No York Open Studios in April, but all that art still needs a new home, so look here…DAY ELEVEN

Closed doors, but open windows: the way forward for York Open Studios 2020

YORK Open Studios 2020, the chance to meet 144 artists at 100 locations over two April weekends, has been cancelled in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, with doors sadly shut for the April 17 to 19 and April 25 to 26 event, CharlesHutchPress wants to champion the creativity of York’s artists and makers, who would have been showcasing their ceramics, collage, digital, illustration, jewellery, mixed media, painting, print, photography, sculpture and textiles skills.

Each day, in brochure order, five artists who now miss out on the exposure of Open Studios will be given a pen portrait on these pages, because so much art and craft will have been created for the event and still needs a new home. Addresses will not be included at this time.

Meanwhile, York Open Studios artists are finding their own way to respond to the shutdown by filling their windows with their work instead.  Look for #openwindowsyork2020 to locate them. “If you see one in your area while taking your daily exercise, take a picture and let us know,” they say.

Cushions by Rosie Waring

Rosie Waring, textiles

ROSIE creates handwoven textiles using fine yarns and intricate patterns to produce interior products for the home and personal accessories with a natural colour palette.

She specialised in handwoven textiles for fashion and interiors in her studies at Bath Spa University, graduating in 2013, since when she has made handwoven cushions, lampshades and other small woven items.

Rosie often takes her inspiration for colour, texture and structure from nature and her surroundings: the rich and varied Yorkshire landscapes of the dales, the North York Moors and the coastline.

“Weaving in fine cotton yarns and moving into my wool collection, I create vibrant fabrics to brighten up the home, bringing the outside inside,” she says. 

” I create vibrant fabrics to brighten up the home, bringing the outside inside,” says Rosie Waring

Rosie knew early on that her strength was working with colour. “When I discovered weaving during my studies, I saw the potential to work directly with colour on the loom,” she says. “I found I could express myself through colour and texture, creating cloth from the individual yarns.”

She is interested in how weaving can affect mental health positively and has studied its benefits on mood and a general sense of well-being.

As well as York Open Studios, she has exhibited at Art In The Pen, Danby Christmas Market and the summertime York River Art Market. Find out more at rosiewaring.co.uk.

A mixed-media work by Colin Black

Colin Black, mixed media

COLIN’S mixed-media work has varied from a series focusing on York Minster at night to national identity and the refugee crisis.

He describes his art as being primarily landscape based, always enjoying the use of colour to convey mood.

His last two exhibitions used the landscape motif in very different ways. The first, Imagined Landscapes, conveyed a seemingly idyllic beauty; the second, We Have Chosen A One-Way Road, saw landscape as “a place across which refugees made their escape and away from the place they called home”.

Colin Black: Moved to York in 2018 to set up Seek Art School

“The work was about borders, boundaries and restrictions,” says Colin. “They were a response to Britain’s dilemma about Brexit, hard or soft, independence and interdependence, Trump’s wall. We seem to be becoming insular in our thinking as a fearful means of self-preservation. How do we square our fears of invasion with humanitarian aid?”

Colin studied visual communication at Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London and taught for many years in further education in London and Edinburgh.

In 2018, he moved to York to set up Seek Art School, in Haxby Road, to teach  people “the fundamentals of looking and the development of your own visual voice through personal ideas”. Courses include day and evening classes and Saturday workshops.

Discover more via colin@seekartschool.co.uk.

Apothecary Jar, graphite on newsprint, by Nicola Lee

Nicola Lee, drawing

NICOLA’S work on paper combines drawing, folding and photography.

“My visual interest lies beyond the object,” she says. “I’m drawn to line, pattern and shape occurring in peripheral space. A space that is fluid, ambiguous and lacking in definition. A space in which the peripheral becomes the object.

“My work uses photography, drawing and folding to record and respond to my observations of this suggestive space. I use process and material to play with ideas of repetition, reduction and abstraction in order to explore my encounter with the space in between.”  

Nicola Lee: “Encounters with the space in between “

Nicola studied art and design at York St John University, then gained an MA in textiles at Huddersfield University and now an MA in creative practice from Leeds Arts University.

She is enjoying being part of the South Bank Studios community; this year would have marked her York Open Studios debut. Head to ofsorts.space for more info.

Elephant Festival Fun, by Rebecca Mason

Rebecca Mason, textiles

FIRST inspired by Batik while in Malaysia, Rebecca has practised Batik art for more than 30 years.

Since attending workshops and evening classes to learn the dye-resist technique that uses wax, she has made silk scarves, ties, framed pictures, brooches, cards and wall hangings, using both traditional Indonesian and modern methods.

“I specialise in doing Batik on cotton and silk, including velour, and I particularly enjoy the fluidity, flexibility, unpredictability and crackle effect of the wax,” says Rebecca.

Batik artist Rebecca Mason in her studio

“I also love to be creative with colour and the freedom of abstract designs. Much of my Batik is influenced and inspired by the shapes and hues of the Yorkshire countryside and by the changing seasons too.

“My cotton pictures are varied in design and theme and use a range of Batik techniques, and I also make Batik ties and scarves that are each uniquely designed.”

Rebecca, who would have been a York Open Studios 2020 debutante, sells her work by appointment from her studio and at Simon Main’s Village Gallery, in Colliergate, York. She has exhibited too at York River Art Market and South Bank Studios and welcomes special commissions. Take a look at batik-art.co.uk.

Clifford’s Tower, York, by Donna Maria Taylor

Donna Maria Taylor, mixed media

DONNA’S website, donnamariataylor.com, introduces her as designer, maker, teacher, with more than 25 years’ experience of working in the arts.

Her mixed-media work spans a range of disciplines, all inspired by the world around her, and although her York Open Studios show has been cancelled, she has upcoming exhibitions in the diary at Osbornes at 68 Gillygate, from August to October, and Angel On The Green, Bishopthorpe Road, from November 3 to December 15.

