Six of the best artists from Arnup Studios go on show at Blossom Street Gallery

Fire Spirals Bowl by Hannah Arnup

SIX York artists and makers are taking part in the Arnup Studios Group Exhibition at Blossom Street Gallery, Blossom Street, York, until March 28.

Arnup Studios, in Panman Lane, Holtby, near York, was originally the home and workplace of renowned painter and potter Mick Arnup and sculptor Sally Arnup. Now their daughter, potter Hannah, is continuing its creative story.

This Could Be, by Michelle Galloway

Exhibiting alongside her are Michelle Galloway, Emma Frost, Kate Pettitt, Reg Walker and Emma Welsh, who all have studio space in the village studios.

In Sally’s Studio, Hannah creates stoneware decorative pottery, handmade for everyday use and enjoyment, her pieces appealing to both practical and aesthetic values. She also enjoys making one-off sculptures and tripod pots that form a delightful addition to this month’s exhibition.

Watford Pylons, by Emma Frost

Working in the Pottery Studio, Michelle Galloway paints calm, harmonious watercolours, quiet and contemplative, atmospheric, yet gentle and light, punctuated by the intensity of her oil paintings. Her inspiration comes mostly from her interest in archaeology, architecture and man-made structures.

Landscape artist Emma Frost works in acrylic paint in the North Studio, where she conjures scenes that depict the world around her, exploring the constant presence of power lines and structures in her daily life, resulting in a body of work showcasing pylons, telegraph poles and such like. Work is nearly entirely created using palette knives, incorporating some large brush work.

Breathe, by Kate Pettitt

Based in the Gallery Studio, Kate Pettitt specialises in studio and plein air paintings and drawings of the natural environment and the human form. She works in a variety of media from oil to charcoal, her work being elemental, instinctive and often textural.

Reg Walker constructs abstract sculptures, both contemplative and playful, mostly in steel and aluminium, in the Kiln Studio. He also makes small pieces for the hand, in bamboo, and distinctive collages in natural materials. For Blossom Street Gallery he has created a collection of paperbark collages from the natural shedding of the Japanese birch tree in his garden.

Paperbark collage, by Reg Walker

From the South Studio, Emma Welsh creates silver, gold and platinum jewellery. Each piece is hand-made individually using traditional techniques. For this exhibition she has assembled a fossil-themed collection inspired by happy days spent searching for ammonites along the coast.

Kate Pettitt and Reg Walker will attend a Meet The Artist event at Blossom Street Gallery, York, on March 12. Gallery opening hours are 10am to 4pm, Thursday to Sunday.

Geometric fossil earrings, by Emma Welsh

No York Open Studios this weekend, but all that art and craft still needs a new home… DAY 28

TODAY should have been spent visiting other people’s homes, not staying home, on weekend two of York Open Studios 2020.

From tomorrow, art will be on the nation’s TV sets as Grayson’s Art Club “battles the boredom of Coronavirus lockdown by taking viewers on a journey of art discovery” in a six-part Channel 4 series.

From his London workshop, anything-but-grey artist Grayson Perry will encourage the British public to create their own art while in isolation, built around six themed shows that will climax with an exhibition of viewers’ art.

Been there, done that, will continue to do all that art-making, might well be the resourceful attitude of the 144 artists and makers at 100 York locations after the Covid-19 pandemic strictures turned York Open Studios into York Shut Studios.

Over the past four weeks, CharlesHutchPress has determinedly championed the creativity of York’s artists and makers. Each day, in brochure order, five artists who now miss out on the exposure of Open Studios have been 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.

The last five are being profiled today, when you also can visit to take your own Virtual Open Studios tour, wherein artists show their studios and workshops, favourite processes, answer your questions, and display pictures of their new work.

“Search for #YorkOpenStudios anywhere on social media or follow your favourite artists to see more,” advises the YOS website.

Anyway, time to discover more about…

Meg, oil on linen, winner of Shirley Hannan National Portrait Prize 2018, by Marcus Callum

Marcus Callum, painting

MARCUS is a British-Australian contemporary figurative painter and digital artist who specialises in realist portraiture.

“Fusing traditional techniques with a contemporary aesthetic, my work conveys a sense of psychological insight and is designed to provoke an emotional response,” he says. “Buddhism, meditation, hypnosis and our understanding of the subconscious mind are influences on my process and subject matter.

“Characters reflect on increasing anxieties over impending global crises and wonder if, by each of us becoming more conscious, we may discover individual and collective hope.”

Self-portrait, by Marcus Callum

Trained in Sydney and New York, Marcus won the Dame Joan Sutherland Award in 2014; Australia’s third richest portrait prize, the Black Swan Portrait Prize, in 2015 and the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Prize, Australia’s premier award for realistic portraiture, in 2018, when he also was a finalist in the Sky Portrait Artist of the Year.

Marcus previously worked between Sydney and London; now York has come into his life. He was long-listed for the Aesthetica Art Prize, whose 2020 exhibition opened at York Art Gallery before the Coronavirus lockdown, and he would have been exhibiting in York Open Studios for the first time. Visit for more info.

