YORK Open Studios 2020, the chance to meet 144 artists at 100 locations over two April weekends, has been cancelled in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, with doors sadly shut for the April 17 to 19 and April 25 to 26 event, CharlesHutchPress wants to champion the creativity of York’s artists and makers, who would have been showcasing their ceramics, collage, digital, illustration, jewellery, mixed media, painting, print, photography, sculpture and textiles skills.
Each day, in brochure order, five artists who now miss out on the exposure of Open Studios will be given a pen portrait on these pages, because so much art and craft will have been created for the event and still needs a new home. Addresses will not be included at this time.
Meanwhile, York Open Studios artists are finding their own way to respond to the shutdown by filling their windows with their work instead. Look for #openwindowsyork2020 to locate them. “If you see one in your area while taking your daily exercise, take a picture and let us know,” they say.
Jill Tattersall, mixed media
THIS would have been Jill’s second York Open Studios since she and her The Wolf At The Door art enterprise moved north from Brighton.
Before turning to art, she taught mediaeval French literature, leading to her fascination with the creation myths: Norse, Eastern, European and Aboriginal. “I’m overawed by early cave and rock art, made long ago with the simplest, most elemental means. People looked up into the night sky, just as we do, and must have asked the same questions about their place in the universe.”
Coasts and maps have inspired her too. “I used to live as far from the sea as you can get on this island but, like most of us, I was fascinated by coastlines and the sea,” says Jill. ”I moved, and till recently lived on the south coast, where the light is fabulous. I try to avoid trite seaside scenes and ration myself to a few sea-related pieces a year.”
Town and country are key influences as well. “Subjects just crop up: loaves of bread, a stretch of pavement, a passing scene, reflections in a train window,” she says.
“Often I use my own hand-made cast or moulded cotton paper. I then apply washes of paints, inks, dyes and pure pigments to build up intense, glowing colours, combining gold and silver leaf with recycled elements. Labour intensive, highly individual. The paper has a seductive, unpredictable surface: I like the danger and uncertainty this brings. You can wreck a promising painting at any moment.”
Jill’s paintings are in collections from Peru to Tasmania. Since moving north, she has exhibited at Kunsthuis Gallery, The Dutch House, Crayke. Discover more at jilltattersall.co.uk.
Here Be Monsteras, Kayti Peschke, ceramics
KAYTI creates ceramics under the name of Here Be Monsteras from her garage studio in her garden in the Wolds east of York.
Her background is in photography and magazine design, but a year ago she started making pottery and now she has converted full time. “It has become an obsession,” she says.
Kayti makes wheel-thrown ceramics with stoneware clays to create functional objects for the home. “A collection of special pieces that bring a bit of extra joy to the ordinary,” as she put it ahead of what would have been her York Open Studios debut.
She has been working on new collections, including screen-printing ceramics with artist Jade Blood, creating travel cups and a full dinnerware set, as well as collaborating with restaurants and cafés that serve their menus on her tableware.
“A cup of tea in a handmade cup really does taste better, maybe because the process feels more special or you take more time over it? I’m not sure why, but it’s true,” she says.
In her home studio, the cups of tea flow and her puppies hang out in the sunshine as she listens to BBC 6Music or podcasts. “I absolutely love being out there, creating, and hopefully this shows in the things I make.”
As testament to that, her ceramics can be found in York at Kiosk, Fossgate; Sketch By Origin, York Art Gallery; Walter & May, Bishopthorpe Road; Lotte The Baker, SparkYork and Botanic York, Walmgate. Take a look at herebemonsteras.com.
Joanna Wakefield, jewellery
DESIGNER jeweller Joanna’s work combines her two passions, jewellery and textiles, with the third essential element of her memories, observations and musings.
Joanna creates silver and gold jewellery inspired by textiles, haberdashery and her vintage collections and found objects.
Her work invokes a sense of nostalgia. Alongside button-inspired pieces is a delicate interpretation of handcrafted bobbins, thimbles, measures and needles.
Joanna first trained in design, specialising in textiles, having grown up in a family environment of three generations of needlewomen.
She travelled the world as a Fair Trade designer, but after more than ten years she could no longer ignore her desire to develop further creatively, leading her to re-train at York School of Jewellery.
“A huge part of my jewellery designs is influenced by textiles and haberdashery, stemming from a fascination that grew from admiring my Grandma’s talents and fond memories of sorting through her button stash,” says Joanna, whose work was to have featured in the MADE shop at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, near Wakefield, from March 7 to June 21.
Take a shine to Joanna’s jewellery at joannawakefield.com.
Mark Hearld, collage, printmaking and ceramics
MARK studied illustration at Glasgow School of Art and an MA in natural history illustration at the Royal College of Art in 1999 before breaking into the artistic world with exhibitions at Godfrey & Watt in Harrogate and St Jude’s in Norfolk and in London’s arty Lower Sloane Street.
He specialises in bright collages, paintings, limited-edition lithographic and lino-cut prints and now hand-painted ceramics, his work often involving animals and birds, flora and fauna.
“I’ve always had an interest in natural history and the British countryside,” says Mark, 46, who is strongly influenced too by mid-20th century art and design. “I like the idea of the artist working as a designer rather than making images to stick in a frame,” he reasons.
He undertook a set-design commission for the 2005 film Nanny McPhee and has done design projects for Tate Britain – cups, jugs, plates and scarves – and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, near Wakefield, where he held a solo show, Birds and Beasts, from November 2012 to February 2013.
In 2012, Merrell Books published Mark Hearld’s Work Book, the first book devoted to his work, and he has illustrated such books as Nicola Davies’s A First Book Of Nature (2012) and Nature Poems: Give Me Instead Of A Card (2019).
He curated the Lumber Room exhibition at the re-opened York Art Gallery from August 2015 after its £8 million development project, as well as a re-imagining of the British Folk Art Collection at Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park. Contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lauren Terry, Lauren’s Cows, painting
LAUREN has moved out of Bar Lane Studios, not too far away, to a new studio workspace overlooking Micklegate Bar and Blossom Street, where her focus remains on creating vibrant cow paintings, prints and homeware.
Lauren’s Cows had began with a one-off painting of a cow that she painted while working as a waitress and actress in the heart of London.
Growing tired of city life, she craved a window to her country childhood. What better view than a curious cow peering in on her kitchen table?
The framer in North Yorkshire was so taken by the characterful cow that he offered to host an exhibition if Lauren agreed to paint 20 more of her beautiful beasts.
The response this debut show generated gave her the confidence to change career tack by launching her art business and brand, and so Lauren’s Cows was born in 2012: a daughter-and-mother partnership where Lauren paints character-filled cattle in heavy-bodied acrylic paint and designing items for the home in her York studio and Jude takes care of business from the family home at Crackenthorpe, Appleby-in-Westmoreland.
“I love what I do,” says Lauren. “Cows have such a curious nature and humorous personality that they just make me smile, and I take great pleasure in passing that smile on through my vibrant paintings. It’s all about capturing all the character while still remaining true to the breed.”
Lauren’s Cows can be found at laurenscows.com.
TOMORROW: Sharon McDonagh; Jane Dignum; Carolyn Coles; Adele Karmazyn and Nathan Combes