Donna Maria Taylor: designer, maker, teacher

In the theatre world, Yorkshire-born Donna has designed shows, painted scenery and made props and costumes for many companies, including York Theatre Royal, the Grand Opera House, Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre and the York Mystery Plays in York Minster, West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds, English Touring Theatre, Sheffield Theatres, Hull Truck Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

She is an adult education senior tutor and observer for York Learning and is involved regularly in community art projects at York community centres, children’s centres, schools, church halls and a prison.

She has taught in a wide variety of settings, such as York Art Gallery, Explore York libraries and York museums, as well as at colleges and universities, and runs workshops and art holidays, although these have been postponed until further notice during the Covid-19 pandemic.

To find out more, go to donnamariataylor.com.

TOMORROW: Caroline Utterson; Marcus Jacka; Ruth King; Elaine Hughes and Mick Leach.

Nothing happening in these long lockdown days. Everything off. Here are 10 Things To Do on the home front, courtesy of The Press, York. WEEK THREE

Nothing happening full stop. Now, with time on your frequently washed hands, home is where the art is and plenty else besides

EXIT 10 Things To See Next Week in York and beyond for the unforeseeable future. Enter home entertainment, wherever you may be, whether together or in self-isolation, in the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic. From behind his closed door, CHARLES HUTCHINSON makes these suggestions.

Lockdown Legends Challenge, set by York Theatre Royal

EACH Monday morning, York Theatre Royal will post a theatrical #LockdownLegendsChallenge on its Twitter and Facebook pages for the whole family to take part in, just for fun. Even the participation of pets is “actively encouraged”.

York Theatre Royal: ideas for creating your own theatre magic at home in the Lockdown Legends Challenge

This week’s challenge is to make a one-minute play. “Send us your responses to lockdownlegends@yorktheatreroyal.co.uk and we’ll share these on our social media pages throughout the week,” says the Theatre Royal. “Remember to keep safe – and stay creative.”

Setting up a film reviewers’ club online

ARE you missing discussing the latest hit films at City Screen, Everyman York, Vue York and Cineworld? If so, why not start or join a film reviewers’ club online on WhatsApp, with the group having a name.

One group member chooses a film, old, recent, cult, blockbuster, world, British, American, whatever; gives a brief synopsis and initial thoughts behind the choice; sets a start and finishing date for viewing (whether on DVD, Netflix, etc), and then everyone gathers for a chat online to give their short reviews.

Explore York’s library and archive at York Explore, Museum Street, York

Explore York’s Libraries From Home

THE Explore York library and archive service will be developing online activities such as a Virtual Book Group, while updating regularly as “new things” come on stream and sharing them on social media, using #LibrariesFromHome.

Up and running now: 5,000 Ebooks and audio books for adults and children, free to borrow from exploreyork.org.uk/digital/e-books/; a new York Images site for exploring the city’s history through photographs, illustrations, maps and archival documents at exploreyork.org.uk/digital/york-images/; and the chance to start your family tree using Ancestry and Find My Past, for free, at exploreyork.org.uk/digital/online-reference/.

The Queen show must go on: We Will Rock You will rock you in 2021

Keep trying to find good news

DALBY Forest concerts, chopped. The first four classics of the flat racing season, all non-runners. Wimbledon tennis, out. Harrogate International Festivals summer season, off. York Festival, gone. Scarborough Open Air Theatre, shut. The list of cancellations keeps growing, but against that backdrop, theatres, music venues and festivals are busy re-booking acts and shows for later in the year or next year.

Keep visiting websites for updates, whether York Barbican, York Theatre Royal, the Grand Opera House, The Crescent, wherever. We Will Rock You has just been confirmed for the Grand Opera House for March 22 to 27 next year.

Look out too for the streaming of past hit shows. More and more theatres and arts companies are doing this…

Breath of fresh Eyre: The National Theatre’s innovative Jane Eyre, directed by Sally Cookson. This picture features the 2017 touring cast at the Grand Opera House, York

…For example, National Theatre At Home on YouTube

HULL playwright Richard Bean’s comic romp One Man, Two Guvnors has drawn more than two million viewers since being launched on the National Theatre’s YouTube channel last Thursday.

Next up, available for free from 7pm this evening for a week, will be Sally Cookson’s innovative, dynamic, remarkable stage adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s Yorkshire novel, Jane Eyre. You may recall the NT’s touring production from its week-long run at the Grand Opera House, York, in May 2017. Truly worth staying in for…but you will be doing that anyway, won’t you.

Window of opportunity : Cancelled York Open Studios finds a way still to showcase art

Venturing outdoors…to spot #openwindowsyork2020 

AMID the strict Government strictures, when allowed out to walk the dog or take that one burst of mentally and physically beneficial exercise a day, you can discover a new form of “window dressing” and maybe even “window shopping” near you.

The Covid-19 pandemic has shut the doors on York Open Studios 2020, when 144 artists and makers would have been welcoming visitors on April 17 to 19 and 25 and 26. Enterprising as ever, they now say: “We can’t open our doors, but we can show you our work through our windows”, as they launch #openwindowsyork2020. “If you see one, let us know,” they add.

Welcome back Backgammon

Vintage game of the week: Backgammon

LOCKDOWN is the perfect chance to dust off faithful old games consigned to gathering dust on top shelves.

Bring back Backgammon, one of the oldest known board games, whose history can be traced back nearly 5,000 years to archaeological discoveries in Mesopotamia. In this quick-thinking two-player game, each player has 15 pieces that move between 24 triangles, according to the roll of two dice. You gotta roll with it, as Oasis once sang.

Easter egg hunt

EASTER Day celebrations demand an Easter egg hunt, whether indoors or in the garden, if that is possible.

Two customs spring to mind: firstly, wrapping eggs in ribbon for boiling that will then leave a pretty decorative pattern on the eggs.

Secondly, writing poetic ditties as clues for the Easter egg hunter to find the hidden chocolate goodies. Happy hunting, happy Easter, dear readers.

Clap for Carers

YES, we miss the sound of applause bursting through our theatre walls, but for now, save your hand-clapping for showing support every Thursday at 8pm for our NHS doctors, hospital staff, carers, rising tide of volunteers and key workers. God bless them all.

