Current Exhibitions

Queen from No Scene Exhibition

Sculpture Gallery – Billie Charity – Queen from No Scene

May 22 – Sep 22

On an Eardisley farm lives Dean Goodwin-Evans aka Boo La Croux: farmer, professional hairdresser, son of an Aston Villa footballer, husband of Paul, lover of horses, and Miss Drag UK 2021. This man, in all his multi-colour glory, is a photographer's dream. He looks incredible in full drag, and in combination with the animals on his farm, the visuals are spectacular. This exhibition looks into his life as Dean and as Boo through the photographs of Billie Charity who has been working with Dean over the last few years and has just published a book under the title – Queen from No Scene

April: A Lady in Hay Exhibition

Gallery - April: A Lady in Hay

May 24 - Sep 22

April Ashley lived in Hay during the 1980s and was a well known character in town. As well as being a Hay resident she was also a famous model and a national celebrity whose image appeared in newspapers across the country and beyond. Her story started in the poverty stricken streets of 1930s Liverpool docks. It took her to London, Paris, Spain, LA as well as Bear Street, Hay on Wye. This exhibition will explore her life as a transgender pioneer - the face that the newspapers splashed on their front pages and the private person behind the make up and the glamorous clothes.

This exhibition was made possible with thanks to The April Ashley Estate and is funded by  Arts Council Wales and The Ashley Family Foundation

Sarah Kirby Exhibition

Printmaker in Focus - Sarah Kirby

April 8 - June 29

Sarah Kirby is an artist and printmaker based in Leicester, in the heart of the East Midlands. Since graduating from a Fine Art Degree in 1984 and being a member of the Leicester Society of Artists, she has been working as a professional printmaker producing work for commercial illustrations and private commissions. Over the past 35 years she has also been involved in working with museums, art collections and a number of Art Residencies and is thrilled to have had the opportunity to regularly exhibit work with fellow artists, both locally and nationally throughout the UK.

In recent years Sarah has also looked deeper into the emotional and historical importance of gardens, green spaces and the countryside, within which buildings often play a key role. Plants, gardens and indeed her own allotments are very close to her heart, not only being an inspiration but also a solace.

Kate Freeman Exhibition

Café Gallery - Kate Freeman

April 10 - June 29

Kate's vibrant works bring together her focus on colour relationships and the ‘happy accidents’ which happen when painting, and her work has given a modern and uplifting abstract atmosphere to the gallery. Kate gained a BA Hons in Art and Aesthetics, in 2007 having attended Cardiff University part time for six years, whilst working as a painter and decorator and bringing up two children. Living around the UK, Kate first studied textiles in Carlisle college of Art, lived in Ireland in first remote area of Kerry then Dublin before moving to Hay on Wye on the Welsh border where she made textile works. She now lives in Pembrokeshire.

"I am fascinated by the incidental marks, accidental splashes and unexpected colour combinations which happen ‘around the edges’ of artmaking. I aim to incorporate the character of these serendipitous events into my paintings, and constantly navigate a path between control and spontaneity"

Jewellery Exhibition at Hay Castle

Make a Statement

Jewellery from four UK Makers

An exhibition to celebrate the diverse approach to jewellery by four UK jewellers to  compliment the April Ashley exhibition. Andrew Logan's sculptural pieces were a great favourite of April's and their contemporary design is as fresh today as the pieces that April collected over her lifetime. Colourful acrylic jewellery from Gail Klevan is easy to wear and the perfect addition to a summer wardrobe or to cheer yourself up over a long winter. Tessa Sambrook (AKA Rokz) combines different semi-precious stones and silver to create chunky, stunning necklaces which can be dressed up or down. We are especially pleased to be showing two necklaces from award winning jeweller John Moore whose sculptural pieces cross the divide between Art and Craft - producing wearable Art.

Hay Castle Shop

Hay Castle Shop

Open daily 10-5pm

Visit our lovely Castle Gift Shop, next to the café on the ground floor for a variety of unusual gifts, cards, castle merchandise, books, prints and applied arts from UK makers. Perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas or just treat yourself to something beautiful! We are open every day between 10am and 5pm.

