Photographer Duncan Lomax makes snap decision to open Holgate Gallery at home

York Minster: An abstract work from Duncan Lomax’s photographic portfolio

“IT’S a strange and challenging time to be opening a business,” admits York commercial photographer Duncan Lomax after turning his front room into Holgate Gallery.

“Why now? I think people are looking for some good news,” reasons Duncan. “People are stimulated by visual art, perhaps now more than ever.They’ve been stuck at home in lockdown, observing their walls on Zoom, and they’re now more aware of their homes, so in that sense maybe it’s a good time to set up a gallery.

“People are looking for a connection with what they put on their walls or in their rooms, so why would you buy three stones with a white stripe for your mantelpiece?

“That’s why, at Holgate Gallery, it’s not just pretty pictures of York, though there’ll always be a demand for that, but I’d like to think that we can challenge people more. With the creative photography I do, it’s deliberately imperfect and more abstract than the commercial work, which has to be perfect and generally done to someone else’s brief.”

A member of staff in PPE at St Leonard’s Hospice, by Duncan Lomax

The gallery address is 53, Holgate Road, a Grade 2-listed building that previously housed Bridge Pianos before Duncan and his wife Tracy moved in, turning the frontage from white to a deeply satisfying blue.

Holgate Gallery becomes only the second contemporary photographic art-space to be set up in York since the much-missed, pioneering Impressions Gallery deserted Castlegate for Bradford’s Centenary Square in 2007.

Since July 2013, fellow commercial photographer Chris Ceaser has run Chris Ceaser Photography in early 15th century, Grade 2-listed, timber-framed premises at 89 Micklegate, focusing on his own landscape photographs of York, Yorkshire and beyond.

By comparison, Duncan will complement his commercial and abstract photographs and humorous faux Penguin Book cover prints with a regularly changing stock of work by other artists “who might not otherwise have the space to exhibit”.

United We Stand, by Duncan Lomax

Mostly they will be local, but in the first instance, the spotlight falls on Cold War Steve, the alias of Birmingham digital-collage political satirist Christopher Spencer, with his 250,000 followers on Twitter for his classical painting pastiches and predilection for incorporating EastEnders’ Steve “Phil Mitchell” McFadden alongside the Westminster double act of Johnson and Cummings at every opportunity.

“You don’t have to look too far to see which side he’s on,” says Duncan. “It’s putting two fingers up to the Establishment, and not everyone will like it, but he’s just been awarded a Doctor of Arts honorary degree at Wolverhampton University, so he’s now Dr Cold War Steve!”

You can sense Duncan’s enthusiasm for stretching his wings beyond running Ravage Productions Photography. “Doing commercial photography, you spend three hours ‘in the field’ and then just as much time doing the editing, marketing and updating the website. I’ve always thought that feels like time wasted, though it’s not, because it’s part of the job, but I most enjoy being behind a camera.

“So, I thought, is there a way of being creative while also doing the [commercial] job? When we bought the piano shop, it needed everything doing to it, but I could see it being a gallery, shop and editing facility for me as well as a home, so rather than being on my own when I’m working, it becomes a more social experience and another string to the bow related to the commercial photography, while it keeps pushing me on the creative side.

In the red corner: York Central MP Rachael Maskell, whose Labour Party office is nearby, conducts the opening ceremony at Holgate Gallery. Photographer, owner and curator Duncan Lomax keeps his social distance

“I might find there’s no interest in photography in York, but I’m pretty certain there is, and not just for my work, so this gallery is not an ego trip.”

Duncan has been the official photographer for York Minster for several years, notably for the 2016 York Mystery Plays, and has shot portraits, marketing images and PR material for all manner of businesses both in the city and at large.

He also has taught photography to degree level and his pictures have appeared many times in the local and national press, from The Press and YorkMix to the Yorkshire Post, the BBC and The Times.

Born on the Wirral and brought up in Warrington, Duncan played guitar in early Nineties’ Widnes “baggy wannabees” and two-time John Peel Session band 35 Summers, but he was just as likely to be holding a camera as a guitar.

Conference speaker Ian Donaghy: a business portrait by Duncan Lomax

“I’ve always had a camera; I’ve always been interested in photography,” says Duncan, who gives talks to camera clubs to give a different slant on taking pictures beyond landscapes and wildlife.

“I went to see Echo & The Bunnymen in 1982, when they were playing this secret gig where no-one knew where it would be when they bought a ticket. I got right to the front with my mum’s thin Instamatic camera, and there were no press photographers, but there I was, leaning on the stage, with all this dry ice everywhere, hiding the camera away because you weren’t supposed to be taking pictures. The next day I sold the photos at school, so that lit the spark for me.”

Duncan went on to work in PR, but as a writer. “I was always jealous of the photographers,” he recalls. So jealous that the camera would eventually win out because he thinks like a photographer at all times.

“You are constantly looking at the light, checking it, looking outside, and then you see this mackerel sky, and you know you have to stop and go and get the camera,” he says.

The former Terry’s chocolate factory, by Duncan Lomax

“Sometimes, with a photograph, it’s about pre-visualising…but then accidents can happen. That’s serendipity, but more normally, nine times out of ten those circumstances don’t come together.

“You almost know the shot before you take it, but whether you’re able to get it is another thing; whether you can manipulate it and be in control of the camera. Everything has to come together, not only technically but also emotionally. That’s where you get the story.”

He highlights a distinction between the amateur and the professional. “When I was giving a club talk, I remember asking, ‘Who’s shot a landscape photo of Robin Hood’s Bay?’. All the hands went up, but then I said: ‘Hands up, who’s shot a portrait one?’ and no hands stayed up…whereas I’m always thinking of where the headline can go on the picture,” says Duncan.

The photographer’s eye enables him to “show something that you can see that someone else can’t in that situation”, by using such a technique as underexposure.

Light and shade and grand ceremony at York Minster, by Duncan Lomax

“But what you don’t do in either commercial or press photography is let the camera lie,” Duncan says. “Though if you’re doing a commercial shot and you notice there’s a fag end on the floor, you do take it out of the picture.”

Among Duncan’s most memorable photographic work is his remarkable portfolio for the 2016 York Mystery Plays, especially those capturing actors in character, but neither on stage nor posed. “I did those 15 seconds after they came off stage. They weren’t meant to be ‘nice’ pictures, but pictures while they were still in the moment, which is different from portraiture,” he says.