Paul Merton: Welcome back Have I Got News For You for series number 59

And what about…

BOOKS on pandemics and plagues. Cookbooks. The return of BBC One’s Have I Got News For You on Fridays, albeit in compromised social-distancing-from-home form. The shockumentary series Tiger King:  Murder, Mayhem And Madness on Netflix. Writing a 10 Things list like this one.

Reading the regular Tweets from Reece Dinsdale, Emmerdale actor full of nous, and Alan Lane, Slung Low artistic director and man of action around Leeds. Keep drinking hot drinks and gargling regularly, as well as all that hand-washing.

No York Open Studios in April, but all that art still needs a new home, so look here…DAY TEN

A textile designer by Amy Stubbs

YORK Open Studios 2020, the chance to meet 144 artists at 100 locations over two April weekends, has been cancelled in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, with doors sadly shut for the April 17 to 19 and April 25 to 26 event, CharlesHutchPress wants to champion the creativity of York’s artists and makers, who would have been showcasing their ceramics, collage, digital, illustration, jewellery, mixed media, painting, print, photography, sculpture and textiles skills.

Each day, in brochure order, five artists who now miss out on the exposure of Open Studios will be given a pen portrait on these pages, because so much art and craft will have been created for the event and still needs a new home. Addresses will not be included at this time.

Meanwhile, York Open Studios artists are finding their own way to respond to the shutdown by filling their windows with their work instead.  Look for #openwindowsyork2020 to locate them. “If you see one in your area while taking your daily exercise, take a picture and let us know,” they say.

Cielo, collage, by Gail Fox

Gail Fox, collage

AN artist for more than 40 years, London-born Gail co-founded York Open Studios in 2002 with Anne Hutchison.

For 30 years, she made and exhibited hand-built coil pots after gaining a first-class degree at Central School of Art in London in 1980, undertaking commissions for fashion designer Bruce Oldfield and Trisha Guild, of the Designers Guild, for Next Interiors.

Since a change of artistic tack, she has focused on painting and now 2D abstract collages: explorations of juxtapositions, composition and colour, made from painted or found papers.

York Open Studios co-founder Gail Fox

“The whole process is about tweaking and adjusting. It relies on intuition about what seems visually right,” says Gail. “It’s a process of adding to and taking away, a little more of this, a little less of that.

“It’s a bit like adjusting a recipe until you know the taste is right.  Hopefully, after the struggle, something emerges that has a beauty, a sense of resolution and balance.” Learn more at gailfox.co.uk.

Sculptural jewellery by Jane Atkin

Jane Atkin, jewellery

MODERN and sculptural in form, Jane’s functional jewellery incorporates unisex designs in predominantly one-of-a-kind pieces in silver and gold.

“I use cut, uncut semi-precious stones and jet, found by me on the Yorkshire coast, that are employed in modern and minimalist ways,” she says. “From growing up surrounded by good modern design and architecture, these influences filter through into my jewellery.”

Jane Atkin’s studio

Responding to the need to reduce single-use plastic, she has designed a silver drinking straw as an investment for the future. “Silver is naturally antibacterial and will last a lifetime, so this is perfect as a Christening gift as an example,” says Jane, who exhibited at Pyramid Gallery and Lotte Inch Gallery, in York, and the British Craft Trade Fair last year. For more info, head to janeatkinjewellery.com.

Amy Stubbs: heading back north

Amy Stubbs, textiles

RELOCATED to York in a return to her northern roots, pattern print designer  Amy now works from the PICA Studios artist hub in Grape Lane.

This textile design graduate from Falmouth University draws inspiration “from a wealth of experience brought to her by her strong Yorkshire family heritage and the opportunity to experience varying cultures”.

Consequently, Amy’s textile work combines manually drawn abstract elements with the aid of digital technology to create her surface pattern prints that feature strong mark-making motifs and collaging.

2020 would have marked her York Open Studios. Looking ahead, her new website, amystubbs.com, will be “coming soon”.

“Cheeky, bright and full of colour”: Emily Stubbs’s ceramics

Emily Stubbs, ceramics

EMILY creates hand-built sculptural ceramic vessels – cheeky, bright and full of life in character – that explore the relationship between colour, form and texture.

Born in Holmfirth, her first taste of clay was during her pre-BA foundation course at Batley School of Art and Design. Inspired by this medium, Emily studied ceramics at the University of Wales, Cardiff, graduating in 2007.

Emily Stubbs at work at PICA Studios, York

Moving to York in 2009, she has worked from PICA Studios, in Grape Lane, York, since 2017, taking Yorkshire and beyond by storm with her quirky ceramics in galleries and at art fairs, such as Ceramic Art London.  

Emily co-founded the Art& show at York Racecourse with Victoria Robinson and collaborated with Cooper King Distillery to create the artwork for their newly launched Herb Gin label last autumn. Head to emilystubbsceramics@gmail.com to learn more.

Inspired by 20th century travel posters: Elliot Harrison’s illustration of the York Odeon cinema building

Elliot Harrison, illustration

ELLIOT creates architectural illustrations, prints and posters showcasing iconic York buildings and views, favouring a vibrant colour palette inspired by Art Deco design and vintage 20th century travel posters.

His distinctive retro York portfolio has been catching the eye for the past few years, whether at Frankie & Johnny’s Cookshop, Blossom Street Gallery and Owl & Monkey or in exhibitions at York Hospital and the Rowntree Park Reading Café.

Among his most popular illustrations are Rowntree Park, Bishopthorpe Road, the Blossom Street Odeon cinema, the former Clifton Cinema, the Joseph Rowntree Theatre and York Minster.

Elliot Harrison surrounded by his evocative retro artwork

His commissions include illustrations for York Theatre Royal and The Piece Hall, in Halifax, and his repertoire has expanded to take in running medals, mugs, coasters, cards, Christmas cards and a 2020 York calendar that sold out.

Elliot, who gained a degree in art and design from York St John University, was selected for his York Open Studios in 2020. Check him out via elliot@york360.co.uk.

