Captives of the Cosmic Web (the book about the wall) is a detailed look at the large wall painting in the hall

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The work is a description of a large wall painting in St John’s Hall Gallery, Barmouth in North Wales. The work has been painted by artist Bernard Barnes. It is composed of 24 canvases painted in oil paint.

The painting is a modern cosmology, exploring different ideas about the origin of the universe and the place of the human world in it. It is a celebration of rational thought.

There is also a narrative in the picture in which Dante figures, emerging from the underworld. He is guide into the fresh air of rational thought where Beatrice will introduce him to Darwin, DaVinci, Mendelef, Max Plank, Rutherford, Maxwell, Crick and Watson, Bore, Feynman, and so on. Above is Newton, and finally Einstein and the Solvai conference.

The book is for sale through Amazon at the following link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Captives-Cosmic-Web-Bernard-Barnes/dp/1515285065/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438622586&sr=8-1&keywords=bernard+barnes

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Seeking Volunteers to Help with Puppet Making for Carnival in Gallery on 26th August

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During August St John’s Hall Gallery will be busy preparing for the Large Puppet Carnival that will walk through Barmouth on August 26th.

Volunteers are needed during August to help build the large puppets.

Last year’s carnival procession can be seen on YouTube.

We will return to the hall for a day and evening of interesting events – performances and entertainment.

We encourage groups to form and create their own puppet for this event. Let’s get together and make something hum. Come and see what we are doing. Make suggestions. A sort of Madi Gras of large puppets would liven the procession up a bit.

Barmouth Puppet Theatre Project

At the same time we will be running puppet workshops where you or your child may like to help build a puppet theatre, which will perform its play during the carnival. We will make puppets, scenery and the theatre itself. Think of a simple play, write the words, and make the music. The more children and parents come the more puppets we will have to use in the theatre.

Puppet workshops will take place on Thursday and Saturday between 2pm and 4pm.

Cost per person £5

Bring old clothes. We supply all the materials.

Maybe this will become a puppet festival.

Please call in to the gallery for more information or ring 07767862382.

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.

The Sleeping Rabbi

This detail from the first of 3 panels concerned with the Semitic Myths. This first one is concerned with the founding myth of the Jews, the description in Hebrew of the creation, the story of the delivery from Egypt, the burning bush and the tablets of law, etc.

The old Rabbi sleeps, dreaming his foundation myths, clinging to the scroll on which the Pentateuch is written.

There is much to be done yet, but the idea seems to have been established. It needs working out in a series of developments.sleeping-rabbi-1

The two subsequent panels will depict a sleeping Christian, maybe an iconic type figure, and a Dreaming Mullah (maybe Rumi). Each will share the same scroll as the three religions do, written in three languages.

mapping the narrative of a fairy tale

I think this is amazing work. I especially like the worked up drawings, the attention to gradation of tone, the iconographic other-world atmosphere. Fantastic.

Clive Hicks-Jenkins' Artlog:

Work on Hansel & Gretel with Simon Lewin at Saint Jude’s Prints has begun in earnest.

We’ve agreed that the book will consist of 32 pages (8 x 4 spreads) with four fold-outs. This format offers 14 double-pages in which to tell the story. The image below shows an overhead view of the open book with the pages fanned. (The fold-outs will be full-page sized, though for clarity in the image they are shown as being quite narrow.) The book will be square in format, and will be in colour.

My reference is the translation by Lore Segal made for the two-volume The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 1973, with illustrations by the peerless Maurice Sendak. (The copy on my shelves is one of my most treasured illustrated books.) However, my Hansel & Gretel is to be a picture-book, with…

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