THIS week is the last chance to see Scarborough photographer Richard
Beaumont’s exhibition at the Stephen Joseph Theatre.
In his debut show, Scarborough And Its Surroundings, he takes a personal
look at his coastal hometown.
“As a schoolboy in the 1960s, I wanted to be a photographer,” says
Beaumont. “I didn’t particularly see it as a way of making money; I just wanted
to create pictures of what interested me at the time.
“My father had other ideas about a possible future career and carefully
steered me towards studying the science subjects, university and a career in
business, saying that there would be time for photography when I retired.”
That time has come. “Following retirement in 2013, the passion was still
there and I gradually began to revive my interest,” says Beaumont. “In 2017, I
successfully completed a postgraduate diploma in photography at the British
Academy of Photography and now accept the occasional assignment and continue to
build my portfolio.”
Summing up his photography, he says. “I like to observe as well as see
and create a bit of language in each shot that I take.”
Scarborough And Its Surroundings – A Personal View runs in the SJT corridor gallery until Saturday, January 12. Gallery opening hours are 10am to 6pm, Mondays to Saturdays, except during show times (mostly evenings, but some afternoons too, so please check the website, sjt.uk.com, before travelling). Entry is free.
NORTH Yorkshire artist Paul
Blackwell will exhibit his Treescapes at Village Gallery, Colliergate, York,
from January 14 to February 22.
Blackwell and his wife,
fellow artist Anne Thornhill, ran a gallery in Grosmont, on the North York
Moors, for more than 20 years before selling up and moving to an 18th century
farmhouse overlooking the Esk Valley near Whitby. Here they have a barn studio,
where they both continue to work.
Blackwell uses many different
media, from oil and acrylic to pastel and pastel pencil. “Paul is passionate
about wildlife and the natural landscape and a lot of his work is done from the
14 acres they have as a small nature reserve,” says Village Gallery owner and
curator Simon Main.
Blackwell reveals he has always
had two passions in his life. “The first is rugby and the second, malt whisky,”
he says. “But I also like to paint a bit: landscapes mainly.
“My work is a reflection of
my interest in the complex and emotional interchange of colours, as I attempt
to convey the vibrancy and radiance of a landscape and the depth of its
“I often use the medium of
pastel as it’s particularly suited to my way of working, using colour
juxtapositions to create energy and dynamism, rhythm and balance.”
After starting work on site, usually in monochrome, Blackwell enjoys exploring the colour structure once back in the studio. Frequently keeping the formal content simple, he creates a uniformity of atmosphere and feeling through his application of colours, as can be seen at Village Gallery from next Tuesday.
Gallery opening hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. In addition, the gallery will play host to a preview evening on January 13 from 5pm to 8pm, when Paul Blackwell will be on hand to discuss his work. Free tickets are available from Simon Main on 07972 428382 or 01904 411444 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Veteran Yorkshire arts journalist CHARLES HUTCHINSON doffs his cap to the makers and shakers who made and shook the arts world in York and beyond in 2019.
of the year: Alan
Ayckbourn’s Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present, at Stephen Joseph Theatre,
Scarborough, from September 4
Ayckbourn penned one play to mark his 80th birthday, then decided it
wasn’t the right one. Instead, writing more quickly than he had in years, he
constructed a piece around…birthdays. Still the master of comedy of awkward
Honourable mention: Kay Mellor’s Band Of Gold, Leeds Grand Theatre, November 28 to December 14.
Should Have Seen It production of the year: Arthur Miller’s A View From The Bridge, York
Theatre Royal, September 20 to October 12.
Once more, the
sage Arthur Miller bafflingly did not draw the crowds – a Bridge too far? – but
Theatre Royal associate director Juliet Forster found resonance anew for this
age of rising intolerance in Trumped-Up America and Brexit Britain.
home-grown show of the year: York Stage Musicals in Shrek The Musical, Grand Opera House, York, September
12 to 21
swapped directing for his stage return after five years in the wind-assisted
title role and stunk the place out in Shrek tradition in a good way. Jacqueline
Bell‘s Princess Fiona and Chris Knight’s Donkey were terrific too.
Honourable mention: Pick Me Up Theatre in Monster Makers, 41 Monkgate, October 23 to 27
launch of the year: Rigmarole
Theatre in When The Rain Stops Falling, 41 Monkgate, York, November 14 to 16
Smales, a previous Hutch Award winner for her all-female Henry V for York
Shakespeare Project, set up Rigmarole to mount Andrew Bovell’s apocalyptic
Anglo-Aussie family drama. More please.
play of the year: The
Comedy About A Bank Robbery, Grand Opera House, York, February 5 to 12
for Mischief Theatre with a riotous show, so diamond-cutter sharp, so rewarding,
in its comedy, that it is even better than the original botched masterplan, The
Play That Goes Wrong.