TOMORROW: Rosie Waring; Colin Black; Nicola Lee; Rebecca Mason and Donna Maria Taylor.

No York Open Studios in April, but all that art still needs a new home, so look here…DAY NINE

A screen-print collage by Kevin McNulty

YORK Open Studios 2020, the chance to meet 144 artists at 100 locations over two April weekends, has been cancelled in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, with doors sadly shut for the April 17 to 19 and April 25 to 26 event, CharlesHutchPress wants to champion the creativity of York’s artists and makers, who would have been showcasing their ceramics, collage, digital, illustration, jewellery, mixed media, painting, print, photography, sculpture and textiles skills.

Each day, in brochure order, five artists who now miss out on the exposure of Open Studios will be given a pen portrait on these pages, because so much art and craft will have been created for the event and still needs a new home. Addresses will not be included at this time.

Meanwhile, York Open Studios artists are finding their own way to respond to the shutdown by filling windows with their work instead.  Look for #openwindowsyork2020 to locate them. “If you see one in your area while taking your daily exercise, take a picture and let us know,” they urge.

Jill Ford: Her ceramics mirror the seasons

Jill Ford, ceramics

JILL began working as a potter in 2002, converting her garage into a studio and establishing her company Jill Ford Ceramics.

Her contemporary white porcelain encompasses innovative textural wall pieces, vases and bowls thrown on the wheel and a range of candlesticks, her work marked by richly textured decoration inspired by mountains and coastal rock formations.

Jill’s ceramics mirror the seasons, both in the processes she uses and the changing nature of her landscapes, with winter’s extreme temperatures making for a particularly impactful time of year.

Jill Ford at work in her studio

A year spent trekking and sketching in the Scottish Highlands has provided inspiration for a range of Mountain Edge pots that gives a sense of exposure and drama.

Jill, who is a member of the Northern Potters Association and East Riding Artists, exhibits widely in galleries and shops around Britain and abroad, including New York, and she shows work at ceramics and craft fairs too. She also delivers masterclasses to potters’ groups and teaches ceramics in workshop sessions. Find out more at jillford.com.

Cafe scene: a documentary-style photograph by Danny Knight

Danny Knight, photography

AFTER participating in York Open Studios in 2017 with works from Berlin, documentary-style photographer Danny was all set to feature his street photography collated from New York and his home city of York in the 2020 event.

“Old York/New York is a series of still images documenting the mundane events of the people who walk the streets of these two famous cities, while contrasting their similarities/differences.”

Danny Knight: “Capturing the everyday moments in two amazing cities”, York and New York

His work seeks to capture “the everyday moments in these two amazing cities that are quite often missed due to the pace of life we live”.

As well as being a photographer, Danny works for the creative film production company Hewitt & Walker and is a city leader for Sofar Sounds York, the monthly venture that “reimagines live events through curated secret performances in intimate York settings”. For more info, seek out info@dannyknightphotography.co.uk.

Honesty, linocut, by Carrie Lyall

Carrie Lyall, printmaking

CARRIE is a self-taught printmaker, based in Stamford Bridge, from where she runs her Rose & Hen business.

Her linocut prints, illustrations and handmade books are inspired by nature. Using botanical themes, she creates delicate silhouettes and patterns in contrasting colours, employing oil-based inks. 

“I connect with nature while out walking, taking photographs or collecting subject matter, to be sketched and transformed into design ideas at home,” she says.

Carrie Lyall: Connecting with nature in her art…and her clothes

“My favourite part of the process is cutting the designs, and I often get completely immersed in creating marks and lines.”

Carrie is a member of York Printmakers and a volunteer team leader for Etsy Team York. 2020 would have been her first year as a York Open Studios artist. Check her out at roseandhen.etsy.com

Between You And Me And The Gate Post, needle felting, by Alison Spaven

Alison Spaven, textiles

ALISON’S passion for needle felting started six years ago during a chance encounter with the craft.

“I’ve been painting and drawing for a lifetime, and even flirted briefly with ceramics, before a day out with friends to a felting workshop on a canal barge changed my creative drive forever,” she recalls.

“I was inspired to create and work with wet and needle felted wool by some great tuition from friends and professional tutors. Needle felting, in particular, rapidly became an obsession and the husband indoors insisted that new homes had to be found for things, as falling over yet another hare is not his favourite pastime!”

Alison Spaven: hare today, gone today, when her work sells!

Alison’s experience with sculpting in clay gave her the initial skills to work in 3D, before developing her own textural technique when painting with wool. Created with rare breed wool, using a single felting needle, Alison’s pictures consequently have a sculptural quality, a deliberate carry-over from her initial 3D work.

Alison, who trades as The Crafty Wytch from her Wytchwood Gallery and Studio, is a familiar face around Malton and beyond from her work as a stalwart of The Press and Gazette and Herald advertising team. Head to thecraftywytch.co.uk to discover more.

Compulsive printmaker Kevin McNulty

Kevin McNulty, printmaking

KEVIN describes himself as a compulsive printmaker, who explores themes such as identity and the human condition in his bold limited-edition printed collages, wherein he combines photography, arbitrary images, texture and abstract pattern.

“Experimenting with process and technique, I interweave modernity with the absurd to build complex and captivating designs,” he says. “I find inspiration in the everyday. I build layers for my prints using anything I can lay my hands on, including found items.” Even mobile phone parts and discarded teabags.

Millennium Bridge, York, by Kevin McNulty

Kevin’s working practice is underpinned by a desire to make “pure prints by pulling each image by hand and embracing the fortuitous accidents that evolve each design as it transitions from laptop to ink and paper”.

Those prints were to have featured for the first time in this month’s now cancelled York Open Studios. Find his work at kevinmcnultyprints.com.

TOMORROW: Gail Fox; Jane Atkin; Amy Stubbs; Emily Stubbs and Elliot Harrison.

Slung Low theatre company to launch street art gallery on Leeds lamp posts

The Slung Low team outside The Holbeck Slung Low in Leeds

LEEDS theatre company Slung Low are to open a new art gallery with a difference this month.

