21st July: Walking Meditation – How to Get from A to B Without Leaving A
  • Thurs 28th July: What is ‘Why’? – Questioning Questioning

For a flavour of previous years’ talks, recordings are available here: http://stjohnshallgallery.barmouthwales.uk/recordings-jasper-elgood-talks/

jaspers talks-for web

Summer Talks with Jasper Elgood

Still from “A Man Escaped” via whitecitycinema.com

The following evening talks by Jasper Elgood will be taking place in September 2015 at the Gallery:

The Transcendental Style in Cinema

(Is Robert Bresson “the greatest artist of the twentieth century?”)
An illustrated talk by Jasper Elgood
September 3rd 2015 at 7.30pm

Update: Recording of the talk added on 18/10/15. The recording had to be split into 2 because of file size limitations. There wasn’t a break.

First part

Second part

Narrative versus Enquiry

(The duty to escape from the known to the unknown)
September 10th at 7.30 pm

Update: Recording of the talk added on 18/10/15. The recording had to be split into 2 because of file size limitations. There wasn’t a break.

First part

Second Part

Getting out of the Light

(What should the self do with itself?)
September 17th at 7.30 pm
postponed to:
September 24th at 7.30pm

Update: Recording of the talk added on 18/10/15.

Jasper talks about his talks: Continue reading

A Series of Talks by Jasper Elgood with Discussion

As part of the varied programme of events and activities at the Gallery, Jasper Elgood spoke on four consecutive Thursdays (17th July – 7th August 2014) about his own experiences and philosophical topics. Recordings of these are indicated below.

The Inner Structure of Amazement – the truth of feeling and the feeling of truth

Sacrifice, the Ancient Ritual and the roots of meaning

War and Stupidity – the problem of cleverness

Sound only

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Talking to Each Other – why is there more than one self?

Recording not yet available.