Fancy a cuppa at FortyFive Vinyl Café? Not to drink but to view or buy in Lotte Inch’s exhibition by a cracking set of makers

“I’ve been a huge fan of Ali Tomlin’s work for some time now,” says Cups and Such curator Lotte Inch

DESIGNED to be a hug for you, or for someone else, the Cups and Such pop-up exhibition of beautiful, handmade drinking vessels promises to offer comfort and solace for all, says curator Lotte Inch.

Working in tandem with exhibition hosts FortyFive Vinyl Café, the welcoming haven of music, coffee and comfort food in Micklegate, York, Lotte Inch Gallery has selected cups, mugs, beakers, tea bowls and more, made by hand by Rebecca Callis, Reiko Kaneko, Ali Tomlin and the Leach Studios.

“After two years of not really being able to be close to our nearest and dearest, I imagine that I’m not alone in saying that the search for warmth and comfort in other objects and experiences has become an essential part of our every day,” says Lotte.

“Providing a sense of connection and an opportunity to embrace, we hope that through Cups and Such, you will all find something that offers that hug-in-a-mug feeling from the selection of deftly curated pieces.”

“The search for warmth and comfort in other objects and experiences has become an essential part of our every day,” says Lotte

Here CharlesHutchPress asks Lotte Inch for her thoughts on mugs, cups, tea, coffee and cafés.

How and why did you select Rebecca Callis, Reiko Kaneko, Ali Tomlin and the Leach Studios to take part in this exhibition, Lotte? 

“Rebecca, Reiko and the Leach Studios have exhibited with Lotte Inch Gallery since the early days, and I’ve always loved their work, each one being so different from the other.

“It’s been a joy to see how Rebecca and Reiko’s work has developed over the years and I’m honoured to have been witness to this while collaborating with them.

“I’ve been a huge fan of Ali Tomlin’s work for some time now too, and when planning this show, I decided to ask if she’d like to be a part of it. Thankfully for me, and York’s ceramics fans, she said ‘yes’!”

A handmade tea-drinking vessel by Ali Tomlin at FortyFive Vinyl Café

What are the “and more” items in the exhibition?

“Some of the makers in the show have some beautiful jugs that complement the drinking vessels on display. And there are a few items from other makers that might have caught my eye and crept into the exhibition too – although once they have sold, they’re gone, so I’d recommend getting down there soon to see for yourself.”

After mounting Jonny Hannah’s Songs For Down Town Lovers exhibition in February 2020 and now Cups and Such, what makes FortyFive Vinyl your favourite York café ?

“It might be something to do with being married to one of the owners! Or perhaps the amazing grilled cheese sandwiches! But on a serious note, it’s just such a welcoming, easy-going and adaptable space. I love the combination of music and art and the large walls offer a brilliant backdrop for exhibiting work.

“It’s been a joy to see how Reiko Kaneko’s work has developed over the years,” says Lotte. Picture: Cat Garcia

“I love that it’s also open in the evenings at weekends for gigs or just for a beer. It’s that flexibility of the place that makes it an ideal venue to collaborate with on projects or to just visit in a more everyday capacity.”

What is your favourite cuppa? Tea or coffee?

“Tea. I can’t start the day without it. And it’s the last thing I drink before I go to bed at night.”

Milk first or teabag and water first?

“This depends on how much of a rush I’m in and if I’m making it just for me or for someone else. Inevitably, the milk goes in first, with the teabag, these days! Toddlers and opportunities for relaxed tea-drinking don’t really go hand in hand.”

Mug for coffee…teacup for tea…Or aren’t you fussy?

“A bone china or fine stoneware mug for either would be my preference. As long as it isn’t a polystyrene cup, I’m happy!”

A mug by Reiko Kaneko in the Cups and Such exhibition

How do you feel when you break a mug or cup?

“Generally, pretty devastated. If it’s salvageable and can be used in another capacity, I will try and find another use for it. Otherwise, I try and take it as an opportunity to replace it with another mug from one of my favourite makers.”

Favourite biscuit to go with a cuppa?

“Dark Chocolate Digestives. Definitely something chocolatey.”

Do you have a favourite mug in your home?

“I have a porcelain mug that I bought before I opened Lotte Inch Gallery, made by Irish maker Adam Frew. I would be heartbroken if this one got smashed. I think it was buying this at Ceramic Art London that sparked my love for collecting – and selling – ceramics. I’ve always wanted to work with Adam, but it’s never quite worked out. One day maybe?”

