Westside story as York artists gather for Into The Blue exhibition at Pyramid Gallery

Adele Karmazyn’s show poster for Westside Artists’ Into The Blue

INTO The Blue, an exhibition of paintings, sculptures and prints by York’s Westside Artists, is running at Pyramid Gallery, Stonegate, York, until March 13.

“This is an eclectic show of work by this collaboration of artists from the West of York,” says gallery owner Terry Brett. “In Pyramid’s 40th year in York, we’re keen to celebrate the wealth of talent here in our city, starting the year off with this beautiful show.”

Jane Dignum’s poster for Westside Artists’ Into The Blue exhibition

“Each artist has created new work to portray their personal interpretation and concept of the exhibition title, Into The Blue. With so many diverse disciplines, the exhibition really is a sight to behold.”

Taking part are Adele Karmazyn (digital photomontage); Carolyn Coles (painting); Donna Marie Taylor (mixed media); Ealish Wilson (mixed media and sculpture); Fran Brammer (textiles) and Jane Dignum (printmaking).

Photographer Simon Palmour’s poster

So to are Jill Tattersall (mixed-media collage); Kate Akrill (ceramics); Lucie Wake (painting); Mark Druery (printmaking); Richard Rhodes (ceramics); Sharon McDonagh (mixed media) and Simon Palmour (photography).

Pyramid Gallery is open from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday, but closed on Sundays at present.  

Wake-up call: Lucie Wake’s poster to attract visitors to Into The Blue

South Bank Studios host art & craft winter fair for Christmas shopping on Nov 13

Carolyn Coles’s studio at South Bank Studios, Bishopthorpe Road, York

SOUTH Bank Studios, an artists’ group based at Southlands Methodist Church, York, open their doors and studios to the public for their annual Art & Craft Winter Fair on November 13. 

From 10am to 5pm, 28 artists are exhibiting jewellery, ceramics, lino prints, textile art and fine art paintings and prints, all available to buy, just in time for Christmas. Entry is free.

“There has never been a better time than now to support local artists” says Donna Maria Taylor, one of the event organisers and artists from the studios in Bishopthorpe Road. “The South Bank Studios ethos is to build our community, so we decided that as well as showcasing our own work, we would invite other artists and makers to join us at the fair. 

“We have a great range of artists showing, such as Carolyn Coles, Caroline Utterson, Jane Dignum, Lincoln Lightfoot, Richard Whitelegg, Mandi Grant and Fiona Lane, to name just a few. There really will be a fantastic selection on offer.”

South Bank Studios’ poster for the November 13 art and craft winter fair

When selecting artists and makers to take part, South Bank Studios made sure that collectively they would offer a varied price range, so no-one should miss out, says Donna.

“But it’s not just about shopping,” she continues. “The studios will be open, so visitors get a chance to look behind the scenes. We will also have performances from the York Music Centre ensembles, including the Senior Concert Band (10am), the Guitar Ensemble (11am), the Senior Folkestra (11.30am) and Big Band (12.30pm). There will be delicious homemade refreshments from the church team too.” 

Since the group was formed in 2018, South Bank Studios have been involved in community projects and also hold workshops. For more information on the artists and what’s going on, visit their website, southbankstudios.co.uk.

South Bank Studios’ artist Mandi Grant

Westside Artists to gain Momentum in summer show at Blossom Street Gallery

 Autonomous, mixed-media collage on box canvas, by Sharon McDonagh, long-listed for the 2021 Aesthetica Art Prize and now to be shown in the Momentum Summer Show at Blossom Street Gallery, York

YORK art group Westside Artists open their Momentum Summer Show at Blossom Street Gallery, by Micklegate Bar, York, on Friday (25/6/2021).

This coterie of artists from the Holgate and West area of York will be showing a varied range of disciplines, from painting and photomontage to textiles, ceramics and mixed-media art.

Among the participating artists, and a key organiser too, is Sharon McDonagh, from Holgate, who had her mixed-media work long-listed for this year’s Aesthetica Art Prize, whose accompanying exhibition is running at York Art Gallery. One of Sharon’s submitted pieces, Autonomous, is now featuring in the Momentum show.