Honourable mention: Nigel Slater’s Toast, York Theatre Royal, November 19 to 23
play of the year:
Handbagged, York Theatre Royal, April 24 to May 11
In a play of wit, brio and intelligence, Moira Buffini presents
a double double act of 20th century titans, Margaret Thatcher and
The Queen, one from when both ruled, the other looking back at those days, as
they talk but don’t actually engage in a conversation.
of the year: Emma Rice
for Wise Children’s Wise Children, in March, and Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers, in
September, both at York Theatre Royal
once of Cornwall’s pioneering Kneehigh Theatre and somewhat briefly of
Shakespeare’s Globe, has found her mojo again with her new company Wise
Children, forming a fruitful relationship with York Theatre Royal to boot.
Watch out for Wuthering Heights in 2021.
director of the year:
John R Wilkinson, Hello And Goodbye, York Theatre Royal Studio, November
Theatre Royal associate artist John R Wilkinson had long called for the return of in-house productions in the Studio and what he called “the blue magic of that space”. He duly delivered a superb reading of Athol Fugard’s apartheid-era South African work starring Jo Mousley and Emilio Iannucci.
Comedy show of the year: Sir Ian McKellen in Ian McKellen On Stage With Tolkien, Shakespeare, Others…And You, Grand Opera House, York, June 17
A delightful variation on the An Evening With…format, wherein Sir Ian McKellen celebrated his 80th birthday with a tour through his past. His guide to Shakespeare’s 37 plays was a particular joy.
Honourable mention: John Osborne in John Peel’s Shed/Circled In The Radio Times, Pocklington Arts Centre bar, March 27
of the year: Live
In Libraries York, York Explore, autumn
wood-panelled Marriott Room, veteran busker David Ward Maclean and Explore York
mounted a series of four intimate, low-key concerts, the pick of them being Bonnieville
And The Bailers’ magical set on October 25. Along with The Howl & The Hum’s
Sam Griffiths, Bonnie Milnes is the blossoming York songwriter to watch in
of the Year: The
Arts Barge’s Riverside Festival, by the Ouse, July and August
umbrella of Martin Witts’s Great Yorkshire Fringe, but celebrating its own identity
too, The Arts Barge found firm footing with two locations, an ever-busy tent
and, hurrah, the newly docked, freshly painted barge, the Selby Tony. The Young
Thugs showcase, Henry Raby, Rory Motion, Katie Greenbrown, jazz gigs, a naked Theo
Mason Wood; so many highs.
Honourable mentions: York Festival of Ideas, June; Aesthetica Short Film Festival, November.
York Barbican gig of the year: The Specials, May 9
Still The Specials, still special, on their 40th anniversary world tour, as the Coventry ska veterans promoted their first studio album in 39 years, Encore, still hitting the political nail on the head as assuredly as ever.
Honourable mentions: David Gray, March 30; Art Garfunkel, April 18; Kelly Jones, September 14.
Happiest nights of the year: Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre in Twelfth Night, Castle car park, York, July 4 and September 1
JOYCE Branagh, Kenneth’s sister, set Shakespeare’s comedy in the Jazz Age, serving up “Comedy Glamour” with a Charleston dash and double acts at the double. “Why, this is very midsummer madness,” the play exhorts, and it was, gloriously so, especially on the last night, when no-one knew what lay just around the corner for the doomed Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre.
Most moving night of the year: Glory
Dazed, East Riding Theatre, Beverley, January 26
Cat Jones’s play, starring York actor Samuel Edward Cook, brings
to light issues surrounding the mental health of ex-servicemen as they seek to
re-integrate into civilian society while struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress
Disorder. The post-show discussion with ex-soldiers from Hull spoke even
Solo show of the year: Serena
Manteghi in Build A Rocket, autumn tour
NO sooner had she finished playing Ophelia in Shakespeare’s
Rose Theatre’s Hamlet than Serena Manteghi revived her remarkable role as a seaside
resort teenage single mum in Christopher York’s award-winning coruscating play.
Honourable mention: James Swanton in Irving Undead, York Medical Society, October 10 to 12.
Favourite interview of the year: Brian Blessed, giving oxygen to his An Evening With Brian Blessed show at Grand Opera House, York, in August
The exuberance for life in Brian – Yorkshire man mountain, actor, mountaineer and space travel enthusiast – at the age of 83 would inspire anyone to climb Everest or reach for the stars.
the year: John
Newman, The Out Of The Blue Tour, The Crescent, York, June 30
Settle sound of soul, John Newman, and his soul mates parked their old camper van
outside the almost unbearably hot Crescent, threw caution to the wind and burnt
the house down on a night that must
have been like watching Joe Cocker or Otis Redding on the rise in the Sixties.