Cups and Such…or, A Hug In A Mug, a pop-up exhibition by Lotte Inch Gallery, runs at FortyFive Vinyl Café, Micklegate, York, until March 6. Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday, 10am to 5pm, Friday, 10am to 8pm; Saturday, 10am to 6pm.

Lotte Inch Gallery launches pop-up projects with Matthew Miller’s Cloth & Colour quilt installation in York Theatre Royal foyer

Still Life, quilt, by Matthew Miller

YORK artist Matthew Miller will launch his quilt exhibition, Cloth & Colour, at an 11.30am to 1.30pm preview on Saturday at York Theatre Royal.

This inaugural Pop-Up Project mounted by Lotte Inch Gallery will run at the St Leonard’s Place theatre until Tuesday, November 30.

“In the first of our ‘Beyond The Gallery Walls’projects, Lotte Inch Gallery is delighted to be working with the extremely talented, multi-media artist Matthew Miller to bring an impressive and colourful installation to the Theatre Royal foyer this November,” says Lotte.

Multi-media artist Matthew Miller

“Matthew is based in London but hails from York and I’m thrilled that he’s returning to his roots for  this milestone gallery project.” 

After an uncertain and stop-start 2020 under the Covid cloud, gallery owner Lotte took the difficult decision to close her Bootham premises in June this summer. “However, in my commitment to the city’s art scene, I always intended to keep working on creative projects and I’m excited to be curating this pop-up exhibition at the Theatre Royal.” 

Matthew Miller’s new installation is a series of textile pieces inspired by the work of the quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. “Using only waste material from their worn-out garments and sheets, the women of Gee’s Bend made vibrant and raw quilts that rival any Colourists of the 20th century,” says Lotte.

Golden Bird, quilt, by Matthew Miller

“Matthew’s interest in these beautifully crafted textiles drew him to collaborate with his mother, Liza, on his first quilt in 2016 before developing his own process to produce the pieces exhibited in this show.”

Interested in the ecological use of fabric in quilting, Matthew has used end-of-roll and pre-worn fabrics in all of his quilts. “Leaning into the aesthetic of his paintings, he extends his exploration of bright, bold colours and clear form to create a series of vibrant collages in cloth,” says Lotte.

“He has found in quilts a tactile medium that can work just as easily on a table or bed as on a wall. This practical use gives the works an emotional element, allowing people to feel them and touch them as well as just admire them.” 

Leaves Runner and Moon Runner, quilts, by Matthew Miller

Matthew’s background in book arts and design, as a graduate from London College of Communication, has seen him host shows in varying media, both in London and his home city of York.

Previously, his medium of choice has been painting. Cloth & Colour will be his first exhibition of quilts, coinciding happily but by chance – in a like father, like son story – with pater Peter Miller’s exhibition of North Yorkshire oil paintings at the Partisan café/restaurant on Micklegate. Miller senior’s From Kilburn To Hawnby landscapes oil paintings share the same closing date, November 30; like father, like son, again.

Matthew Miller’s Cloth & Colour, York Theatre Royal foyer, November 13 to 30, during theatre opening hours; Monday, 1pm to 5pm; Tuesday to Saturday, 9am to 10pm; Sunday, closed. 

Spot the difference as Tom Wood adds to online crow show at Lotte Inch Gallery

Water & Seeds, 2020, acrylic and collage, by Tom Wood

LOTTE Inch Gallery’s first online-only exhibition, Tom Wood’s The Abstract Crow, is becoming even more abstract.

“The exhibition catalogue is still available to view online, but some of the more eagle-eyed browsers among you will notice a few changes,” says Lotte Inch, owner of the gallery at Fourteen Bootham, York.

“In a true insight into the daily goings-on of the artist’s studio, Tom has revisited three of the works that form part of this exhibition.”

Explaining his decision, Tom says: “Sometimes I feel compelled to revise things. It’s dangerous having things at home. Starts off a portrait…ends up a bunch of flowers! Still, it will give future conservators something to puzzle over.”

Drawing A Dahlia, by Tom Wood

Lotte rejoins: “So, here’s the perfect excuse to revisit Tom’s exhibition once more and to see if you can spot the changes. If you have any questions about any of these works or others in the show, please feel to drop us a line at lotte@lotteinch.co.uk.

“We’re always more than happy to deliver works for you to look at them if you’re based within the York area.”

Running from April 17 to May 16, Wood’s solo show pays homage to this Yorkshire artist’s love for the natural world, while displaying his imaginative and allusive abstract approach to painting.

Since graduating from Sheffield School of Art in 1978, Wood has exhibited his work worldwide. For example, his celebrated portraits of Professor Lord Robert Winston and Leeds playwright Alan Bennett, both commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, London, have been shown at the Australian National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.

