IN The Open explores the impact of the Covid-19 public health crisis on artists and their creative practice in an open exhibition at Ryedale Folk Museum, Hutton-le-Hole, near Kirkbymoorside.
In 2021, in a desire to do something positive to support artists as the lockdown restrictions were lifted, the museum and artist Kane Cunningham came together to look at how artists were affected by the pandemic and how it changed their work.
The project finale is the exhibition of artistic responses to the northern landscape, on show in the art gallery and online via the museum’s website, ryedalefolkmuseum.co.uk, until Sunday, November 14.
Funded by Arts Council England and selected by a panel featuring curator Jennifer Smith, photographer Joe Cornish, painter Kane Cunningham and ceramic artist Layla Khoo, In the Open assembles paintings, photographs, ceramics and textiles by more than 80 professional, amateur and hobby artists who have turned to the landscape for inspiration.
Museum director Jennifer Smith says: “We are absolutely delighted by the quality and variety of entries. It is encouraging to witness the broad range of people turning to art to express their feelings about landscape and countryside during the pandemic. It has been my great pleasure to bring these individual perspectives together.”
Museum staff also invited entrants to submit an accompanying piece of writing, reflecting on the effects of the events of the past 18 months on their artistic practice.
“Many artists have taken the opportunity to discuss the role that their art has played in their lives during this time, supporting them through the lockdowns in a range of really significant ways,” explains Jennifer.
As well as showcasing art produced during lockdown, a central aim of In The Open was to provide a platform for artists to speak openly and share their experiences.
“During the selection process, we had a strong sense of the therapeutic aspects of making art, as well as the benefits of spending time out of doors,” says Jennifer.
“It’s very moving to learn how much both their artwork and the countryside have meant to artists in these times. Some artists have contributed very personal reflections. Taken together, they are poignant, touching and capture a particular moment in time.
Ryedale Folk Museum is open from 10am to 5pm in September, then 10am to 4pm in October and November. For more information, go to: ryedalefolkmuseum.co.uk/art-gallery/
The In The Open artists:
Garth Bayley; Sandra Storey; Nerissa Cargill Thompson; Kevin Parker; Adele Froude; Gaby Lees; Jennifer Cottis; Diana Terry; Freya Horsley; Rebekah Staples; Andrew Dalton; Anna Matyus; Rachel Morrell; Margaret Geraghty.
Emma Paragreen; Jane Wilson; Sarah Roberts; Tim Bos; Zara Browne-Gilbert; Debra Snow; Gigi Dyer; Jill Setterington; Susan Noble; Annie Louvaine; Diane Eagles; Heather Burton; Rebecca Hughes; Jane Walker.
Ernest Newton; David Hope; Louise Ventris; Katy Doncaster; Sue Slack; Jane Taylor; Tessa Bunney; Sarah Connell; Nick Walters; Iona Stock; Catherine Hill; Peter Hicks; Kirsty Davis; Francesca Simon; Janine Baldwin; Alice O’Neill.
Chris Carbro; Judith Pollock; Colin Culley; Sarah Cawthray; Alex McArthur; Sarah Billany; Angela Summerfield; Louise Gardner; Claire Castle; Marion Atkinson; Sandra Oakins; Teddi Coutts; Lucy Saggers; Christian Bailey.
Natalie McKeown; Stef Mitchell; Ken Clarry; Kimberli Werner; Louise Goult; Alina Savko; Louise Lorimer; Lesley Wood, Christine Heath; June Appleton; Joe Cornish; Joan Currie; Alison Britton; Susan Plover; Rob Moore.
Caroline Clarke Green; Simon Dobbs; Louise Harrison; Jean Stephenson; Simon Thurlow; Kane Cunningham; Lindsey Tyson; Judith Glover; Margaret Robson; Fran Brammer; Sally Lister; Amelia Baron and Wendy Tate.