No York Open Studios in April, but all that art still needs a new home, so look here…DAY SIX

Emma, photographic portrait, by Claire Cooper

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.

Analogue photographer Claire Cooper

Claire Cooper, photography

CLAIRE’S work explores women represented through the medium of analogue photography, screen print and intaglio printmaking techniques.

“Portraits are special because, by definition, there are at least two people involved in their making: the artist and the sitter,” says Claire.

“Neither has complete control over the other; portraiture becomes a negotiation between parties, a dance of wills that results in a collaboration of sorts.”

Trudy, Hove, 2012, photographed by Claire Cooper

Claire, who completed an BA in Photography in 2000 and an MA in 2013, uses sitters both known and unknown in her experiments with different formats of photographic portraiture.

She has shown work in group shows across the country, and away from photography, she has a background in the community arts sector, predominantly with  DARTS in Doncaster. Find out more via

Portrait Of A Friend, by Zoe Catherine Kendal

Zoe Catherine Kendal, painting

ZOE is a multi-disciplinary artist and jewellery maker from a family steeped in artistic pursuits.

Great-granddaughter of Bernard Leach, “the father of British studio pottery”, she  attained a BA in jewellery design from Central Saint Martins, in London, the city where she was raised before moving to York.

Her York Open Studios show would have focused on her paintings: works that combine experimental, abstract approaches with colourful, contemporary representations of portraiture, seascapes and cultural heritage, capturing feeling, narrative and identity across varied material and media. 

Zoe Catherine Kendal: Capturing feeling, narrative and identity

Overall, her experimental practice is material-led, combining pastel and paint on canvas, paper and wood; precious and non-precious metals, ceramics and beads with leather and yarns.

Zoe’s paintings have been exhibited at According To McGee, York, and Bils & Rye, Kirkbymoorside; her jewellery at CoCA at York Art Gallery, Lottie Inch Gallery, York, and Kabiri, Marylebone, London. Cast an eye over her work at

Flying Low, by Cathy Denford

Cathy Denford, painting

BROUGHT up with wild nature in New Zealand, Cathy trained and worked as a director in theatre and television in England.

Since settling in York in 1998, fine art has been her strong focus, shaped by initial study in printmaking with Peter Wray and painting with Jane Charlton at York St John University and later at Chelsea College of Arts and the Slade.

First exhibiting at York Open Studios in 2006, she creates oil and mixed-media paintings suggestive of movement, set against stillness, often of birds in landscape.

Cathy Denford: “Movement, set against stillness”

Combining figurative and abstract styles, with elements of Cubism, her work explores space and time passing.

Cathy’s paintings have been shown at galleries in Leeds, Scarborough and Leeds, Zillah Bell in Thirsk and the Norman Rea Gallery and music department at the University of York. More info at

Milet plate, by Hacer Ozturk

Hacer Ozturk, ceramics

HACER is a Turkish ceramics and iznik tiles artist from Istanbul, now settled in York, where 2020 would have marked her York Open Studios debut.

Her work combines traditional and contemporary free-style Turkish ceramics, both formed with the same techniques that were first applied thousands of years ago.

Hacer Ozturk: artist and researcher

Latterly, she has started painting, drawing on traditional iznik tile motifs. Aside from her ceramic creativity, she works as a researcher in Istanbul. Seek out

Yorkshire, by Chrissie Dell

Chrissie Dell, printmaking

CHRISSIE is a printmaker inspired by the environment, making multi-layered monoprints, monotypes, collagraphs and Moku-Hanga (Japanese woodcuts).

She uses such techniques as collage, chine collé, viscosity, stencils, natural pigments and materials to create textural prints that interpret the forms, colours and textures of the natural world.  

Chrissie Dell at work in her studio

Growing up in Edinburgh and on the west coast of Scotland, Chrissie first studied printmaking in the early 1970s at the Froebel Institute, London, but only set up her studio in 2013 after further study at Leith School of Art and Edinburgh Printmakers, her studies taking in painting, drawing, artists’ books, printmaking and creative textiles.

Chrissie has exhibited in Edinburgh, as well as at Blossom Street Gallery and Pyramid Gallery in York, and she is a member of York Printmakers and York Art Workers’ Association.

2020 would have been her third participation in York Open Studios. Still in the diary, however, is the York Printmakers Autumn Print Fair at York Cemetery Chapel on September 26 and 27.

TOMORROW: Zosia Olenska; Anna Cook; Leesa Rayton Design; Karen J Ward and Mark Azopardi