An abstract crow from Tom Wood’s The Abstract Crow online show at Lotte Inch Gallery

Wood has held solo shows at the Yale Center for British Art, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA, and Schloss Cappenberg, Kreiss Unna, Germany. Among his commissions are portraits for the National Trust, Warwick University and the Harewood Trust, for whom his large double portrait of the late 7th Earl and Countess of Harewood is on permanent display at Harewood House, near Leeds.

“We look forward to re-opening soon but, in the meantime, we continue to encourage you to browse online,” says Lotte. “Alongside Tom’s newly revised works, we also have a selection of new ceramic works and jewellery and will keep adding new items to our online shop, so do check back with us from time to time.

“Do note that if you live in the York area, we’re pleased to be able to offer a free and safe delivery service. Just select ‘Collect In Store’ and we’ll be in touch to arrange delivery of your items.”

Lotte Inch Gallery goes online for Mick Leach and Tom Wood exhibitions

York abstract painter Mick Leach at work

LOTTE Inch Gallery, in Bootham, York, is going online only “for the time being”.

“While the Covid-19 situation poses a threat to us all, we want to ensure that everyone stays well and healthy and, as such, have closed the doors at Fourteen Bootham until we are advised by the Government that we can re-open,” says Lotte.

“However, just because the doors are closed, it doesn’t mean that you can’t still look at some of the beautiful work that features in our current exhibition, York artist Mick Leach’s Urban Abstraction. All Mick’s paintings are now on our online shop at lotteinch.co.uk, along with Katie Timson’s beautifully delicate ceramics and Evie Leach’s refined silver and semi-precious stone jewellery.”

Running until April 11, Leach’s debut solo show of sophisticated abstract work endeavours to recreate the textures, colours, layers and shapes of York’s decaying urban landscape.

One of Mick Leach’s Urban Abstraction paintings

Working mainly with acrylics mixed with French chalk powder, Leach applies paint with palette knives to gain his textured, layered effect. Various colours and media are then added to enhance the layers and textures to evoke the memory and feeling of the places that most inspire him.

“As a self-taught artist and full-time worker, Mick’s ‘side-career’ (sic) in painting has been steadily and successfully taking shape since early 2016,” says Lotte. “This new exhibition highlights his striking talent and his sympathetic and considered manipulation of materials.

“His work is never subjective, but produced instead from memory, in an attempt to recreate the feel of a location while simultaneously allowing his work to find its own course.” 

Inspiration behind this series, being shown in York for the first time, is drawn from the many large cities that Leach has visited or lived in, in particular from the city of York; the place he calls home.

“We look forward to re-opening soon, but in the meantime, we encourage you to browse online,” says Lotte Inch Gallery curator Lotte Inch

“In this new body of paintings, Mick attempts to recreate the colours and feel of the ancient stonework, the dark alleyways, sunken windows, and the contrast of the modern world against this ancient city, a place rich with contradictions,” says Lotte.

Coming next will be Lotte Inch Gallery’s first online-only exhibition, Tom Wood’s The Abstract Crow, running from 10am on April 17 to May 16.

“Keep an eye out for more details coming soon and follow Lotte Inch Gallery on Instagram for sneak previews of the new works that Tom will be including in his show,” says Lotte.

“This will be a solo show of new paintings by this internationally recognised and technically brilliant Yorkshire artist. Known for his imaginative and allusive abstract approach to painting, Tom will pay homage to his love for the natural world in The Abstract Crow.” 

One of Tom Wood’s paintings for The Abstract Crow, his upcoming online-only exhibition at Lotte Inch Gallery, Bootham, York

Since graduating from Sheffield School of Art in 1978, Wood has exhibited his work worldwide. For example, his celebrated portraits of Professor Lord Robert Winston and Leeds playwright Alan Bennett, both commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, London, have been on display at the Australian National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.

Wood has held solo shows at the Yale Center for British Art, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA, and Schloss Cappenberg, Kreiss Unna, Germany. Among his commissions are portraits for the National Trust, Warwick University and the Harewood Trust, for whom his large double portrait of the late 7th Earl and Countess of Harewood is on permanent display at Harewood House, near Leeds.

“We look forward to re-opening soon, but in the meantime, we encourage you to browse online,” says Lotte. “Do note that if you live in the York area, we are pleased to be able to offer a free and safe delivery service. Just select ‘Collect In Store’ and we’ll be in touch to arrange delivery of your items.

“Take care of yourselves and your loved ones,” she signs off.