YORK Open Studios’ 20th anniversary celebration of the city’s creative talent begins this evening with a 6pm to 9pm preview. Head to yorkopenstudios.co.uk to find out which artists and makers will be “warming up” for the two weekends ahead.
After the Covid-enforced fallow year of 2020, York Open Studios returns with 145 artists and makers opening 95 studios, homes and workplaces tomorrow and Sunday, then July 17, from 10am to 5pm each day.
Among them will be 40 debutants, prompting CharlesHutchPress to highlight newcomers in a week-long preview, in map guide order, that concludes today with the final four as York prepares for this month’s showcase of ceramic, collage, digital art, illustration, jewellery, mixed media, painting, print, photography, furniture, sculpture and textiles skills.
Reg Walker, sculpture, Kiln Studio, Arnup Studios, Panman Lane, Holtby, York
REG crafts abstract sculptures, sometimes contemplative, sometimes playful, mostly in Corten steel, together with small pieces for the hand in bamboo and distinctive collages in natural materials.
He took up sculpture when inspired by volunteering at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, near Wakefield, where he then took part in hot and cold metal courses.
Originally from Ireland, Reg settled in Yorkshire in 1988, working in social research and organisation development. He had a studio at Kildale on the North York Moors before moving to Arnup Studios in Holtby in 2019.
He will open his studio for this evening’s preview.
Michelle Galloway, painting, The Pottery Studio, Arnup Studios, Panman Lane, Holtby, York
MICHELLE moved to York to study art, developing a lasting interest in art history, archaeology and architecture.
Her artwork took a backseat when she retrained as a teacher, but she continued to pass on her passion for art through children’s workshops.
When the opportunity for a temporary studio arose, Michelle rekindled her own creativity and love of experimentation with different techniques. She now has a permanent studio at Arnup Studios.
“My latest work is oils on large canvases,” she says. “Using small brushstrokes to build up layers of colour, the variation of colour and tone achieved creates an abstract and ethereal quality.”
Michelle describes her oil paintings as having an intensity to them, whereas her watercolours are “mostly calm, harmonious, quiet and contemplative, atmospheric, yet gentle and light”.
“I work from my own sketches and photographs of the location, meaning that all my senses are engaged with the subject,” she says. “I sketch and make notes to myself, decide what to include or subtract, and use a camera to record both the larger scene and tiny details, an instant where the light changes or a fleeting glimpse of something of intrigue.
“Back in the studio, I can take my time and work at my own pace. I can combine all the information with my personal and emotional response to create a visual interpretation.”
Michelle will be welcoming visitors to this evening’s preview.
Judith Glover, ceramics, Brambles, Warthill, York
JUDITH specialises in sculptural ceramics, using the technique of coiling.
“My work is often presented as trios, thus emphasising the relationship between the pieces,” she says.
“Inspired by Italian still-life artist Giorgio Morandi and British painter, designer and illustrator Rex Whistler, I often incorporate different strata of clays in the same piece to give a painterly quality.
“Ceramic artists Jennifer Lee and Ashraf Hanna influence my unglazed hand-built work with clean lines that enhance the interior design of homes.”
Judith learned the basics of pottery through studying with Su Rogers in Guildford. “Re-locating to North Yorkshire in 2010, I continued to develop my practice, specialising in sculptural hand-building,” she says. “My base clay is generally a Potterycrafts recipe, which contains a red clay from Derbyshire and buff fireclays from Shropshire.”
Her latest pieces, developed in the 2020-2021 lockdowns, are of imaginary landscapes and seascapes. “They use flattened coils and inserts of different clays to create painterly pieces,” says Judith, who is a member of the Northern Potters Association and an associate member of the Craft Potters Association.
All proceeds from sales of her work go to IDAS, the North Yorkshire charity that supports those affected by domestic violence.
Here Be Monsteras (Kayti Peschke), ceramics, Ashtree Lodge, Gowthorpe Lane, Fangfoss, York
KAYTI creates ceramics under the name of Here Be Monsteras from her garage studio in her garden in the Wolds, east of York.
Her background is in photography and magazine design, but two years ago she started making pottery and now she has converted full time. “It has become an obsession,” she says.
Kayti makes wheel-thrown ceramics with stoneware clays, “all with a lovely speckle and texture that are wonderful tactile”, to create functional objects for the home.
“Brushstrokes form the decorative styles using a mix of glazes, hand-coloured clay and wax-resist techniques,” says Kayti. “I also screen print pots, using my own hand-cut designs and I love working on colour palettes, with limited runs for each season.”
She has worked on screen-printing ceramics with artist Jade Blood, creating travel cups and a full dinnerware set, as well as collaborating with restaurants and cafés that serve their menus on her tableware.
“A cup of tea in a handmade cup really does taste better, maybe because the process feels more special or you take more time over it? I’m not sure why, but it’s true,” says Kayti.
In her home studio, the cups of tea flow and her dogs hang out in the sunshine as she listens to BBC 6Music or podcasts. “I absolutely love being out there, creating, and hopefully this shows in the things I make.
“All the pieces I create are made to be practical and often multi-functional. It’s so important to me that they’re used and enjoyed and bring a little bit of extra joy to the day!”
As testament to that, her ceramics can be found in York at Kiosk, Fossgate; Sketch By Origin, York Art Gallery; Jolly Allotment, Walmgate; Flori, Walmgate; Melk, SparkYork and Clifford Street, and Botanic York, Walmgate.
Beyond York, Yorkshire stockists include The Hispanist and Two Gingers, both in Paragon Street, Hull; Plant & Paint, Humber Street, Hull; The Gallery, Malton; The Art House, Wakefield; Flavour Like Fancy, Meanwood, Leeds; Mr Cooper’s, Whitby, and Mlkwood Studio, Bridlington.
Kayti will be giving throwing demonstrations at 1pm and 3pm each day during York Open Studios.
TO find full details of all the York Open Studios artists and makers, their studios, opening hours and examples of their work, go to: yorkopenstudios.co.uk.
The 95 locations will be highlighted on a map of York to help visitors navigate their way to as many studios, workshops and homes as they wish.
Visit yorkopenstudios.co.uk to look at the York Open Studios map. Alternatively, free printed brochures with the map can be picked up from Visit York, on Lendal, or in shops, restaurants and visitor attractions around the city.
2021’s York Open Studios will be Covid-compliant, with artists adhering to Government guidelines on social distancing, ventilation and sanitisers, keeping themselves and visitors safe throughout.