42 artists and makers take part in Ryedale Open Studios over next two weekends

Ryedale Open Studios founders and directors Kirsty Kirk, left, Layla Khoo and Petra Young. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

ARTISTS across Ryedale are preparing to open their studios to the public on Saturday and Sunday and the following weekend from 10am to 5pm each day.

In the wake of last summer’s first ever Ryedale Open Studios, the sequel will give visitors the chance to explore the variety of creative talents and skills in the district, ranging from painting, printing, drawing and photography to ceramics, textiles, metalwork and willow weaving.

More than 40 artists will be participating in an event organised by Vault Arts Centre, a Community Interest Company founded to develop arts activities and events in the Ryedale area, with financial support from Ryedale District Council.

Ceramicist Iona Stock. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

Its founders and directors are Layla Khoo, Kirsty Kirk and Petra Young. Kirkbymoorside ceramicist Layla will be taking part in the open weekends; former South London primary school art teacher Kirsty co-founded and ran makers’ markets in East London and now runs a holiday cottage complex near Pickering; Petra is Forestry England’s funding and development manager.

She was instrumental in developing the arts strategy for Dalby Forest, near Pickering, in 2017 and has been working on establishing Dalby as a destination for high-quality arts activities ever since.

Phillip Spurr, director of place and resources for Ryedale District Council, says: “Arts and culture in Ryedale is key to our identity. It nourishes the roots of our communities and helps make the district what it is. I’d encourage residents and visitors alike to attend the Open Studios event to support our arts and culture industry.”

Silversmith and jewellery designer Jen Ricketts. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

To find out more about all 42 artists, head to ryedaleopenstudios.com, where a printable map and handbook can be downloaded.

Taking part will be: Aeva Denham, mixed media; Alex Jones, wildlife oil paintings; Alice O’Neill, papercut and collage; Amanda Pickles, mixed media; Angela Cole, basket designs in willow; Anna Matyus, printmaking; Caleb Matyus, decorative blacksmith works; Carol Messham, garden watercolours and polymer clay pictures, jewellery and mobiles.

Charlotte Elizabeth Lane, large-scale sky and ocean paintings; Charlotte Salt, ceramics and still-life drawings; Christine Hughes, textiles and home interiors; Colin Culley, paintings of natural world; Eleanor Walker, textiles and weaving; Environmental Art, blacksmith sculpture and abstract textiles; Evanna Denham, pencil pieces full of meaning.

Hannah Turlington, mixed media, printmaking and textiles; Harry Oyston, drawings; Heather Niven, painting and ceramic sculpture; Helen Milen, Studio Milena textiles; Iona Stock, functional and sculptural ceramics; Ione Harrison, watercolour and gouache paintings; Janet Poole, plein-air paintings in oil, watercolour and pastel.

Painter and printmaker Meg Ricketts. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

Jayne Hutchinson Raine, drawings, paintings and linocuts; Jen Ricketts, silversmithing and jewellery; Jo Naden, sculptures of myth, legend and culture; Kitty Bellamy, oil paintings and charcoal drawings of animals and people; Layla Khoo, ceramics; Meg Ricketts, collagraph prints, dry-point etchings and lino prints; Millie McCallum, paintings, collages and linocuts; Pamela Thorby, ceramics informed by Ryedale’s beauty.

Patrick Smith, painting and printmaking; Pauline Brown, paintings and drawings of Farndale; Philip Barraclough, art pencil works and watercolours; Rachel Rimell, photography on themes of identity and transition; Robert Broughton, fine art photography inspired by natural world; Ros Walker, functional and sculptural ceramics, jewellery and mixed-media paintings.

Ruth Kneeshaw, needlefelt landscapes and animal sculptures; Sally Tozer, ceramic sculptures; Sarah Cawthray, ceramics celebrating individuality; Susan Walsh, eco-printed textiles and paper; Suzie Devey, printmaking and automata; Tessa Bunney, rural life photography.

Photographer Tessa Bunney

In addition, all but four of the 42 artists are represented by one or two of their pieces in an accompanying exhibition at Ryedale Folk Museum, Hutton-le-Hole until September 5. Only Charlotte Elizabeth Lane, Janet Poole, Jen Ricketts and Millie McCallum are absent.