Missy T, oil on canvas, by Lucie Wake

Joining her at Blossom Street Gallery are: Adele Karmazyn, digital photomontages; Carolyn Coles, seascapes; Donna Maria Taylor, mixed media; Ealish Wilson, textiles; Fran Brammer, textiles; Jane Dignum, prints; Jill Tattersall, mixed media; Kate Akrill, Skullduggery ceramics, and Lucy McElroy, portraits.

So too are: Lucie Wake, from Facet Painting, paintings and portraits; Marc Godfrey-Murphy, alias MarcoLooks, illustrations; Mark Druery, pen and watercolour sketches; Michelle Hughes, prints; Rich Rhodes, ceramics; Robin Grover-Jaques, painting and metalwork, and Simon Palmour, photographs.

The Momentum Summer Show will be gaining momentum until September 26. Gallery opening hours are: Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 10am to 4pm; Covid-compliant measures are in place.

Untitled, ‘Dark and Light’ acrylic on canvas, by Robin Grover-Jacques

Pandemic community art project is bubbling up at South Bank Studios…and hurry, hurry, there’s still time to take part

Bubbling up: A Year Of Change: My Bubble project leaders Donna Maria Taylor and Katie Hill at South Bank Studios with bubble artwork submissions for the community art exhibition. Picture: Carolyn Coles/ Nicola Lee

THE first cases of the Covid-19 virus in the UK were identified in a York hotel, and today marks one year since the first UK lockdown was announced with the Government advice to “avoid unnecessary social contact”.

Soon to follow was the Stay Home, Protect The NHS, Save Lives edict as lockdown kicked in March 23 2020.

A year on, Lockdown 3 has reinstated that mantra, and March 23 2021 brings a new deadline, in the form of the closing date for a pandemic community art project launched by South Bank Studios artists Donna Maria Taylor and Katie Hill on January 31 to “help people through lockdown and isolation”.

“Are you looking for an art project to do during lockdown,” they asked. “To mark this year, we’d like to invite our friends in York to take part.

“Even those of us lucky enough to have a studio outside of our homes have had to do much more work than usual at home, so we’d like to represent this by inviting you to make a small artwork at home on the theme of A Year Of Change: My Bubble.”

Bubble-shaped works must then either be delivered to Southlands Methodist Church letterboxes on either the Southlands Road or Nunmill Street entrances, marking the envelope FAO My Bubble, or posted to My Bubble  (South Bank Studios), Southlands Methodist Church, 97, Bishopthorpe Road, York, YO23 1NX.

The ever-expanding online exhibition is already up and running at southbankstudios.co.uk/onlinegallery, and a physical exhibition will follow at Southlands Methodist Church, once the lifting of lockdown restrictions permits the Covid-safe reopening of the church building.

“So that we can put all of the artworks together in 2D – and possibly 3D – forms for the physical exhibition, we’re asking that the artworks should be a specific size and shape,” say the organisers. “So the design must be contained within a circle, somewhere between 12cms and 21cms in diameter.”

For full details on how to take part in My Bubble, go to: southbankstudios.co.uk/art-project.

One of the bubbles for My Bubble. All the works are to be exhibited anonymously

Here, South Bank Studios community art project leaders Donna Maria Taylor and Katie Hill answer Charles Hutchinson’s questions on My Bubble:

What gave you the idea for this lockdown project, Donna?

“I decided I wanted to give something back. And being involved in a community art project was at the top of my ‘To Do’ list at the beginning of this year.

“For personal reasons, I wasn’t in a position to get involved in any of the projects many artists were getting involved in during the first lockdown: making masks, scrubs, painting portraits for NHS Heroes etc.

“I contacted Katie in mid-January to ask if she’d be interested in working with me on the project and we launched it by the end of that month.

“Since Katie had recently taken on the role of ‘studio rep’ for the loft studio spaces at South Bank Studios, she seemed like a good person to approach to work with on the idea. It’s always great to have others to work with on projects like this as you can throw ideas back and forth.

“Katie came up with the timescale idea, linked to the first Covid cases in York and the initial lockdown date [March 23] became the project’s deadline date. She also came up with the title ‘A Year Of Change’.

“We were originally looking at asking people to produce designs within squares but then the ‘My Bubble’ idea suddenly came to me in the middle of the night, as these things tend to do!