Past Exhibitions

Shân Egerton: A Painter’s Life

Gallery - Shân Egerton: A Painter’s Life

March 15 - April 28 2024

Shân was a well-known and very well-loved artist in Hay and beyond and the work on show demonstrates a lifetime of her love of painting, travel and the area that was her home. Her work is full of life, passion, colour and joy.

Shân was born in London and brought up on the Welsh borders but was always destined to become an artist from an early age. The family moved from Brecon to the house that would become her lifetime home when she was just 13. After school she studied at Byan Shaw School of Art and her career was kickstarted by an acceptance into the RA Summer Exhibition. She then continued to exhibit in London with sell-out exhibitions.

Working primarily in pastel and oil, her work was informed not only by her travels abroad but by her love of the countryside around her home. The exhibition shows examples of her work, some for sale and some borrowed from private collections, and will be accompanied by albums of her photographs from travels, particularly Syria and the Yemen.

Shân had a huge love for Hay Castle and as an exceptional gardener, often volunteered in the grounds, particularly helping with the annual clipping of the yews but also helping to develop and shape the gardens which can be enjoyed by visitors today.

Print Club Exhibition

Printmaker in Focus - Print Club

Feb 17 - April 2024

The works on display have all been created by members of our fortnightly Print Club. Many of them had never made prints before and we are extremely proud of the output of this group which was started in 2022.

Print Club takes place at Hay Castle every other Wednesday between 4pm and 6pm and is run by Aidan Saunders from Prints of Hay. The sessions offer the opportunity for members to come and learn about printmaking and explore the medium as well as using our beautiful Columbian press from 1853. Materials are provided including cutting tools and lino and the sessions cost £5. Aidan is on hand to guide people and offer suggestions as well as adding to the relaxed and funny atmosphere that the club has developed. All adults are welcome and no previous printmaking skills are required.

Marion Elliot

Café Gallery - Marion Elliot: Country Folk

Jan 19 - March 30 2024

Marion Elliot a designer and printmaker who works mainly in paper. She uses printmaking techniques to produce densely textured papers to use in collage work.

Marion has a great love of Folk and Vernacular/Popular art - she loves shop fronts, fairgrounds, hand painted signage, advertising imagery and typography, tattoos, workers guild banners, mottos, religious iconography and paper ephemera. Marion is especially happy to have collaborated recently with the publisher Joe Pearson of Design For Today, on a book about the joy of the Circus.

Marion started her career in London and worked as a writer, stylist and art director for clients including F&W Media, David and Charles, Hachette, Hallmark, IPC Magazines, National Magazines etc. She has published 25 books on design subjects, including paper engineering and textiles.

Her work has been exhibited in the UK, USA and Japan and she currently teaches on the BA Illustration course at Hereford College of Arts, as well as working as a freelance illustrator.

Hay Open Show

Gallery - Hay Castle Open Show

Jan 19 - Feb 25 2024

This is our inaugural open submission exhibition which features over fifty works by a variety of emerging and established artists in the borderlands. Works include a range of mediums including paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures which were submitted through an open application at the end of 2023. This collaborative exhibition showcases new and emerging creatives amongst some familiar names, creating connections and community within the castle gallery.

The Open Show is funded by UK Government and Powered by Levelling Up and Herefordshire Council.

Printmaker in Focus Gallery - Sue Hunt

Printmaker in Focus Gallery - Sue Hunt

Nov 23 2023 - Jan 19 2024

Sue Hunt's etchings represent work produced while in Japan on a residency based in Osaka, at Cherry Blossom time - an opportunity to be totally immersed in making etchings in an International Print workshopI and the freedom to explore soft ground etching, spit-bite, and lift-ground techniques, to make soft fluid floating marks.

Folk Beasts Exhibition

Café Gallery - Folk Beasts

Dec 2023

Folk Beasts is an art project that aimed to help vulnerable people tackling isolation during the Covid pandemic by offering creative stimulus and inspiration through the work of seventeen illustrious artists.

The project is the brainchild of Aidan Saunders and Geoff Coupland who formed the Golden Thread Project, working with artists, writers and musicians to explore folklore and myth as a way to connect to the past

Dark Skies exhibition

Gallery – Dark Skies: Judy Goldhill

Nov 23 2023 - Jan 7 2024

This exhibition of the work of artist and photographer Judy Goldhill explores our complex relationship to darkness and the night. Traditionally, in literature, art and film, dark skies offer a motif of dread and foreboding. As darkness falls it transforms the everyday into the unknown, creating a space to project our fears, both real and imagined.