Based in Holbeck, South Leeds, the company will be setting up the LS11 Art Gallery to showcase the best paintings, drawings and photographs created and chosen by the people of Holbeck and Beeston.

However, instead of displaying the images on gallery walls, they will be placed on lamp posts for all to see.   

Slung Low have asked people from the two Leeds areas to email their image to the theatre company. Slung Low will then arrange to come around and take a copy of it and then print the images on special plastic board for display on lamp posts around Holbeck and Beeston.

Artistic director Alan Lane says: “Our instinct at Slung Low is always to be useful and kind. For the last few weeks that has primarily been about delivering food-bank parcels and helping people get their prescription.

“We know that a hungry soul will find it hard to be creative, to find joy, so the first part of our response has to be making sure that people have their basic material needs met: and we will continue that work until this is all over.

“But as theatre makers we also understand the importance of storytelling and that there are different ways to be useful.”

Alan continues: “LS11 Art Gallery is us telling the story that this area – like all parts of this nation – is full of creativity; that in every house are people who are brilliant, creative and capable of profound beauty. We need to make sure we keep telling that story in these challenging times. 

“We’re going to open an art gallery on the lamp posts of LS11 and the people who live here will make what we exhibit. Let’s cheer ourselves up a bit.”

Founded in 2000, Slung Low specialises in making epic productions in non-theatre spaces, often with large community performance companies at their heart. 

The company has relocated to The Holbeck in South Leeds, the oldest working men’s club in Britain.

There, they run the bar as a traditional members’ bar and the rest of the building as an open development space for artists and a place where Slung Low invite other companies to present their work that otherwise might not be seen in Leeds. All work presented at The Holbeck is Pay What You Decide. 

In Autumn 2018, Slung Low launched a cultural community college based in Holbeck; a place where adults come to learn new cultural skills, from stargazing to South Indian cooking, from carpentry to singing in a choir. All workshops, supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, are provided on a Pay What You Decide basis.  

Slung Low are now volunteer guardians of the city wards of Beeston and Holbeck, taking referrals from the Leeds City Council Covid-19 helpline (0113 378 1877).

In turn, with help from the staff of other arts organisations in Leeds, including Opera North, they are delivering food and medicine to the vulnerable, elderly and those in isolation. 

How to take part in the LS11 Art Gallery: 

IF you live in the Holbeck or Beeston areas of Leeds and want your drawing, painting or photograph to be featured, please take a picture of it.

Then send it to Slung Low by email at theholbeck@slunglow.org or by text on 07704 582137. Slung Low will then arrange to come around to take a copy of it for you.

No York Open Studios in April, but all that art still needs a new home, so look here…DAY EIGHT

York Minster, by Russell Bailey

YORK Open Studios 2020, the chance to meet 144 artists at 100 locations over two April weekends, has been cancelled in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, with doors sadly shut for the April 17 to 19 and April 25 to 26 event, CharlesHutchPress wants to champion the creativity of York’s artists and makers, who would have been showcasing their ceramics, collage, digital, illustration, jewellery, mixed media, painting, print, photography, sculpture and textiles skills.

Each day, in brochure order, five artists who now miss out on the exposure of Open Studios will be given a pen portrait on these pages, because so much art and craft will have been created for the event and still needs a new home. Addresses will not be included at this time.

Toffee Tin, Elephant And Blue Glass, by Ruth Beloe

Ruth Beloe, painting

RUTH Beloe finds equal fulfilment in figurative sculpture and still life paintings in oil.

She trained for three years at Charles H Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy, a fine art school modelled on the ateliers of 19th-century Paris, where she studied portrait and figurative drawing, painting and sculpting, using the “sight-size” technique.

On opening her studio in Ely, she began accepting portrait commissions in both charcoal and clay and was appointed artist-in-residence at the King’s School, Ely. She then worked in an artists’ foundry to better understand the processes and practicalities of lost wax casting for bronze to inform her own work in bronze.

Ruth Beloe at work by the window in her studio

She returned to Florence in 2009 and 2010 to develop her oil-painting technique at Studio Santo Spirito. Now she works from a studio in York, taking inspiration from Chardin and William Nicholson as she explores the inherent beauty of everyday items and objects from nature. 

Note the reflective qualities of surfaces, the use of directed light to form appealing shadows and the play of refracted light in her paintings. Discover more at beloe.biz.

“My aim is to awaken the feeling of wonder and awe,” says printmaker Milena Dragic

Milena Dragic, printmaking

BORN in Zagreb, Croatia, and now living in York, polymath Milena is a printmaker, animator and performing artist.

She studied printmaking at Zagreb’s Academy of Fine Arts, from 1971 to 1973, and combined arts at Brighton Polytechnic’s faculty of art and design, from 1973 to 1976. Residencies and placements ensued, along with more than 20 solo shows in Britain, Croatia, Germany and Switzerland and participation in print exhibitions in Britain, Poland, Brazil, Spain and South Korea.

“I perceive my work as a dynamic representation of forces underlying physical reality and their manifestations within everyday life,” says Milena, who prints on hand-made paper. “My aim is to awaken the feeling of wonder and awe that I have experienced during the process of gathering ideas and executing them in the prints.

“My colour prints are all relief prints: woodcuts, wood-engravings and linocuts. I like the simplicity of the process. I print without a conventional press. My colour prints are done by a reduction method, which means that all the colours are printed from the same block. At the end of this process there is no lino left, so the edition is truly limited.”

Her contemporary, colourful abstract work combines relief prints, animation and mixed media. Wearing her other hats, she has worked as an art director and animator at Leeds Animation Workshop, now works for Artlink West Yorkshire and is part of the York Dance Collective. Paint the full picture at milena-dragic.co.uk.

Expressionist interpretation of York Minster, by Russell Bailey

Russell Bailey, mixed media

RUSSELL invited putative York Open Studios 2020 visitors to expect “a range of expressionistic interpretations of York Minster in mixed media”.

“The main work results from over 12 months’ work on cathedrals – York Minster in particular – involving many site visits, plein air and studio-based work,” he says.

