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

A video tour of the new arrangement inside the gallery

If the video above does not display correctly, you can view it on YouTube at

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:

Plans for an animated film are hatched during Atelier Day

Jasper Elgood describes his ideas for an animated film entitled ‘Egg Heads’. He plans to make the film in St Johns Hall Gallery during the Thursday ‘Atelier Days’ when the gallery is open to other artists to gather to work on projects that may be exhibited in a group show in the summer.

The work will make use of our new Media Centre in the gallery. Plans are being discussed for the formation of a film cooperative at the gallery, where technical skill needed for film making can be learned and shared, and projects worked on.

New Viewing room for video in the Gallery Media centre

A roofed area will be created in the hall that can be heated during the cold winter months. This will enable the gallery to continue to be used for meetings throughout the year. Already one half of the area has a roof, the walls are blackened to create a darkened space, a digital projector hangs from the cealing and a screen on the wall. There is seating in there for about 16 people. Here we show a programme of video throughout each day, usually videos taken in the gallery or in and around Barmouth.

viewing-room-in-media-centre viewing-room-library

Within the next month a fast broadband connection will be installed, and that will greatly broaden the value of the viewing room. It will become a place where we may view films, playlists, conferencing calls and so on. We will begin experimenting with live broadcasts of events from the gallery.

The remainder of this long room will be devoted to the gallery library, already begun, containing a quirky selection of books that have proved of use to the resident artists as inspiration for their work. As time goes by this is being added to by gifts from friends of the gallery and additional acquisitions. It is hoped to provide a useful reference collection for a variety of users. In addition there will be free wifi in the entire space and access to computer terminals, enabling the centre to fufill its role as a centre for the creative and inquiring mind.

It is hoped that  experimental work in video will be undertaken by users of this new area in the centre.

The plan is to install a small woodburner in the corner of this room.

The Captives of the Cosmic Web

Filling the whole North wall of the Gallery is a large panel of 24 paintings, measuring 20′ high by 28′ wide, titled “The Captives of the Cosmic Web”. You really need to see it to appreciate the scale and detail, images here do not do it justice.

The Captives of the Cosmic Web
A composite image of individual photos of the panels (with enhancements)

Painted by Bernard Barnes, one of the artists in residence, each of the panels is a meditation on various aspects of the formation of our universe inspired by the latest discoveries made by astronomers and physicists. The picture also includes a narrative commenting on the emergence of this understanding as a result of the European enlightenment.

A detailed explanation of each of the panels can be found by selecting “The Wall” menu item on the blog or clicking here.

A friend of the gallery, Jasper Elgood, talks about the Captives of the Cosmic Web and why he is making a documentary about it: