FORESTRY England will exhibit a selection of Earth Photo images in Dalby Forest, near Pickering, from June 28 to September 19.
The outdoor exhibition will display 24 of the final shortlisted entries in the beautiful forest setting of Staindale.
Earth Photo, an international competition and exhibition created by Forestry England and the Royal Geographical Society, in tandem with the Institute of British Geographers, showcases photographs and videos that document the natural world, both its beauty and ever-growing fragility.
The selection of images encompasses the Earth Photo categories: People, Place, Nature and Changing Forests. A Climate of Change, the competition’s newest category, marks the United Nations climate-change summit COP26, to be held in Glasgow in November.
Petra Young, Forestry England’s funding and development manager for the Yorkshire district, says: “We’re delighted to be once again one of three of the nation’s forests hosting the selected Earth Photo exhibition. This is a crucial year to shine a light on the natural world, our relationship with it and how we can better support it.
“COP26 will focus minds on the pressing issues that face our environment. The last year showed so many of us just how much we value and need nature to restore our wellbeing. Being able to see these Earth Photo images in the heart of Dalby Forest is a very special experience and we welcome everyone to visit safely and see them.”
This is the latest exhibition in Dalby Forest’s arts programme to showcase art that interprets the landscape, wildlife, heritage and people, created by Yorkshire, national and international artists.
The full Earth Photo exhibition will share the June 28 opening date at the Royal Geographical Society, Kensington Gore, South Kensington, London, for a run until the end of August before touring Forestry England forests at Moors Valley in Dorset and Grizedale in Cumbria.
Category winners and the overall winner will be announced on August 19 at an awards event at the Royal Geographical Society. More information on the Dalby Forest exhibition can found at: forestryengland.uk/forest-event/events-dalby-forest/earth-photo-exhibition-2021-dalby-forest.
Did you know?
FORESTRY England, England’s largest land manager, cares for the nation’s 1,500 woods and forests, drawing more than 230 million visits per year.
THE STORY BEHIND ROSIE HALLAM’S EARTH PHOTO EXHIBIT, A RIGHT TO AN EDUCATION…
“EVERY child has the right to go to school,” says Irina Bokova, director-general of UNESCO. “It is the responsibility of all of us to make sure that happens.”
UNESCO contends that education is both a basic human right and a smart investment, being vital for development and helping to lay the foundations for social well-being, economic growth and security, gender equality and peace.
Education is the frontline of defence in tackling diseases such as Ebola, by teaching children about how they can protect themselves and their families.
Rosie’s photograph captures the story of 14-year-old Selamaw, the first person in her family to stay on at school past primary age. Her parents, Marco and Meselech, are subsistence farmers in a village near Aleta Chuko, Sidamo, Ethiopia.
They are part of a programme designed to help children from the poorest Ethiopian families remain in school while assisting the mothers to set up a business with a seed fund made up of a small donation and savings.
While Selamaw goes to school, her mother, Meselech, is learning literacy and numeracy skills and attending business classes. She hopes to set up a business selling crops and flour.
Through this programme, Meselech aims to earn enough money to keep Selamaw in school and to allow her other children to receive an education, eventually breaking their cycle of poverty.
POCKLINGTON Arts Centre will reopen to the public on July 20 and film screenings will re-start on July 23, 491 days since the last performance.
Director Janet Farmer and venue manager James Duffy have chosen this date to ensure the safety of customers and volunteers.
“Over the past few months, our main focus has been planning the safe reopening of the building, ensuring all staff are trained appropriately and making sure the venue has all its new systems, resources and processes in place and working well,” says Janet.
“We have sought feedback from staff, volunteers and customers and this will be vital to the success of this process. Our main aim is to ensure the visitor experience at Pocklington Arts Centre (PAC) is safe, secure and enjoyable.”
In late-March 2020, the East Yorkshire venue launched a crowdfunding page, raising more than £18,000 in under a month, followed by successful funding applications to the Smile Foundation’s I Am Fund and the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.
Janet says: “I would like to thank our customers, in addition to Pocklington Town Council, the Friends of PAC, the Smile Foundation, Arts Council England and the Music Venue Trust for their collective support over the past year.
“It has been a very difficult time for everyone, but their kind words, financial support and continued interest in all things PAC has meant a great deal and helped carry the venue through these extraordinary times.”
Staff have rescheduled forthcoming events for the autumn and winter, transferring more than 4,000 tickets and refunding customers for 20-plus cancelled events.
“Throughout the closure period, we have stated our determination to emerge from the situation more vibrant than ever and our autumn and winter programme is a testament to that,” says Janet.
“2021/22 will see a fantastic range of live events being staged here, alongside our trademark diverse mix of film screenings, live broadcasts, exhibitions, community events and private hires.”