“This is new for this year’s Open Studios and we’re very pleased to be able to show the fabulous talent of Ryedale in one place,” says Petra Young. “We hope this will bring more visitors to Ryedale Folk Museum, and at the same time we hope this will encourage museum visitors to explore Ryedale further through visits to artists’ homes.”

Admission to the exhibition is free; museum opening hours are 10am to 5pm, Saturday to Thursday; closed on Fridays.

Andy Goldsorthy takes part in Ryedale Folk Museum project on pandemic’s art impact

Artists Andy Goldsworthy (left) and Kane Cunningham at Southfield House for their collaboration with Ryedale Folk Museum. All pictures: Tony Bartholomew

SCULPTOR Andy Goldsworthy will be among six artists collaborating with Ryedale Folk Museum, Hutton-le-Hole, to explore the impact of the pandemic on artists and their creative practice.

Goldsworthy will feature in a series of videos, created by Scarborough landscape painter Kane Cunningham for sharing in May and June, that will include photographer Joe Cornish, landscape painter Peter Hicks, photographer Tessa Bunney, sculptor Peter Coates and painter Francesca Simon too.

The collaboration will culminate in an open exhibition in September, bringing together professionals, amateurs and hobby artists in response to the northern landscape.

Cheshire-born sculptor and land artist Goldsworthy specialises in site-specific installations involving nature and the passage of time.

His latest work, Southfield House, has been developed on the North York Moors from conditions created by the pandemic and forms part of Goldsworthy’s quest to explore the environment through natural materials.

“It was conceived during lockdown and made between lockdowns,” says Goldsworthy, 64. “I wanted to make something during that period that has that sense of being uplifting,” he says. “The work is now connected to that moment in time.”

Kane Cunningham, left, and Andy Goldsworthy on the North York Moors

Funded by Arts Council England, the Ryedale Folk Museum project “grew out of a strong awareness of the lack of access to the natural environment in adherence to the Government’s Stay Home message at the height of the pandemic”.

Like everyone else, artists have found their travel restricted during the series of three lockdowns, hence museum director Jennifer Smith says: “At its heart, the project is an opportunity for artists to share their experiences and to encourage others who may have seen significant changes to their output because of Covid-19.

“Through Kane Cunningham’s films, we are seeing honest and open discussions about the challenges – and, sometimes, the opportunities – faced by the artistic community.

“Situated within the North York Moors National Park, we needed only to look outside the museum window to realise that there was nobody here during lockdown. One question that interested us was what impact that was having on artists who respond directly to the landscape and who make their living from that inspiration.”

The partnership between the museum and Cunningham, founder and co-director of Scarborough’s Festival of Big Ideas By The Sea, was a natural one.

“For 20 years, I’ve travelled from Scarborough to St Bees, coast to coast,” says Cunningham, whose studio is in the Old Parcels Office at Scarborough railway station. “In a normal year, my art takes me over hill and dale and across mountain pathways to find the perfect view.”

Andy Goldsworthy at Southfield House for the Ryedale Folk Museum project exploring the impact of the pandemic on artists and their creative practice

The sense of loss during lockdown led to Cunningham’s desire to reach out to others on this theme: “I felt the need to discover more about the landscape and what it means to me and other artists in these challenging times,” he says. “Has it changed the way they think about their work? Has it changed the way they think about the landscape?”

Ryedale Folk Museum hopes that sharing the contemplations of assorted artists will inspire people to create new work or to reflect on a piece created since the start of the pandemic, to feature in the open exhibition of 2D and 3D work from September.

The submissions window will be open from this week to June 30, whereupon works for the exhibition will be selected by a panel that will include Cunningham, Joe Cornish and ceramic artist Layla Khoo.

In addition, artists and other creative practitioners, of any art form, are invited to send their own brief film clips – less than a minute long – to be shared on social media, responding to the question: “How has your creative practice changed in the past 12 months?”.

Full details can be found on the museum’s website: ryedalefolkmuseum.co.uk/art-gallery/