Yorkshire Shepherdess’s happy Christmas is on the cards for air ambulance charity

The Yorkshire Shepherdess Gathering Her Animals And Children In Time For Christmas: Anita Bowerman’s new charity Christmas card for Yorkshire Air Ambulance

YORKSHIRE Air 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.

Crimson Glory Vine (Vitis Coignetiae) at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, one of Anita Bowerman’s 12 paintings from her artist-in-residence year

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 charity.

Harrogate artist Anita Bowerman painting Amanda Owen, The Yorkshire Shepherdess, at her moorland farm for last year’s Yorkshire Air Ambulance Christmas card

“I’m absolutely 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.

Maytenus Boaria Tree at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, September, by Anita Bowerman

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 Amanda.

Travelling Home For Christmas:, one of Anita Bowerman’s Christmas card designs for Yorkshire Air Ambulance

“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.”

The Winter Walk At RHS Garden, Harlow Carr, December, by Anita Bowerman

Amanda 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.

The Snow Lays Deep And Crisp And Even: Anita Bowerman’s third design for her 2019 Christmas cards for Yorkshire Air Ambulance

“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.

The Tarn At RHS Garden Harlow Carr, November, by Anita Bowerman

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 to 3.30pm.

“I’m also 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.

Glow: the winter illuminations at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Harrogate, pictured in November 2017

“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.

Charles Hutchinson

Chris Gorman’s film footage of Anita Bowerman at work at RHS Harlow Carr, Harrogate, during her year as artist-in-residence.


White Cube’s Harland Miller comes home for biggest solo show at York Art Gallery

York, So Good They Named It Once, by Harland Miller, oil on canvas, 2009, copyright Harland Miller, Photo copyright: White Cube (Stephen White)

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 whole.

Death, What’s in it For Me?, by Harland Miller, oil on canvas, 2007, copyright Harland Miller, Photo copyright: White Cube (Stephen White)

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.

In 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 manuscripts.

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 Orleans.

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.

Ace, by Harland Miller, oil on canvas, 2017, copyright Harland Miller, Photo copyright: White Cube (George Darrell)

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.

Charles Hutchinson

Sarah Garforth’s Nidderdale and coastal paintings to go on show at Village Gallery

Low Tide, Sandsend, by Sarah Garforth

SARAH Garforth’s exhibition of Upper Nidderdale and coastal scenes will open at Village Gallery, Colliergate, York, on December 3.

Wanderings is a new body of work focusing on the North Yorkshire reservoirs around Sarah’s home and favourite locations on the East Coast.

Sarah, a keen walker, works in a traditional way, collecting sketches out in the field and developing her ideas once back in the studio.

Last Light, Gouthwaite Reservoir, by Sarah Garforth

“Her aim with this new work is to try to bridge the gap between spontaneity and over-thought contrived work,” says Village Gallery owner Simon Main.

“By continuing to play with ideas, pieces can evolve, rather than have pre-determined elements.”

Sarah has introduced mixed media into the oils, using cold wax, marble dust, pigment sticks and gambasol, applied with spatulas, scrapers and knives, but no brush at all.

Huts At Boulmer, by Sarah Garforth

“By working in layers, it has allowed her to scrape and draw back into the paint, reconnecting to the original image,” says Simon.

A preview evening will be held on Monday, December 2, when Sarah will be on hand to discuss her work. Tickets are available from Simon at the gallery.

“Aside from our regularly changing art exhibitions, we are York’s official stockist of Lalique glass and crystal,” says Simon.

“We also sell a selection of art, craft, ceramics, glass, sculpture and jewellery, much of it being the work of local artists­ – and with Christmas around the corner, there’s lots to choose from.”

Sarah Garforth’s Wanderings will be on show until January 11 2020. Village Gallery’s opening hours are 10am to 5pm, Tuesday to Saturday.

Lots and lots and lots of potty things to do at York Art Gallery

Alison Britton: giving the Annual CoCA Lecture this evening

THE Centre of Ceramic Art’s annual Day of Clay is expanding into two Days of Clay this weekend at York Art Gallery.

The event involves hands-on activities, talks and workshops by experts and the launch of Gillian Lowndes’ exhibition, At The Edge.

CoCA’s Days of Clay offers the chance to watch, make and hear about the art of clay from leading figures from the world of ceramics, including working with animal sculptor Susan Hall and participating in performances from Milena Dragic and Mila Romans, while David Horbury will discuss Emmanuel Cooper’s memoirs.

