MOMA Machynlleth are delighted to announce the Winners of the 2023 Tabernacle Art Competition. The theme for the competition was “Secret” or (Cyfrinach in Welsh). Amanda Gibbon and her son William generously agreed to be this year’s Judges. Amanda and her family are collectors of art and are longtime supporters of MOMA Machynlleth and we are extremely grateful to them.

Latent – Acrylic on board by Bob Fear

First Prize in the Adult category goes to Bob Fear with his work of acrylic on board titled “Latent”.

Bob is originally from Ely in Cardiff, and it was at school where he began his love of drawing and painting. He attended art school and embraced life drawing classes particularly, and at every opportunity. In his twenties Bob began to follow his other passion, submerging himself into the study of Ecology at Cardiff University eventually gaining his doctorate studying River restoration. The ravages of life, marriage and four busy children took over, and a living was made from his environmental interests. Bob occasionally had reason to use his talent for drawing, but there was never the opportunity to devote any significant time to it.

Bob Fear with his work

Eventually his children grew up with the youngest flying the nest last summer, and finally Bob’s time was his own again. With a few deep breaths and the support of loved ones he enthusiastically started painting – and was delighted to find he still had it.

His aims are to have fun working on themes through figure painting and landscape, to begin exhibiting and selling his pictures and eventually to be able to call himself a professional painter.

Red Smile – Oil on canvas board by Nicholas Sargent

Second Prize, donated by The Friends of The Tabernacle, goes to Nicholas Sargent with his oil on canvas titled “Red Smile”.

Nicholas lives and paints in the upper Towy valley, Carmarthenshire. The landscape provides the starting point for much of his painting and he also works with portraiture. He is establishing exhibition representation in Wales with work being hung in a number of regional galleries. His principal focus in his painting is to establish an emotional connection with the viewer through achieving a sense of place or mood.


Cyfrinach Natur (Nature’s Secret) – Acrylic by Elwyn Ioan

Third Prize, donated by Wendy Fuller, goes to Elwyn Ioan with his acrylic painting titled “Cyfrinach Natur” (Nature’s Secret).

Elwyn is from the Aberystwyth area, he has worked as a freelance illustrator and cartoonist in the world of Welsh books, magazines and comics since 1986 and before that at Gwasg Y Lolfa. He retired ten years ago but is still extremely busy.

Elwyn Ioan with his work

In 2008 he was given a lifetime achievement award from ‘Cwlwm Cyhoeddwyr Cymru’ for his contribution to the world of books.

Sarah Jones, Phil Wheeler, Giovanna Vinciguerra, Heather Butler, and Hilary Cowley Greer were Highly Commended.

Tylluan (Owl) – Collage by Efa Yim-Jones (age 10)

In the Ages 11 and under category, the winner is Efa Yim-Jones, age 10, with her collage titled “Tylluan” (Owl).

Efa goes to Ysgol Henry Richard in Tregaron, she likes art, football and cooking.
Jamie Smart (age 7), Ellie Stubbs (age 10), Pearl Silvester (age 9), and Daisy Brown (age 10) were Highly Commended.


Mr Rabbit – Oil by Constance Braibant (age 17)

The winner in the Ages 12 to 17 category is Constance Braibant, age 17, with her oil painting titled “Mr Rabbit”.

Constance is a year 12 pupil from London, she hopes to go on to study Art and Design or architecture at university.

Oz Wilkins (age 15) and Mali Yim-Jones (age 13) were Highly Commended.


Tabernacle Art Competition 2023 Exhibition

The selection of the winners was no easy task with more than 170 works being submitted. The winning works, alongside the highly commended works and a selection of other submitted works, will be exhibited in the Owen Owen and Bridge Galleries at MOMA Machynlleth from 24 June to the 6th September. All the exhibited works are for sale.

We encourage visitors to come and vote their favourite works. The adult and under 18 works with the most votes will win the Ailsa Owen Memorial Prize, a prize given by David Owen in memory of his late wife who judged the first competition nearly thirty years ago. Voting is open until 25th August with the winners being announced at midday on Saturday 26th August, along with the theme for the 2024 Tabernacle Art Competition.