The relationship between photographer and subject is one of trust, requiring skills of communication and connection. “What puts them at ease, I think – and I say this to everyone – is that I tell them, ‘I’m not trying to catch you out’, which is different from some press photographers, whose job is to do exactly that,” says Duncan.

“I’ll ask them, ‘what are you looking for from this photograph?’, as it’s about gaining their trust. That’s the bit I really enjoy; getting that interaction, even if I’m there to photograph a building, I’ll interact with the site manager.”

Toby Gordon as Lucifer, on stage in the 2016 York Mystery Plays at York Minster, by Duncan Lomax

Duncan’s work spans commercial, portrait, event, PR, creative, architectural and travel photography. Can he ever switch off? “If you come across me on a rare day off, I’ll still have my camera with me, so when we go on a walk, my wife hates it as we’ll take three times as long as we otherwise would!” he says.

“Like when we went to Cuba earlier this year, I just had to film the textures of the walls as they tell a story in their amazing colours: they give such a sense of place to Cuba.”

Those Cuban colours are now framed in Pantone style and for sale at Holgate Gallery, the new calling card for Nineties’ guitarist, ace photographer and now gallery owner and curator Duncan Lomax.

More good news has just come his way too: he has been selected to participate for the first time in York Open Studios next April.

Holgate Gallery’s opening times will vary but will be updated regularly at www.holgategallery.co.uk and on Facebook. Visits also can be arranged by appointment via duncan@ravageproductions.co.uk

Cuban Colours, by Duncan Lomax

Duncan Lomax opens Holgate Gallery for photography and more in ex-piano shop

In the red corner: York Central MP Rachael Maskell (or should that be Mask-ell?) with gallery owner and photographer Duncan Lomax at today’s official opening of Holgate Galle

“IT’S a strange and challenging time to be opening a business,” admits York commercial photographer Duncan Lomax after turning his front room into Holgate Gallery.

The address is 53, Holgate Road, a Grade 2 listed building that previously housed Bridge Pianos before Duncan and his wife Tracy moved in, turning the frontage from white to a deeply satisfying blue.

The red-trimmed York Labour Party office is a very near neighbour, and who should perform the official opening ceremony today but York Central MP Rachael Maskell.

“As you walk into Holgate Gallery, you can just see the creativity that’s been put into this space, and I’d really encourage people to come along and have a look,” she said. “York’s retail economy is struggling in many ways, but we’ve got some great opportunities as well, and the independent sector is unique and we want to encourage York to invest in York.”

Rachael Maskell at today’s opening of Holgate Gallery

Rachael’s words are music to Duncan’s ears in the converted piano shop. “Opening a gallery is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time alongside my commercial work,” he reasons. “This not only gives me an outlet for my own creative work, but also provides a hub for other artists to exhibit who might not otherwise have the space.”

Holgate Gallery is only the second contemporary photographic art-space to be set up in York since the much-missed, pioneering Impressions Gallery deserted Castlegate for Bradford’s Centenary Square in 2007.

Since July 2013, fellow commercial photographer Chris Ceaser has run Chris Ceaser Photography in early 15th century, Grade 2-listed, timber-framed premises at 89 Micklegate, focusing on his own landscape photographs of York, Yorkshire and beyond.

By comparison, Duncan will complement his commercial and more abstract photographs and humorous faux Penguin Book cover prints with a regularly changing stock of work by other artists. Mostly they will be local but, in the first instance, Cold War Steve, the alias of Birmingham political collage artist and satirist Christopher Spencer, with his predilection for incorporating EastEnders’ Steve “Phil Mitchell” McFadden alongside the Westminster double act of Johnson and Cummings at every opportunity.

Rachael Maskell MP and Duncan Lomax outside Holgate Gallery, the new home to photography and more

Running his company Ravage Productions, Duncan has been the official photographer for York Minster for several years, notably as the exclusive documentarian of the 2016 York Mystery Plays, and has shot portraits, marketing images and PR material for all manner of businesses in the city and at large.

He has taught photography to degree level and his pictures have appeared many times in the local and national press, from The Press and YorkMix to the Yorkshire Post, the BBC and The Times.

Now Duncan, former guitarist in early Nineties’ Widnes “baggy wannabes” and two-time John Peel Session band 35 Summers, is adding another string to his bow as the owner, curator and principal photographer at Holgate Gallery.

The gallery will be open 11am to 4pm, tomorrow and Sunday, and further opening times will vary but will be updated regularly at www.holgategallery.co.uk

Joanna Whittle’s tiny painting wins the big award at the New Light Prize Exhibition

Joanna Whittle’s Sorrowing Cloth, winner of the New Light Prize Exhibition main award

A TINY oil-on-copper painting of a tent has won the New Light Prize Exhibition main prize, open to artists across the North.

Measuring only 10cm by 15cm, Joanna Whittle’s Sorrowing Cloth received the £10,000 Valeria Sykes Award on the exhibition’s opening night at Scarborough Art Gallery.

Sorrowing Cloth is part of a series of paintings of tents by Sheffield artist Whittle, who says: “My tent paintings represent fragile and temporary structures constructed within notions of the ruin and time passing.

New Light Art Prize winning artist Joanna Whittle

“Canvas sits in water; ropes are pegged into fluid land. Time sits still and moments brush against each other. Canvas rots and weeds scramble over surfaces, but some lights remain on or have just been lit.

“They hold their own histories, ideas of vanished circuses or fairgrounds – events once frenetic now silenced and ominous in dusk or rain.”

Forlorn, by Victor Harris, winner of the Patron’s Choice Award

The £2,500 Patron’s Choice Award, picked from all the exhibited works, went to Victor Harris, from Waterfoot, Rossendale, in Lancashire, for his oil painting on linen, Forlorn.

Linnet Rubaya, from Leeds, was awarded the Emerging Artists Prize for her acrylic on canvas, Seen. The sponsors, the Saul Hay Gallery, in Manchester, will offer mentoring, professional advice and exhibition opportunities, including a solo show.

Emerging Artists Prize winner Linnet Rubaya

Leeds artist Ian Brooks won the Printmakers’ Prize, open to all forms of original printmaking, for his etching Across Borge Bay. The winner will hold an exhibition at the Zillah Bell Gallery, in Thirsk, the prize sponsors, where some of the best British printmakers exhibit.

Harrogate artist Christian Alexander Bailey received the New Light Purchase Prize for his pen-and-ink drawing Tree Sparrow. His winning work has been acquired by the charity to add to its collection.