This evening’s CoCA lecture will be given by potter Alison Britton OBE on the subject of being part of the emergence of a radical abstract expressionist style of ceramic work. 

The Days of Clay coincide with the opening of a display of works by Gillian Lowndes, the most radical ceramicist of the 20th century.   

Fiona Green, assistant curator at York Art Gallery, says: “This year we have extended our popular day event to a whole weekend, with fantastic opportunities to celebrate, discuss and work with clay.

“We have some incredible experts involved, who are looking forward to discussing their work and sharing experiences and techniques with visitors, and there are plenty of opportunities to get hands-on and have a go yourself.

“Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to join other experts, enthusiasts and novices who all share an appreciation of clay.”

All activities are included in admission to York Art Gallery with the exception of the CoCA Lecture. Visit yorkartgallery.org.uk for more details and tickets.

Days of Clay is being held in conjunction with York Ceramics Fair 2019, running concurrently at the Hospitium, York Museum Gardens, with support from the Craft Potters Association.

Tickets to York Ceramics Fair are on sale at yorkceramicsfair.com; tickets to York Art Gallery can be bought at a reduced rate if you hold a York Ceramics Fair ticket.

Days of Clay full programme

Saturday, November 23

10.30am to 4.30pm: Artist Susan Halls in the Studio.

Come and help fill part of the gallery with a crowd of watchful clay rabbits. Animal sculptor Susan Halls will be running a hands-on workshop showing you a quick and effective way to make a hollow rabbit that will form part of her Meadow installation.

Annual CoCA Lecture 2019: Alison Britton OBE, lecture at 6pm; Q&A, 6.45pm; drinks in Gillian Lowndes exhibition, 7pm; close, 8pm.

Alison Britton was part of a group of radical women artists graduating from the Royal College of Art’s ceramics course in the early 1970s.

In 1993, Britton co-curated The Raw And The Cooked with Martina Margetts, at the Barbican and Modern Art Oxford, which then toured in East Asia and Europe.

In her lecture, Britton will reflect on this exhibition and on being part of an emergence of a radical abstract expressionist style of ceramic work.

Sunday, November 24

In the CoCA 1 gallery:

1pm to 3pm, Clay Participatory Performance.

Joinperformers Milena Dragic and Mila Romans as “artist” and “clay” as they sculpt out clay movements and then invite you to participate in making, looking and moving clay to become part of the performance.

3.30pm to 4.30pm, Talk: Making Emmanuel Cooper.

David Horbury discusses how editing Emmanuel Cooper’s memoirs has provided fresh insights into his pots and practice. David’s book on Emmanuel will be on sale in the shop and he will be available to sign them.

In the Studio: 

11.30am to 12.30pm, The Life Of A Slipware Potter.

Join potter Doug Fitch and his wife Hannah for a talk about their lives as slipware potters, followed by a hands-on session where you can try out slip trailing yourself.

2pm to 3.30pm,Texture and carving workshop.

Learn about hand building with artist Wendy Lawrence. Take the opportunity to get hands on yourself and create a piece of carved, textured clay to take home with you.

In the CoCA 2 gallery:

11.30am to 12.30pm, Children Curate in conversation with Anthony Shaw and artist Susan Halls.

Meet the collector and the artist who helped inspire the children who curated the current Anthony Shaw Collection display.

2.30pm to 3.30pm, Alison Britton in conversation with Anthony Shaw.

Alison Britton will be talking with Anthony Shaw about the practice and work of Gillian Lowndes in CoCA’s new exhibition, Gillian Lowndes: At the Edge.

Burton Gallery: 

2pm to 3pm, Book Reading: The Ups And Downs In The Life Of The Fabulous Bernard Palissy.

Join Jane Hamlyn for a reading of a quaint little book about the 16th century French Huguenot potter Bernard Palissy and his desperate struggles to discover the lost secrets of Italian tin-glazed earthenware.

3pm to 4pm, Film Showing.

Watch a screening of Potshots, starring Johnny Vegas as Bernard Palissy. Produced by Roger Law and Anya Course. Running time: 25minutes. Jane will be available to answer any questions.

Both Saturday, November 23 and Sunday, November 24

Installation: Recycling the Tower of Pots.

The tower of pots was created by artist Lou Gilbert Scott and visitors during the 2018 Day of Clay event. Now you are invited to watch as it slowly dissolves, returning to soft malleable clay ready for re-use.