In the diary are Grammy Award winner Loudon Wainwright III, September 24; Northumberland Theatre Company (NTC) in Oscar Wilde’s “trivial comedy for serious people”, The Importance Of Being Earnest, September 30; North Eastern gypsy folk-rockers Holy Moly & The Crackers, October 16; Oxford singer-songwriter Thea Gilmore, October 7, and Irish jazz/blues chanteuse Mary Coughlan, October 19.
Bellowhead alumni and BBC Radio Folk Award winners Spiers & Boden are booked in for October 20; Red Ladder Theatre Company, from Leeds, in Nana-Kofi Kufuor’s My Voice Was Heard But Was Ignored, for November 25; television and radio broadcaster and author Jeremy Vine, November 26; Welsh singer-songwriter Martyn Joseph, December 2, and York drag diva deluxe Velma Celli, December 3.
Confirmed for 2022 are An Evening With Julian Norton, from Channel 5’s The Yorkshire Vet, January 18; singer-songwriter Teddy Thompson, January 22;Welsh guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and former Amen Corner cornerstone Andy Fairweather Low, February 11, and Eighties’ pop singer and actress ToyahWillcox, March 3.
PAC’s two open-air acoustic concerts in Primrose Wood, Pocklington, with Martin Simpson and Katie Spencer on July 1 and The Dunwells and Rachel Croft on July 8 will go ahead despite the Government’s Step 4 roadmap delay, but now under social-distancing restrictions. Both 7pm shows have sold out.
Janet says: “We always knew this was a possibility when the shows were first planned and there’s sufficient space for people to enjoy the event safely, while experiencing the atmospheric setting of Primrose Wood.”
PAC increased its online artistic output during the pandemic, staging 18 events to more than 9,000 audience members.
In addition, a series of outdoor exhibitions has been held by PAC across the region. York artists Sue Clayton and Karen Winship have shown work at All Saints’ Church, Pocklington, and Sue will be following Karen into Hull Waterside and Marina. Those attending the York Vaccination Centre at Askham Bar can see her Down Syndrome portraits in the Tent of Hope.
“We felt it was vitally important to have continued customer engagement throughout the prolonged closure period and the public response to these events and exhibitions has been very positive,” says Janet.
“We’re also very much aware there’s no substitute to watching a live performance, in person, and sharing this experience with fellow audience members.
“Everyone at PAC is now counting down the days until the doors can reopen and we can welcome customers back. It’s been a very long interval and we can’t wait for the second half to begin.”
For full event listings and ticket details, go to: pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.
FREEDOM Day is delayed but Boris Johnson has reached for the Latin dictionary again with his promise of “Terminus Est”. Meanwhile, back in the real world, life goes on in Charles Hutchinson’s socially distanced diary.
Play of the week ahead: Miss Julie, The Love Season at York Theatre Royal, June 22 to 26
ON the Chinese New Year in 1940s’ Hong Kong, the celebrations are in full swing when Julie, the daughter of the island’s British governor, crashes the servant’s party downstairs.
What starts as a game descends into a fight for survival as sex, power, money and race collide on a hot night in the Pearl River Delta in British-Hong Kong playwright Amy Ng’s adaptation of Strindberg’s psychological drama in New Earth Theatre and Storyhouse’s new touring production. Box office: 01904 623568 or atyorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Reopening of the day: Leeds Grand Theatre
WHEN Leeds Grand Theatre first opened its doors on Monday, November 18 1878, a playbill declared it would “Positively Open”. Now, after 15 months under wraps, it is “Positively Reopening” today (17/62021) for a socially distanced run of Northern Ballet’s Swan Lake until June 26.
In Northern Ballet‘s emotive retelling, Anthony’s life is haunted by guilt after the tragic loss of his brother. When he finds himself torn between two loves, he looks to the water for answers.
There he finds solace with the mysterious swan-like Odette as the story is beautifully reimagined by David Nixon, who will be leaving the Leeds company after 20 years as artistic director in December. Box office: 0113 243 0808 or at boxoffice@leedsheritagetheatres
Staying on track: Sounds In The Grounds, Clocktower Enclosure, York Racecourse, June 25 to 27
JAMBOREE Entertainment presents three Covid safety-compliant Sounds In The Grounds concerts next weekend with socially distanced picnic patches at York Racecourse.
First up, next Friday, will be Beyond The Barricade, a musical theatre celebration starring former Les Miserables principals; followed by Abba Mania next Saturday and the country hits of A Country Night In Nashville next Sunday.
Opening each show will be York’s party, festival and wedding favourites, The New York Brass Band. Tickets are on sale at soundsinthegrounds.seetickets.com or at the gate for last-minute decision makers.
Welcome back: York River Art Market, Dame Judi Dench Walk, York, from June 26
AFTER the pandemic ruled out all last year’s live events, York River Art Market returns to its riverside railing perch at Dame Judi Dench Walk, by Lendal Bridge, for ten shows this summer in the wake of the winter’s online #YRAMAtHome, organised by Charlotte Dawson.
Free to browse and for sale will be work by socially distanced, indie emerging and established artists on June 26, July 3, 24, 25 and 31 and August 1, 7, 14, 21 and 28, from 10.30am to 5.30pm, when YRAM will be raising funds for York Rescue Boat.
On show will be landscape and abstract paintings; ink drawings, cards and prints; jewellery and glass mosaics; woodwork and metalwork; textiles and clothing and artisan candles and beauty products.
He’s nervous, but why? Alexander Wright: Remarkable Acts Of Narcissism, Theatre At The Mill, Stillington, near York, July 10, 7.30pm
LET Alex tell the story: “In a potentially remarkable act of narcissism, I am doing a solo gig of my own work in a theatre I built (with Phil Grainger and dad Paul Wright) in my back garden.
“It’s the first time I have ever done a solo gig. I write lots of stuff, direct lots of stuff, tour Orpheus, Eurydice & The Gods to hundreds of places. But I’ve never really stood in front of people and performed my own stuff, on my own, for an extended period. So, now, I am…and I’m nervous about it.”
Expect beautiful stories, beautiful poems and a few beautiful special guests; tickets via atthemill.org.
Summer “pantomime”? Yes, in TaleGate Theatre’s Goldlilocks And The Three Bears, Pocklington Arts Centre, August 12, 2.30pm
ALL the fun of live family theatre returns to Pocklington Arts Centre this summer with Doncaster company TaleGate Theatre’s big top pantomime extravaganza.
In Goldilocks And The Three Bears, pop songs, magic and puppets combine in a magical adventure where you are invited to help Goldilocks and her mum, Dame Dolly Donut, save their circus and rescue the three bears from the evil ringmaster. For tickets, go to: pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.
Festival alert: The Magpies Festival, Sutton Park, Sutton-on-the-Forest, near York, August 14, music on bar stage from 1.30pm; main stage, from 2.30pm
SAM Kelly & The Lost Boys will headline The Magpies Festival in the grounds of Sutton Park.
Confirmed for the folk-flavoured line-up too are: Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra; Blair Dunlop; fast-rising Katherine Priddy; The Magpies; York musician Dan Webster; East Yorkshire singer-songwriter Katie Spencer; the duo Roswell and The People Versus. Day tickets and camping tickets are available atthemagpiesfestival.co.uk/tickets.
Fun and games combined: JLA Productions in Twelfth Night, Selby Rugby Union Football Club, August 20, 7.30pm; August 21, 2.30pm, 7.30pm
“I’M just getting in touch to announce we’re doing some Shakespeare on a rugby pitch in Selby in August. Crazy? Perhaps. But it’s going to be fun!” promises Luke Adamson, Selby-born actor, London theatre boss and son of former England squad fly half Ray.
Adapted and directed by Adamson, a raucous, musical version of “Shakespeare’s funniest play”, Twelfth Night, will be staged with Adamson as Sir Andrew Aguecheek in a cast Yorkshire acting talent.
Out go pantaloons and big fluffy collars, in come rugby socks, cricket jumpers and questionable facial hair. Box office: jlaproductions.co.uk.
BE pepped up by the one and only arts club badinage from Two Big Egos In A Small car podcasters Chalmers & Hutch, as they discuss Grewelthorpe’s jewel, the Himalayan Gardens; Velma Celli’s Drag Brunch; Metronomy’s English Riviera landmark; the “Top 20 Most Inspirational Novels”; York’s strange version of The Masked Singer and Cruella & Disney reboots.
EUROS 2020? What Euro 2020? The sun is out and so is Charles Hutchinson’s diary as he points you in the direction of curious CBeebies favourites, acoustic concerts, a dockyard Romeo & Juliet, a large painting, Clough v Leeds United and more ideas aplenty.
Children’s show of the week: Twirlywoos Live!, York Theatre Royal, tomorrow at 1.30pm and 4pm; Saturday, Sunday, 10am and 2pm
TOODLOO, Great BigHoo, Chick and Peekaboo set sail for York on board their Big Red Boat for their Theatre Royal theatrical adventure Twirlywoos Live!.
Curious, inquisitive and eager to learn about the world, these small, bird-like characters from the CBeebies television factory will be brought to life with inventive puppetry, mischief, music and plenty of surprises.
Written by Zoe Bourn, the 55-minute show is recommended for ages 1+; babes in arms are welcome too. Box office: 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Outdoor gigs of the week ahead: Songs Under Skies 2, National Centre for Early Music churchyard, York June 14 to 16
SONGS Under Skies returns to the NCEM’s glorious gardens at St Margaret’s Church, Walmgate, York, for acoustic double bills by Katie Spencer and Joshua Burnell on June 14, Zak Ford and Alice Simmons, June 15, and Epilogues and Sunflower Thieves, June 16.
As with last September’s debut series, season two of the open-air, Covid-safe concerts is presented by the NCEM in tandem with The Crescent community venue, the Fulford Arms and the Music Venues Alliance.
Gates open at 6.30pm for each 7pm to 8.30pm concert with a 30-minute interval between sets. Tickets must be bought in advance, either in “pods” for family groups or as individuals at tickets.ncem.co.uk.
Biggest painting of the week award: Corrina Rothwell’s Subterranea Nostalgia, in The Cacophany Of Ages at Pyramid Gallery, York, until July 1
CORRINA Rothwell’s exhibition of abstract works features the largest canvas painting in the near-30 years that Terry Brett has run Pyramid Gallery in York.
“Subterranea Nostalgia measures 1600mm by 1600mm. That was fun, getting it upstairs!” says Terry, whose gallery is housed in a National Trust-owned 15th century building in Stonegate. “The painting has a real impact. If you know anyone with really big walls, it would be perfect for them!”
Nottingham artist Corrina favours mixed media and acrylic on canvas for the paintings, on show at Pyramid and online at pyramidgallery.com.
Football, football, football, not on the box but in a theatre: Red Ladder Theatre Company in The Damned United, York Theatre Royal, June 16
THE choice is yours: Italy versus Switzerland at the Euro 2020 on ITV at 8pm or the inner workings of Brian Clough’s troubled mind at Elland Road in 1974 at York Theatre Royal, kick-off 7.30pm.
Adapted from Yorkshireman David Peace’s biographical novel by Anders Lustgarten, The Damned United is a psychodrama that deconstructs Old Big ‘Ead’s 44 days as manager of Leeds United, whose Don Revie-tutored players he despised as much as they loathed him.
The double act of Luke Dickson’s flawed Clough and David Chafer’s avuncular Peter Taylor are joined by Jamie Smelt as everyone else in a story of sweat and booze, fury and power struggles, demons and defeats.
Festival of the month: York Festival of Ideas 2021, running until June 20
THIS year marks the tenth anniversary of York’s bright idea of a festival dedicated to educating, entertaining and inspiring.
Under the banner of Infinite Horizons to reflect the need to adapt to pandemic, the Festival of Ideas is presenting a diverse programme of more than 150 free online and in-person events.
The best idea, when needing more info on the world-class speakers, performances, family activities and walking trails, is to head to yorkfestivalofideas.com/2021/.
Outdoor play outside York announcement of the month: Hull Truck Theatre in Romeo & Juliet, Stage@The Dock, Hull, July 15 to August 7
AFTER John Godber Company’s Moby Dick completes its run at the converted Hull dry dockyard this Saturday, next comes Hull Truck Theatre’s al-fresco staging of Shakespeare’s tragic love story.
The title roles in Romeo & Juliet will be played by Hull-born husband and wife Jordan Metcalfe and Laura Elsworthy, who appeared in The Hypocrite and The Last Testament Of Lillian Bilocca in 2017 as part of Hull’s year as UK City of Culture celebrations.
Metcalfe and Elsworthy, who married in the summer of 2018 after bonding when working on The Hypocrite, will play a stage couple for the first time, performing on a traverse stage to emphasise Verona’s divided society. Box office: hulltruck.co.uk.
Looking ahead to the autumn: Wise Children in Emma Rice’s Wuthering Heights, York Theatre Royal, November 8 to 20
EMMA Rice’s Wise Children company is teaming up with the National Theatre, York Theatre Royal and the Bristol Old Vic for her elemental stage adaptation of Emily Bronte’s Yorkshire moorland story of love, vengeance and redemption.
In an intoxicating revenge tragedy for our time shot through with music, dance, passion and hope, Rice’s company of performers and musicians will be led by Lucy McCormick’s Cathy.
“Emboldened and humbled by the enforced break, I feel truly lucky,” says Rice. “I cannot wait to get back to doing what I love most and to share this thrilling and important piece with the world. It’s time.”
Veterinary appointment in 2022: An Evening With Julian Norton, Pocklington Arts Centre, January 18
JULIAN Norton, author, veterinary surgeon and star of Channel 5’s The Yorkshire Vet, will share amusing anecdotes from his work with animals in North Yorkshire, bringing to life all the drama and humour in the daily routine of a rural vet.