Across Borge Bay, by Ian Brooks, winner of the Printmakers’ Prize

A final award, the Visitors’ Choice, will be made at the end of the Scarborough exhibition run and announced at the touring show’s next location, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle. This public award recognises the work that strikes a chord with visitors, who are asked to vote for their favourite artwork.

The judges, who shortlisted the artists by using an anonymous online selection process and concluded the judging together in the gallery, were printmaker and artist Anne Desmet; RA Magazine editor Sam Phillips; Huddersfield Art Gallery curator Grant Scanlan; Catherine and Ian Hay, from the Saul Hay Gallery; John Bell, from the Zillah Bell Gallery; New Light patron Valeria Sykes and New Light chair Annette Petchey.

Artist Christian Alexander Bailey with his New Light Purchase Prize winner, Tree Sparrow

Annette says: “The high standard of entries has once again astounded the judges, with familiar and new artists showcasing the huge talent in the north of England. “Themes that reflect all of the emotions we have felt as a nation during the 2020 pandemic are captured and reflected across the exhibition: everything from sadness and loneliness to clear optimism and joy in a broad range of media.

“New Light continues to go from strength to strength and it is a delight to work collaboratively with the team at Scarborough Museums Trust.”

The New Light Prize Exhibition at Scarborough Art Gallery. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

Simon Hedges, the trust’s head of curation, collections and exhibitions, says: “I’m delighted with the judges’ choices and I would like to thank both the New Light and the SMT teams for delivering such an amazing show in these most difficult of times.”

After the Scarborough run ends on January 17 2021, the exhibition will move to Tullie House, Carlisle, The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle, and finally The Bankside Gallery, London.

Patron’s Choice Award winner Victor Harris

Established in 2010, New Light celebrates and promotes well-known and emerging artists by offering awards and opportunities in its biennial open exhibition. It also runs New Light Art For All, an education programme that includes talks, workshops and school projects, and the New Light Collection, launched in the spring  with the aim of making the best in Northern visual arts available to more people by loaning pieces free of charge to public bodies and charities.

“The common thread through everything New Light does is a deep belief that the visual arts matter and the North of England deserves to be celebrated,” says Annette.

More Things To Do in and around York and at home despite Cassandra Boris’s “six months” of masked-up misery. List No.15, courtesy of The Press

Fields And Lanes creative couple Mick and Jessa Liversidge head to the Easingwold Community Library willow tree for an open-air hour of poetry and song on Sunday

BORIS Johnson put on his serious face and hands act on Tuesday night to address the nation on the ins and outs of his Government’s latest Covid-clampdown measures: a stitch in time saves nine, Rules of Six, 10pm curfews and any number of other numbers that invariably add up to confusion.

However, Covid-secure, socially distanced theatre shows, exhibitions, cinema, comedy and concerts can continue, as well as home entertainment, of course.

Here, Charles Hutchinson tracks and traces signs of artistic life…with immediate results  

The Easingwold Community Library willow tree: Sunday’s setting for Fields And Lanes poetry and songs

Joint project of the week: Fields And Lanes Under A Willow Tree, Timeless Songs and Poems by Jessa and Mick Liversidge, outside Easingwold Community Library, Sunday, 2pm

INSPIRED by the “wonderful reaction” to the online streaming of their outdoor poetry and song performances in lockdown, creative Easingwold couple Jessa and Mick Liversidge present an hour of uplifting words and music in the open air this weekend.

The show will be Covid-safe and socially distanced; tickets are free, with a pay-as- you-feel collection afterwards, but must be acquired in advance on 07526 107448 or by emailing ecl.generalenquiries@gmail.com.

Giles Shenton…will go to any lengths to promote his one-man show Three Men In A Boat

Three is a magic number: Three Men In A Boat, Kick In The Head Productions, Milton Rooms, Malton, Sunday, 2.30pm

GILES Shenton takes the helm for 95 minutes in Kick In The Head’s one-man/Three Men show, a “rip-roaring barrel of fun” wherein he plays writer Jerome K Jerome and everyone besides in a delightfully ridiculous tale of men behaving badly while messing about on boats.

Shenton invites you to “join Jerome as he recounts the hilarious story of his boating holiday along the magnificent River Thames with his two companions, George and Harris, and Montmorency the dog”.

Justin Moorhouse will stay in his house to perform his Your Place Comedy set from the living room on Sunday. Shappi Khorsandi will surely not be needing armour to do likewise from her place

Living room laughs: Your Place Comedy: Justin Moorhouse and Shappi Khorsandi, Sunday, online at 8pm

IN the fifth of six Your Place Comedy shows live-streamed from their living rooms into yours since lockdown, Justin Moorhouse and Shappi Khorsandi form the digital double bill introduced remotely by compere Tim FitzHigham.

The virtual comedy project has been organised by Selby Town Hall manager Chris Jones in liaison with nine other independent North and East Yorkshire arts centres and theatres, with donations welcome after each free screening to be divided between the still-closed venues. You can watch on YouTube and Twitch with more details at yourplacecomedy.co.uk.

Top Of The Hill, acrylic on canvas, by Debbie Lush

Exhibition launch of the week: Debbie Lush, Featured Artist, Blue Tree Gallery, Bootham, York, and online at bluetreegallery.co.uk, Saturday to November 7

TEN new works by Devon landscape artist Debbie Lush go on show at Blue Tree Gallery from this weekend.

The former freelance illustrator, who ran a Somerset country inn for 13 years, draws inspiration for her vividly coloured coastal and rural landscapes from her walks with her dog along weather-beaten coastal paths, across muddy footpaths, through gateways and over fields and farmland.

“I love the act of brushing blobs of paints of varying thickness in bright colours on a surface, one over another, to assemble landscapes,” she says.

Uninvited Guests invite guests to Love Letters Straight From Your Heart at the SJT and on Zoom. Picture: Jonathan Bewley

Antidote to isolation: Uninvited Guests’ Love Letters Straight From Your Heart, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, and on Zoom on October 1, 2.30pm and 7.30pm

THEATRE company Uninvited Guests will construct a “completely digital, wholly personal and wonderfully live experience” at the SJT and on Zoom in “very different” afternoon and evening shows.

Performed by Jessica Hoffman and Richard Dufty, Love Letters Straight From Your Heart invites the audience’s words, song dedications and stories – sent in earlier – to the stage where they are given a new shape, look you straight in the eye and offer to dance with everyone in the room.

Only 45 tickets will be sold for each show to maintain intimacy, but any number of audience members can sit at screens to watch what unfolds in 60 to 75 minutes.