Bratislavian Folk Memory, by Robert Burton

Robert Burton, textiles

ARTIST and academic Robert tells stories in textiles, fibres and cloth, utilising print and found objects in narratives of people, lives and things.

“I explore themes of memory, loss and transformation through fibre, fabric making, print techniques, drawing and broad approaches to image making,” he says.

“My artworks cross the threshold of disciplines in a conceptual dialogue between the innovative use of analogue, contemporary and emerging techniques.”

Rob Burton: Themes of memory, loss and transformation

Rob’s work has been shown all over the world in solo exhibitions, biennial and group exhibitions, whether in Britain, the United States or Eastern Europe. Last year, he exhibited in Ivano-Frankivs’k, Ukraine; Vilnius, Lithuania; Madrid, Spain, and Haachst, Belgium.

He regularly collaborates with the international screendance collective WECreate to produce costumes for video, dance and installations. Find out more at

Inspired by horizons: Jo Walton’s artwork

Jo Walton, painting

ARTIST, upholsterer and interior designer Jo’s paintings are abstract, inspired by horizons, whether rust-prints on paper and plaster, combining rusted metal with painting, or seascapes on gold-metal leaf.

Her artwork reflects her childhood in Australia and her days as a young woman spent sailing oceans, from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean.

After many years of travelling, Jo returned to England, studying fine art at Bradford University and now exhibiting all year round from her York studios, Rogues Atelier, an old tannery in Franklins Yard, Fossgate, that she shares with jeweller and fellow York Open Studios exhibitor Emma Welsh and textile artist Robert Burton.

Jo, whose work features regularly at Terry Brett’s Pyramid Gallery in Stonegate, would have been taking part in York Open Studios for a sixth successive year.  

Jo Walton: Artist, upholsterer and interior designer

In her “other life”, Jo is an upholsterer, initially learning her skills from making cushions and sail covers for yachts in her time living in Greece. She gained her City and Guilds qualification in modern and traditional upholstery and has taught the subject for many years for City of York Council.

“Occasionally, my skills have the opportunity to blend into a ‘huge blank canvas’: interior design,” says Jo, whose first public design commission was for Space 109, the community arts centre she founded in Walmgate in 2006.

Her second was to convert three empty shops on Bishopthorpe Road into Angel on The Green, a bar and café and home to comedy nights and exhibitions that had to “flow with a solid theme throughout”. “It was quite a step to move on to a bar from a community bar,” she says.

In between, Jo created the Rogues Atelier studios, where she takes on upholstery commissions and runs upholstery and cushion-making workshops. Her latest design was for the interior of the Bluebird Bakery, in Kirkgate Market, Leeds. Complete the picture at

Handmade Bismark Chain, by Emma Welsh

Emma Welsh, jewellery

EMMA, a professional jewellery designer with 11 years’ experience, is now a resident artist at the Rogues Atelier studios.

She designs traditionally made silver, gold and platinum pieces, her latest work exploring jewellery with a practical use in the form of vessels with various purposes.

Emma has a keen interest in developing her skills, embracing ancient principles as a means of deepening her relationship with the materials and tools she works with.

She completes bespoke commissions, repairs and re-modelling of existing jewellery into new designs and offers bespoke tuition in York, most notably her  wedding-ring workshops. Head to for more details.

Deranged Poetesses, by Northern Electric’s Peter Roman

Northern Electric, multi-media

NORTHERN Electric received a York Open Studios 2020 multi-media bursary to present a tale of loss at the Arts Barge, Foss Basin, York, over the two weekends.

The bursary “enables artists to create experiences such as digital works, installations, films or performances as part of the Open Studios”.

Presented by York storyteller, performance poet and theatre-maker Katie Greenbrown and artist Peter Roman, with a score by Christian Topman and Chris Moore, their latest multi-media presentation “takes us back to when the Ouse teemed with working barges, you knew your place or else – and jazz was the devil itself”.

Artist Peter Roman and storyteller, performance poet and theatre-maker Katie Greenbrown

“We specialise in creating and delivering multi-media storytelling pieces that combine spoken-word poetry, art and live music,” says Katie. “Our recent work includes Magpie Bridge for Apples & Snakes to mark the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing in July 1969; Green In Our Memory, for City of York Council’s First World War commemorations, and Rust for the 2019 Great Yorkshire Fringe, in collaboration with Arts Barge and York Theatre Royal.”

After the cancellation of York Open Studios 2020, what will happen next to the new Northern Electric piece? “We’ve completed it, so we’re thinking of trying to do a digital screening,” says Katie. “We just need to chat with Hannah [West] and Christian [Topman] from the Arts Barge about the possibility of doing that.” To keep on track, visit

TOMORROW: After York Open Studios/York Shut Studios 2020, the CharlesHutchPress art focus switches to the Blue Tree Gallery, in Bootham, York, now hosting an online exhibition in aid of the NHS.

Looking ahead, York Open Studios 2021 will run on April 17 and 18 and 24 and 25, with a preview evening on April 16.