Hands on Here.

Get hands on with York Art Gallery’s historic and contemporary ceramic collection; sessions usually run between 11am and 1pm and 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

Children’s ceramic trail available at front desk all day.

Gillian Lowndes: At the Edge

November 23 to May 2020

See the ground-breaking works of Gillian Lowndes (1936-2010), the most radical ceramicist of the 20th century, in this major new exhibition.

From the 1970s onwards, artist Gillian Lowndes was at the forefront of a new style of contemporary ceramics which explored the materiality of clay.

Her abstract expressionist way of working brought together a range of materials and found objects that she recycled to create new sculptural work she called collages. This exhibition showcases more than 40 artworks drawn from CoCA’s collection, alongside loans from Anthony Shaw’s collection, many on public display for the first time.

Accompanying the exhibition will be further displays featuring new acquisitions by artists including Kate Malone, Emmanuel Cooper and David Seeger.

York Art Gallery opening times:

Monday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm.

Last admission: 4.30pm.

Closed: December 25 and 26 and January 1.

Elena’s window to a magical childhood winter goes on show at Owl & Monkey

A detail from Elena Skoreykp Wagner’s new winter window installation at Owl & Monkey, York

OWL & Monkey, the homeware and lifestyle store in Heslington Road, York, is unveiling its annual artist’s window installation for the festive season today.

The festivities will launch from today until Sunday as York illustrator Elena Skoreyko Wagner becomes the third artist chosen to celebrate the wonder and magic of a childhood winter.

As well as revealing Elena’s papercut installation, Helen and Matt Harris’s shop will be hosting events to herald the season, including fountain pen-making and a Letters To Santa opportunity, plus the chance to meet Elena and watch her papercutting in action on Sunday.

“Come down on Sunday between12 noon and 4 pm and ask Elena to create a mini paper version of you, your friends or family to take away on the day,” suggests Helen. “You can watch Elena make her cut-and-create decorations to purchase for £10. So, come prepared with some photos for your desired creation.” 

“The theme of a childhood Christmas really appealed to me, capturing that wonder and magic,” says Elena. Picture: Alice Lodge

As the installation goes on show, Helen says: “We’re excited to be hosting Elena’s beautiful creations and are delighted to welcome her installation and work to the shop.

“It exudes a sense of joy and hopefulness, celebrating the everyday elements of life through her collages, illustrations and zines. So, when we discovered her creations, we knew they were just what we were seeking.”

Matt adds: ‘We love the joyful nature of Elena’s work and how it captures the magic of the everyday. It matches so well with what we hope the shop offers; a happy place to celebrate the everyday.”

Canadian-born Illustrator Elena, who gained a BFA in studio art from York University in Toronto in 2006, specialises in colourful hand-cut paper collages, pieced together from paper snippets, along with zines. Her work is often narrative, depicting women and children, to touch gently on health and social issues, find magic and uncover meaning in the mundane.

Elena Skoreyko Wagner at work on a papercut. Picture: Kayti Pechke

“The theme of a childhood Christmas really appealed to me, capturing that wonder and magic,” she says of her new installation. “I have also been working with some local designers and makers to bring my designs to some exciting new products, so I’m really looking forward to bringing them to Owl & Monkey.”

An added element of the window from today is the re-use of vintage Japanese papers found by the Owl and Monkey duo. “A lot of my work uses up-cycled papers, so when Helen and Matt gave me some old, damaged Japanese papers, I was super-excited to see how they could gain a new story as part of the window,” says Elena. “Watch out for them in the very many garlands I’ve been busy sewing together these past few weeks.”

The Owl & Monkey homeware and lifestyle range “celebrates the simple pleasures of home and life with a carefully chosen selection of sustainably and ethically sourced goods to enhance the everyday”.

Helen and Matt Harris’s Owl & Monkey store in Heslington Road, York

“From studio pottery to an ever-growing range of stationery, all the products are selected with good ethics, function and joy in mind,” says Helen.

“We also focus on the power of sharing the skills and passions of the people behind the goods, so an important part of our ethos is collaboration with local designers, makers and artists.”

You can discover more about Elena’s work at elenastreehouse.com, on Instagram, @elenaskoreyko, and Facebook, @elenastreehouse.