Giant story: Riding Lights Theatre Company go online for Christmas

Latest Christmas show to be confirmed: Riding Lights Theatre Company in The Selfish Giant, storytelling theatre on film online, for primary schools

YORK company Riding Lights say, “We can’t come to you, but we can still bring exciting entertainment into every classroom with our online version of The Selfish Giant.

“The Giant is angry. He’s been away for a long time and returns to find children playing in his beautiful garden!

Every day after school, they come and run about, laughing and playing games under the blossom on his peach trees, listening to the delightful songs of the birds. So, he puts up a big wall and an even bigger Keep Out notice to put a stop to all that. Then winter seizes the garden in its icy fingers.”

Riding Lights ask primary school to book the online show via: https://ridinglights.org/the-selfish-giant-no/costs-and-booking/.

No traditional queue at York Barbican when Daniel O’Donnell tickets go on sale tomorrow. Booking is online only

Looking ahead to Irish gigs at the double: Clannad, York Barbican, March 10 2021 and Daniel O’Donnell, York Barbican, October 21 2021

CLANNAD are booked in to play York Barbican on March 10 on their Farewell Tour, but let’s see where Boris Johnson’s new Rule of Six Months’ More Misery leaves that show. Fingers crossed, we can wave goodbye to social distancing by then to enable bidding adieu to the ethereal purveyors of traditional Irish music, contemporary folk, new age and rock, led by Moya Brennan.

Meanwhile, tickets go on sale at 9am tomorrow (Friday) at yorkbarbican.co.uk for Kincasslagh crooner Daniel O’Donnell’s return to the Barbican on October 21.

And what about…?

A visit to Duncan Lomax’s new photographic exhibition space, Holgate Gallery, opening officially from tomorrow in Holgate Road, York, to show work by the 2016 York Mystery Plays official photographer and political satirist Cold War Steve.

The York Printmakers Virtual Print Fair, running until October 4, with daily updates at https://www.facebook.com/YorkPrintmakers/

Quiet reigns as Kaiser Chiefs’ smash hit York Art Gallery exhibition wins award

A Quiet moment: Kaiser Chiefs, minus Ricky Wilson, who was ill that day, launch When All Is Quiet, their ground-breaking collaborative exhibition with York Art Gallery, in December 2018. Picture: Charlotte Graham

OH my god, Leeds indie rock band band Kaiser Chiefs’ collaboration with York Art Gallery has hit the top spot in the prestigious Museums + Heritage Awards.

The cutting-edge exhibition When All Is Quiet: Kaiser Chiefs In Conversation With York Art Gallery won the Partnership of the Year Award at a Covid-enforced virtual ceremony, broadcast on M + H Awards’ Facebook and YouTube channels on Tuesday night.

The Kaisers’ audio-visual show drew more than 25,000 people to its run in the Madsen Galleries from December 2018 to March 2019.

At the invitation of York Art Gallery curators, the Leeds band took on the pioneering challenge of exploring the boundaries between art and music, using the gallery collections as a starting point.

Anna Preedy, director of the annual Museums + Heritage Awards, said of the award-winning exhibition: “Collaboration is increasingly important and here we have a project which is the definition of a true partnership, achieving something which neither York Art Gallery nor Kaiser Chiefs could not have done on their own.

From Riot to Quiet: Kaiser Chiefs swap raucous gigs for contemplative art in York Art Gallery. Picture: Anthony Chappel-Ross

“Their collaborative project, When All Is Quiet, was bold in its creativity and hugely inspiring – a very worthy winner.”

Reyahn King, chief executive of York Museums Trust, said: “We’re thrilled to have won this award. The exhibition was bold and brave in its approach, with our curators and Kaiser Chiefs working closely to create a unique experience which presented our collections in new and innovative ways.

“It was fantastic to work in partnership with them on the project and to create something which proved so popular with a wide range of audiences.”

Suitably upbeat Kaiser Chiefs drummer Vijay Mistry enthused: “Wow! Thanks so much for this award; it’s really greatly received, especially at this challenging time. “We knew that we had created something unique and special and it’s amazing for that to have been recognised. Huge thanks to York Art Gallery for the collaboration and massive thanks to everyone involved; your contributions were priceless.”

York Art Gallery and Kaiser Chiefs were shortlisted for the Partnership of the Year Award alongside: Royal Collections Trust, Barber Institute of Fine Arts and University of Birmingham; Lichfield Cathedral; Oxford University Gardens, Libraries and Museums (GLAM) and Iffley Academy Partnership and National Galleries Scotland and North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership.

Riot of colour: Kaiser Chiefs’ Nick “Peanut” Baines, Vijay Mistry, Simon Rix and Andrew White bestride their When All Is Quiet exhibition at York Art Gallery. Picture: Charlotte Graham

What exactly was in the When All Is Quiet: Kaiser Chiefs In Conversation With York Art Gallery exhibition?

YORK Art Gallery invited Kaiser Chiefs to work with curators to re-examine the gallery’s collections, with a brief to explore the boundaries between art and music in an experimental way designed to appeal to a wide range of audiences.  

Using their position as musicians as a starting point, the band delved deep into the Exhibition Square gallery’s Fine Art collections and paired paintings with a Set List of songs inspired by the art.

Visitors were then able to view the artworks, while listening to songs chosen by the Leeds band.

Tuning in: A York Art Gallery visitor listens to Mercury Rev’s The Dark Is Rising, matched by Kaiser Chiefs to Jack Butler Yeats’s That We May Never Meet Again. Picture: Anthony Chappel-Ross

Kaiser Chiefs also brought together works by sound artists that had resonated with them while travelling. Among them were Janet Cardiff’s The Forty Part Motet, Mark Leckey’s short filmFiorucci Made Me Hardcore and Elizabeth Price’s Turner Prize-winning work The Woolworth’s Choir Of 1979.

Inspired to design their own art installation, the Kaisers used light, colour and lyrics from the songs on the Set List to create Silent Gig, an immersive environment that offered visitors a reconfigured experience of a live music show and its elements but without sound.

When All Is Quiet increased visitor numbers by 39 per cent, by comparison with the same period the year before. Overall, more than 25,000 people visited during what is a traditionally quiet time of year for York Art Gallery, with more than 45 per cent of viewers being aged 18 to 44, an increase of nearly 15 per cent on the 2018 average.

Got it licked: Kaiser Chiefs, in tandem with York Art Gallery, win the Partnership of the Year Award at the Museums + Heritage Awards

Charles Hutchinson’s guided tour of When All Is Quiet, in conversation with Kaiser Chiefs members Simon Rix and Vijay Mistry. First appeared in The Press, York, on December 14 2018. Courtesy of The Press, York

MOVE over Andy Warhol. Here comes the new Pop Art in the form of When All Is Quiet, Kaiser Chiefs In Conversation With York Art Gallery.