“It all happened quite quickly once the idea was formed, and since then we’ve been meeting on Zoom on a regular basis to discuss progress and look at different ideas on how we could promote the project. Our friends on social media have been brilliant at helping us to do that and we’re very grateful to them for that assistance.

“Initially we were going to limit the project to adults, but we soon realised that it would also give families a chance to do something creative together while they were stuck at home doing home schooling, so we opened it up to cover all age groups.”

What drew you to become involved in My Bubble, Katie?

“I’ve worked on a lot of community art projects in Leeds and only moved to York in January 2020, just before lockdown, so it’s been a strange time to arrive in a new city. This project was an opportunity to get involved in something with the local community, to get to know people and do something positive during a very challenging time for everyone.”

How many bubbles have come in so far?  How many do you anticipate exhibiting?

“We’ve had around 40 bubbles arrive so far and we’re expecting quite a few more will arrive in the next week – people love working to a deadline.

“We’ve been in touch with a number of groups in York who we hope will get involved, such as York Carers, York Mind and Refugee Action York, but we really don’t know how many we will receive until the deadline.

“We’d love to get 365, one per day of the year, but however many we get it will make a great exhibition.”

When will the exhibition open online and when might you hope to put the works on display at South Bank Studios?

“We’ve already set up an online exhibition on our website where we’re adding ‘bubbles’ as they come in. You can see it online at: https://www.southbankstudios.co.uk/onlinegallery.

“We’re also doing regular posts on our social media sites, and we’re planning to have an exhibition of all the ‘bubbles’ together at some point over the summer months and certainly hope to coincide this with the two York Open Studios weekends: July 10/11 and July 17/18.”

Why are community projects important to you?  Why are community projects important full stop?

Donna first: “I’ve always enjoyed working with other people and love to see all the original artwork that comes in when you ask people to get involved in something like this. I’ve been involved in many in the past – particularly in my association with York Learning – and in some ways it always amazes me how different the artwork produced is, although obviously I know it shouldn’t.

“Imagine if all the artwork that came in was exactly the same. Now that really would be worrying! I think projects such as this inspire people; they make them feel part of a whole and help to bring people together. Not to mention the huge therapeutic benefits that doing any sort of arts and crafts has on the health and wellbeing of individuals.

Katie: “The Covid crisis has highlighted many things, including the importance of connecting with your community, taking action to maintain your physical and mental wellbeing, and the value of creativity for mental health.

“Hopefully, this project brings those things together. Community projects are so important to create opportunities for people to connect with each other and to express themselves and their experiences.

“We were really aware that the last year has been a very mixed experience, with some severe hardship and distress, and as artists we really believe that doing something creative can help during challenging times.”

In a year of change, what changes have been for the better?

“It’s definitely been a time to get to know our local community and neighbours much better. We’ve also been able to connect online: as artists we’ve started to have regular online meetings, which has really transformed how the studios are run and the sense of community there.

“People have become more aware of local projects and businesses, plus there’s the huge environmental positives, of course.”

What changes have been for the worse?

“So many people have suffered in this last year. So many people have died, and so many have been separated from their loved ones for long periods of time.

“Some people have lost their livelihoods and it’s difficult to imagine how some of that will recover, including live music and theatre.

“Living with the anxiety of feeling vulnerable to a horrible virus for a year has been a huge challenge for mental health, particularly for young people, and for key workers. There have been many changes – some things will never be the same again.

“It’s certainly a historic time we’re living in and we’re grateful that we’ve been able to record this in some way.”

What challenges have been thrown at you as an artist and what have you learned over the past year about your artistic vision and practice?

Donna: “My theatre work has all dried up, of course. I’ve only actually had one theatre job in the last year. And all my teaching has moved online.

“Again, like everything, it seems there are positives and negatives. Not being able to get into the studios all the time has been strange, but the time the pandemic has afforded me has actually meant that I’ve had more time to experiment and move forward with my art, which I may not have been able to do otherwise.”

Katie: “I’m a lecturer and all of my teaching suddenly went online, which actually created a lot of time to do craft and artwork while talking on video calls.

Katie Hill preparing artworks for exhibit in A Year Of Change: My Bubble. Picture: Carolyn Coles/Nicola Lee

“In the first month of lockdown I crocheted three blankets and realised that I needed to find other things to do. I’ve started working in sketchbooks for the first time in years and am developing ideas for textile arts and surface pattern design.

