York River Art Market ready for August return with 30 artists and designers signed up for each of the six days by the Ouse

Last Maps’ poster for York River Art Market’s 2023 season

YORK River Art Market will return for its eighth summer next month, sited once more along Dame Judi Dench Walk by Lendal Bridge.

“This city-centre riverside location lends itself to the open-air events of our award-winning market,” says founder and director Charlotte Dawson. “It has often been compared to the Left Bank in Paris.”

Each of the three weekends – August 5 and 6, August 12 and 13 and August 19 and 20 – will host a different variety of more than 30 independent artists and makers from all over Yorkshire and beyond from 10am to 5.30pm.

Work by York River Art Market artists and makers taking part this summer

“Each event has something new to see, and there is always something to suit all budgets,” says Charlotte. 

Among the artists and makers taking part will be illustrator and Bull bassist Kai West, noted for his gig posters; ceramicist Jill Ford, new for 2023; printmaker Izzy Williamson, also new for 2023, and Cuban painter Leo Moray, who made his York Open Studios debut this year.

Look out too for York jewellery maker and York Open Studios regular Joanna Wakefield and Last Maps, Thomas Moore and Angel Jones’s small design studio, dedicated to producing work that celebrates adventure and the natural world. They designed this summer’s York River Art Market (YRAM) poster, by the way.

Last Maps design duo Thomas Moore and Angel Jones

For a sneak peak and further details of all the artists on board on each date, keep an eye on YRAM’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/YorkRiverArtMarket/events/?id=100040543310183&sk=events

YRAM’s chosen charities this summer are York Rescue Boat, the city’s independent lifeboat and search and rescue team, and Henshaws, which supports people living with sight loss and a range of other disabilities to achieve their ambitions and go beyond their expectations. The charities will be present at YRAM to raise funds and awareness of their work.

The markets are free to attend.

York River Art Market founder, director and artist Charlotte Dawson

Jo Walton curates Wildish exhibition of paintings, pots and poems at Pyramid Gallery with emphasis on mystic femininity

Wildish curator Jo Walton with a pot by Julie O’Sullivan and one of her own rusted works at Pyramid Gallery

GUEST curator Jo Walton and her invited exhibitors will launch their Wildish exhibition of paintings, pots, jewellery, poetry, artist-designed wallpaper and ceramic sculpture over drinks and nibbles at Pyramid Gallery, Stonegate, York, tomorrow, from 11am to 3pm. Everyone is welcome.

When Rogues Atelier Studios artist and interior designer Jo approached gallery owner Terry Brett, offering to curate an exhibition in the two first-floor galleries, he had no hesitation in saying yes.

She has exhibited her “rust prints” and rusted or treated steel paintings at Pyramid Gallery on several occasions already.

Now she has selected five artists and a poet to contribute to a joint show based loosely on the theme of deep and sensual mystic femininity.

Taking part will be Jo, Julie O’Sullivan, Christine Pike, Izzy Williamson, Zoe Catherine Kendal and York poet Nicky Kippax.

A close-up of Christine Pike’s Precious

Terry has been assisting with setting up the show. “It’s very refreshing for me to return from a short holiday and be able to watch Jo and the Pyramid team of Fiona, Sarah, Ali and Angela, set up a complete show,” he says.

“And the show looks good, based on wild country scenes and imaginary creatures in materials that have a big impact through texture or colour.”

Jo’s work is primarily abstract, often combining rusted metal with oil painting, and using wax, gold, silver and copper leaf to create imaginary, colour-scapes, seascapes and earth-scapes. Her art on wooden panels, metal and textured surfaces ranges in size from 20cm to 1m square.

From her studio in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, Julie O’Sullivan presents a body of work shaped by living alongside the transient beauty of the Thames Estuary. This leads to her incorporating found sea-glass, seaweed, shells and pebbles taken from the shoreline.

Julie uses a coarse-textured stoneware clay, yet there remains a sensuous delicacy or fragility to her work.

The poster for the Wildish exhibition at Pyramid Gallery

Izzy Williamson specialises in making original, limited-edition relief prints rooted in nature and stories from her childhood in Whitby, where the narratives within her work express feelings of playfulness and wonder. She also produces designs for interiors, packaging and branding.

Zoe Catherine Kendal makes jewellery and sculptural objects from mixed precious and non-precious materials such as ancient and antique beads, ceramics, and metals. Her one-off creations reflect a playful exploration of form and aesthetics, while revealing craftsmanship and a passion for ancient and contemporary adornment.

Christine Pike, who holds an MA from Norwich University of the Arts, makes works that tell stories. They vary in subject and scale, but with one central theme: a joyful appreciation of nature and our relationship with it, viewed through the lens of folk tales and myth. She works in paperclay, ceramic and mixed media.

York poet Nicky Kippax’s work can be found in anthologies and magazines, such as Poetry News, The Rialto and The Alchemy Spoon, and has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. Her first collection will be published soon. For Wildish, she will weave her wordy magic among the artworks.

The gallery opening times until September 1 are 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.

Who are the 30 new artists and makers in York Open Studios 2022 as it opens this weekend? Meet six more here…

“My faith is very important as a source of creative energy,” says York Open Studios 2022 debutant ceramicist Rukshana Afia

THE sun is out to greet York Open Studios on its opening weekend.