Using their position as pop musicians as a starting point, the chart-topping Leeds band have co-curated an experimental exhibition, the first of its kind.

“We are not artists, we are musicians, and so we’ve chosen to use this opportunity to work with the gallery to explore sound as a medium – our medium – and to open that up further for us and for the viewer/listener,” said the Kaisers en masse. “To stretch ourselves, to explore the edges between music and art, creation and performance.”

Band members Simon Rix, Vijay Mistry, Nick “Peanut” Baines and Andrew White attended Thursday’s launch (13/12/2018) but singer Ricky Wilson was absent through illness, although plans are afoot for Wilson to “do something” in January. Watch this space.

Working in tandem with York Art Gallery staff, Kaiser Chiefs have created an exhibition with three interlinking elements. Firstly, they have brought together works by internationally regarded sound artists Janet Cardiff, Mark Leckey and 2012 Turner Prize-winning Elizabeth Price, who have inspired the Kaisers to look at sound in new ways.

Exhibition centre-piece: Janet Cardiff’s The Forty Part Motet in the central Madsen Gallery at York Art Gallery. Picture: Anthony Chappel-Ross

The main gallery space has been given over to Janet Cardiff’s The Forty Part Motet, which allows you to walk through an oval of speakers to hear a reworking of Thomas Tallis’s Elizabethan work Spem In Alium Nunquam Habui, from the singers’ perspective, as witnessed through 40 individual speakers, one for each voice from the Salisbury Cathedral Choir in 2001.

The band selected Cardiff’s sound installation on account of its relevance to how they hear their own music while performing: “an all-encompassing space of sound”, as they put it.

Secondly, in the Kaiser Chiefs Take Over York Art Gallery’s Collection room, the Kaisers have chosen 11 artworks from York Art Gallery’s collections, spanning 1798 to 2013, from LS Lowry and John Hoyland to Jack Butler Yeats and Bridget Riley, and an accompanying Set List song to be heard on a headset while looking at the picture.

Along with the likes of The Kinks, Kavinsky, Mercury Rev and Super Furry Animals is the 2011 Kaiser Chiefs song that gave the exhibition its title, When All Is Quiet, here bonded with Leeds artist Rebecca Appleby’s Sketch For The Disrupted Expectation.

Thirdly, the band have commissioned a new installation, Silent Gig, that uses light and colour and projected lyrics from the Set List songs to create an immersive environment to offer visitors a reconfigured experience of a live music show, without sound.

Take a bow, Kaiser Chiefs’ lighting designer Rob Sinclair, who also worked his magic on David Byrne’s American Utopia Tour show, as seen at Leeds First Direct Arena on October 21 [2018]. Utilising 73 lights and two tons of equipment, it took two days to build and three days to light, but its silence will certainly be a conversation piece.

Kaiser Chiefs’ Nick “Peanut” Baines, Vijay Mistry, Simon Rix and Andrew White in the Silent Gig installation at York Art Gallery. Picture: Charlotte Graham

“The feeling of euphoria at a gig can come just as much from the production as the song,” says Simon Rix.

Look out for a black door – last seen floating in an ocean in the My Life promo – from a series of Kaiser Chiefs pop videos and Sarah Graham’s Kaisers Rock!, the original cover artwork for the Kaisers’ 2012 album, Souvenir, loaned by owner Marc Macintosh Watson after he heard about the York show.

“We were making our new album [Duck, subsequently released in July 2019] and this exhibition at the same time and the exhibition won the race by a long stretch,” said bassist Simon Rix at Thursday’s launch.

He and drummer Vijay Mistry have taken the leading roles in putting the exhibition together, although all the band have played a part, participating in project meetings with senior curator Dr Beatrice Bertram, while dynamic Scottish design company Acme Studios were commissioned by the gallery for the exhibition’s marketing, branding and merchandising, such as T-shirts, mugs and posters.

“When you come into York Art Gallery, the show’s branding runs throughout the gallery, all taken from the band’s own identity,” says Beatrice.

Dr Beatrice Bertram: York Art Gallery senior curator, who held project meetings with Kaiser Chiefs band members for When All Is Quiet

We found it difficult trying to talk about the show while it was taking shape, as it was hard to visualise how it would turn out, rather like I can find it difficult to talk about our albums before they’re finished, but it’s come together really well, all the little details,” says Simon.

“We had initially started looking at the gallery’s archives but were overwhelmed by the sheer body of work,” recalls Vijay.

“We thought, if we look through them all, they’re probably won’t be a show until 2030,” recalls Simon.

Instead, they drew up a long list of possibilities for the Kaiser Chiefs Take Over York Art Gallery’s Collection space, finally settling on the 11. “‘Yorkshireness’ and ‘Northernness’ were important to us, as a Yorkshire band, so that’s why we picked out Turner’s Fountains Abbey work and Lowry too, as we wanted to represent northern art,” says Simon.

“I’m most proud of linking Jack Butler Yeats’s That We May Never Meet Again with Mercury Rev’s The Dark Is Rising,” says Vijay. “I had that piece of music in my head when I looked at the painting, but I’d never owned a Mercury Rev record; I just knew the instrumental version; I sang it, but no-one recognised it, but then suddenly I thought, ‘It could be Mercury Rev’…and I found it!”

The Kaisers were particularly keen to give a give a first northern exposure to Janet Cardiff’s The Forty Part Motet. “Hearing voices through 40 speakers is an experience you can’t find anywhere else,” says Simon. “You can’t set up 40 speakers in your living room, but we thought it was a really contemporary sound installation that you could place at the heat of a gallery.” Best heard, by the way, when all around is quiet.

