Lesley Birch’s paintings have an impressionist, poetic quality. Her work expresses her feelings and ideas about Time and Place. Playing with colour and semi-abstraction, these landscape paintings come from the artist’s personal experiences. Working intuitively, lines, scratches, forms and textual elements appear as she builds up layers of oil paint creating a history to the piece. Recent work has been inspired by her childhood memories of her dad’s boat on Loch Lomond and a summer residency at Cape Cornwall. Lesley is currently based in York at Pica Studios and exhibits widely throughout the UK including the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and the Mall Galleries, London. View more of Lesley's work on her website.
“A sense of timelessness is something I'm after in the atmosphere of each painting, whether it be the suggestion of a solid form, a soft, sweeping, mistlike mark or the cutting line of sharp rock."
Gaia Blandina is a sound artist and a cellist from Sicily. Her work is approached from different perspectives and methodologies across multiple areas of artistic and academic enquiry. Each work emerges from a concept that is explored and developed into a unified piece through the combination of various art practices, media, and research areas; this concept is never treated as a fixed entity, or a transcendental idea, but rather as a variable imminent notion that is flexible, open-ended and contingent upon various special, social and historical contexts.
Gaia is currently working on the creation of a portfolio of installations/events from an interdisciplinary perspective. She is interested in the Deleuzian concepts of difference and repetition and in the manner in which repetition delimits the Self — without repetition, identity cannot be formed, and an event or an action that is not perpetuated in time becomes chance. Repetition, therefore, becomes a method and it standardises; it delimits practice in various disciplines, whether scientific or creative.This portfolio of works will stem from the exploration of nomadic thinking and an interrogation of concept-driven practice through Deleuze’s philosophy, it will be developed through various media, supported by further theoretical research, and in collaboration with musicians, writers and artists.
The tools, activities and techniques that are present in Gaia’s practice are improvisation, devising music, collaboration, cello playing, object-making, knitting, poetry, curation.
James Cave is a composer and singer with a particular interest in collaborative practice. He is currently working on a new composition entitled Returns, an opera in one act which is based on the play by Joshua Casteel, an Iraq veteran turned peace campaigner and playwright.
James was recently the recipient of a Terry Holmes Award and a Sir Jack Lyons Celebration Award for Composition. In 2015 he was Composer-in-Residence at the Banff Centre (Banff, Canada) and participated in the inaugural Banff World Music Residency in Eastern Traditions. In 2016 he was the first-ever Composer-in-Residence at the Mahler-LeWitt Studios, Spoleto. He is a permanent member of York Minster Choir and a member of the Gavin Bryars Ensemble with whom he has performed internationally. Most recently he performed Bryars' Beckett Songbook with the Ensemble at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, as part of Sean Doran and Adrian Dunbar’s ‘Happy Days Festival’. He co-founded the vocal ensemble Sonant Ensemble with the soprano Orlanda Bryars in 2009: with this group he has performed with the Labeque Sisters at King's Place, London and at the inaugural concert of the London Contemporary Music Festival at Bold Tendencies, Peckham.
Recent compositions include Latrabjarg, commissioned by the York Spring Festival of New Music, in which Cave worked with an electric cellist and soundscape artist to weave together saga texts, bird-calls and folksong to evoke the disintegration of Iceland’s ecosystem, Ave Maria, commissioned by the Dean and Chapter of York Minster for the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols 2016, and Hardingfele Carols commissioned by Vocalis (Norway). Forthcoming works include Eonsounds, a collaborative project exploring the links between music and geology, with geologist Dr Tim Ivanic and spatial sound-researcher Dr Jude Brereton. James is currently studying for an AHRC-funded PhD in Composition at University of York, with Prof Bill Brooks, having previously studied English at BA and MPhil level at Cambridge University. His music can be heard at https://soundcloud.com/jamescave-1
Elliptical Editorial is an editorial project with a focus on art publishing
Bethan Ellis was born in Rochford, Essex. She studied English at Queens’ College Cambridge and Creative Writing at Warwick University, where she was supervised by AL Kennedy and Maureen Freely. Her first novel, The Benefactor, drew on her experience as a strategy consultant working in London and New York during the onset of the financial crisis. She is working on a second novel, exploring life along the margins of the Thames Estuary.
She was associate publisher at And Other Stories, helping take the grassroots publisher from start-up to Booker shortlist in its first twelve months. She was responsible for the co-distribution deal with Faber which saw Deborah Levy’s Swimming Home pitted against Hilary Mantel’s Bringing up the Bodies in bookshops up and down the land. Other successes during her time at And Other Stories include seeing Juan Pablo Villalobos’s Down the Rabbit Hole to the shortlist for the Guardian First Book award, and securing the publication of Helen DeWitt’s critically-acclaimed satirical novel Lightning Rods.