Goldhill’s photographs remind us that culture and experience can be very different things. Her images of dark skies are full of beauty and wonder, allowing us to place ourselves in the universe and travel back in time. In the twenty-first century, we find dark skies like so much of our natural environment, are fragile, threatened by light pollution from below, and planes and satellites from above. This exhibition set in the beautiful Bannau Brycheiniog National Park, an International Dark Sky Reserve, reveals the amazing variety of phenomena visible to the naked eye.

Josef Herman exhibition

Gallery – Josef Herman: Artistiaid Ffoadur Cymru Refugee Artists

Sep 28 – Nov 12 2023

A unique exhibition comprising works by Josef Herman, Maurice Sochachewsky, Martin Bloch, Fred Uhlman, Bettina Adler, Heinz Koppel and Harry Weinberger, which has been brought together for the first time thanks to generous loans from Ben Uri Gallery, Brecon Y Gaer Museum, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Big Pit National Coal Museum, Martin Bloch Trust, Trinity Hall Cambridge, as well as from private collections.

In the Sculpture Gallery, there will be a parallel exhibition of works made by those currently seeking sanctuary in Wales, who have the passion and courage to create. This exhibition has been specially co-produced with our refugee communities to promote their creativity and to celebrate Welsh stories of hospitality, humanity and hope.

Printmaker in Focus Gallery - Aine Venables

Printmaker in Focus Gallery - Aine Venables

July 22 - Nov 2023

Aine has worked as a creative practitioner in arts education for over 30 years, teaching visual communication in further and higher education. In more recent years she has developed her own illustration practice and has explored different narratives through mixed media and print.

After joining Hay Festival as a freelance designer, she has gone on to become Learning and Engagement Manager with the festival. She facilitates relevant and engaging creative experiences for young people during the festival and throughout the year while developing her own creative practice inspired by themes of identity, location and belonging.

Richard Jenkins exhibition

Golden Valley Faces: The photographs of Richard Jenkins

September 2023

Richard Jenkins was born in 1890 on a farm ten miles from Hay: and he became a brilliant pioneering photographer.

Like many another bright farmer’s son, he longed to escape the drudgery of farming – to go away and study. Instead he had to console himself by – somehow – learning to wield a cumbersome camera, to take and develop spontaneous and moving portraits of his friends and neighbours going about their everyday lives. He had a gift for capturing his subjects’ personalities, paying tribute to their fortitude and skills.

Miraculously, nearly a thousand of his glass-plate images survived decades of neglect; and since the publication of Golden Valley Faces in 2020, his work has begun to be recognised as a remarkable record of life in rural Herefordshire at the start of the twentieth century.

Jasper Fforde exhibition

First Floor Photography - Jasper Fforde

August 2023

Using the corridor as a new exhibition space we are pleased to be showing some trichrome photography by the author, Jasper Fforde. These innovative images emulate the very earliest colour photographic techniques to create a colour image from three black and white negatives. All of the images were taken as black and white images and use filters to create a full colour photograph.

Architecture & Poetry exhibition

Gallery - Architecture & Poetry

May 26 - 3 Sep 2023, Curated by Fabio Barry

Architecture and poetry are two seemingly disparate artforms which are put together for the first time in this exhibition by presenting three overlapping themes: poems inscribed on buildings; buildings inspired by poems; and concrete poetry - poems which visually represent their subject.

The exhibition begins on the Castle exterior with a newly commissioned light poem from poet-sculptor Robert Montgomery and culminates in Pelé Cox’s verse inscription for Eric Parry’s Building 7 at Chelsea Barracks as well as the words of bilingual poet Gwyneth Lewis for the Wales Millennium Centre at Cardiff. Alongside this, the exhibition details three architectural designs by Níall McLaughlin which were inspired by poems, including the International Rugby Experience at Limerick which has its origins in the poem Beowulf. These architectural exhibits are complemented by a collection of concrete poetry from the 1960s to the present including The Mouse’s Tale by Lewis Carrol

Fittingly for a town that straddles the borderlands, the exhibition combines the contributions of architects, poets, artists, and designers from Wales, England, Ireland and Scotland. This exhibition was curated by Fabio Barry.