Honourable mentions: Nick Lowe’s Quality Rock’n’Roll Revue, Pocklington Arts Centre, June 25; The Howl & The Hum, The Crescent, York, December 14
of the year: Van
Gogh: The Immersive Experience, York St Mary’s, York, now extended to April 2020
This 360-degree digital art installation uses technology to create
a constantly moving projected gallery of 200 of Vincent Van Gogh’s most famous
19th century works in the former church. Breathtaking, innovative, and,
yes, worth the admission charge.
Honourable mention: Ruskin, Turner and The Storm Cloud, Watercolours and Drawings, York Art Gallery, from March 28
production of the year: The Wizard Of Oz, Leeds Playhouse, until January 25
£15.8 million transformation from the West Yorkshire Playhouse to Leeds
Playhouse, artistic director James Brining gave West Yorkshire’s premier
theatre the grandest, dandiest of re-opening hits. Still time to travel down
the Yellow Brick Road with Agatha Meehan, 12, from York, as Dorothy.
stage left: Berwick
Kaler, retiring on February 2 after 40 years as York Theatre Royal’s pantomime
dame; Tim Hornsby, bowing out from booking acts for Fibbers on June 29, after 27
years and 7,500 shows in York; Damian Cruden, leaving the Theatre Royal on July
26 after 22 years as artistic director; James Cundall’s Shakespeare’s Rose
Theatre, in September, after hitting the financial icebergs .
not forgotten: York Musical Theatre Company leading man,
director, teacher, chairman, bon viveur and pub guvnor Richard Bainbridge, who
died on July 6.
NOTHING special happened in the arts scene in 2019…or did it? Find out tomorrow when the Hutch Award winners are announced for what made the art beat race faster across YORKshire at charleshutchpress.co.uk.
Gogh: The Immersive Experience is to be given an extended run at York St Mary’s,
having drawn 50,000 visitors since July.
Van Gogh exhibition was set to close on January 5 but now will be open until
the end of the Easter holidays on April 19.
the decision, creative director Mario Iacampo said: “We have had such a warm
welcome in York, and incredibly positive feedback about how people have been
moved by the experience, so we’re delighted that we’re able to continue as a
part of York’s vibrant winter programme of events and activities.
St Mary’s is a wonderful venue for this kind of immersive digital art: right in
the heart of the city for easy access, yet able to be adapted, so visitors feel
as though they are in the French countryside, or overlooking the Rhone, during
their time with us.”
multimedia experience centres around a 360-degree projection in the nave of the
deconsecrated church, making use of the stone arches and high ceiling.
Animated versions of more than 200 of Van Gogh’s most famous works are
projected on to the walls, while a specially written emotive soundtrack and
relaxing reclined deckchairs encourage visitors to sink into the environment
around them for a Zen-like experience.
main show runs on a continuous loop lasting 35 minutes, and visitors can spend
as much time as they want in the nave.
the end of a visit, a virtual reality experience takes visitors through a day
in the life of the artist in Arles during Van Gogh’s time there, depicting locations
that inspired his work, starting with the bedroom in the farmhouse that he
painted three times.
Whiting, head of marketing and communications at Visit York, said: “We’re
delighted that this innovative exhibition will be extended into 2020. It’s a
wonderful addition to the media arts offering of the city, combining a
beautiful, atmospheric venue with a uniquely immersive art installation. It’s
great news that visitors and residents will have further opportunities next
year as they enjoy their ‘Only in York’ experience.”
Gogh: The Immersive Experience, at York St Mary’s, Castlegate, York, will be
open from Wednesday to Sunday in January, February and March, daily during half
term and then from March 30 until April 19.
Admission prices are £13, £11, concessions, and £9, children, with booking strongly recommended. For more details and opening times, visit vangoghexpo.co.uk.
Here is Charles Hutchinson’s feature on Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, as first printed in The Press, York, on July 15.
WHAT is the difference between an exhibition, a show and an immersive experience, like the one you can encounter at York St Mary’s?
Let Mario Iacampo, the man behind the cutting-edge Van Gogh attraction in Castlegate, York, define it.
“Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience is not an exhibition and it’s not a show, which I believe requires a live element; it’s somewhere between the two,” he says. “I wanted to create a Zen environment where you can sit down and watch at your leisure.
“To make it an ‘experience’, first of all there has to be emotion; then there has to be music to go with it; thirdly, there has to be the immersive experience, all around you, even on the floor.”