Favouring charcoal and mixed media, Russell embraces experimental ways of working and gestural mark-making. “Working expressively with freedom of marks with more considered drawn elements is key to how I process my experiences artistically,” he says.

“The work I do is often experimental, often part destroyed and then re-created,” says Russell Bailey

“The work I do is often experimental, often part destroyed and then re-created to produce a very personal interpretation. In that respect, the work tends to reside in the hinterland between the literal and pure abstraction. Mixing media seems to have become a natural way through which I express myself.”

Russell has exhibited previously at York Open Studios, the Great North Art Show, Kunsthuis Gallery at The Dutch House, Crayke, and Blossom Street Gallery, York. His latest artwork also embraces small abstract pieces based on beliefs and others from art retreat locations. Take a look at russellbaileyfineart.co.uk.

Barcelona skyline, by Anthony Chappel-Ross

Anthony Chappel-Ross, photography

ANTHONY is a familiar face behind the camera around York and beyond for his photojournalism for The Press, York, where he was an outstanding staff photographer, and other print media outlets too.

Since leaving journalism college in Sheffield in 2002, he has been shortlisted for more than 20 regional and national press awards: testament to his truly eye-catching talent.

Anthony Chappel-Ross: A face more often to be found looking through a camera lens

For the past few years, he has started to work for himself, choosing his clients and commissions. “This freedom has allowed time for my own personal photographic interests to be explored,” says Anthony.

For his second York Open Studios exhibition, he had selected photographic images, predominantly in black and white, that explore the contrast, form and pattern of Barcelona, Antoni Gaudi’s Catalan Modernist architecture et al.

Check out anthonychappelross.co.uk…and snap to it.

Silver stone, by Helen Drye

Helen Rye, jewellery

JEWELLERY designer and maker Helen Drye works full time from her studio south of York, her designs inspired by nearby Skipwith Common National Nature Reserve.

Establishing her Silver and Stone Jewellery Design business in 2012, Yorkshire-born Helen’s collections have their roots in this woodland, especially the birds and hares, her favourite mushrooms and the moonlight.

While much of her work is made in sterling silver, some is designed and carved in silver clay, adding unusual features to the jewellery.

“My imagination is sparked by the woodland and common beyond my studio, wondering what the ancient Bronze Age people did, or the farmers grazing their sheep on the common land, or the Second World War pilots who trained here before going off to fight their battles in the sky,” says Helen. 

“My imagination is sparked by the woodland and common beyond my studio,” says Helen Drye

“I try to imagine those people walking between the trees, through that same mist, in the morning light or the moonlight many years ago. I reflect this as though looking through my windows; ‘windows’ that look through the woodland, the trees and the birds and make you wonder what else is through there.”

Helen, by the way, also runs jewellery-making workshops and wedding ring workshops. More info can be found at info@silver-stonejewellery.co.uk.

TOMORROW: Jill Ford; Danny Knight; Carrie Lyall; Alison Spaven and Kevin McNulty.

Easter activities stay at home as Scarborough museums put fun online

Easter activities organised by Scarborough Museums Trust are going online. Picture: Tony Bartholomew.

SCARBOROUGH Museums Trust is taking its fun Easter activities online.

Amid the Covid-19 lockdown, the trust has had to suspend its usual drop-in activities at the Rotunda Museum, Scarborough Art Gallery and Woodend, instead making them available via its website, scarboroughmuseumstrust.com, and on social media.

From Thursday, April 9, you can have a go at making your own “Roarsome” Easter bonnet to wear with pride.

The Rotunda Museum, Scarborough. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

From Wednesday, April 15, you can gain inspiration from the trust’s springtime artworks and make a flowery print to decorate your home.  

Scarborough Museums Trust’s learning officer, Christine Rostron, says: “All the activities are inspired by our collections and use everyday art materials. 

Scarborough Art Gallery. Picture: Tony Batholomew

“We hope you have fun making things at home and would love to find out how you’re getting on. Please share your creations with us on social media: @Scarboroughmuseums (Facebook), @scarboroughmuseums (Instagram) and @SMTrust (Twitter), using the hashtags #MuseumFromHome #loveScarborough.

“We’re really going to miss seeing all the families and children who normally visit our venues over the holidays. Sending us pictures is great way for us to keep in touch.”

No York Open Studios in April, but all that art still needs a new home, so look here…DAY SEVEN

Fox in the box, by Anna Cook

YORK Open Studios 2020, the chance to meet 144 artists at 100 locations over two April weekends, has been cancelled in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, with doors sadly shut for the April 17 to 19 and April 25 to 26 event, CharlesHutchPress wants to champion the creativity of York’s artists and makers, who would have been showcasing their ceramics, collage, digital, illustration, jewellery, mixed media, painting, print, photography, sculpture and textiles skills.

Each day, in brochure order, five artists who now miss out on the exposure of Open Studios will be given a pen portrait on these pages, because so much art and craft will have been created for the event and still needs a new home. Addresses will not be included at this time.

Academia, by Zosia Olenska

Zosia Olenska, painting

ZOSIA finds inspiration in everyday landscapes, looking to find beauty in our daily surroundings. This translates into “optimistic representational art” across the mediums of pen and ink and acrylic painting.

“Most of all, I would like people to come away from looking at my work feeling in some way uplifted,” says this self-taught artist. “Painting, for me, is a self-reinforcing cycle of noticing the beauty around us, then looking more to find it.”

Zosia Olenska: Likes her art to be uplifting

The daughter of two artists, Zosia came to work as an artist gradually through illustration, developing her practice by experimenting in different media. She has exhibited at the New Light Prize exhibition in North Yorkshire and with the Society of Women Artists at the Mall Galleries, London, in 2018 and 2019. Last year too, she was a heat artist in the Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2019 competition.

In another string to her bow, Zosia designs hand-drawn pen-and-ink illustrations for the eco-friendly Niche Snowboards. Head this way for more info: zosiaolenska.com

Anna Cook: paper cut artist

Anna Cook, paper cuts

ANNA is a self-taught paper cutter with a background in design and printmaking, whose work captures the personalities of the natural world’s inhabitants.

