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.
Ben Arnup, ceramics
BEN defines his ceramics as art pottery, wherein an early obsession with perspective has developed into a play between drawn description and form.
“I like to play a game: setting the prosaic nature of clay against the unlikely structures of the drawings,” says Ben of his oxidised stoneware with inlays and colourful porcelain veneers, fired in an electric kiln.
The son of the late Mick and Sally Arnup, painter and potter and sculptor respectively, he grew up learning ceramic skills and technology.
Having trained as a landscape architect at Manchester Polytechnic, he worked for Landscape Design Associates in Peterborough, before he returned to making pots influenced by the design process in 1984.
Now a fellow of the Craft Potters Association, he works out of a basement workshop in his York home, exhibiting his ceramics in Britain, Europe and North America. Learn more at benarnup.co.uk.
Jo Bagshaw, jewellery
THE central theme of Jo’s work is to create beautiful, wearable collections of silver jewellery that follow simple lines and shapes.
“I’m inspired by everyday objects, vintage items and novelties,” she says. “I sometimes include these elements directly in my work, encasing and embellishing them with precious metals to give a fresh perspective to a familiar object.
“I often weave a narrative into my jewellery, incorporating messages or well-known sayings to an item that convey meaning to the wearer.
After completing a degree in metalwork and jewellery in 2004, Jo launched her jewellery business in 2006. Since then, she has combined this with teaching jewellery-making skills at The Mount School, York. More details at jobagshaw.co.uk.
Francesca King, ceramics/multi-media
FRANCESCA founded her ceramics practice in 2016 to explore surface, texture and formation of agate clay. She has exhibited nationally, alongside undertaking ceramic portrait commissions and teaching.
Now in the second year of her MA in fine art, she was awarded first prize in an international art competition, leading to a week’s residency at Urbino University, Italy.
Francesca, who is also a clay therapist, is taking clay into a more interactive aspect of sculpture with her Feet in Clay installation: an interactive sculptural exhibit that “promotes the positive aspects of clay in motion, stimulating the corporeal experience for participants”.
The Feet in Clay experience would have been offered during Francesca’s exhibition for York Open Studios 2020, for which she was one of the annual event’s multimedia bursary recipients.
This bursary enables artists to create experiences such as digital works, installations, films or performances as part of York Open Studios.
For the full picture, take a look at francescakingceramics.com.
Simon Palmour, photography
SIMON has been a photographer for 35 years, having his work published and exhibited at many locations, not least the Royal Geographical Society.
Abstract images are extracted from landscapes and reproduced on several media, such as aluminium, acrylic and board to “remove the glass barrier between viewer and image”.
Last year, his photographic essay on The Yorkshire High Wolds was published. This year, he was timing the publication of his new project on the Yorkshire Elmet flatlands to coincide with York Open Studios 2020.
A theme of his photography is ambiguity, whether of scale, subject, point of view or colour (much, although not all, of his work being monochrome). “The aim is to invite contemplation, to reward repeated consideration and to cause a little confusion,” he says.
Simon also carries out portrait work, commissions and workshops, as well as teaching groups and offering personal tuition.
After the cancellation of this year’s York Open Studios, he is holding a Virtual Show instead throughout April. Visit palmourphotographics.blogspot.com/p/virtual-exhibition.html daily.
“Each day, I’ll add a different piece to the show, with the story behind the shot and the cost of a print,” he says. Those images can be bought at email@example.com.
Elena Panina, textiles
ELENA is a Russian-born textile artist who works with wool, silk and decorative fibres.
Using wet felting techniques, she makes wearable art pieces: necklaces, shawls and throws, bracelets, headwear, belts, hand bags, toys and wall hangings.
Elena was born and brought up in St Petersburg, moving to Britain 15 years ago. She attended arts college in St Petersburg and her past artwork centred on ink drawings, until she discovered wet and needle felting three years ago.
Studying felting from Russian felt makers, she was drawn immediately to its magical properties as she learnt how to produce cloth out of fibres.
As well as an artist, she is a teacher. She can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
TOMORROW: Jill Tattersall; Here Be Monsters; Joanna Wakefield; Mark Hearld and Lauren Terry.