Rebecca Appleby’s Sketch For The Disrupted Expectation, paired by Kaiser Chiefs with…Kaiser Chiefs’ exhibition title song When All Is Quiet

The Set List

KAISER Chiefs’ “set list” of songs chosen in response to works from York Art Gallery’s collection that reference creation, production or performance were:

Bridget Riley’s Study 4 for Painting With Two Verticals, paired with Julia Holter’s Sea Calls Me Home

L S Lowry’s The Bandstand, Peel Park, Salford; The Kinks’ The Village Green Preservation Society

John Golding’s H.19 (Canticle); The Beach Boys’ Caroline No

Jack Butler Yeats’s That We May Never Meet Again; Mercury Rev’s The Dark Is Rising

Oliver Bevan’s Flickering Grid II; Super Furry Animals’ Pan Ddaw’r Wawr

JMW Turner’s The Dormitory and Transept of Fountains Abbey – Evening; Talking Heads’ Love – Building On Fire

Peter Leonard Donnelly’s Red Plot; Kavinsky’s Nightcall

Malcolm Hughes’s Study No 3; Plastic Bertrand’s Ca Plane Pour Moi

John Hoyland’s Pact; The Cure’s A Forest

Bryan Wynter’s Under Mars; Adam & The Ants’ Prince Charming

Rebecca Appleby’s Sketch For The Disrupted Expectation; Kaiser Chiefs’ When All Is Quiet

Picture the green scene: Kaiser Chiefs line up in shadow play to promote their exhibition at York Art Gallery. Picture: Charlotte Graham

Lush paintings to brighten up autumn with joy and nostalgia at Blue Tree Gallery

So Close To Home, acrylic on canvas, by Debbie Lush

DEBBIE Lush’s exhibition at Blue Tree Gallery, Bootham, York, opens on Saturday.

Ten new works of varying sizes and prices by the Devon landscape artist will be on show at the gallery and online at bluetreegallery.co.uk until November 7.

After studying illustration at Harrow School of Art and the Royal College of Art, Debbie was a freelance illustrator in London for 15 years until 2003.

Houses In The Woods, acrylic on canvas, by Debbie Lush

“My escape route from London was to move to Somerset to renovate and run a country inn with every intention of continuing painting in a landscape I love, but things don’t always turn out how you plan,” recalls Debbie.

“After 13 years of looking only, I was finally able to pick up my brushes full time and see the world in brush strokes again. I almost imagine it is like I have woken from a coma and it has found me fresh, excited and fascinated by who I am now and how I see things.”

Top Of The Hill, acrylic on canvas, by Debbie Lush

Since that renewal of her creativity more than three years ago, her vividly coloured coastal and rural landscapes have been inspired by walks with her dog along weather-beaten coastal paths, across muddy footpaths, through gateways and over fields and farmland.

“Memories of hills and tracks, the skyline and weather conditions emerge in the studio where I love the act of brushing blobs of paints of varying thickness in bright colours on a surface, one over another, to assemble landscapes,” says Debbie, who lives in Chardstock, East Devon.

Colourful October, acrylic on canvas, by Debbie Lush

In her paintings, sweeping curves are punctuated by focal points of sea defences, boats, barns, farmhouses and woodland homes, livestock and trees. Applying scratched lines too, they become visual records of her journeys; part-real, part-imagined landscapes bursting with energy, colour, nostalgia, observation and joy.

Debbie Lush’s show will be the fifth Featured Artist exhibition of 2020 at Blue Tree Gallery. Newly on display too this autumn are “brand new little gems” by resident artist Giuliana Lazzerini that “would look perfect in a small snug of a wall or on a shelf”, plus new work by Paolo Lazzerini, Colin Cook, Kate Boyce, Colin Carruthers and Sharon Winter.

Opening hours, for the time being, are 11am to 4pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, or by appointment on 01904 620660.

Once Quentin Crisp was her life-class model, now Jill Ray sketches with her iPad

Between The Showers, by Jill Ray

LANDSCAPES by Sheffield digital artist Jill Ray will go on show at Village Gallery, Colliergate, York, from September 22 to October 24.

“Coincidentally, the closing week overlaps with the opening of the York Mediale Festival, a celebration of digital and media arts, on October 21,” says gallery owner Simon Main.

Jill developed her print technique while practising as a landscape architect, but soon found that her fascination for making images this way inspired her in a new direction.

Warm Evening, by Jill Ray

Often using an iPad as a portable sketchbook, the hills of Yorkshire and the Dark Peak, the Sheffield woodlands and occasional winter forays to the East Coast provide much of her subject matter.

“Jill loves to explore the subtle ways similar shapes and patterns echo and repeat, and the way sunlight overlays pattern and drama in the composition, exploring them in the graphic lines of her works,” says Simon.

Sheffield-born Jill has been an artist and designer for more than 25 years, returning to live in the Steel City since her twenties. She pursued a career as a landscape architect, working for Sheffield City Council from 1986 to 2012, not least as lead designer for the Town Hall Square, part of the Heart of the City Millennium project, as well as undertaking private garden design commissions.

“My main concerns are colour, light and the rhythms of landscape,” says Jill Ray

Jill, whose student days at St Albans School of Art in 1974-1975 were marked by Quentin Crisp being a frequent model in her life-drawing studies, launched Jill Ray Landscapes in 2012 to combine her design and fine art skills.

Jill combines painting in oils on canvas with creating prints digitally. “I discovered what a great drawing tool my PC was,” she says. “I really love the way layers of translucent blocks of colour can build up an image.

Clearing Skies, by Jill Ray

“My passion for making images this way combined with a rekindling of my previous love of painting in oils on canvas, and I really enjoy exploring both old and new technology in the development of my work.” Hence her use of both the iPad as a portable sketchbook and photographic references.

“My main concerns are colour, light and the rhythms of landscape,” says Jill, who is a member of Peak District Artisans and Sheffield Printmakers. “I am fascinated by the way similar shapes and patterns echo and repeat in the landscape, as can be seen in both the striking and bold styles of my prints – which often resemble the effects of overlaid layers of tissue paper – and in a more subtle and textural exploration in my paintings.”

Village Gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm.

Along The Ridge Front, by Jill Ray

Gerry Judah’s Indian-inspired Four Elements sculptures go on show at Dalby Forest

Rob Herdman, arts co-ordinator for Forestry England, hanging one of the framed drawings in Gerry Judah’s Bengal exhibition at the Courtyard, Dalby Forest. Pictures: Tony Bartholomew

SCULPTURES by Gerry Judah go on show from tomorrow in the Courtyard at Dalby Forest, near Pickering, in his solo show Bengal: The Four Elements.

Known for his monumental Central Feature car sculptures at the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed for the past two decades, he will show pieces inspired by his childhood in India until October 31.

Built over nearly a decade and originally commissioned by Arts Council England, who fund Dalby Forest’s arts programme, Judah’s Bengal body of work comprises five sculptures, shown alongside his framed drawings.

One of Gerry Judah’s exhibits at the Courtyard, Dalby Forest

Visually forceful and sensitively crafted, Judah’s works poetically engage with prescient concerns over climate change in India while exploring the artist’s personal history. Drawing on essential natural elements in his detailed sculptures, Judah “constructs the intangible” as clouds shift, waves splash and smoke rises.