Iacampo, the creative director and founder of Exhibition Hub, has worked with animation artists at Dirty Monitor to create the 360-degrees digital art installation of 19th century Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings evoking his life story.
Having drawn 82,000 people in Naples and 150,000 in Brussels, it is making its British debut in York, Britain’s first UNESCO City of Media Arts, where it will be on show until January 5 2020.
Why did you choose York, Mario? “We were looking at venues around the UK for a while, and I like to present the ‘experience’ in historical buildings,” he recalls. “We went to the Council of Churches and we started studying possibilities.
“York has a huge number of tourists coming to the city, and it’s placed in the middle of the country, which is why we thought York would work well.
“Then the history adds to the impact of the presentation, and using the columns and alcoves of the church are a big part of the interpretation. York St Mary’s was ideal.”
Nine months of preparation and a fortnight of construction then went into making the York installation. After adapting the technology to the 3D design of the York church – the building has four alcoves, compared to six in Naples – the immersive experience projects animated displays on to the walls of the former St Mary’s Church, where black-out blinds and a dozen projectors have transformed the normally light and airy building into a constantly moving projected gallery of 200 of Vincent Van Gogh’s most famous 19th century works.
At one end is a re-creation of Van Gogh’s bedroom in Arles, the subject of three of his paintings with its cramped bed, two chairs, yellowed window, battered Panama hat and row of jackets.
The central Nave houses a 35-minute immersive display, with a carpeted floor filled with deckchairs, from where visitors can enjoy the 360-degree displays seated, standing up or even lying down as the images move over the walls and floor – and their bodies, should they be horizontal.
Rather than merely projecting the original paintings, the immersive experience provides the twist of digitally animating the works: wheat sways in the breeze, water pours out of the confines of the painting’s frame, and the stars twirl and swirl in the night sky. Spookily, a skeleton suddenly smokes a cigarette. Steam from a train gradually immerses all the walls.
Everything comes alive all around you: the sun’s ever-changing position will lead to ever-changing shadows on the walls. There is so much to take in, visually, orally too, that you will want to stay longer than the 35-minute installation loop. At £13, make the very most of an artistic experience like no other in York previously.
The immersive experience is divided into, or rather flows seamlessly through, three sections: his painting years at Arles; his family, showing the repetitions in his portraits; and his years in the asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, 18 miles from Arles, still prolific years, but troubled by mental illness, ending in his suicide. The moment his self-portrait with his bandaged head suddenly emerges on the wall shocks anew.
For an extra £3, you can experience a 12-minute Virtual Reality rollercoaster ride from Van Gogh’s house to the settings of his best known works. Breathtaking. Truly breathtaking. And what’s more, part of the money raised from the VR experience will be donated to SASH, the York charity for the homeless, at Mario’s request.
“Sadness will last forever,” says one of Van Gogh’s quotes liberally sprinkled around St Mary’s, yet Mario points out: “He committed himself to the asylum because he felt he needed help, but he was also extremely prolific during that time, and they’re not all sad. Yes, there are some dark works, but he also painted what he saw around him, the gardens, what people were doing.”
Why did he pick Van Gogh for an immersive experience, rather than, say, Picasso or Dali? “You have to choose an artist whose paintings are ‘filled in’ with colour. You put up Starry Night and it fills the building. It really ‘pops’ into life.
“It’s the same with Monet, who we’ve also done for an immersive experience. You could do the same with Dali, but Picasso, maybe not,” says Mario.
“You also choose an artist that people understand, as you’re creating an experience for the general public, not for academics, though they have been complimentary. “ Van Gogh’s profusion of letters, 844 of them, primarily to his younger brother Theo, have helped hugely with the psychological aspect of the experience, cutting out the need for guesswork in interpreting his works. “It’s much easier when you have those letters, says Mario.
Van Gogh, by the way, signed his paintings “Vincent” for “the simple reason” no-one could pronounce his surname.
For the record, Mario pronounces it Van Goch, as in clock.
THE decorative Christmas displays at Castle Howard, near York,
are the most theatrical yet.
Running until January 5 2020, A Christmas Masquerade has
taken over every public room in the historic Yorkshire house for this themed
Each one is dressed in ornate and elaborate feathers,
sequins, baubles and twinkling lights as visitors join the Howard family in
their preparations for a Venetian-themed Christmas Carnival, complete with
masquerade ball and entertainment from Harlequin, Pierrot, Colombine and
Puchinello, all part of the Commedia
Producer Charlotte Lloyd Webber and theatrical designer
Bretta Gerecke once again have led the team of set dressers, florists,
baublographers, artists and seamstresses to create the immersive masquerade
“Castle Howard is a house that was built with a sense of theatre and extravagance inspired by Venetian design – Vanbrugh was both an architect and a playwright – and at a time of year when glittering opulence makes its way into almost every home, we couldn’t think of a better opportunity to explore a tradition enjoyed by generations of the Howard family: the masquerade ball,” says Charlotte.
