Highly regarded and long-established, Yorkshire-based artist, Tom Wood, presents a series of new paintings reflecting his current preoccupation with still life. Watch a video of Tom in his studio at Dean Clough, Halifax, below.
Tom writes about this exhibition:
I call my work Still Life only for the sake of convenience and yet virtually everything within them is invented.
Superficially figurative elements can be recognized, even named and yet the driving impulse in making them is entirely abstract and at the mercy of the composition. Some basic Still Life principles still apply, for example, the notion of a division enabling space to be suggested or notional objects clustered together to suggest relationships or a narrative. These traditional tropes are there as devices to be used and discarded as and when necessary. The painting will go through many stages and my relationship to it will also change many times.
On reflection I realise I have phases at different periods of the painting’s realization. These don’t progress in a logical order; they are often reactions, however, often my first response is reckless and carefree so I might be surprised by an ‘accident’. Marks are made crudely and spontaneously, nothing is seen as precious and everything can be shifted, moved, and destroyed. This strategy is to leave open as many options as possible whilst at the same time being aware of the emergence of an original composition. All the time I’m searching for forms to align, colours to be paradoxically both dynamic and subtle and for meaning to evolve.
The painting is not ‘about something’ but a series of proposals, it’s not a declaration or conclusion but more likely a series of tentative questions, ‘does that tone of green make that particular turquoise more active or passive’? ‘How big should a pink teapot be before the yellow bowl appears overwhelmed’? My paintings are a whole series of conversations, initially with me and then I hope with the viewer.
For me the painting is a series of propositions rather than a declaration of conclusions. It’s not a summary of the world as is but an offering of what could or even might be. Virtually all the painting is invented, the objects, their positions, scale, and surface are at the mercy of the composition. Structure, the scaffolding of the painting is the mechanism holding the image together, everything is subservient to it.
Tom Wood, October 2023
Helen Thomas is a Yorkshire based visual artist, working predominantly with painting and drawing. Her work explores responses to plants in the environment. Helen’s practice includes field and studio work, alongside educational and collaborative projects.
Helen studied Fine Art at Falmouth School of Art and a year postgraduate study with Turps Art School. She is now based at The Art House in Wakefield and is a member of the Prosaic curatorial group.
In 2021 Helen’s project ‘Dandelions and Double Yellows’ – inspired by the overlooked, and sometimes contentious, self seeded plants in our everyday surroundings – was supported by Arts Council England and Wakefield Council. The project culminated in a solo exhibition of sixteen site responsive works at Wakefield Cathedral and a digital showcase of pictures of pavement plants contributed by over 60 people ‘Dandelions and Double Yellows – Your Gallery’.
The Hepworth Wakefield commissioned Helen to work with a group of young people to co-create visuals for ’What does Wakefield Sound Like?’ with musicians Duncan Chapman and Supriya Nagarajan from Manasimitra.
Paul Talbot-Greaves is a professional landscape painter working in watercolour, Oil and acrylics. Many of his subjects are sought amongst the moors and hills of his native West Yorkshire and beyond. Among his many accolades he has been made a companion of the International Guild of Artists, an Associate of the British Watercolour Society, a Professional Associate and advisory panellist of the SAA, president of the Halifax Art Society, as well as an advisory panellist for Artists and Illustrators magazine.
Paul is a highly regarded contributor to The Artist magazine and has had four books published to date; ’Watercolour for starters (D&C), ‘30 Minute Landscapes’ (Walter Foster, USA), ’30 Minute Landscapes in Watercolour’ (Harper Collins) and ‘Landscapes in Watercolour’ (Crowood Press). He has also contributed to numerous other titles including ‘Watercolour layer-by-layer’ (Walter Foster, USA), ‘101 Top techniques’ (D&C), ‘Complete Watercolour’ (Quarto Press), ‘The encyclopedia of watercolour techniques’ (Search Press).
Paul Talbot-Greaves has won numerous awards including best in show at Holmfirth Artweek, The Artist award and the Canson award at Patchings festival. He regularly exhibits with the Royal Institute of painters in Watercolour, London and he has been teaching and lecturing on the subject of watercolour and acrylic painting for the last twenty five years. His demonstrations and workshops are always extremely popular.
After obtaining a degree in Fine Art from Hull College Irena Kurowska studied art psychotherapy at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. For many years she worked in the NHS and privately as a therapist. Irena is now retired and enjoys having more time to paint.
