Scarborough Art Gallery to launch series of online screenings on Tuesday nights

Great Bustard, from the Scarborough Collections. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

SCARBOROUGH Art Gallery will begin a series of online film nights with When Species Meet this evening (28/4/2020).

Gallery Screenings Online, on the last Tuesday of each month from 7pm, will feature films selected to give audiences a new perspective on both visiting exhibitions and the permanent Scarborough Collections, followed by a question-and-answer session.

The series will have features aimed at making them as accessible to as many people as possible. Each event will have optional live captions from a stenographer; downloading the app version of Zoom is recommended for those wishing to use this function. 

Artist and designer Lucy Carruthers and collections manager Jim Middleton: an image from the social story, illustrated by Savannah Storm

A visual guide, or “social story”, will be created too, with illustrations by Scarborough artist Savannah Storm, to explain the format and accessible elements of the screening. 

The first screening, When Species Meet, will look at captive and extinct animals and how film has been used to represent them, opening with Bert Haanstra’s nine-minute documentary Zoo, followed by Leanne Allison and Jeremy Mendes’ 20-minute interactive film Bear 71. 

Filmed in 1962 and nominated for a 1963 BAFTA Award for Best Short Film, Zoo compares the behaviour of animals and humans, using a hidden camera to capture the true nature of both man and beast.

Great Auk egg, from the Scarborough Collections. Picture: David Chalmers

Bear 71 explores the life of a grizzly bear in Banff National Park, monitored by wildlife conservation offices from 2001 to 2009. The film “gives viewers the experience of ‘being’ a bear”, exploring how one animal’s life is interlinked and affected by the movements of humans and animals around it. 

The screenings will be followed by a 30-minute Q&A with Jim Middleton, collections manager at Scarborough Museums Trust, who will discuss the natural history collections within the archive, and with artist and designer Lucy Carruthers.

Andrew Clay, Scarborough Museums Trust’s chief executive, says: “Increasing access to our events, whether they are online or in our venues, is really important to us. No-one should feel excluded. We hope the visual guides and subtitles will support more people from our communities to participate in our activities.”

Film programmer Martha Cattell: email her for access to Gallery Screenings Online. Image: Susannah Storm

Film programmer Martha Cattell says: “Scarborough Museums Trust has a large collection of taxidermy animals locked away in the stores. Some of the species represented – the great bustard, the great auk, of which we have a rare egg, the passenger pigeons, Captain Cook’s bean snail – are now extinct largely due to human intervention.

“Their bodies now rest, static and captive in the archives. They are ghosts of species lost and haunted by the human actions that led to their demise.”

Simon Hedges, the trust’s head of curation, collections and exhibitions, says: “ We launched the Gallery Screenings programme at Scarborough Art Gallery in early March and then, of course, had to cancel it after the first one because of the Coronavirus lockdown.

Chatscreen: another illustration from the virtual guide by Susannah Storm

“We’re absolutely delighted to be able to continue these fascinating events online. They will return to the gallery once we reopen to the public.”

Access to the Gallery Screenings Online event this evening is by password only, available, along with a link, by emailing   

The social story for When Species Meet can be downloaded at The Q&A and introduction will be available post-event on Scarborough Museums Trust’s YouTube channel:

2020 New Light Prize Exhibition to go ahead with end of May deadline for entries

Sir Tom Courtenay, by Isobel Peachey, an entry for a past New Light Prize Exhibition

THE New Light Prize Exhibition has been given the green light for 2020.

Turning the spotlight on northern art, this prestigious biennial event will be held this autumn, despite the Coronavirus pandemic that has forced many arts organisations into temporary closure. 

Rebekah Tadd, development director at New Light, says: “We’re very fortunate that the way our exhibition is organised means we’re able to go ahead as planned.

“The submissions process all takes place online – artists are invited to submit their works via our website by May 31 – and the judging process takes place online during the summer.

“The physical exhibition, which launches at Scarborough Art Gallery before going on tour to Carlisle, Newcastle and London, isn’t until mid-September, so we hope that, by then, we can go ahead without any changes.”