Emilie is a film maker and multi media artist, with a particular focus on video portraiture and storytelling. She has worked internationally as a community video artist for the past 15 years and works locally in video design for theatre and rights based groups. View her Vimeo site.
Mark Hearld is an artist and designer living in york. His approach to creativity is varied, working in collage, print and surface pattern design as well as illustration and ceramics. Recently his interest in art history, British folk art and popular arts have led to curatorial projects. Mark Hearld's The Lumber Room: Unimagined Treasures runs until May at York Art Gallery. He has worked with Merrell Publishers, Walker Books, Tate Merchandise, The Yorkshire Sculpture Park and on many projects with St Judes.
Daisy Hildyard is a writer from North Yorkshire. Her novel Hunters in the Snow won a '5 Under 35' honorarium at the USA National Book Awards, and a Somerset Maugham Award.
Ric Liptrot is a freelance illustrator based at Pica Studios in York. His work varies from editorial illustration to cityscapes based on sketches produced whilst on his travels. Ric has a hands on approach with his work, using home-made printing techniques layered with interesting textures as well as stencils, collage and dip pen and ink.
“My work is a series of illustrations capturing everyday life in York, depicting its distinctive and much loved sites. I use a mixture of acrylics, collage and mono-print to produce my work. “
Caleb Klaces is the author of the poetry collection Bottled Air (2013), which won the Melita Hume Poetry Prize for Best Debut Collection and an Eric Gregory Award, and two pamphlets: All Safe All Well (2011) and Modern Version (2017). He teaches at York St John university.
Evie Leach is a York based jewellery designer and maker working in Sterling Silver with semi-precious gemstones and beads. Inspiration is taken from from the geometry found in both nature and architecture to create clean, angular designs.
Evie decided to follow her creative passion by studying Jewellery and Silversmithing at the Birmingham School of Jewellery where her basic knowledge, learned from my jeweller parents, transformed into traditional skills. Since graduating in 2010 Evie has done odd jewellery jobs while working in retail but in 2015, after starting a job as a technician on the evening jewellery classes at the Leeds College of Art, she decided to take the plunge and make jewellery my main focus. Evie now works from her studio at Pica. You can see more of Evie's work on her website
A love of pattern and colour is what motivates Lu Mason, having spent years painting patterns, and hooking rag rugs. Lu started making mobiles 12 years ago, influenced by Alexander Calder, and the designs of Lucienne Day. There is excitement in the constantly changing patterns made by moving shapes and shadows, the way they catch the light, and the fine balance of the structure. Now working with Perspex; it is more robust than paper and the transparent colours play with the light like stained glass windows. Mobiles hang from the ceiling, or sit on mantelpieces or clip onto shelves, they can also be customised to fit a particular space; from very small to very large. Lu enjoys making installations that are site specific. Recent work has been influenced by the astonishing ceramics collection at York Art Gallery.
The Northern Artist is best known for her vivid Fluid Art work using layers of acrylic paint to depict abstract impressions of nature.
Inspired by her home county of Yorkshire, The Northern Artist works in a wild and free manner such as the laws of nature demand, looking up into the night sky as well as down at the life giving ground and seas.
The motive behind these stimulating paintings is the exploration of beauty in our surroundings. Taking patterns and colours from flowers, water, earth and sky and enlarging them so they are unavoidably captivating.
Kitty is a British knitwear designer/maker with an MFA in Fashion from Parsons School of Design, New York and a BA in Fashion Textiles Design from the University of Brighton. She has worked within the fashion industry in London and New York, for luxury and high street brands. Knitwear for the Home by Kitty Pennybacker is a collection of throws, cushions and scarves, developed through endless hours refining her knitting and weaving technique, re-imagining the tartan and tweed fabrics of her childhood in Yorkshire, England.
“From the floral prints and tapestries of William Morris, to Liberty printed head scarfs worn by my grandmother, wool twin sets with pearly buttons, British country life and the uniform of the people who inhabit this world, are a constant inspiration to me. ”
Penny is a ceramic sculptor. Her work centres on heavily textured, figurative animal sculptures, using mixed clays and oxides. Her pieces are intuitive and raw and often have an ethereal quality, without aiming for anatomical exactness. Instead, she aims to capture the spirit of the animal exploring aspects of movement and texture. Going for a walk and enjoying the excitement of seeing a fox in a friend’s garden immediately inspires a need to return to the studio and capture that expression and form in clay. Penny has travelled to Japan and Prague on artist residency and this year will be visiting the USA for a six-week scholarship in Ceramics. Find out more about Penny’s work on her website.