Petra Young, Forestry England’s funding and development manager for the Yorkshire Forest District, says: “We’re thrilled to host this exhibition, last seen at Grizedale Forest [in the Lake District]. It brings together a significant body of work that has been developed by Gerry Judah since returning to India in 2013.

“Visitors to the gallery will gain insight into a sculptor’s process, from thinking through ideas and forms through drawing to the production of beautifully crafted sculptures.

Man at work: Rob Herdman walks through Gerry Judah’s Bengal exhibition with a drill in his hand

“A common theme is the rickshaws from which each response to the individual elements flow as the artist brings together his childhood memories and thoughts on climate change into dynamic drawings and fascinating forms.”

Work from the Bengal series has been exhibited at the High Commission of India, in London, and Wolverhampton Art Gallery, while other Judah works are on permanent display at the House of Wisdom in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, and international sculpture parks.

Judah was born in Calcutta – now Kolkata – in 1951 and grew up there before his family moved to London when he was ten. As a boy, the dramatic landscapes of India and the ornate architecture of its temples, mosques and synagogues, with their theatrical rituals, had a profound effect on his developing psyche. These elements would resurface in his own later work.

Taking shape: Rob Herdman putting the finishing touches to mounting Gerry Judah’s exhibition in readiness for tomorrow’s opening

The austerity of post-war London was a shock to the young boy, who chose to spend as much time as possible in his bedroom conjuring up, with pencils and paper, imaginary landscapes, architectural fantasies and futuristic cars, leading him to want to become an artist.

Judah gained a double first-class honours degree in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and studied sculpture as a postgraduate at the Slade School of Fine Art. He was taken with the public nature of this work and decided to find settings for his own art in more public arenas than the rarefied spaces of conventional galleries.

He has created work for the BBC, the British Museum, the Museum of Mankind, the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Tolerance, as well as for such musicians as Paul McCartney, the late Michael Jackson, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, The Who .

Shadow play: One of Gerry Judah’s Four Elements sculptures at the Courtyard

Judah was commissioned by the Imperial War Museum to create a large model of the selection ramp in Auschwitz-Birkenau for the Holocaust Exhibition opened by The Queen.

His work has been exhibited by the Saatchi Gallery, London; the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, near Wakefield; Camden Arts Centre; the David Roberts Foundation; the Royal Institute of British Architects; Cass Sculpture Foundation, the Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania, and the Louis Blouin Foundation. In 2014, his two monumental sculptures commemorating the First World War were placed on permanent display in St Paul’s Cathedral, London.

Gerry Judah’s Bengal: The Four Elements exhibition at Dalby Forest is free to enter and is open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 11am to 4pm.

More Things To Do in and around York and at home, as opposed to a “social gathering” for the joy of six. List No 14, from The Press

Helen Wilson in a damned spot of Scottish bother in York Shakespeare Project’s Sit-down Sonnets at Holy Trinity churchyard, Goodramgate, York. Picture: John Saunders

MUSICAL theatre in a park, drag cabaret at a sports club, Shakespeare sonnets and songs in churchyards, high-speed film action at an airfield and chamber music online catch Charles Hutchinson’s eye

Graveyard smash of the week: York Shakespeare Project’s Sit-down Sonnets, Holy Trinity churchyard, Goodramgate, York, until Saturday

WHEN York Shakespeare Project’s Macbeth bit the dust in March, put on hold by the Covid lockdown, York’s purveyors of Shakespeare’s Sonnet Walks decided to stage a sit-down, but not as an act of protest.

Director Mick Taylor and producer Maurice Crichton hatched a plan to present assorted familiar Shakespeare characters, brought into the modern world, to reflect on the pandemic with an accompanying sonnet.

Holy Trinity’s churchyard, with its five park benches, tree shelter and mown grass, provides an ideal socially distanced open-air setting. Bring a rug, cushion, camp chair, flask and biscuits, suggests Maurice, to performances at 5.45pm and 7pm, plus 4.15pm on Saturday.

Polly Bolton: Sharing a double bill with Henry Parker in the NCEM churchyard

Double bills in another churchyard: Songs Under Skies, National Centre for Early Music, St Margaret’s Church, Walmgate, York, tonight, September 16 and 17

SONGS Under Skies brings together the National Centre for Early Music, The Crescent, The Fulford Arms and the Music Venues Alliance for an open-air series of acoustic concerts.

The opening night with Amy May Ellis and Luke Saxton on September 2 was driven inside by the rain. Fingers crossed for more clement conditions for Wolf Solent and Rosalind tonight, Polly Bolton and Henry Parker on September 16 and Elkyn and Fawn the following night.

Gates will open at 6.30pm for each 7pm start; acts will perform either side of a 30-minute interval with a finishing time of 8.30pm. 

The Bev Jones Music Company in a socially distanced rehearsal for Sunday’s show at the Rowntree Park Amphitheatre

Musical theatre showcase part one: Bev Jones Music Company, Strictly Live In The Park, Rowntree Park Amphitheatre, York, Sunday, 3pm.

THE Bev Jones Music Company stage a full-sized musical theatre concert with more than 20 socially distanced singers and a five-piece band on Sunday afternoon.

Strictly Live In The Park promises a “spectacular show for all the family, with popular show music, pop music, dance and comedy”, under the musical direction of John Atkin with choreography by Claire Pulpher.

Expect numbers from Adele to Robbie Williams, Cabaret to Hairspray, Mack & Mabel to South Pacific, The Full Monty to Chess, Miss Saigon to the finale, Les Miserables, all arranged by the late company driving force Bev Jones. Also expect temperature tests on arrival.

Conor Mellor in York Stage Musicals’ first show at the Rowntree Park Amphitheatre, York. He will be back for the second one too. Picture: Jess Main

Musical theatre showcase part two: York Stage Musicals present Jukebox Divas, Rowntree Park Amphitheatre, York, September 18 to 20, 7pm

AFTER the sold-out three-night run of York Stage Musicals’ first ever outdoor show last month, producer/director Nik Briggs and musical director Jessica Douglas return to their Rowntree Park psychedelic igloo to stage Jukebox Divas.

Jessica’s band line-up has changed, so too has the singing sextet, with Conor Mellor from the debut show being joined by Dan Conway, Sophie Hammond, Grace Lancaster and Eleanor Leaper.