“I’ve been taking lots of photos of leaves and flowers on my exercise walks, which I have then used as inspiration for artwork. I never used to go for walks at all, so that’s a huge change for me.

“I’ve also been able to learn some new techniques by attending online classes with artists all over the world. So, creatively it has been a time of huge growth for me.”

In what ways has South Bank Studios been able to connect with the community during lockdown?

“As well as setting up this community art project, we’ve started free online ‘Create and Chat’ sessions to help the studio and church community through lockdown and loneliness. We also ran a stall outside the studios before Christmas, as part of Planet South Bank’s Crafty Crawl, which was very successful.

“Our studios are housed within Southlands Methodist Church and the church does a lot of creative community projects too. They’ve just put a spring flower display in the church windows and had a community Christmas tree outside at Christmas time that people could add their own decorations and messages to.

“The church is also working on a community garden, which will be a great asset particularly if it continues to be safer to be outdoors. Maybe we can run some outdoor community art sessions in the summer.

“Another artist, Rebecca Mason, has also set up a fundraising page for Cancer Research, and our friends at Planet Food – who share the building on a Thursday – have continued to offer weekly support to members of our community through their zero food waste initiative.”

What is the symbolism of the circular shape for a piece of art in My Bubble?

“We wanted a format that would unify all of the artworks, so that people could do a range of art in different styles, but they would all fit together, so we knew we wanted everyone to do something that was the same shape.

“Obviously the ‘Bubble’ idea links to social bubbles in lockdown, so the circle fits with that idea too. We’ve received some gorgeous artwork so far: the circle idea is working really well.”

What pieces are you each doing for My Bubble?

Donna: “Mine will be based on a photograph I took on New Year’s Eve as I walked through the empty streets of York city centre in the early evening with my daughter. It was deserted and symbolises what York has been like throughout the various lockdowns.

“For those of us who live in York, we know that we’d usually find lots of revellers everywhere at this time on the evening of a New Year. It was quite eerie in a way.”

Katie: “Following on from my flower art from daily exercise walks, I’m drawing and painting a bubble full of plants and flowers, including plants that have connections to my friends and family.

“With much more time at home than usual, I’ve done a lot of work in my small garden and am enjoying growing plants that have been given to me by my family and friends over the years.

“It’s a way to feel connected to them when we can’t be together in person. For example, my front garden is full of pale pink Hesperantha that were given to me by my mother, from her garden, so I really think of her when I see them.

What are you both working on?

Donna: “I’m planning two new online classes,  Experimental Watercolours and Spring Sketchbooks, which I’ll be delivering on Zoom. Although most of my learners are based in York, I’m now also teaching people as far away as Edinburgh, Brighton and Herefordshire. I’m also workin on a new series for York Open Studios.”

Katie: “I started a full-time PhD in January at Northumbria University on Social Design, which is where we use design processes and design thinking to work with communities on social and environmental projects.

“I’m going to be doing a community project as part of it in 2022, so I’m planning that at the moment. I’m also teaching online: design history and theory, and employability skills for designers.”

Which South Bank Studios artists will be participating in York Open Studios in July?

“There’ll be seven of us exhibiting: Donna Maria Taylor, Carolyn Coles, Caroline Utterson. Colin Black, Nicola Lee, Rebecca Mason and Karen Winship. It’s definitely one of the highlights of this year for those of us who are taking part and we’ve been looking forward to it for a long time now. More details about the event can be found at: yorkopenstudios.co.uk.

“We’re also planning to have other events as the building opens up and we’re safely able to do so: further craft fairs, coffee mornings and art exhibitions/installations.

“As a studio community, we’ve lots of ideas for the future and very much look forward to things getting back to normal, so we can explore all the ideas that we do have, both within the studios themselves and also in the space in and around the building.”

Carolyn Coles: One of the South Bank Studios artists who will be taking part in York Open Studios at Southlands Methodist Church on two weekends in July

Where might we all be in a year’s time?

Donna: “This is a tricky one. Personally, I would imagine my theatre work will slowly come back, but I will certainly be continuing with my online classes for a while. I’d like to think that I could go back to some real-life teaching at some point too, but for now I’m just planning things a couple of months in advance.

