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


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


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.


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.

Atelier Day Information: Every Thursday 11am – 5pm

Image details: École des Beaux-Arts – Atelier de Peintre. ‘Students painting “from life” at the École. Photographed late 1800s. Public domain

Image details: École des Beaux-Arts – Atelier de Peintre. ‘Students painting “from life” at the École. Photographed late 1800s. Public domain

Every Thursday from 11am to 5pm in St Johns Hall Gallery. Parking is available.

Artists who wish to be involved in the Atelier Days can make contact by telephoning Bernard at 07767862382, emailing to or, better still, visiting the gallery and booking your working area. First come, first served. There will be space for about 6 artist.

Each artist should bring along a piece of work they are currently involved in, or they may begin some new project. Bring easel and paints or whatever materials you use, whatever medium. We will provide a good working area, as much advice and help as we can give, a kitchen for drinks etc. We have a proto-library of art books and reference material and will soon have access to the internet. Work on video art is possible with the equipment we have.

The idea is to work towards a group show in the gallery next summer. The artists may wish to work individually or in groups.

During the day visitors may wander in from the street to look around the gallery, which will remain open except during any life drawing sessions we may wish to organise. There will be opportunity to interact with the public and fellow artists, and a time will be set aside at the end of the day for a general critique.

Each session will cost £10



St Johns Hall Gallery: What’s on this September?

Poster advertising activities in the Gallery in September

Exhibition of Paintings

2 Resident Artists – Bernard Barnes and Reyna Rushton
2 Guest Artists – Sasha Barnes and Clyde Holmes

Music on the Stage

Recorder music each Wednesday 1:30-3:30
Occasional practices by other musicians visiting the Gallery

Introduction to Tai Chi

Led by Jan Wolf each Wednesday 4-5pm (make a donation)

Other activities and services

  • Gallery Cinema – varied programme of videos connected with the gallery and the art world
  • Gallery Library – A collection of interesting and eclectic books to look through
  • Free Wifi – due to arrive soon
  • Workshops and Atelier Days – Atelier days every Thursday 11am-5pm £10 see link

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

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

Recording not yet available.