Layering intricately cut sheets of paper that she folds and sculpts and presents in deep box frames, she continually challenges herself to achieve more detail with each piece.

When creating a new design, Anna seeks inspiration from contemporary surface and pattern design and old botanical illustrations, as well as “the magical world of nature”. Contact her via a.cook77@yahoo.co.uk.

Cloisonne enamel lotus bud earrings, by Leesa Rayton Design Plus

Leesa Rayton Design Plus, jewellery

AFTER many years of working in health research, Leesa has made the leap into becoming a full-time jewellery designer. Now a member of the Guild of Enamellers and British Society of Enamellers, she would have been participating in York Open Studios for the first time this month.

“I use time-honoured techniques to design and create unique pieces of jewellery from precious metals, vitreous enamels, gemstones and beads,” she says. “My designs are inspired by architecture and the natural world.”

Leesa Rayton: Inspired by architecture and the natural world

Leesa is always seeking to expand her knowledge and to learn new techniques at York School of Jewellery, where she has studied over the past 12 years.

She is also a director of the Beautiful Splint Company CIC, a Tadcaster business that makes orthotic splints for fingers. Check out leesaraytondesignplus.co.uk.

Blue topaz necklace, by Karen J Ward

Karen J Ward, jewellery

LOOKING to escape the world of finance and return to her passion for creating art, Karen finally found her calling six years ago, re-training with Nik Stanbury and Julie Moss at York School of Jewellery, where she is now based.

Jewellery designer Karen J Ward

Working with precious metals and gemstones and using traditional skills, she first takes elements from her drawings to then transform flat sheets of metal into “beautiful wearable art” inspired by nature’s textures, shapes and curves.

Like Leesa Rayton (see above), she produces orthotic splints for hands, wrists and fingers in her work as co-director of the Beautiful Splint Company.  Head to karenjward.co.uk to discover more.

Mark Azopardi at work in his studio space

Mark Azopardi, painting

MARK works mainly in pure watercolour, on occasion incorporating other media to produce highly detailed paintings and drawings.

His main inspiration comes from the colours and textures of all elements of the natural world, sometimes finding beauty in the simplest of things. Discover him via markazopardi@gmail.com.

A fleet of feathers, by Mark Azopardi

TOMORROW: Ruth Beloe; Milena Dragic; Russell Bailey; Anthony Chappel-Ross and Helen Drye.

No York Open Studios in April, but all that art still needs a new home, so look here…DAY SIX

Emma, photographic portrait, by Claire Cooper

YORK Open Studios 2020, the chance to meet 144 artists at 100 locations over two April weekends, has been cancelled in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, with doors sadly shut for the April 17 to 19 and April 25 to 26 event, CharlesHutchPress wants to champion the creativity of York’s artists and makers, who would have been showcasing their ceramics, collage, digital, illustration, jewellery, mixed media, painting, print, photography, sculpture and textiles skills.

Each day, in brochure order, five artists who now miss out on the exposure of Open Studios will be given a pen portrait on these pages, because so much art and craft will have been created for the event and still needs a new home. Addresses will not be included at this time.

Analogue photographer Claire Cooper

Claire Cooper, photography

CLAIRE’S work explores women represented through the medium of analogue photography, screen print and intaglio printmaking techniques.

“Portraits are special because, by definition, there are at least two people involved in their making: the artist and the sitter,” says Claire.

“Neither has complete control over the other; portraiture becomes a negotiation between parties, a dance of wills that results in a collaboration of sorts.”

Trudy, Hove, 2012, photographed by Claire Cooper

Claire, who completed an BA in Photography in 2000 and an MA in 2013, uses sitters both known and unknown in her experiments with different formats of photographic portraiture.

She has shown work in group shows across the country, and away from photography, she has a background in the community arts sector, predominantly with  DARTS in Doncaster. Find out more via missccooper@gmail.com.

Portrait Of A Friend, by Zoe Catherine Kendal

Zoe Catherine Kendal, painting

ZOE is a multi-disciplinary artist and jewellery maker from a family steeped in artistic pursuits.

Great-granddaughter of Bernard Leach, “the father of British studio pottery”, she  attained a BA in jewellery design from Central Saint Martins, in London, the city where she was raised before moving to York.

Her York Open Studios show would have focused on her paintings: works that combine experimental, abstract approaches with colourful, contemporary representations of portraiture, seascapes and cultural heritage, capturing feeling, narrative and identity across varied material and media. 

Zoe Catherine Kendal: Capturing feeling, narrative and identity

Overall, her experimental practice is material-led, combining pastel and paint on canvas, paper and wood; precious and non-precious metals, ceramics and beads with leather and yarns.

Zoe’s paintings have been exhibited at According To McGee, York, and Bils & Rye, Kirkbymoorside; her jewellery at CoCA at York Art Gallery, Lottie Inch Gallery, York, and Kabiri, Marylebone, London. Cast an eye over her work at zoekendall.com.

Flying Low, by Cathy Denford

Cathy Denford, painting

BROUGHT up with wild nature in New Zealand, Cathy trained and worked as a director in theatre and television in England.

Since settling in York in 1998, fine art has been her strong focus, shaped by initial study in printmaking with Peter Wray and painting with Jane Charlton at York St John University and later at Chelsea College of Arts and the Slade.

First exhibiting at York Open Studios in 2006, she creates oil and mixed-media paintings suggestive of movement, set against stillness, often of birds in landscape.

Cathy Denford: “Movement, set against stillness”

Combining figurative and abstract styles, with elements of Cubism, her work explores space and time passing.

Cathy’s paintings have been shown at galleries in Leeds, Scarborough and Leeds, Zillah Bell in Thirsk and the Norman Rea Gallery and music department at the University of York. More info at cathydenford.info.

Milet plate, by Hacer Ozturk

Hacer Ozturk, ceramics

HACER is a Turkish ceramics and iznik tiles artist from Istanbul, now settled in York, where 2020 would have marked her York Open Studios debut.