“In many ways, as artists, we’re very lucky as we’re used to change and insecurity. Historically too, interesting/innovative art often comes from challenging situations and living through difficult times.

“Looking forward, I also like the idea of running further community art projects from South Bank Studios, so watch this space.

Katie: “It’s so hard to imagine. If you had said in March last year that we would still be in lockdown a year later, I would have found that difficult to believe, so that makes me think that progress will continue to be slow.

“I think we’ve experienced a huge and rapid change in our use of technology and those changes will stay with us, so in a year’s time we will still be doing a lot of work from home and online.

“I hope that as a community we will all be working on taking care of each other and healing some of the trauma caused by this year of the pandemic, and that we will continue to nurture our sense of community and our creativity.”

Submissions for A Year Of Change: My Bubble

A Year Of Change: My Bubble: how to take part

Submission deadline: Tuesday, March 23 2021

Exact requirements of your artwork:
Your design must be enclosed within a circle that is a minimum diameter of 12cms (the size of a CD) to a maximum diameter of 21 cms (the width of an A4 sheet of paper).

If your design is on a piece of paper, card or similar, please do not cut out the circle! Instead, leave it with at least a square around it.

“This is because we may join some ‘bubbles’ together to form a 3D display,” say the organisers. “You can decorate this area if you like but do be aware that it may have holes punched into it at a later date, or it may be cut off, depending on the final overall outcome. Therefore, please concentrate your main design within ‘the bubble’, which will not be tampered with.”

Your artwork must be lightweight enough to Blu Tack to a wall.

Your piece should be personal to you and inspired by your life in York during Covid-19 times. 

Donna and Katie are hoping for a range of responses but some of the ideas/themes you may wish to explore as initial lines of enquiry include: 

Neighbours; home school; working from home; loss; support for essential workers.

Or how about: hobbies and interests; walks or exercise regimes; your garden; view from you home; family & friends; specific objects that are important to you; home comforts; a close-up of a room in your house; your lockdown clothing/footwear?

You may use any medium you choose, so your artwork could be sewn, painted, drawn, collaged etc. Or you could use a mix of materials.

Important notice!

Only one entry per person.

Before submitting your artwork, you must ensure that you write the following information on the back (or write it on a separate sheet and include it as part of your submission):


Your name

Your age (if under 18)

A contact email address (PLEASE USE CAPITAL LETTERS)

A contact phone number

Your postcode

You may, if you wish, also write a short description about your piece/inspiration. Only a sentence or two will do but this is not absolutely necessary.

Where to deliver your artwork:

Please deliver you final piece through one of the letterboxes at Southlands Methodist Church, marking the envelope FAO: My Bubble. You will find the letterboxes at the Southlands Road and Nunmill Street entrances. 

Or post your finished artwork (making sure you add an appropriate stamp to cover the cost!) to:

“My Bubble” (South Bank Studios), Southlands Methodist Church, 97, Bishopthorpe Road York,  YO23 1NX.

If you are shielding and are unable to do either of the above, Donna and Katie can arrange to collect your artwork from your doorstep. Use this email address if this is the case: southbankstudiosyork@gmail.com


Communications:

After submitting your My Bubble artwork, all correspondence will then be via email. In taking part in the project, you will be added to the South Bank Studio mailing list that has been set up so everything can be collated, keeping you up to date on progress so far and physical exhibition dates.

By taking part you are agreeing that you are happy for your name, email address and contact number to be on this list. You will be asked at the end of the project if you would like to be deleted from this list – or you can, of course, unsubscribe at any time by sending in an email. 

Website/Social Media:

Donna and Katie will publish the images of the artwork produced on the website southbankstudios.co.uk and associated social media accounts, but individual names and contact details will not be published.

Further details on the project can be found at: southbankstudios.co.uk/art-project. Facebook:.https://www.facebook.com/SouthBankStudiosYork

Instagram: @southbankstudiosyork

https://www.instagram.com/southbankstudiosyork/


Donna and Katie’s exhibition plans:

“We are aiming to get 365 ‘bubbles’ to represent a year, but if we do not have enough entries by the deadline (March 23), we shall open it up, so there may be an opportunity for you to submit more than one piece after this date,” they say. “We will let you know via email if this is the case.”