“Many of the themes, colours and styles
that we have used to recreate a Venetian masquerade ball fit perfectly within
the theatrical grandeur of each room.”
The experience opens with the grand
staircase in the main hall, setting the scene for the lavish displays that
follow. Using the Venetian palate, the staircase is lavishly decorated
with sapphire blue, magenta, purple and gold.
At the top of the stairs, visitors gain
a taste of the entertainment for the forthcoming ball: multicoloured Harlequins, one of the
characters in the Commedia dell’arte, the troupe of wandering artists that
delighted 17th and 18th century
audiences with a mix of pathos, romance and slapstick.
On the China Landing, an estate-cut
twig tree has been painted in the Harlequin colours and hung with a plethora of
ornaments following the Venetian theme, while two masks give a further hint of
the ball’s lavish theme.
The following suite of four rooms
highlights the four key characters for the Commedia dell’arte visiting Castle Howard over the Christmas
period. Lady Georgiana’s bedroom is handed over to Colombine, a character
who started life in the troupe as an elegant dancer, before joining the “Zannis”
and becoming partner to both Harlequin and Pierrot.
Pinks, golds and silvers fill the room
to reflect the custom-made Colombine ballgown on display in the room, as if the
mistress of the house were preparing her own costume for the ball. The room also hosts the first of a special
collection of masks, hand-created by Venetian master craftsmen for Christmas at
Castle Howard: the Rosetta Mask.
The adjacent dressing room is a huge
contrast, to reflect the first of the troupe’s clowns, Puchinello, leader of the Zannis and
inspiration for the modern English use of the word “zany”. This wacky room
features an upside-down white Christmas tree, with a circus fairground
feel. The very British Punch and Judy explode out of a present in a nod
to the seaside tradition that has its origins in these Venetian artists.
A popular contemporary vision of clown
Pierrot finds him sitting in a moon, and this provides inspiration for the
Castle Howard dressing room: a dreamlike and tranquil space decorated with a
starry ceiling, gold, silver, black and white, with the character himself in a
familiar pose at the back of the room.
Harlequin’s bedroom is one of the most
lavish in the house: red, gold and green with a beautifully decorated tree,
atop which sits another ornate Venetian mask. This is the space where the
Master of the House will prepare for the ball, his Harlequin costume awaiting on
The rich, bright colours of the theme
inspired the Antiques Passage, an explosion of colour featuring a jewellery box
of hues and shades presented through exotic birds and butterflies.
The Castle Howard tradition of the
enormous Christmas tree continues in the Great Hall, where a remarkable 26ft
real tree is installed and covered with 3,500 baubles. “As far as we’ve
been able to tell, this is the largest Christmas tree in a stately home in the
country,” says Abbigail. “It’s certainly several feet bigger than the trees in
However, the Masquerade theme is still
very evident in the room; the view up to the balcony features acrobats on the
handrail with a monochrome and a colourful Harlequin balancing there.
The influence of the Commedia dell’arte
becomes even more prominent in the three rooms on the first floor that show the
theatrical experience of masquerade and pantomime from both backstage and
audience perspectives. The display includes historic items from Castle
Howard’s collections, featuring dresses, masques and fans that would have been
worn and used by ancestors of the present custodian, the Hon. Nicholas
On display too are wigs, make-up and other
accoutrements that would have helped the actors’ preparations for the
stage. The centrepiece of the High South
is a life-size “paper theatre”, inspired by Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop, which
uses the architectural features of Castle Howard in a colourful pantomime
Returning to the ground floor, visitors
will have another behind-the-scenes peek in the room dedicated to the ruler of
Venice. The new library includes the Doge Tree, dedicated to the “Duke”
of Venice – or in Castle Howard’s case, the master of the house – and laden
with opulent Venetian glass ornaments and fabrics, with books on display all
about the Venetian masquerade – essential for planning any authentic ball.
The Garden Hall’s traditional bare twig
tree returns, but this year features candle-lit decorations of brightly
coloured Venetian Glass to create a kaleidoscope effect in the room.
A special model of Castle Howard created
last year by artist Mark Bond returns to the Cabinet Room, now joined by a new
model showing the exterior landscape down the Lime Avenue. Tiny
depictions of actors and their supporting crew from the Commedia dell’arte can
be seen making their way with horses and carts on their way to the house in
this tiny display, while ladies in their ballgowns can be found on the North
Front of the main model, arriving for the ball to entertainment from a
miniature Punch and Judy show.