I am drawn to the quiet moments in life and nature is my ideal subject. I love the beauty of flowers and the innate abstraction of nature’s patterns. I am delighted by both their tranquillity and playfulness. Sometimes my paintings focus on the sense of stillness and reflection in nature with a subtle soft aesthetic of muted colours. And sometimes I am attracted to the ornamental, colourful, blowsy exuberance which calls for more saturated and intense colour. Flowers with their colour, fragility, joyfulness and harmony embody so many different facets that I want to explore and express in my work.
I work from memory aided by sketches and photographs. My work is spontaneous and intuitive and process-led. Often a desire to explore the physicality of texture leads to repetitively obliterating and uncovering surface mark-making and i very much enjoy experimenting and following the way the paint leads me.
Fine out more about Irena Kurowska here.
Textile Artist Janine Jacques has a love of nature and beautiful landscapes which began at a young age. Having grown up on a Lincolnshire farm, her bedroom had an amazing view over the rolling fields, which is where her love for landscapes began. She kept many animals including a small flock of four sheep, which she sometimes includes in her artwork. Now her main medium of choice is wool.
In 2009 Janine and her friend created a website all about tea and cake and became obsessed with all things related. One day browsing a local craft shop Janine saw a felt tea cosy and decided to learn how to make one. She made her first felt tea cosy in 2015 and has been hooked on wet felting since. This led into creating felt landscape paintings and to follow her passion in art as an artist.
Janine’s work combines her training in painting with the ancient art of felt-making to celebrate and bring together the different skills of wet felting, needle felting and sewing. She uses wool to ‘paint’ with, needle felting to refine the detail and embellishes with hand embroidery.
Janine’s statement pieces are created using many different materials. Her artwork is inspired by photographs of the landscapes she has visited throughout her life and recorded for future inspiration. Each piece is unique, evoking memories of a past time and place.
Janine Jacques graduated from university in 1996 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art, gained a PGCE in Secondary Art Education and worked for many years in web design before returning to the studio to follow her passion and inspire others through a programme of felt making workshops.
She now lives and works in Yorkshire – within easy reach of the beautiful countryside. Read more about Janine Jacques here
Penny Withers is a Sheffield based ceramic artist with a studio at Yorkshire Artspace. She has a degree in Fine Art from West Surrey College of Art and a post-graduate certificate in education. She curated the Sheffield Ceramics exhibition ‘Shaping the Earth’ at the Millennium Galleries and has been instrumental in setting up the no smoke, community wood kiln at Manor Lodge. She is also a mentor and technical advisor on the YA Graduate Start-Up scheme.
To find out more, Click here to read an interview with Penny Withers.
“When one has put in the time to study and practice with a material; pushed it to its limits and been pushed back by it; the interaction is equal, intention becomes intuition. There is no need to use verbal interpretation. The pot is how it is, refreshingly simple.”
Friday 5th to Saturday 27th March 2021
Our first exhibition of 2021 was Forest and Moor, a solo exhibition by award-winning artist, Janine Baldwin PS (Pastel Society UK).
This latest solo exhibition by Jill Campbell predominantly features many of the paintings she completed throughout 2020. During that year Jill studied the light on the fell landscape near her home in County Durham, particularly at sunrise.
The idea of a new day representing a new beginning, a hopeful emotional moment, was the common thread linking these abstract expressionist paintings. This searching for hope was undoubtedly a subconscious response to an extraordinary year. The year began with January Sunrise and fittingly ended with the beginning of a series of small paintings, Fell Lights 1 and 2. The exhibition also contains some small mixed media studies on paper made before 2020 in which can be seen the beginning of ideas that were developed in some of the later paintings.
Jill exhibits in galleries throughout the UK and has had paintings selected for many prestigious open exhibitions, including the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists Prize Exhibition, the Ferens Open and the New Light Art Prize.
Rob Moore is a full time professional artist and was formerly Dean at Hull School of Art and Design. Educated at Sheffield College of Art and Design, Rob has been committed to his practice as a painter and printmaker since being awarded the prestigious Granada Fellowship in Fine Art at The Institute of Advanced Studies at Manchester Polytechnic. Rob Moore has an impressive track record of exhibitions across the UK with many works in public and private collections. His work is highly sought after and collected.
Rob’s work does not fit neatly into a category and he continually modifies and explores his ideas and processes free of fashionable consideration. His work demonstrates a sensibility and craft that results in images that are sensitive and memorable. In recent years after a long interest in the abstract his work started to show the influences of his rural location and many visits to high places in Europe and further afield with a sense of landscape shimmering through obsessive exploration of marks and surfaces.