Return of artwork:

Artwork will be available for collection after the exhibition has finished. You will be contacted via email to inform you of when it can be collected.

Additional information:  

If you would like any further information, or if you would like to take part in the project but do not have any materials, please contact Donna and Katie, who will do their best to help at: southbankstudiosyork@gmail.com.

Extra support if you need it:

Donna and Katie say: “We have designed this project in the hope that it will provide something positive for those who live within our city, although we appreciate that for some these times have been extremely challenging.

“Therefore, if you do feel like you need additional support in any way,we would encourage you to please reach out. Here is a really good link to the organisations and people in York who can help you and they are only a phone call or text away: https://www.livewellyork.co.uk/FeelRealYork.”

More bubbles than at a West Ham United home match…

Village Gallery to reopen with first group exhibition by York’s Westside Artists

In Her Shadows, by Adele Karmazyn

VILLAGE Gallery, in Colliergate, York, will reopen on Wednesday (2/12/2020), when Lockdown 2 ends, to present the first collective exhibition for York’s Westside Artists.

Running until January 23 2021, Immersed will showcase the work of Adele Karmazyn; Carolyn Coles; Donna Maria Taylor;  Ealish Wilson; Fran Brammer; Jane Dignum; Jill Tattersall; Lucy McElroy; Marc Godfrey-Murphy; Richard Rhodes; Robin Grover-Jacques and Sharon McDonagh.

Cayton Bay, by Carolyn Coles

“2020 has been an extremely hard year everyone, not least of all for artists, with many exhibitions and events being cancelled,” says gallery owner and curator Simon Main.

“So, Village Gallery is delighted to announce that its next post-lockdown exhibition will feature a group of local artists in their first collective showing.

Beehives & Sunflowers, by Jane Dignum

“The ‘Westside Artists’ is a small group of artists based around Holgate in York, who work in varied disciplines, such as painting, photomontage, print making, collage textile art, pottery and mixed media, and in varied subjects, from landscapes and seascapes to portraiture and abstract.”

Village Gallery’s opening hours are 10am to 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday, with Covid-secure social distancing measures in place.

Moon jars, by Richard Rhodes

“This exhibition is opening in time for everyone to find a truly unique Christmas gift while supporting local artists,” says Simon.

“Aside from its regularly changing art exhibitions, Village Gallery is York’s official stockist of Lalique glass and crystal, and additionally sells art, jewellery, ceramics, glass and sculpture, much of it the work of local artists.”

Child With Caterpillar, by Lucy McElroy

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

Closed doors, but open windows: the way forward for York Open Studios 2020

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.

Cushions by Rosie Waring

Rosie Waring, textiles

ROSIE creates handwoven textiles using fine yarns and intricate patterns to produce interior products for the home and personal accessories with a natural colour palette.

She specialised in handwoven textiles for fashion and interiors in her studies at Bath Spa University, graduating in 2013, since when she has made handwoven cushions, lampshades and other small woven items.

Rosie often takes her inspiration for colour, texture and structure from nature and her surroundings: the rich and varied Yorkshire landscapes of the dales, the North York Moors and the coastline.

“Weaving in fine cotton yarns and moving into my wool collection, I create vibrant fabrics to brighten up the home, bringing the outside inside,” she says. 

” I create vibrant fabrics to brighten up the home, bringing the outside inside,” says Rosie Waring

Rosie knew early on that her strength was working with colour. “When I discovered weaving during my studies, I saw the potential to work directly with colour on the loom,” she says. “I found I could express myself through colour and texture, creating cloth from the individual yarns.”

She is interested in how weaving can affect mental health positively and has studied its benefits on mood and a general sense of well-being.

As well as York Open Studios, she has exhibited at Art In The Pen, Danby Christmas Market and the summertime York River Art Market. Find out more at rosiewaring.co.uk.

A mixed-media work by Colin Black

Colin Black, mixed media

COLIN’S mixed-media work has varied from a series focusing on York Minster at night to national identity and the refugee crisis.

He describes his art as being primarily landscape based, always enjoying the use of colour to convey mood.