In the music room, one of the paintings
almost comes alive, as characters step out of Marco Ricci’s The Opera Rehearsal
and don costumes ready for the ball.
The Crimson Dining Room is a glittering
Venetian feast, the table set with a centrepiece of lions and exotic
monkeys. As Charlotte Lloyd Webber explains: “We have tried to amplify
and reveal aspects of the house that you may not have noticed with the designs.
A painting of the Grand Canal in the Crimson Dining Room, for example, is
reflected in the gondola-themed decorations in the room.”
Crimson turns to scarlet for the
drawing room – the only colour used in here – with two mannequins wearing
bespoke garments created for the room and a Venetian Fraudis Jolly, a
masquerade mask made of playing cards.
Resuming the figurative flow of the
water in the dining room picture, the Long Gallery –the epicentre and pinnacle
of each year’s Christmas designs – recreates the glittering waterway as the
setting for the Venetian Carnival that has been teased throughout the
Visitors join the guests at the
waterside Ball, its setting drawn from the imagination of Brette Gerecke, using
artistic skills and set-dressing normally seen from afar on the theatrical
stage. The “canal” itself is made from nearly 250 metres of moulded aluminium foil, on which 4,300
customised iridescent sequins have been painstakingly glued in a task that took
three people four days to complete.
At the heart of the Long Gallery is a
three-metre-wide suspended revolving Harlequin mask, one side multicoloured,
the other covered in sequins of gold, silver and bronze. One of the
windows at the octagonal centre of the gallery has been replaced with a stained-glass
window to shine coloured diamonds all over the space, even on darker winter
days, when an artificial light provides the illumination!
Leaving the Long Gallery, visitors
descend to the chapel, which this year has been dressed by Slingsby School
working with Castle Howard’s charity of the year, Yorkshire Wildlife
Trust. Alongside a traditional Nativity scene, children have created
animal-themed decorations with hand-written eco-wishes. Visitors are invited to swap real coins for
chocolate ones in a donation box, with proceeds going to the charity.
Each weekend during the Christmas opening until January 5,
those visiting will be joined by members of the Commedia dell’arte troupe for
live entertainment around the house, while soundscapes and music arranged by the
Hon. Nicholas Howard provide an additional sensory appeal to the proceedings.
Head of marketing Abbigail Ollive says: “Christmas at Castle
Howard is an experience never to be forgotten, with many people returning year
after year to get their festive ‘fix’, whether to take inspiration back for
their own home designs, or simply just to marvel at how an already beautiful
property can be transformed into this magical place – a veritable festive film
set that you can walk through and admire!
“Each year’s designs are totally different, and the
jewel-like sapphire blues, ruby reds and golden amber bring a whole new colour
palette to this winter’s displays.”
Castle Howard: A Christmas Masquerade runs until Sunday, January 5 2020, closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Tickets are on sale at castlehoward.co.uk.
THE Space In Between is filling Lotte Inch Gallery, in Bootham, York, with a sophisticated exhibition of monochrome porcelain vessels by Cambridge ceramicist Katharina Klug until Christmas Eve.
“This show plays
with juxtaposing shapes, form and line and places these individual parts within
the context of a larger installation work,” says Lotte. “It’s a show too that
sees the boundaries between craftsmanship and artistic expression grow hazy.”
Known for her manipulation of graphic
lines painstakingly hand drawn on to the surfaces of her fine porcelain
vessels, Katharina’s body of work explores the spaces that lie between lines
and objects as she moves her artistic practice towards something almost more
sculptural, omitting certain elements to create new ones.
“The identifiably Katharina colour pallet
and beautifully realised vessels remain simultaneously of themselves, and of
something bigger, more powerful,” suggests Lotte.
The Space In Between, Katharina says: “This show, for me, is a further step into more
installation-based work. I enjoy the challenge of a narrative-driven context.”
She asked herself: “What lies in
between? What can you see only because you can’t see another? Can leaving
things out, draw others? All these questions started me off on to this body of
work. I’m delighted to have the chance to show it in its entirety at Lotte Inch
Gallery in York.”
continues: “In the
last few years, my work has become more about vessel groupings and ideas that
involve more than the one individual pot. It’s almost like creating a larger
canvas that’s split into several vessels.
“The monochrome works are an
accumulation of vessels which together build up installations that let the
viewer see them together as one piece.
“There are so many examples of
collectives in the natural world that morph into new manifestations. The idea
of many forming one keeps feeding my interest in making these pieces.”
particularly enjoys how “the placing of
the individual vessel creates a new composition with new views”. “Depending on
the space, the pieces can be arranged to suit the environment but also to create
a new dialogue in between,” she explains.
“I’m hoping the pieces get played and
experimented with, to find new things beyond what I had imagined.”