Following in the footsteps of James Herriot author Alf Wight, Norton has spent most of his working life in Thirsk. His latest book, All Creatures: Heart-warming Tales From A Yorkshire Vet, was published in March. Box office: pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.
ARTHUR Kleinjan has won the 2021 Aesthetica Art Prize Main Prize and Juliana Kasumu, the Emerging Prize, in York.
The winners were announced in a virtual private view and awards ceremony online, ahead of the public opening of the exhibition at York Art Gallery, Exhibition Square, that will run until September 5.
Both artists’ moving-image works question the world in which we live, diving into some of today’s most pressing topics, from the construction of complex identities to notions of truth and storytelling.
Dutchman Kleinjan’s winning work is Above Us Only Sky, a compelling film wherein a narrator leads the viewer into a magical-realist history bereft of fabrication. The story begins with an investigation into a plane crash in communist Czechoslovakia, when one woman survived after an unlikely fall from the air.
“This event becomes the point of entry to a dense web of seemingly unrelated events that question the logic of chance and synchronicity,” says Aesthetica Art Prize director Cherie Federico.
Technical gremlins with the sound prevented Kleinjan from making an acceptance speech from his home, but he could be seen on screen, cupping his hands in thanks, making heart signs and giving thumbs-ups.
British-Nigerian artist Kasumu’s winning Emerging work, What Does The Water Taste Like?, was prompted by intimate conversations, “questioning the production of identity as it relates to her own personal affiliations with the complex ways where past and present remain in constant dialogue”.
“This engages in interpersonal speculation regarding identity production and sentiments of ‘home’,” says Cherie. “Juliana’s work presents perspectives on the intimacy between kith and kin.”
“I’m honoured, I’m excited, I’m grateful, so excited that the project is being seen in this way, as it’s so meaningful, not just to me, but to my family,” said Juliana, in her digital livestream interview with Cherie, later revealing she happened to be “in York right now”.
What inspired Juliana’s artist film? “My practice has been such a long journey of questioning, asking questions and wanting to resolve my feelings about my identity as a British Nigerian, the disconnection, when I’m here, or in Nigeria, or travelling the world,” she replied.
Kasumu is resolving her journey to her identity, such as the matter of her name, and trying to understand that path as a “second generation child of two immigrant parents”. “Even people who are not second generation will understand it,” she said.
The straightening of hair was central to the film, noted Cherie. “I guess for me, in retrospect, I feel that even in the pain and the frustration, there is also love,” Juliana said. “You will see she [the mother] is nurturing the hair as a labour of love, even though the things that have brought it about are painful. There is a tenderness that can exist, where love can exist, but pain can also exist.”
What’s next for Juliana? “I’m in post-production for a short documentary I made in New Orleans about this amazing woman who runs the Baby Bangz hair salon [at 223, N. Rendon Street],” she said.
Cherie describes the Aesthetica Art Prize as a place of discovery, sculpting the future of the art sector through supporting the most talented new practitioners from across the globe, from the UK to the USA, Italy to Norway, Germany to Brazil, Singapore to Mexico, Taiwan to Australia: “trailblazers who digest the very nature of life in the 21st century, further questioning and making sense of a rapidly changing world”.
In all, more than 4,000 artworks were submitted for the 2021 prize; 125 entrants making the long list; 20, the short list of “new luminaries and chroniclers of our times”, chosen for their originality, skill and technical ability for the exhibition at York Art Gallery.
Cherie says: “Life was complicated before Covid-19, and the pandemic has placed a new set of constraints and challenges on society. The question that runs through all of our minds like a ticker tape is: ‘where do we go from here?’
“The winning works are just that: a call to action. These works are covering themes such as the climate crisis, colonial histories, racism, new technologies and the impact they have on our lives. Both Juliana Kasumu and Arthur Kleinjan draw on personal and universal narratives, with immediate artworks that reflect on the times in which we live.”
Hosted by the York-published international art magazine Aesthetica, the Aesthetica Art Prize was set up 14 years ago to provide a platform for those redefining the parameters of contemporary art.
It has since supported practitioners to gain funding, residencies and commissions, while finalists have featured in exhibitions at The Photographers’ Gallery, V&A, MoMA, Barbican and the National Portrait Gallery, in London. Winners receive prize money, exhibition and publication opportunities , plus further opportunities for development.