“With music from We Will Rock You, Mamma Mia! and more modern releases like + Juliet and Moulin Rouge, audiences will be entertained for 90 minutes with vocal tributes to artists such as Elvis Presley, Queen, Meat Loaf, Katy Perry, Carole King and many more,” says Nik.

Baby Driver: one of the films with high-speed thrills to be screened at AA Getaway Drive-in Cinema at Elvington Airfield

Car experience of next week: AA Getaway Drive-in Cinema, Elvington Airfield, near York, September 18 to 20

AFTER Daisy Duke’s Drive-in Cinema on Knavesmire, now comes a celebration of high-speed thrills and derring-do skills at Elvington Airfield…on screen, courtesy of AA Getaway Drive-in Cinema.

Tickets have sold out already for the September 19 screenings of James Gunn’s 2014 space chase, Guardians Of The Galaxy (12A), at 2.30pm and James Mangold’s 2019 Ford v Ferrari race-track clash, Le Mans 66 (12), at 7.30pm.

Bookings can still be made, however, for Guardians Of The Galaxy on September 18 at 2.30pm and September 20 at 7.30pm and Edgar Wright’s 2017 getaway-car heist thriller, Baby Driver (15), September 18, 7.30pm, and September 20, 2.30pm.

No more kitchen-sink dramas for Velma Celli as York’s drag diva deluxe swaps live-streaming for the great outdoors in Acomb tomorrow

Stepping out of her Bishopthorpe kitchen into the York open air: Velma Celli: An Evening Of Song, York RI Community Sports Club, New Lane, Acomb, tomorrow, 8pm.

AFTER a spring and summer of concerts live-streamed from home, York drag diva Velma Celli takes to the outdoor stage at a sports club.

“The show will be a mixed bag of whatever I fancy on the day – pop, rock, impressions and some musical theatre obviously – and of course requests online. Message me on Facebook,” advises Velma.

Very special guests are promised: definitely York soul powerhouse Jessica Steel will be among them.

Tim Lowe: York Chamber Music Festival artistic director and cellist

Festival of the month: York Chamber Music Festival, September 18 to 20

THE 2020 York Chamber Music Festival is going online to live-stream three concerts from the National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, York, in a celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

Festival artistic director and cellist Lowe will be performing with Simon Blendis and Charlotte Scott, violins; Matthew Jones, violin and viola; Jon Thorne, viola, and Katya Apekisheva, piano. For full details on the programme and on how to watch the concerts, go to ycmf.co.uk.

Strictly between us: Anton du Beke and Giovanni Pernice’s tour poster for Him & Me next summer at the Grand Opera House, York

One for the 2021 diary: Anton & Giovanni, Him & Me, Grand Opera House, York, July 12

STRICTLY Come Dancing staples Anton du Beke and Giovanni Pernice will link up for their debut tour together, Him & Me, next year.

Details are sketchy, but the dapper Sevenoaks ballroom king and the Italian stallion say: “This show promises to be the best night out in the Summer of 2021 for all ages…A true dance extravaganza!”

Anton and Giovanni will be joined by a “world-class cast” of dancers and singers for a show produced by Strictly Theatre Co and directed by Alan Burkitt.

And what about…?

A visit to the reopened Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre exhibition in Blossom Street, York. Malton Harvest Food Festival on Saturday. New Light Prize Exhibition, with more than 100 artists, opening at Scarborough Art Gallery on September 19. York Walking Festival, running or, rather, walking until Sunday (details at iTravel York website).

Jon, by Laura Quin Harris, at the New Light Prize Exhibition at Scarborough Art Gallery

Judy Burnett and Lynne Porter take to the coast for autumn show at Morten Gallery

York artist Judy Burnett with her painting Looking Towards Bempton

JUDY Burnett and Lynne Porter are to hold a joint exhibition at Jenny Morten’s bright new gallery in the Old Town, Bridlington.

International ceramicist Jenny has opened the Morten Gallery in the High Street after returning from working and teaching in California.

Running there from September 19 to October 31 will be Judy and Lynne’s show of new works entitled Bridlington And The Wolds: Through The Artist’s Eye. Both artists will be at the Saturday launch between 1pm and 4pm to discuss their work.

York artist Judy, a regular participant in York Open Studios at her home studio by the River Ouse in New Walk, has loved studying the Yorkshire coastline since her student days in Hull.

Every vacation, she worked at a restaurant perched on the cliff edge at North Landing, Flamborough, and latterly she has been re-visiting these favourite cliff-top areas.

“Flamborough Head has a magical quality, and I constantly attempt to capture the majesty of the monumental cliffs and the huge expanses of sea and sky in my paintings,” says Judy.

“The white cliffs take on different tones in the changing light and the grasses on the cliff tops move in the wind as the waves roll below.”

In her paintings, rapid mark-making is balanced with areas of flat colour and textured surfaces, aiming to keep the work fresh and spontaneous while echoing the power of the elements.

On The Edge Of Understanding, acrylic on wood, by Lynne Porter, at the Morten Gallery, Bridlington

Just south of Flamborough Head lies Bridlington, a seaside town with “a totally different atmospheric quality,” Judy says. “The wide-open golden beaches of the two Bridlington bays appear to be endless when the tide recedes; the wide vistas of sand, sea and sky contrast with the busy visual activity of boats in the harbour,” she notes.

Judy’s work begins with observational sketchbook studies on-site and is developed in her York studio with acrylic paints and hand-printed paper collage. “The resulting mixed-media paintings reflect the transient effects of the ever-changing weather, from hazy mists to brilliant sunshine,” she says.

Fellow exhibitor Lynne Porter, who lives on the Yorkshire coast, is a mixed-media artist who works in oils, acrylics, charcoal and collage.

Her paintings are rooted in her meditative experience of studying the woods, hills and valleys of the Wolds, as well as the coastline.

“My work concerns my interaction with the landscape,” she says. “I’m inspired by the coast and countryside and I love to experiment, being particularly driven by texture and colour.

“I work on location, going out into the landscape and making loose, painterly sketches, using all my senses to get the right expressive feel.”

Once back in the studio, Lynne’s intuition takes over as she tears selected areas out of the sketches to set the making of her abstract paintings in motion.

“These are pasted into sketchbooks. I may then add collage and/or mark making to these,” she says. “The results inspire the paintings and, I hope, capture that ‘sense of place’.”. 

Meanwhile, Jenny has opened an annexe to her gallery to display the entire archive of her late husband, artist Geoff Morten. More than 1,000 works are on show, ranging from large canvasses to small paintings, etchings to monoprints.