Katharina lives and works in Cambridge
after moving to Britain from her native Austria in 2009. All her pots are made
by hand on the wheel with pastels used to draw naïve, spontaneous patterns on to
their surface: “the perfect canvas to explore space,” she says.
Her work has been shown in galleries
around the country and beyond and is held in many private collections, and collaborations
have involved her working with Heal’s, the British
furniture and furnishing store chain.
Recognition has come with the silver award in 2013
and 2015 in Craft and Design Magazine’s ceramics category; a shortlisting for
the International Nasser Sparkasse Ceramics Prize in Westerwald, Germany, and
an honourable mention for two entries in the International Ceramic Festival in
Japan in 2017. She has been a selected
member of the Craft Potters Association since 2016 too.
Lotte Inch Gallery, on the first floor at 14, Bootham, York, is open on Thursdays to Saturdays, 10am to 5pm; otherwise by appointment on 01904 848660.
KENTMERE House Gallery, in Scarcroft Hill, York, will be open every weekend
until December 22, complemented by late-night openings on Thursdays.
“Those who have everything may be the bane of your life, but you can be
absolutely certain that they don’t have any of the paintings available
from this gallery because all are originals,” says owner and curator Ann
“We have the usual Christmas Aladdin’s cave to rummage around in, with a
price range from £50 to £2,500, plus books from £10.
“There’s a slight emphasis on cats in this year’s collection – anticipating the imminent arrival of the film musical, perhaps?! – including Susan Bower’s Can They Be Mine?, a watercolour by York artist Frances Brock and a delightful linocut by Norfolk artist Hannah Hann, discovered in a small gallery in Norfolk.”
On display too is new work by Kentmere House favourites such as John
Thornton, Rosie Dean and David Greenwood, along with work from nationally known
printmakers Valerie Thornton, John Brunsdon and Richard
“And if it’s all too difficult, there’s the gallery’s gift voucher
service, allowing the recipients themselves to make the choice and with the
gallery adding five per cent to the value of any voucher,” says Ann.
“Alternatively, if you buy a painting as a gift and the recipient would
prefer another, return it by the end of January and a full credit will be given
against another painting.”
Kentmere House Gallery can be visited each Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 5pm, plus Thursdays from 6pm to 9pm. “You are also welcome at any other timeswith a telephone call in advance to check on 01904 656507 or 07801 810825 – or just ring the bell.”
The gallery will re-open after the Christmas break on Saturday, January
Ambulance ambassador Amanda Owen and her farming family feature in a new
charity Christmas card painted by Harrogate artist Anita Bowerman.
Owen, alias The Yorkshire Shepherdess,
is at present drawing more than 1.5 million viewers to the second series of her
Channel 5 documentary Our Yorkshire Farm on Tuesday nights.
She was first the focus of a Yorkshire
Air Ambulance (YAA) charity card last year, showing Amanda surrounded by her
beloved sheep and dogs on a harsh winter’s day.
Painted by Anita, it became the
charity’s best-seller, with cards flying off around the world.
This year’s card for the YAA already is
proving more popular than ever and once more all the proceeds will go to the
delighted to feature again on the Yorkshire Air Ambulance Christmas cards,”
says Amanda. “Anita Bowerman is a fantastically skilled artist who has a unique
ability to depict children and animals in wonderfully intricate detail.
“I’m hopeful that these cards will go worldwide and raise much-needed funds for
this incredible charity. 100 per cent profit goes to the YAA.”
Amanda, hill farmer, mother of nine, photographer, public speaker and author, lives with husband Clive and their family at Ravenseat in Upper Swaledale, North Yorkshire, one of the highest, most remote hill farms in England.
She has always supported the work of the YAA, given the remote area where they live and the nature of the charity’s work, but it was an introduction through Anita that brought Amanda and the charity closer together.
“I was contacted by
Anita last year to ask if I’d be happy to collaborate with her and the YAA by
painting me and my sheep as a scene for one of their Christmas cards,” says
“Obviously it was a
real honour for me to accept, and the card went on to be the Charity’s
best-selling Christmas card.
“I hear they were
sending them out all around the world, and as far away as Canada. We have kept
in contact since and when I was asked to be an ambassador, I was absolutely
delighted. I genuinely couldn’t think of a better organisation to be involved
with. I was very emotional when they first asked me.”
adds: “I’m aware that living as remotely as we do, the YAA is a vital service
that can make the difference between life and death. We have had our fair share
of medical emergencies, though we’re fortunate to have never yet ourselves
required the services of the YAA.”
Painting Amanda and her family and animals is always such a joy for Anita. “In the card you can see Amanda with some of her children, sheepdogs, a robin, Tony the Pony, an owl, a robin and much more,” she says.