The 2021 shortlisted artists with work on show at York Art Gallery are: Kleinjan; Kasumu; Monica Alcazar-Duarte; Andrew Leventis; Chris Combs; James Tapscott; Alice Duncan and Cesar & Lois Collective; Carlos David; Seb Agnew; Kitoko Diva; Christiane Zschommler; Henny Burnett; Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard; David Brandy; Shan Wu; Cathryn Shilling; Dirk Hardy; Gabriel Hensche and Erwin Redl.
The work spans painting and drawing; photography and digital art; three-dimensional design and sculpture; installation, performance and video art. As with each year, the selected pieces push the boundaries of form and genre, inspiring viewers to see the world in new ways.
“Their works cover pressing themes, from the climate crisis and colonial histories to racist bias and new technologies,” says Cherie.
“The pieces draw on both personal and universal narratives, unearthing the intricate layers of what it means to be alive today. These works are immediate, compelling and highly relevant works reflecting on a new zeitgeist.”
Among the featured artists, Kitoko Diva’s The Black Man In The Cosmos is a poetic and experimental art film created as a part of a video installation, mixing new forms of Afrofuturism, cyberspace imagery and poetry, that addresses the contemporary identity crisis issue among European Afro-descendants.
Henny Burnett’s 365 Days Of Plastic takes a critical look at plastic consumption, moulding a year’s worth of packaging into sculptures that comprise a four by three-metre wall. “The scale of food packaging, recycling and waste disposal is there to be seen in plain view,” says Cherie.
Andrew Leventis’s Freezer Box (Vanitas) and Refrigerator (Vanitas) tap into the material realities of the Covid-19 pandemic. His paintings transform Dutch vanitas into 21st century works that consider the experience of mass panic and how the idea of “stocking up” on items became crucial, almost primal, in a notion to survive.
Monica Alcazar-Duarte’s photography series, Second Nature, looks at how algorithms are used, through search engine technology, to support and maintain biased thinking. “These images are an amalgamation of re-staged moments from stories of discrimination gathered from algorithmic search results on the internet,” says Cherie.
In Gabriel Hensche’s Almost Heaven, the artist performs and dances to a song he does not like, Take Me Home, Country Roads. “The result is unnerving and unsettling; the piece demonstrates a perpetual layer of disconnect that we experience through the lens and daily on the internet,” says Cherie.
Reflecting on running such a prestigious prize, the director says: “I’m honoured to have the opportunity to engage with, and support, so much talent. Every day, I am inspired by these artists. I can only thank them for giving me the opportunity to experience such captivating work.
“Curating this year’s exhibition was infinitely rewarding. The process is rigorous because there are so many talented artists that apply.”
Cherie told the awards-ceremony online audience she ‘could not tell you’ how happy she was that the show would be opening in “real life”. “I’m talking tears of joy,” she said. “It’s just so wonderful to be able to put these works on display at York Art Gallery for the world to see.
“Art is the mechanism by which we can begin to make sense of the world. If there has ever been a time that we need art in our lives, it is now. The world has been permanently changed by the pandemic. We are living history.
“This is the moment that will alter the way we live, communicate, work, play, socialise, travel, experience the joys of culture, forever.”
In many ways, the pandemic has opened up a new set of possibilities, suggested Cherie: “I lament the loss of some things, while other changes, I welcome. It’s the permanent sense of the real and virtual, the ease and unease, presence and absence. I feel so emotional when I see footage of life in 2019; I well up and my brain starts to access the enormity of the situation.
“I work through all the details. The fears, anxiety and worry. These are feelings that are going to take a long time to understand.”
On the one hand, Cherie had to slow down in the three lockdowns; on the other, ironically, she found she had to “speed right up”. “Life was about finding a new balance. It was strange and odd, but I’ve learned so much,” she said.
“Art is the thing that holds everything together for me. It’s what helps me to work through the sense, anxiety and worry. Art reminds me of our humanity, encourages me to take risks and bold steps forward.
“I see this as a chance to improve, to take this experience and do something with it: rebuild a better, greener and equal society. These are noble aspirations, I know, but the opportunity is here and waiting for all of us to act upon.”
Nothing happens without action, asserted Cherie, pointing to the exhibition being a rallying call. “So much of it focuses on the very fabric of our lives and the possibilities that are there for the future,” she said.
“The thing about this pandemic is that it has affected every single person on planet Earth. Just think about that for a moment. We have had this enormous shared experience – and there is something very special about that. In many ways, it means you are not alone, and with that comes great comfort.”
Summing up the exhibition, Cherie posits: “The shortlisted artists speak to each other about what it means to be here, in this moment. The dialogue is robust, urgent and necessary. Race and identity are key themes.”
The Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition runs at York Art Gallery until September 5. Tickets are free but booking is essential at yorkartgallery.org.uk.
