It’s open house for Yorkshire artists
Mixing art and stunning scenery is a big part of the success of the annual North Yorkshire Open Studios, says Chris Bond. MEET SOME OF THE ARTISTS
AN asparagus farmer, a specialist in Victorian photography and a sculptor who has worked on church restorations. These are just a few of the 120 artists, sculptors and designers who are opening their studio doors for the next two weekends as part of North Yorkshire Open Studios 2013.
The free annual event, now in its ninth year, returns tomorrow giving visitors the chance not only to meet local artists and see their work, but to explore the stunning North Yorkshire landscape in the process.
The studios are dotted right across the county, from the remote hills of the Upper Dales and the suburban streets of Harrogate and Leeds, to the Vale of York and the rugged coastline further east. So as well as being a pleasant day out, it’s also an opportunity to buy contemporary paintings, prints, sculptures and ceramics.
Since being set up in 2005, North Yorkshire Open Studios – organised by Gargravebased Chrysalis Arts – has established itself as one of the most interesting and popular arts events in Yorkshire.
Among the new faces taking part this year are Joseph Hayton, a trained stonemason who has worked on a variety of projects from stone carving for stately homes to ecclesiastical restorations. He will be opening up his Pateley Bridge workshop, while those interested in Victorian photographic techniques can find out more by going to see David and Angela Chalmers on Scarborough’s Esplanade.
Further west, in her remote Swaledale studio, Rachel
Charlotte Morrison, High Burton, Masham. She specialises in ceramics and her most recent work reflects her interest in historical events and everyday life from the early 1900s up to the 1940s.
Geoff Rushton, Skipton. He recycles wood and stones near where he lives and uses a variety of tools to create his unusual and abstract sculptures.
Adam King, Scarborough. Living and working on the coast as well as in Harrogate, King is a distinctive painter and printmaker who uses a range of different media and techniques in his work. Anthill will be on hand to talk about her series of luminous landscapes inspired by a recent trip to the Himalyas,
Closer to home, Richard Snowden, based at Dunkeswick, north Leeds, is primarily an artist but also spends time running a farm between Harrogate and Leeds and is probably the only person included in the Who’s Who In Contemporary British Art that can also claim to be an asparagus farmer.
Running alongside the Open Studios is a programme of artist-led workshops, talks and other events scattered across North Yorkshire.
Event director Rick Faulkner, of Chrysalis Arts, says part of its continued success is the fact that people don’t have to trudge to a gallery in order to see the artists’ work.
“We are blessed with a range of inspiring landscapes in North Yorkshire, which help make our Open Studios one of the most spectacular events of its kind in the country. “It offers a unique opportunity for the public to meet individual artists in a diverse range of studios and settings, to gain an insight into how their work is produced, what inspires them and to buy high quality art and craft directly from them.”
Faulkner believes Open Studios has not only become a firm fixture in the North Yorkshire visual arts calendar, but that it also plays an important role in helping to sustain the region’s artists.
“In recent years it has shown significant growth both in the number of visitors it attracts and the amount and value of the sales it generates for North Yorkshire’s professional visual artists.
“At a time of economic difficulty, this is especially encouraging and demonstrates the value of the arts to the local economy.”
North Yorkshire Open Studios, runs tomorrow and Sunday and again on June 15 and 16. The studios are open from 10.30am - 5.30pm. For more information about workshops and activities linked to the event log on to www.nyos.org.uk