Amazing photographs of wild birds in flight by Martin Garnett

photograph copyright Martin Garnett

We are fortunate to have some wonderful video slideshows of amazing photographs made by Martin Garnett playing on a large TV screen in the gallery. They will be available to view for the rest of the summer and are well worth a visit.

Birds in flight in a new light

photograph copyright Martin Garnett

Martin Garnett’s love of birds and bird song are combined in these wonderful video slideshows of his photographs. Commonly, to capture birds in flight, very fast shutter speeds are used to achieve crisp sharp images. Instead Martin has experimented with longer exposure times, deliberately catching ethereal motion. Using shutter speeds from 1/60th of a second and longer, rather than 1/1000th, he shifts our attention from the individual bird to the phenomena of flight. In making this subtle shift, he makes stunning images with a quality of art.

photograph copyright Martin Garnett

Bluebells and Ferns

In another video slideshow Martin has captured the magical essence of a Welsh bluebell wood in Spring using long exposures with deliberate movement to create an impressionistic photograph. The background track is bird song also recorded by Martin.

photograph copyright Martin Garnett

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.”
“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.


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

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


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

Cadair Idris

Cadair Idris copyright Helen Iles,  no use without permission.
Cadair Idris copyright Helen Iles, no use without permission.

Article by Helen Iles whose exhibition of landscape photographs is showing at the gallery from 4th to 30th June

‘Hiraeth: a Welsh word that has no direct English translation. It is a mix of longing, yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness, or an earnest desire for the Wales of the past’.

It is said that if you spend the night on Cadair Idris mountain you will either come down a poet, a madman or not at all. Many a Welsh Bard has slept up there in search of inspiration. According to other folklore it is the hunting grounds of Gwyn ap Nudd. If you hear his pack of hunting dogs beware, as they foretell of death, dragging your soul into the underworld. Other ancient Welsh tales from the book ‘Y Mabinogion’, talk of Idris the Giant who sat in his chair (chair = cadair in Welsh) removing grit from his shoes. Three of these pieces of grit are seen as huge rocks at the bottom of the mountain. Over time his chair, now flooded became Llyn y Gader Lake.

Born and brought up in Southern Snowdonia, I assumed that everyone had sea one side of them and mountains behind them. The reality of growing up here was being cajoled up wind swept never ending paths that sometimes rewarded you with a map like view. No surprise then that I have always had wanderlust. I’ve ditched my career twice to travel around the world, I’ve now combined photography with walking and strive to capture those illusive moments that nature casts our way. One of my favourite Welsh words is ‘crwydro’, which means ‘wandering’.

The mountain and I are like an old couple, with ups and downs but a long term respect and mutual understanding of each other. In the winter it can be anything from a downright miserable damp grey slog to exhilarating epic white outs. I’ve sheltered in the bothy peeling layers of wringing wet gortex in a vain attempt to dry out before the dreaded the journey down, only to be presented with hanging mists and illusive peeks of ridges reaching into the distance. In the summer I’ve been treated to views stretching out like tendrils, Snowdon and the Rhinogydd and  to the north with Mawddach Estuary weaving below, to the south west the rolling hills and valleys down to Craig yr Aderyn (Bird Rock). To the east the ridge leads your eye towards Cadair’s sister mountain of Aran Fawddwy.

At the risk of coming down a ‘madman or a poet’ the best way to really appreciate Cadair Idris is to spend the night there. This is not a mountain to dis-respect. There are no cafés, intermittent mobile signal and no running water at the summit. Temperatures and wind may be negligible at sea level but up high they are to be taken seriously, even on a balmy summer’s eve.

Helen Iles.

Announcing Exhibition June 2016: Photographs by Helen Iles

We are pleased to announce that our first guest exhibition at the gallery for 2016 will be landscape photographs by Helen Iles. The exhibition will be open 11am to 5pm each day (except Mondays when the gallery will be closed), from Saturday 4th to Thursday 30th June.

Cwm Orthin Ruins copyright Helen Iles
Copyright Helen Iles

Read more…

Exhibition of Photographs by Pete Telfer until 20th November

There is a new exhibition of photography by Pete Telfer on at the Gallery until 20th November. Pete will also be talking about the exhibition on Saturday 31st October at 6:30pm at the Gallery. Please do come.

ebglish poster for peter

Pete is an extraordinary film maker and photographer, whose mission has been to connect and document the arts scene in Wales. Continue reading