The 2021 Aesthetica Art Prize anthology, Future Now: 125 Contemporary Artists, is available to order for £12.95 at shop.aestheticamagazine.com/collections/future-now-collection/products/future-now-2021
Entries are open already for the 2022 prize at aestheticamagazine.com/artprize/submit.
CORRINA Rothwell’s abstract work Subterranea Nostalgia is the largest ever painting to be exhibited at Pyramid Gallery in curator Terry Brett’s near-30 years in York.
“It measures 1600mm by 1600mm. That was fun, getting it upstairs!” says Terry, whose gallery is housed in a National Trust-owned 15th century building in Stonegate. “The painting has a real impact. If you know anyone with REALLY big walls, it would be perfect for them!”
Nottingham artist Corrina favours mixed media and acrylic on canvas for the abstract paintings assembled under the title of The Cacophony Of Ages, both on the first floor and stairs at Pyramid and online until July 1.
In her words, Corrina’s works are “expressive, evocative abstract landscape paintings with a sense of yearning, balancing chaos with order, light with dark, the hidden with the visible, history with modernity and beauty with decay”.
“Corrina has been practising art for more than 25 years,” says Terry. “Brought up by artist parents, she worked in digital illustration and design and before that she was a textile artist, selling machine-embroidered artworks.
“That explains the dress patterns that appear in her artwork, juxtaposed with industrial and derelict buildings from her childhood growing up in Lancashire and then Nottingham.
“These dramatic, bold paintings with handwriting, dress patterns, urban photos and the occasional splash of gold leaf would be perfect for any space.”
Corrina has been an artist for most of her adult life. “An aborted attempt at academia saw me leaving my European Studies degree in my second year at Hull University in 1989, and I never did get round to doing an art qualification,” she says.
“However, I was raised by artist parents, so art was pretty much instilled in me from a very early age. Until recently, I was working as a digital illustrator, designing and publishing my own successful greeting cards range. Before this, I practised for 14 years as a textile artist, exhibiting and selling machine-embroidered artworks nationally and internationally.”
Corrina has always loved using paint. “I’ve dipped and out of it over the years, but never pursued it with any consistency, but I believe now that painting is my true calling,” she says.
“I feel more at home and more myself creatively than I have done for a long time. Ultimately, I’m a ‘hands on’ kind of artist, and while I enjoyed digital illustration, the desire to get my hands dirty was too great to ignore in the end.”
Over the past few years, her work has evolved rapidly as she figured out what she wanted to say as a painter. “Initially I was essentially painting illustrations, which didn’t work,” she says. “I moved away from figurative work and began focusing on abstract shape and colour, which felt quite uncomfortable and alien to me, having always worked with a narrative.
“Still, I continued to trust my intuition and gradually became more at ease with producing artwork without a story. Ultimately, however, that lack of narrative has proved itself to be something – subconsciously – I couldn’t ignore.”
So much so, without intent, buildings have started to appear in Corrina’s work. “I say without intent because I didn’t plan to use them. I just answered an urge to put them there,” she explains.
“I’m particularly drawn to old factories and urban industrial landscapes and, given that I grew up in the cotton-mill county of Lancashire, it doesn’t take a genius to work out where this attraction comes from.
“I’m becoming more involved in this concept of history and narrative, which has emerged out of my subconscious and into my artwork, and it’s leading to paintings which I feel good about in my soul, which satisfy me on a deep level. It’s a rich seam to mine, and the exciting thing is that I’ve only just begun!”
Don’t forget, Corrina’s “contemporary, nostalgic and thought provoking” paintings in The Cacophony Of Ages can be viewed online too at pyramidgallery.com .
“This exciting collection flows beautifully both online and at the gallery,” says Terry. “It’s such a formidable show.”
Pyramid Gallery is open Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm; Saturdays, 10am to 5.30pm; Sundays, 12.30m to 4.30pm, but first text Tery Brett on 07805 029 254 to check a specific Sunday opening.
FROM circus at York Theatre Royal, to Moby Dock on a Hull dry dock, Benedetti in Pickering to Riding Lights on film, Charles Hutchinson enjoys his ever busier perch to spot what’s happening.
Circus in town: Ockham’s Razor in This Time, The Love Season, York Theatre Royal, June 8 and 9, 8pm
CIRCUS theatre company Ockham’s Razor’s This Time is a show about time, age and the stories we tell ourselves, presented by a cast ranging in age from 13 to 60.
Circus and aerial skills, autobiographical storytelling and original equipment combine in a visual theatre piece that looks at love, support and struggle in families, alongside perceptions of strength and ability: how we are strong in different ways at different times in our lives.