Andrew Clay: Chief executive of Scarborough Museums Trust. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

Celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2020, the exhibition will start at Scarborough Art Gallery for the first time, running there from September 19 to January 10 2021.

Andrew Clay, chief executive of Scarborough Museums Trust, says: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming the New Light Prize Exhibition to Scarborough Art Gallery.

“This exhibition’s policy of shining new light on northern artists is one we firmly believe in, so we’re thrilled to be involved and to able to support in this way.”

Artists who were born, live or have studied in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumbria, Westmoreland, County Durham and Northumbria can submit their work online at:

Judging this summer will be done by a panel of Royal Academy printmaker and artist Anne Desmet; RA Magazine editor Sam Phillips; Huddersfield Art Gallery curator Grant Scanlan and New Light chair Annette Petchey.

Scarborough Art Gallery, where the 2020 New Light Prize Exhibition will be launched in September. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

The prize winners will be announced at a private view at Scarborough Art Gallery on Friday, September 18.

Those prizes are:

The £10,000 Valeria Sykes Award: open to all artists aged over 18 with a connection to the north, whether through birth, degree level study or residence.

The £2,500 Patron’s Choice Award: presented on the night of the private view; all exhibited works are considered.

The Saul Hay Gallery Emerging Artists Prize: offering mentoring, professional advice and exhibition opportunities, including a solo show.

The Zillah Bell Printmakers’ Prize: all forms of original printmaking are eligible; the winner will be offered a solo exhibition at the Zillah Bell Gallery in Thirsk.

The Visitors’ Choice Award: visitors are asked to vote for their favourite work.

New Light Purchase Prize: the selected work is purchased by the charity to add to its collection.

Caravan Of Love, oil on canvas, by Christopher Campbell, an entry for a past New Light Prize Exhibition

The New Light Prize Exhibition will move on from Scarborough to Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle, The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle, and finally The Bankside Gallery, London.

Established in 2010, New Light runs not only the biennial open exhibition for established and emerging artists, but also the New Light Art For All education programme of talks, workshops and school projects.

This spring, the New Light Collection is being launched with the aim of making “the best in northern visual arts” available to more people by loaning pieces, free of charge, to public bodies and charities.

The common thread that runs through everything New Light does is a “deep belief that the visual arts matter and the north of England deserves to be celebrated”.

New Light is run by a dedicated group of people with a passion for northern art and relies entirely on donations and sponsorship. For more information, go to

Easter activities stay at home as Scarborough museums put fun online

Easter activities organised by Scarborough Museums Trust are going online. Picture: Tony Bartholomew.

SCARBOROUGH Museums Trust is taking its fun Easter activities online.

Amid the Covid-19 lockdown, the trust has had to suspend its usual drop-in activities at the Rotunda Museum, Scarborough Art Gallery and Woodend, instead making them available via its website,, and on social media.

From Thursday, April 9, you can have a go at making your own “Roarsome” Easter bonnet to wear with pride.

The Rotunda Museum, Scarborough. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

From Wednesday, April 15, you can gain inspiration from the trust’s springtime artworks and make a flowery print to decorate your home.  

Scarborough Museums Trust’s learning officer, Christine Rostron, says: “All the activities are inspired by our collections and use everyday art materials. 

Scarborough Art Gallery. Picture: Tony Batholomew

“We hope you have fun making things at home and would love to find out how you’re getting on. Please share your creations with us on social media: @Scarboroughmuseums (Facebook), @scarboroughmuseums (Instagram) and @SMTrust (Twitter), using the hashtags #MuseumFromHome #loveScarborough.

“We’re really going to miss seeing all the families and children who normally visit our venues over the holidays. Sending us pictures is great way for us to keep in touch.”

The Printmakers Council to exhibit at Scarborough Art Gallery for second time

A Walk In The Snow, by Tim Southall

THE second selection from a nationally important collection of new prints will go on show at Scarborough Art Gallery next month.