Owl & Monkey, 16a Heslington Road, York, is open Wednesdays, 11am to 5pm; Thursdays and Fridays, 11am to 6pm; Saturdays 10am to 5.30pm, plus Sundays, 12 noon to 4pm, November 17 to December 22, and Tuesdays, 11am to 5pm, November 19 to December 17.

Charles Hutchinson

Top of the pots as 40 exhibit at York Ceramics Fair

York Ceramics Fair exhibitor Doug Fitch, using a sponge as he makes a pot in his studio. Picture: Kim Ayres

YORK Ceramics Fair is returning for a second year as a “top of the pots” gathering of British ceramicists in The Hospitium on November 23 and 24.

Running alongside will be the newly expanded Days Of Clay, a ceramics discovery programme run by the Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) at nearby York Art Gallery

Forty potters from Britain and beyond have been chosen through competitive selection by the fair’s organisers, the Craft Potters Association, to showcase their hand-crafted pieces.

Yellow Wavy Cat, front, and Glorious Cat, back, by Jenny Southam

On display and for sale in the medieval Hospitium, in the Museum Gardens, will be hundreds of pots of all shapes and sizes work ranging from vibrant to serene, minimal to magical, sculptural to utilitarian.

Among those taking part are Jenny Southam, whoseeccentric figures explore her love of gardening, as well as her interest in both Staffordshire mantelpiece figures and Etruscan tomb sculptures. 

Dylan Bowen’s bold expressionistic ceramics capture the spontaneity and energy of how they are made. His work is sought by leading interior designers and his collaborations include the interior lighting specialist Porta Romana for their Bohème collection. 

One of Kerstin Gren’s exhibits at York Ceramics Fair

Lara Scobie’s ceramics balance composition and form with pattern and bright pops of colour; Shipton-by-Beningbrough ceramicist Ruth King, one of the event organisers, specialises in the salt glaze technique and a preoccupation with structure, containment and balance in her luminous pots.
RAMP Ceramics is a partnership between Alice Hartford and Rupert Johnstone, wherein he throws the pots and she decorates them and they share a liking for simple, clean forms.

Anna Lambert, from Crosshills, near Keighley, makes hand-built arthenware ceramics using such techniques as slab-building and painted slips. Her creative ideas reflect an interest in place, exploring narratives relating to farmland, floodwater management, woodlands and the regeneration of orchards. Inspired by new nature writing, she combines drawing with abstract qualities of pots, their spaces, edges and surfaces.

RAMP Ceramics pieces by Alice Hartford and Rupert Johnstone

Over the same weekend, York Art Gallery’s annual Days Of Clay offers the chance to “get your hands dirty” at live demonstrations by makers on the Saturday and to enjoy a series of talks, conversations and demos on the Sunday, showing how raw clay can be pinched, carved, rolled, thrown and transformed through this ancient craft.

Animal sculptor Susan Hall and potters Milena Dragic and Mila Romans are taking part; esteemed ceramicist Alison Britten gives the annual CoCA lecture; David Horbury discusses the memoirs of studio potter and arts and crafts writer Emmanuel Cooper, and the event coincides with the launch of a new exhibition by “the most radical ceramicist of the 20th century”, Gillian Lowndes: At The Edge.

York Ceramics Fair, The Hospitium, Museum Gardens, York, November 23 and 24, 10am to 5pm; entry £5, under 16s, free. For more details, visit yorkceramicsfair.com.

Days Of Clay, York Art Gallery, November 23 and 24. Visit yorkartgallery.org.uk for details and tickets.

Katie Braida at work in her studio

The 40 potters taking part in York Ceramics Fair 2019 are:

Justine Allison; Matthew Blakely;Dylan Bowen; Daniel Boyle; Katie Braida; Ben Brierley; Karen Bunting; Rebecca Callis; Isabel Denyer; Antje Ernestus; Doug Fitch; Hannah McAndrew; David Frith; Kerstin Gren; James Hake; Richard Heeley; RAMP Ceramics; Ruth King; Anna Lambert; Tony Laverick; Wendy Lawrence; Sophie MacCarthy; Sean Miller; Jenny Morten; Stephen Murfitt; Jeremy Nichols; Adela Powell; Michaela Schoop; Lara Scobie; Jill Shaddock; Patricia Shone; Jenny Southam; Ilona Sulikova; Tricia Thom; Keith Varney; John Wheeldon; Emily-Kriste Wilcox; Deiniol Williams; David Wright; Paul Young.