Peter Heaton’s photos and Peter Maris’s sculptures go on show at Dalby Forest

Dalby, by Peter Heaton, from the Residuum exhibition at The Courtyard, Low Dalby

PETER Heaton’s photographs combine with Peter Maris’s sculptures in the Residuum exhibition on show at The Courtyard, Low Dalby, Dalby Forest, near Pickering, until the end of August.

“All the work pretty much has been made during the lockdown period,” says artist/photographer Heaton. “It’s quite different for me, as I usually work in black and white, but as normal for my work, it’s heavily atmospheric, and this time it’s a collaborative project.”

Inspired by a particular forest environment and how it has formed, flourishes and changes through natural processes and human activity, Heaton and Maris’s “rich and sumptuous” exhibition” presents multi-layered photographs alongside intriguing carved stone sculptures that took the micro-climate and life within the forest’s small glacial valleys as a focal point for examination and creative exploration.

Sculpture, by Peter Maris, from the Residuum exhibition

Residuum is among the outcomes of an artist residency commissioned by Forestry England and supported by Arts Council England, wherein Maris invited Heaton to engage in a collaborative programme.

Heaton’s striking images were all made in a small area of the forest at High Staindale that contains a complex of several short steep valleys known locally as Griffs and Slacks. These features were created by glacial melt water and lie close to the prehistoric Dargate Dikes linear boundary.

“In this most ancient area of the forest, sunlight very rarely penetrates the valleys that seem to exude their own pale, green light,” he says. “They are full of fallen and decaying trees that are passing through continuous transformation as they moulder into the rocky forest floor. In my images these are atmospheric spaces, dominated by mosses, ferns, deep shadows and …silence.”

“Quite different for me, as I usually work in black and white, but as normal for my work, it’s heavily atmospheric,” says photographer Peter Heaton

In The Courtyard gallery, two large panoramic compositions flank either side of the exhibition space, examining and celebrating the rich array of minutiae that makes up the ever-changing forest floor, all photographically woven into complex, layered tapestries that reveal unexpected detail, colour and textures.

In contrast, four images printed onto Light Sheets on the gallery’s main wall alternate between illuminating the space with that “pale green light” and then darkening, shifting to reveal the woodland’s mysterious, primaeval qualities.

“There is constant change at work in these valleys, but it’s imperceptible, a slow decomposition and green rebirth brought about by nature’s agents of change,” says Heaton.

Forest, by Peter Heaton, on display at The Courtyard, Low Dalby

The sculptures are inspired by the same subject matter but, importantly, are also a creative response to the photographic compositional processes. “They are intentionally focused towards a ‘picture-plane’ presentation and deal with the surface issues in sculptural composition,” says Maris.

“These new pieces use the very rugged, textured, natural ‘bed’ surface of the stone as an appropriate visual metaphor in which to explore with a range of mark-making techniques, but that also refer to natural growth forms, decomposition and human activity.”

In this project, Maris has found the opportunity to broaden his sculptural expression beyond the boundaries of conventional stone-carving practice and introduce a greater spontaneity in approach and response.

The Residuum exhibition at The Courtyard, Low Dalby

“In these sculptures, I wanted to develop new creative routes in stone and I felt free to compose and draw with the chisel in a very loose and painterly manner,” says Maris. “Colour has been introduced too, both by chance discovery and by deliberation.”

The natural textures of the stones have given rise to imaginative and creative play in the carving process. “Surface features and shapes are undercut and pierced, revealing apertures in the stone, posing references to the earth’s surface as a fragile membrane that can be broken or eroded through human activity and natural environmental processes.”

Heaton concludes: “With people becoming increasingly appreciative of the benefits of spending more time outdoors, perhaps a visit to the exhibition combined with walk through Dalby Forest would be just the ticket in the coming months.”

The exhibition poster for Residuum

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

Insect art by Anna Vialle

YORK Open Studios 2020, the chance to meet 144 artists at 100 locations over two April weekends, has had to be 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 ceramics, collage, digital, illustration, jewellery, mixed media, painting, print, photography, sculpture and textiles.

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 will have been created for the event and still needs a new home. Addresses will not be included at this time.

Dee Thwaite: painting with hands, not brushes

Dee Thwaite, painting

YORK Open Studios newcomer Dee uses acrylic paint, inks, graphite and charcoal in her sea and landscape paintings and drawings, marked by expressive skies, storms and the changing seasons.

Mainly self-taught, this contemporary abstract artist expresses her love of the North Yorkshire coastline on canvas, board and paper in works that combine both a physical and emotional response when she paints, predominantly with her hands, as opposed to brushes. Contact Dee via

Anna Vialle at work with a pen

Anna Vialle, drawing

INSPIRED by the style and colours of both Japanese woodblock and Victorian prints, Anna limits herself to drawing insects, birds, landscapes, anatomy and trees.

Anna had trained in art education in 1997. Twenty-two years later, when trying
to relax after working difficult shifts as a mental-health nurse, she started a pen and watercolour illustration of 24 individually drawn moths.

Exploring the connection between repetition and focus, she began using dots to create her artwork, whereupon a stress-free style of art emerged. Cue a “more relaxed” mental-health nurse! Visit for more info.

Rosie Bramley surrounded by her art

Rosie Bramley, painting

ROSIE’S colourful paintings explore her devotion and connection to the land and sea.  Gestural marks dance around the surface of each painting as she creates abstract works inspired by nature.

Rosie studied fine art painting and printmaking, graduating from Bretton Hall College, University of Leeds, in 1996.  Now head of art at Driffield Secondary School and Sixth Form in East Yorkshire, where she teaches both fine art and photography, she has exhibited regularly in York, latterly at Fossgate Social, City Screen and Angel on the Green.

Her first Open Studios show since 2011 would have featured new works inspired by the landscape. Her website,, divides her work into Abstracts, The Cruel Sea and Mountains.

A nude by Tabitha Grove

Tabitha Grove, painting

SELECTED for York Open Studios for the first time, Tabitha uses bold colour, contrast, ink, watercolour, gold leaf and collage on handmade paper to explore perceptions of the body and how they can be challenged and celebrated. 

Her career as an actor and costume designer for film and theatre has informed Tabitha’s passion for storytelling and her fascination with the way our bodies interact with our environments.

Tabitha Grove: actor, costume designer, piano restorer….and artist

Tabitha’s career portfolio career extends to having co-managed Look Gallery, in Helmsley, and now working in piano restoration, where she learns rare skills that influence her art.

Each experience has informed Tabitha’s style, she says, leading to her “bringing diverse technique to a new perspective”. Find her work via

Peter Heaton: “images that need careful time and observation”

Peter Heaton, photography

PETER specialises in black and white limited-edition photographic prints of woodlands and dark landscapes: images that need careful time and observation as the space they inhabit is full of visual surprises, he says.

Before the camera lens and digital imaging took precedence, Peter studied fine art at Nottingham Trent University and later gained an MA in fine art from Leeds Metropolitan University.

A dark woodland, by Peter Heaton

Over the past few years, Peter’s work has revolved around the complexities of layering visual information and our interpretations of the resulting images. In 2010, he set up Vale of York Darkrooms, where he teaches courses in both traditional chemical-based black-and-white photography and digital imaging. Take a look at his photographs at

Tomorrow: Sarah K Jackson; Kate Pettitt; Reg Walker; Constance Isobel and Chris Utley.