Running from February 8 to April 26, the Printmakers Council 1992-2019 exhibition will feature work by leading printmakers, including prize winners from the council’s biannual competition.

Beach Bodies by Theresa Pateman

The new show follows on last summer’s PmC Mini Prints display. Once more, all the work has been donated to Scarborough Art Gallery by the prestigious Printmakers Council, marking the start of an ongoing relationship between the gallery and the PmC.

This will involve regular donations of work to create an important national archive of fine art printmaking in Scarborough.

Meteor Storm Over St Ives by Graham Cooke

The PmC, a national association for the promotion and encouragement of printmaking in all its forms, was founded in 1965. One of its founding objectives was the creation of a comprehensive national print archive of contemporary printmaking.

The work for The Printmakers Council 1992-2019 has been selected from PmC members, with one print from each participating member. No restrictions were placed on subject matter, method or date, except that the artist must have been a member of the PmC when the print was produced.

The Ancestral Heritage Emporium by Trevor Dance

Simon Hedges, head of curation, collections and exhibitions at Scarborough Museums Trust, says: “The exhibition will include a wide and rich variety of contemporary prints showcasing many different print processes.”

The Printmakers Council 1992-2019, Scarborough Art Gallery, February 8 to April 26. Opening hours: Tuesdays to Sundays, 10am to 5pm. Entry is free with an Annual Pass, which costs £3 and gives the bearer unlimited access to both Scarborough Art Gallery and the Rotunda Museum for a year.

The world’s first Tourette’s superhero to spend half term at Scarborough Art Gallery

Jess Thomas: artist, play worker and comedian , hosting Heroes Of The Imagination

THE world’s first Tourette’s superhero lands in Scarborough Art Gallery this February half-term with a free “interactive, inclusive and incredible” superhero-themed experience.

Heroes Of The Imagination, from 10am to 1pm on Saturday, February 22, invites disabled and non-disabled children to discover their own powers, create a superhero identity and use their imagination to change the world. 

Touretteshero herself will be there with her team to help children make masks, create capes, perfect their moves and launch their new superheroes in a magical photo studio.

Touretteshero was founded by Matthew Pountney and Jess Thom, an artist, play worker and comedian who has Tourette’s syndrome and finds her tics are a source of imaginative creativity. She has never been seen in the same room as Touretteshero, by the way!

Children taking part in a previous Touretteshero event

“Touretteshero needs you!” says Jess. “Bring your ideas, excitement and energy to celebrate difference and save the world from dullness.”

Scarborough Museums Trust chief executive Andrew Clay says: “We’re excited to host internationally acclaimed company Touretteshero to inspire and energise us in our journey towards becoming more accessible and inclusive.

“We have some way to go but we’re committed to radically improving access over the next few years, particularly at Scarborough Art Gallery, including installing a lift.”

Taking place on the ground floor of the gallery, in The Crescent, this celebration of creativity, imagination and neurodiversity will allow children to choose and move between activities.

Another Touretteshero event in Scarborough

There will be a chill-out area, quiet and busy spaces and plenty of staff and helpers on hand, plus a Mobiloo outside the gallery on The Crescent: a Changing Places accessible loo with an adult-size changing bed and ceiling hoist.

The fully accessible, multi-sensory drop-in activities for disabled and non-disabled children and their grown-up sidekicks are free, but places are limited and booking is essential. The event is recommended particularly for children aged five to 13.

Further free half-term events being run by Scarborough Museums Trust include:

  • Fabulous Fossils, Rotunda Museum, Tuesday, February 18, 10.30am to 12 noon and 1.30pm to 3pm;
  • Superheroes of Science, Rotunda Museum, Thursday, February 20, 10am to 12 noon and 1pm to 3pm;
  • Explorer Backpacks and Trails, Rotunda Museum, Scarborough Art Gallery and Woodend, available every day.

To book for Heroes Of The Imagination, and for more information on all the half-term events, call 01723 374753 (Scarborough Art Gallery) or 01723 353665 (Rotunda) or visit