More than 150 artists and makers are showing and selling their work within their homes and workspaces, giving visitors an opportunity to view and buy “bespoke pieces to suit every budget”, from 10am to 5pm today, tomorrow and next weekend too. 

As ever, the range of artists’ work encompasses painting and print, illustration, drawing and mixed media, ceramics, glass and sculpture, jewellery, textiles, photography and installation art. Check out the artists’ directory listings at yorkopenstudios.co.uk to find out who is participating.

CharlesHutchPress is highlighting the 30 newcomers in a showcase all this week, in map order, continuing today with Philip Wilkinson; Rukshana Afia; Dylan Connor; Anna Pearson; Danladi Kole Bako and Izzy Williamson.

Automata maker Philip Wilkinson at work in his Quick Sticks Workshop

Philip Wilkinson, sculpture, 241 Burton Stone Lane, York

PHILIP has been a design-maker of bespoke works and hands-on museum exhibits for 25 years.

Employment stints at the legendary Eden Project, in Cornwall, and the magical Centre for Alternative Technology, at Machynlleth, Wales, stoked his interest in working with reclaimed materials.

Steamer, by Philip Wilkinson

In 2019, Philip built Quick Sticks Workshop, where he imparts “the joy of making stuff” through handmade automata, educational kits and practical sessions.

His works upcycle scrap into whimsical, hand-powered artworks with the common themes of humour, environment and engineering. “Each handcrafted model draws unique character from available materials,” says Philip, who also teaches design at a York school.

Rukshana Afia: Makes coiled ceramics in stoneware and white earthenware

Rukshana Afia, ceramics, 92 Dodsworth Avenue, York

RUKSHANA headlined her March 19 blog “Preparation verging on panic…”, but the day has arrived for York Open Studios debut.

She makes coiled ceramics in stoneware and white earthenware, the earthenware decorated using alkaline/Islamic glazes, sometimes liquid metals. Her felts are cut and re-pieced with surface embroidery.

Rukshana is Eurasian, born in London in 1953. “I’m a progressive Sunni Muslim by birth, upbringing and mature conviction,” she says. “My faith is very important as a source of creative energy as well as a historical treasure-house of artistic techniques, particularly in ceramics,” she says.

Dylan Connor: Attended workshops led by a body sculpture and movie special effects creator

Dylan Connor, sculpture, 114 East Parade, York

DYLAN’S’ work explores an “urban abstract and realism narrative of body anonymous and known body sculptures”, using organic material found in everyday environments present in today’s society. 

Dylan began studying art and sculpture while at school, graduating in contemporary design and craft from York St John University in 2018.

A sculpture by Dylan Connor, using organic material found in everyday environments

He then attended workshops led by a body sculpture and movie special effects creator and further extended his formal education to become a qualified teacher specialising in art and design.

He has spent time further developing his urban realism practice in his York workshop to reveal his latest collection.

Anna Pearson: Everyday objects and views as subjects

Anna Pearson, painting, 29 Woodside Avenue, York 

ANNA has produced a selection of different types of work, sometimes adding collage to them. She takes her inspiration from the Impressionists and Yorkshire’s own David Hockney.

“My preferred medium is acrylics, finding the best way to apply it can be with the fingers or anything else lying around my kitchen,” she says. “When sketching outdoors, I use pen and ink and have a whimsical attitude to straight lines – I like structures to have ‘character’!” 

Most of Anna’s work is in acrylics with everyday objects and views as subjects, often using sponges to apply the paint.

Danladi Kole Bako: Creator of Bankoleart

Danladi Kole Bako, mixed media, The Studio, 40 Hempland Drive, York

DANLADI is the Nigerian-born founder of Bankoleart, his art being essentially characterised by the use of talking drums for functional and aesthetic visual art expressions, creatively employing themes, designs and media to highlight socio-cultural issues.

Born in 1969 in Kaduna state, Nigeria, Danladi is a “self-thought” artist, painter and mixed-media artist. “My passion for contemporary visual arts was nurtured during my years in solitude, when I devoted myself to research and developing my unique ‘Bankoleart’ style,” he says.

His art form has flourished with increased experimentation at numerous artist-run spaces in Nigeria and his works are owned by private and corporate collectors worldwide.

Izzy Williamson: Expresses feelings of playfulness and wonder in her linocuts

Izzy Williamson, printmaking, Flat 1, 9 Sandringham Street, York

PRINTMAKER Izzy specialises in making original, limited-edition, intricate and figurative in style and deeply rooted in nature and stories from her childhood in Whitby.

“The narratives within my work observe feelings of playfulness and wonder, stemming from stories in folklore, dreams, myth and everyday joys,” she says.

Since graduating from Leeds College of Art in 2015, Izzy has produced designs for interiors, packaging and branding.

Izzy Williamson goes down to the sea, her linocuts being deeply rooted in nature and stories from her Whitby childhood

In focus tomorrow: Lucinda Grange, photography; Janine Lees, mixed media; Emma Frost, painting; Shirley Davis Dew, painting; Laura Thompson, illustration; The Island, photography.