Printmaker in Focus Gallery - Clyro School

Printmaker in Focus Gallery - Clyro School

June 29 - July 2023

For their 'Evolve and Experience' topic, the pupils focused on the question 'What is in the world around us? They looked at human and physical geographical features in our locality, in Wales and in the wider world. They studied the work of the Welsh artist, Rhiannon Roberts, who includes many human and natural features in her work. They then created pieces of artwork in her style and included the human and physical features that they had learnt about.

Class 2's artwork focused on features of space, locality and place in Wales. Class 3 focused on a wider view of the world with their artwork being of special and lesser known places across the world.

Mali Morris exhibition

Printmaker in Focus Gallery - Mali Morris

May - June 26 2023

Mali Morris’s explorations into colour and space in painting have made her one of the leading abstract artists working in Britain today. Fascinated by how relationships of colour can structure luminosity, she has continued, since the 1970s, to experiment with the language of painting, arriving at imagery that is both radiant and direct. Mali has also occasionally collaborated with Master Printers, predominantly with Kip Gresham in Cambridge, and is constantly intrigued by the multiple parallels and differences between painting and printmaking.

Mali Morris was born in Caernarfon and during her childhood lived in various locations around North Wales before settling in London in the 1970s. She was elected to the Royal Academy in 2010 and has exhibited extensively in the UK and abroad; a solo show in New York took place in October 2022, and a review of her paintings from the past 25 years opens at Ikon, Birmingham in September 2023.

Life in Colour exhibition

Gallery - Life in Colour

Feb 23 - May 14 2023

This exhibition celebrates the life and work of Hay-on-Wye and Clyro’s late Artist in Residence, Eugene Fisk. A former monk inspired by the Fauvists of the 20th century, Fisk’s mastery of colour and the drawn line represent a life devoted to art and the unravelling of the boundaries between the material and spiritual worlds.

Told in collaboration with the Kilvert Gallery, formerly of Clyro’s Ashbrook House and the home of Eugene Fisk and Lizzie Organ, Life in Colour spans 30 years of vibrant portraiture and landscape painting to revisit an alternative way of seeing people and past histories. As the desire to reconnect with nature deepens, along with the need to mindfully reconcile our place within it, perhaps it is time to look again at Eugene’s inner way of outward seeing.

The Kilvert Gallery was created by Lizzie Organ and Eugene Fisk, and as a shrine to design and curation, it represented contemporary artists including Roger Cecil, William Mills, Maryclare Foa, Clive Hicks-Jenkins, Charles Shearer, and Rachel Windham. For more information click HERE.

Ceramics in Colour exhibition

Sculpture Gallery - Ceramics in Colour

March 31 - May 14 2023

Continuing our Castle in Colour theme we have invited 6 contemporary UK makers to exhibit. From the sweeping brush strokes of the landscape ceramics of Dennis Farrell to the precise and beautifully visual coloured slip work from Sophie MacCarthy, all the work celebrates colour with each potter using their own unique making style to create work to enhance any space.

The hand-painted and engaging pots of Ingrid Saag take you on a ceramic journey with inspiration from poetry and nature using bold brush strokes on the abstract work and delicate patterns on others.  They complement the gorgeously restrained work from Clare Conrad who explores colour and texture inspired by the effect of light and ageing on architecture, artefacts and the landscape, each piece contrasting the delicate smooth matt interior with the textured and layered colours of the exterior.

Texture features strongly in the contemplative work of Peter Beard.  Strong, simple shapes are made using a wax resist technique involving a combination of shiny, matt and semi-matt glazes building up layers to create complex textured surfaces with the wax being used to isolate areas during the glaze application. Philip Evans' strking, hand built vessels show his particular interest in textures and worn surfaces.  Drawing influences from Pompeii, Herculaneum and Orvieto in Italy his work uses coloured clays to produce multi-fired pots embellished with gold leaf and bold colour.

Graeme Hobbs exhibition

Printmaker in Focus Gallery

Next to our 1853 printing press on the first floor we have our new Printmaker in Focus mini-gallery. This space is dedicated to exhibiting the work of local upcoming printmakers whose work is for sale both framed and unframed.

Our current exhibition is by Graeme Hobbs, producer of cards, prints, chapbooks and sundry curiosities. All of the works are made using vintage image blocks and hand-set metal type. See more at