His last two exhibitions used the landscape motif in very different ways. The first, Imagined Landscapes, conveyed a seemingly idyllic beauty; the second, We Have Chosen A One-Way Road, saw landscape as “a place across which refugees made their escape and away from the place they called home”.

Colin Black: Moved to York in 2018 to set up Seek Art School

“The work was about borders, boundaries and restrictions,” says Colin. “They were a response to Britain’s dilemma about Brexit, hard or soft, independence and interdependence, Trump’s wall. We seem to be becoming insular in our thinking as a fearful means of self-preservation. How do we square our fears of invasion with humanitarian aid?”

Colin studied visual communication at Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London and taught for many years in further education in London and Edinburgh.

In 2018, he moved to York to set up Seek Art School, in Haxby Road, to teach  people “the fundamentals of looking and the development of your own visual voice through personal ideas”. Courses include day and evening classes and Saturday workshops.

Discover more via colin@seekartschool.co.uk.

Apothecary Jar, graphite on newsprint, by Nicola Lee

Nicola Lee, drawing

NICOLA’S work on paper combines drawing, folding and photography.

“My visual interest lies beyond the object,” she says. “I’m drawn to line, pattern and shape occurring in peripheral space. A space that is fluid, ambiguous and lacking in definition. A space in which the peripheral becomes the object.

“My work uses photography, drawing and folding to record and respond to my observations of this suggestive space. I use process and material to play with ideas of repetition, reduction and abstraction in order to explore my encounter with the space in between.”  

Nicola Lee: “Encounters with the space in between “

Nicola studied art and design at York St John University, then gained an MA in textiles at Huddersfield University and now an MA in creative practice from Leeds Arts University.

She is enjoying being part of the South Bank Studios community; this year would have marked her York Open Studios debut. Head to ofsorts.space for more info.

Elephant Festival Fun, by Rebecca Mason

Rebecca Mason, textiles

FIRST inspired by Batik while in Malaysia, Rebecca has practised Batik art for more than 30 years.

Since attending workshops and evening classes to learn the dye-resist technique that uses wax, she has made silk scarves, ties, framed pictures, brooches, cards and wall hangings, using both traditional Indonesian and modern methods.

“I specialise in doing Batik on cotton and silk, including velour, and I particularly enjoy the fluidity, flexibility, unpredictability and crackle effect of the wax,” says Rebecca.

Batik artist Rebecca Mason in her studio

“I also love to be creative with colour and the freedom of abstract designs. Much of my Batik is influenced and inspired by the shapes and hues of the Yorkshire countryside and by the changing seasons too.

“My cotton pictures are varied in design and theme and use a range of Batik techniques, and I also make Batik ties and scarves that are each uniquely designed.”

Rebecca, who would have been a York Open Studios 2020 debutante, sells her work by appointment from her studio and at Simon Main’s Village Gallery, in Colliergate, York. She has exhibited too at York River Art Market and South Bank Studios and welcomes special commissions. Take a look at batik-art.co.uk.

Clifford’s Tower, York, by Donna Maria Taylor

Donna Maria Taylor, mixed media

DONNA’S website, donnamariataylor.com, introduces her as designer, maker, teacher, with more than 25 years’ experience of working in the arts.

Her mixed-media work spans a range of disciplines, all inspired by the world around her, and although her York Open Studios show has been cancelled, she has upcoming exhibitions in the diary at Osbornes at 68 Gillygate, from August to October, and Angel On The Green, Bishopthorpe Road, from November 3 to December 15.

Donna Maria Taylor: designer, maker, teacher

In the theatre world, Yorkshire-born Donna has designed shows, painted scenery and made props and costumes for many companies, including York Theatre Royal, the Grand Opera House, Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre and the York Mystery Plays in York Minster, West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds, English Touring Theatre, Sheffield Theatres, Hull Truck Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

She is an adult education senior tutor and observer for York Learning and is involved regularly in community art projects at York community centres, children’s centres, schools, church halls and a prison.

She has taught in a wide variety of settings, such as York Art Gallery, Explore York libraries and York museums, as well as at colleges and universities, and runs workshops and art holidays, although these have been postponed until further notice during the Covid-19 pandemic.

To find out more, go to donnamariataylor.com.

TOMORROW: Caroline Utterson; Marcus Jacka; Ruth King; Elaine Hughes and Mick Leach.