“The holly hanging above them is kept
in this ancient barn all year. The original painting can be seen in my Dove
Tree gallery and studio in Harrogate.
“It’s a privilege to be able to support
the vital work of the YAA through the sale of these cards, and having Amanda as
an ambassador is a bonus.”
Priced at £4 for ten cards, they are
available at yorkshireairambulance.org.uk/product/Yorkshire-shepherdess-2/ or
from Anita’s gallery in Back Granville Road, Harrogate. (Visit
anitabowerman.co.uk for location details and opening times.)
Anita has illustrated two more cards
for the YAA this Christmas: Ribblehead Viaduct and Malham Cove. Meanwhile, copies
of last year’s card are still available at yaa.org.uk/shop.
If you are seeking Christmas presents
or cards, Anita will be hosting champagne and canapes events to mark the eighth
anniversary of her gallery on December 5 from 6pm to 8pm and December 7, 10am
artist-in-residence this year at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, in Harrogate, where
I’ll be appearing in the shop there every Saturday, from 4pm to 8pm, during
Harlow Carr’s Glow winter illuminations until Christmas,” says Anita, who will
be doing mini-demonstrations and chatting to visitors.
“I’ve finished all 12
paintings of the gardens, one for each month, all
made using moss, twigs and leaves, and now have my prints and cards in the shop.”
The Glow winter illuminations
at Harlow Carr light up the gardens after dusk every Thursday, Friday and
Saturday until December 28, from 4.30pm to 8pm, except on Boxing Day, with last
admission at 7pm.
On those days, special lighting effects transform Streamside, the Queen Mother’s
Lake, Winter Walk, the Doric Columns and Alpine House.
New for this year, as part of the Glow adventure, you can enjoy
illuminated sculptures, such as a silver angel; meander through a tunnel of
twinkling lights as you enter the Kitchen Garden, and finish the trail at a
festive-themed marquee with Christmas carols.
Glow tickets can be booked at gardentickets.rhs.org.uk/
Did you know?
Yorkshire Air Ambulance serves five million people across Yorkshire, carrying out more than 1,500 missions every year. The charity operates two state-of-the-art Airbus H145 helicopters and needs to raise £12,000 every day to keep saving lives.
Chris Gorman’s film footage of Anita Bowerman at work at RHS Harlow Carr, Harrogate, during her year as artist-in-residence.
YORK artist and writer Harland Miller’s largest ever solo exhibition
will be held in his home city next year.
Harland Miller: York, So Good They Named It Once will run at York Art
Gallery from February 14 to May 31 2020.
Supported by fellow North Yorkshireman Jay Jopling’s White Cube
galleries in London, the show features Miller’s best-known series, the Penguin Book Covers
and the Pelican Bad Weather Paintings.
These works directly refer to the 55-year-old artist’s relationship with
York, the city where he was born and grew up before moving to London, as well
as making wider references to the culture and geography of Yorkshire as a
The titles are all sardonic statements on life: York, So Good They Named It; Once Whitby – The Self Catering Years; Rags to Polyester – My Story and Incurable Romantic Seeks Dirty Filthy Whore.
addition to these dust-jacket paintings, Miller will show works from his recent
Letter Painting series: canvasses made up of overlaid letters to form short
words or acronyms in a format inspired by the illuminated letters of medieval
Miller left Yorkshire to study at Chelsea School of Art, graduating in
1988 with an MA, since when he has lived in London, New York, Berlin and New
He has held solo exhibitions at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art,
Gateshead, in 2009 and Palacio Quintanar, Segovia, Spain, in 2015. Group
exhibitions include the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, in 1996; Kunsthalle
Mannheim, Germany, 2004; Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2005,
2006 and 2007; Sculpture in the Close, Jesus College, Cambridge, 2013, and Somerset
House, London, 2016.
In 2008, Miller curated the group show You Dig The Tunnel, I’ll Hide The
Soil, an homage to Edgar Allan Poe to mark the bicentenary of his birth, at
White Cube and Shoreditch Town Hall, London.
His first novel, Slow Down Arthur, Stick To Thirty, the story of a child who travels around northern England with
a David Bowie impersonator, was published
by Fourth Estate in 2000.
That same year, Book Works published his novella,
At First I Was Afraid, a study of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder,
based on the true story of a female relative, whose box of Polaroid images, all
of oven knobs turned to “Off”, was discovered by Miller.
In his artwork, he continues to create work in the vein of his Penguin covers, wherein he married aspects of Pop Art, abstraction and figurative painting with his writer’s love of text. He now includes his own phrases, some humorous and absurd, others marked by a lush melancholia.