Festival residency of the summer: Nicola Benedetti: Live and In Person, Ryedale Festival 40th Anniversary Launch Concert, Pickering Parish Church, tomorrow (4/6/2021), 4pm and 8pm
TOMORROW, in-person music making returns to Ryedale Festival at Pickering Parish Church, when Scottish-Italian violinist Nicola Benedetti opens her 2021 festival residency by launching the Live and In Person series.
She will join her regular chamber music partners, cellist Leonard Elschenbroich and pianist Alexei Grynyuk, to perform one of Beethoven’s wittiest and most loveable works and an inspired piano trio by Brahms.
Outdoor play of the month: Moby Dick, John Godber Company, Stage@The Dock, next to The Deep, Hull, until June 12
JOHN Godber and Nick Lane’s radical reworking of Herman Melville’s epic novel, Moby Dick, is being staged in Hull’s dry dock amphitheatre by an East Yorkshire cast of eight from the John Godber Company
Adhering to Covid-safe rules, and with a playing time of 70 minutes and no interval, this fast-paced physical production transports socially distanced audiences to the deck of Captain Ahab’s ship the Pequod in his catastrophic battle with the monster white whale, Moby Dick.
Godber’s production references Hull’s global importance as a port, its former prowess as a whaling centre and contemporary conservation issues of conservation.
“Film” of the week: Riding Lights Theatre Company in Pericles, York International Shakespeare Festival, online, tomorrow (4/6/2021) to Sunday
YORK company Riding Lights present their sparkling, streamlined, 80-minute theatre-on-film performance of a lesser-known but still gripping Shakespeare work, Pericles, The Prince Of Tyre, online.
In a “perilous voyage through the storms of life”, brave adventurer Pericles sets off to win the girl on everyone’s lips. Uncovering a sinister truth, he plunges into a rolling surge of events that leaves him broken, gasping for life.
Topical themes of abuse of power, desperate crossings of the Mediterranean and sex trafficking ensure this extraordinary saga sails uncomfortably close to home. For tickets, go to ridinglights.org/pericles.
York gig announcement of the week: Roger Taylor, Outsider Tour, York Barbican, October 5.
QUEEN legend Roget Taylor will play York Barbican as the only Yorkshire show of his “modest” 14-date Outsider tour this autumn.
In a “surprise announcement”, rock drummer Taylor, 71, confirmed he would be on the road from October 2 to 22. “This is my modest tour,” he says. “I just want it to be lots of fun, very good musically, and I want everybody to enjoy it. I’m really looking forward to it. Will I be playing Queen songs too? Absolutely!”
Outsider, his first solo album since 2013’s Fun On Earth, will be released on October 1 on Universal, dedicated to “all the outsiders, those who feel left on the sidelines”.
On the move: Changes afoot at Scarborough Open Air Theatre for 2021 and 2022
CANADIAN rocker Bryan Adams is moving his entire ten-date UK outdoor tour from 2021 to the summer of ’22, now playing Scarborough Open Air Theatre on July 1 and Harewood House, near Leeds, on July 10. Tickets remain valid for the new shows.
In further OAT changes, Kaiser Chiefs have moved to August 8; Keane, August 21; Olly Murs, August 27; UB40 featuring Ali Campbell and Astro, August 28; Snow Patrol, September 10, and Duran Duran, September 17. Westlife stick with August 17; Nile Rodgers & Chic with August 20.
For next summer’s line-up, Ru Paul’s Drag Race: Werq The World has changed to May 29 2022; Crowded House, June 11; Lionel Richie, July 2, and Lewis Capaldi, July 7.
Exhibition of the week: Summer Eclectic, Blue Tree Gallery, Bootham, York, until July 3
SUMMER Eclectic marks the reopening of Blue Tree Gallery after a run of online shows.
“It’s good to see York open again for all to visit and enjoy, as we help to keep York culturally alive, safe and well,” say Gordon and Maria Giarchi and their gallery team. “We’ll be open to the public with this show and it’s available online too.”
On view are original paintings by Yorkshire artists Janine Baldwin, Colin Cook, Deborah Grice and Karen Turner.
Auditions of the week: York Shakespeare Project’s Sonnets At The Bar, Bar Convent, York, Friday and Saturday
YORK Shakespeare Project has a not-so-secret new location for its latest sonnet adventures, the secret garden of the Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre, in Blossom Street, York, for Sonnets At the Bar 2021 from July 30 to August 7.
Open-to-all auditions will be held at the Bar Convent tomorrow (4/6/2021) from 5pm and on Saturday from 10am. Those wanting to arrange an audition time should contact director Emilie Knight at email@example.com, putting ‘Sonnets’ in the heading and indicating a preference of day and time day and time.
“I will provide details of everything you need to prepare when confirming your audition time,” says Emilie, who performed in last year’s Sit-down Sonnets.