Her work combines traditional and contemporary free-style Turkish ceramics, both formed with the same techniques that were first applied thousands of years ago.

Hacer Ozturk: artist and researcher

Latterly, she has started painting, drawing on traditional iznik tile motifs. Aside from her ceramic creativity, she works as a researcher in Istanbul. Seek out hacer.yldiz@gmail.com.

Yorkshire, by Chrissie Dell

Chrissie Dell, printmaking

CHRISSIE is a printmaker inspired by the environment, making multi-layered monoprints, monotypes, collagraphs and Moku-Hanga (Japanese woodcuts).

She uses such techniques as collage, chine collé, viscosity, stencils, natural pigments and materials to create textural prints that interpret the forms, colours and textures of the natural world.  

Chrissie Dell at work in her studio

Growing up in Edinburgh and on the west coast of Scotland, Chrissie first studied printmaking in the early 1970s at the Froebel Institute, London, but only set up her studio in 2013 after further study at Leith School of Art and Edinburgh Printmakers, her studies taking in painting, drawing, artists’ books, printmaking and creative textiles.

Chrissie has exhibited in Edinburgh, as well as at Blossom Street Gallery and Pyramid Gallery in York, and she is a member of York Printmakers and York Art Workers’ Association.

2020 would have been her third participation in York Open Studios. Still in the diary, however, is the York Printmakers Autumn Print Fair at York Cemetery Chapel on September 26 and 27.

TOMORROW: Zosia Olenska; Anna Cook; Leesa Rayton Design; Karen J Ward and Mark Azopardi

No York Open Studios in April, but all that art still needs a new home, so look here…DAY FIVE

A cyclone of cyclists rushing by in Tim Pearce’s painting

YORK Open Studios 2020, the chance to meet 144 artists at 100 locations over two April weekends, has had to be cancelled in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, with doors sadly shut for the April 17 to 19 and April 25 to 26 event, CharlesHutchPress wants to champion the creativity of York’s artists and makers, who would have been showcasing ceramics, collage, digital, illustration, jewellery, mixed media, painting, print, photography, sculpture and textiles.

Each day, in brochure order, five artists who now miss out on the exposure of Open Studios will be given a pen portrait on these pages, because so much art and craft will have been created for the event and still needs a new home. Addresses will not be included at this time.

Tim Pearce with one of his sculptural ceramics

Tim Pearce, mixed media

AFTER a fulfilling career in art education in South Yorkshire schools, Tim latterly has expanded his own creativity to include ceramics as well as painting, all supported by academic degrees in the history of art and the visual arts at MA level.

His paintings and sculptural ceramics are both informed by a Cubist sensitivity to form, colour and rhythm, displayed in studio, house and garden.

Since moving to York eight years ago he has held four solo shows, in addition to exhibiting regularly across Yorkshire with Leeds Fine Artists. Head to timp360@btinternet.com for more info.

Fuselage, by Linda Harvey

Linda Harvey, textiles

INSPIRED by frequent trips to the Yorkshire Air Museum, at Halifax Way, Elvington, York, Linda’s latest work explores rustic textures and pattern in framed textile art pieces, wall hangings and handmade cards.

Linda Harvey: Gaining inspiration from days out at the Yorkshire Air Museum

Linda, who studied textiles and surface design, graduating in 1994, often will work on several pieces at a time and enjoys an expressive and experimental way of working. She layers, rust-dyes, prints and distresses her fabrics and adds embellishments to create abstract one-off pieces.

Linda has taught textiles for more than 20 years and is a member of York Textile Artists. Contact her at lindaharvey18@sky.com or via facebook.com/LindaHarveyTextileArtist.

Furniture maker John Watts in his workshop

John Watts, furniture

JOHN has been designing and making contemporary furniture since 1996 for both private and corporate clients.

Working from a 3,000 sq.ft workshop on the outskirts of York, he uses a wide range of materials, predominately sustainably forested hardwoods from both England and abroad, while often incorporating glass, metals and resins too.

Garden furniture by John Watts

Undertaking domestic and commercial projects, he hand-builds pieces of furniture of longevity and value. “My main aim is to create interesting, individual and well-crafted furniture that satisfies customer requirements,” says John, who has a bespoke service available.

“My design influences are many, having a history in antiques, fashion design and design education,” he adds. To knock on wood, head to johnwattsfurniture.co.uk.

“Design should be fun,” reckons furniture maker Wilf Williams

Wilf Williams, furniture

DESIGN should be fun , interesting, practical and beautiful, says York furniture maker and designer Wilf Williams.

Bristol-born Wilf studied furniture design after moving to York in 1996, since when he has produced hand-made furniture inspired by traditional cabinet making, Scandinavian furniture, contemporary clean lines, modernist architecture and minimalist sculpture and art.

Walnut sideboard, by Wilf Williams

Wilf has worked on all manner of commissions, designing and crafting distinctive, bespoke free-standing and fitted furniture, using a diverse range of materials, predominantly sustainable forested hardwoods. Visit his website at wilfwilliams.co.uk.

Galilee No 3937, collage, by Jerry Scott

Jerry Scott, collage

JERRY constructs small and medium-sized abstract collages from printed paper originated by the artist, then pasted on to cartridge paper, using conservation-grade wheat starch paste. Sometimes, he applies hand-colouring too.

“I started making collages about five years ago, in parallel with painting,” he says. “I’ve always been interested in surface pattern and all sorts of decoration. With the freedom and sophistication of modern digital technology, it is now possible to produce single sheets of high quality, crisp and colour-rich printed papers.” Cue collages.

Collage artist Jerry Scott

Jerry moved to York 33 years ago. Earlier he had studied theology briefly at Cambridge University, then fine art at Norwich School of Art and St Martin’s School of Art, London, where he lived and worked before heading north.

He has a variety of abstract prints for sale too. View his work at jerryscottpaintings.co.uk.

TOMORROW: Claire Cooper; Zoe Catherine Kendal; Cathy Denford; Hacer Ozturk and Chrissie Dell.