Tag Archives: Exhibition

York Open Studios

Did you manage to get round any of the artists in this year’s York Open Studios?  Hopefully you did, because there were so many inspiring works to see and new artsists and techniques to discover!

We didn’t manage to make it round everyone (you’d have to be seriously dedicated and spend all weekend visiting the venues!) but we definitely felt we’d seen a good selection.  It’s hard to pick a ‘favourite’ out of them all, but a few highlights for us this year were….

Work by Chi-ui Wu - one of our personal highlights from York Open Studios 2010

Work by Chi-ui Wu - one of our personal highlights from York Open Studios 2010

The whimsical ink drawings and enchanting ceramics created by Chiu-i Wu – her work is full of light, nature and life and we spotted several things wanted to take home with us – it’s the type of work you could look at every day and see something new in it.

On our way into town on Saturday morning, we passed by several of the venues, including Sandra Middleton, who works with silks and velvets that she dyes herself to create abstract pieces.  The pieces looked so different depending on the light which was reflected on the fabrics (the images on her website don’t really do her work justice), and it was really great to have the chance to meet Sandra and see how the work was produced.

Across town, we visited David’s Patrick’s studio on Norfolk Street.  David’s use of colour is really quite arresting, particularly the lush greens and vivid purples, and his work somehow makes York look very urban and contemporary – even in pieces featuring some of York’s most ancient features.

Worth remembering of course that all these artists work outside of York Open Studios – so check out their websites to find out more about their work, where else they exhibit and how you can buy their work. 

If you did visit open studios, tell us who, and what you thought………


2 weeks to go!


Admiring watercolours and contemporary paintings

Admiring watercolours and contemporary paintings

 We’re now only 2 weeks away from Inspirations and it’s fair to say we’re all feeling pretty excited about the event!  At this point, it still feels like there’s lots to do, but these things always seem to come together in the end! 

Visitors to Inspirations in 2009
Visitors to Inspirations in 2009


This week we’re co-ordinating the delivery of all the work – we know that some mosaics are on their way to us, and a delivery of photographic work is imminent.  It’s always really interesting to see what our students have been working on and I personally am always blown away by the quality and range of art produced.  Remember – most people who learn with us are ‘non-artists’ who simply enjoy the process of creating something unique and beautiful that reflects their personal styles, tastes and artistic nature.  Every year visitors are astonished when they realise that the work has been produced by people ‘just like them’, which, at the end of day, is what Inspirations is all about. 

For one night only

Last week, we attended the launch event for Revolving Gallery, a new art initative started by four local creative types – the concept being that the art ‘revolves’; different artists and styles are showcased at each one-off event.  It was especially nice to see that the artists were all Yorkshire-based, and we were impressed with the variety of the work on show.

The venue itself is also worth a mention – the chapel at University of York St John, which we’d never been to before – really great space for something like this, and we always like having a nose round plac es we can’t normally get to!

Hopefully Revolving Gallery will be back again in the spring.  In the current climate it takes a brave group of people to try something completely new that, let’s be honest, doesn’t come cheap, but we wish them success – York is crying out for more events like this.

Quilting fever

Now it’s officially winter (well, it is in our eyes and cold office anway!), the patchwork has come out and the central heating has gone on.  If you’re anything like us, you’ll be astonished at the number of quilts you’ve started but somehow not quite got round to finishing.  I’m currently hand sewing a simple quilt using fat quarters that I bought last year, and spent a lot of time on LAST Christmas.  I am now determined to sit under it this Christmas for re-runs of the Snowman, It’s a Wonderful Life and The Wizard of Oz with mulled wine in one hand and chocolates in the other. 

As a fairly new quilter, I’m always on the look out for inspiration, and have found it this week in the unlikely form of a six year old called Liam, whose amazing first quilt you can see on flickr.  If this doesn’t get you reaching for your scissors and creating something unique and beautiful, perhaps nothing will!

I really wish I’d had time to catch Grayson Perry’s The Walthamstow Tapestry at the Victoria Miro Gallery in London but sadly have realised it’s probably not going to happen!  The exhibition has been extended until 14 November though, so if you’re in the area, make the time to go and see it.  It’s an incredible piece – not just in terms of technique and scale, but also because of Perry’s unique use of a very traditional craft to convey a ‘story’ about contemporary British Life.   

If you know of any amazing blogs, pictures or shops showing amazing quilts or patchwork, or indeed tapestries, leave a comment on here so we can see – or send us images of your own work andwe’ll post them on here to inspire other people.

PS: We’ve set up another Patch Project pre-launch craft session.  Drop me an email for more  info – katie.pask@york.gov.uk.

Quilts 1700 – 2010 at the V & A

We are proclaiming 2010 as the year of all things patchwork! Not only will we be co-ordinating The Patch Project, but………

The V & A museum will have an exhibition of quilts 20 March – 4 July.  You can find out more about what we know will be a fantastic display by visiting the V & A website.  Alternatively, you can keep up to date with what will be on show to the public, and how the exhibition will be put together by following the curator’s blog.


Visitors at Inspiration 2009

Visitors at Inspiration 2009

We’ve arranged a meeting with Geoff at Fastlane Displays for later this week. One of our major expenses for the event each year is the hire of display boards, and Geoff and his team always make sure we get exactly what we want. 

We’re used to working at York Guildhall, so it will be interesting to hear his suggestions on how we can work around the (very) uneven floors at the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall.  It’s a beautiful space, and we’re sure it will appeal to our learners and visitors, but we don’t want any health & safety nightmares thank you!

W’e’re also hoping to get some lighting confirmed this week for the Undercroft (the space where workshops will take place), to make sure that a dull day won’t affect our workshops – difficult to paint, stitch, felt, embellish, etc if you can’t see what you’re doing!