Emerging from a music and audio technology background, Lynette nurtured an interest in the Sonic Arts, combining audio and visual elements in her current works. Incarnations of her work includes audiovisual installations, digital visual creations, composition through sound manipulations, as well as cross-disciplinary performance on the computer - technology being an essential element. Her current work examines audio-visuality - the synchronisation and interaction between sound and visuals, challenging the notion of the heard and the unheard. She is also interested in exploring the integration of technology and musicians - examining the relationships between digital and physical elements. Through utilising accessible tools, she explores the variety of possibilities made possible through technology. Visit Lynette online.
Beth Savage is an artist and researcher. Her work investigates human/nature relationships and social ecologies with a particular focus on human/animal interactions. She has undertaken major residencies at Camperdown Wildlife Centre in Dundee and with the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust at Attenborough Nature Reserve and has exhibited widely across the UK and internationally. Beth’s practice spans performance, installation, sculpture and writing and she is currently a PhD candidate at Teesside University. Visit her website here
Lesley Seeger was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1958. The expansive landscapes of Yorkshire and Northumberland were formative in inspiring work which has its roots in the natural world. There is an organic, wild, instinctive quality to her painting whether domestic or landscape. An exploration of colour and experimental approaches to paint application and mark making are central to her practice. She has work in private and public collections throughout the Uk and abroad. Visit her website.
Lesley Shaw is now based in York, having lived and worked in London for 23 years. Since completing a BA (Hons) in Visual Communication Design, she continues to produce art for both exhibition and private sale.
Lesley works in a wide range of mediums, currently enjoying a return to traditional printmaking. Primarily using lino, mono and drypoint techniques.With a background in illustration, life drawing is always the starting point, figurative or animals being the primary subjects. Simplified shapes and lines, flat bold colours, lend themselves well to print, and reflect the inspiration of late 19th century Parisian lithographs and the iconic graphic poster art of the 1930s and 40s.
Lesley has sold work at the Mall Galleries London, to the BBC, Manya Igel Fine Arts and was shortlisted last year for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
visit lesleyshaw.me for further information
Brought up in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, Emily's first taste of clay was during her pre-BA Foundation Course at Batley School of Art and Design. Inspired by this medium she went on to study a BA Honours degree at the University of Wales, Cardiff, graduating in 2007.
Since graduating Emily has concentrated on setting up her studio in York and continuing to develop her career in ceramics. Specialising in hand building techniques she exhibits her work in art and design shows around the UK.
Emily is one third of The Art Market team, working alongside sculptor Brendan Hesmondhalgh and designer/maker Victoria Robinson, to deliver The Art Market. Their aim is to showcase original art, design and contemporary craft for sale and commission in The North.
Emily also runs art workshops for schools and various community groups.
Emily has always been fascinated by the juxtaposition of contrasting elements within her work. Placing different elements side by side such as glazed/unglazed, patterned/unpatterned, leaving it to the viewer to establish connections and impose a meaning. The artists is constantly sketching, drawing and collaging to experiment with line, colour texture and mark making, translating this process into clay and developing the relationship between simple vessel forms and complex surface decoration.
Sam Swales Snowden is an abstract artist living and working within the city walls of York. She studied Fine Art, Painting at Hull School of Art and has remained in Yorkshire ever since. Her studio is in Grape Lane within PICA, an 18th century old print workshop and artist led initiative; which holds workspaces for 18 artists and writers.
Her subject matter alternates back and forth between external landscape and an internal emotional space, often within the same work. Eventually each piece becomes a pared down composition of colour and space removed entirely from any semblance of representation, describing only its own physicality.
The 'Bramble Arch' drawings are informed by old English folklore relating to the healing properties of the arch as an architectural form in nature. Infirm or afflicted children, even horses were passed under the long arching stems of the wild bramble. Inspired by such tales, I have become interested in the ways in which landscape and nature can be the object of projected beliefs and spiritual ideas.
A new project; MAP documents areas of the landscape which have emotional resonance. Areas are delineated by line, muted natural palette and balanced form, designed to reflect the balance of nature and our place in it.
Pamela Thorby is an early career ceramic artist who after a year of Foundation Art and Design in 2017, has left a long career in music as a leading performer, teacher and recording artist to pursue a new path in Fine Art. She makes work in her own studio and also works from Pica Studios in York.
Her goal is to translate the dynamism and sensitivity for which she was known in her playing career, into ‘visual music’ in clay, a material with alchemical properties as tricky to fully master as any musical instrument, which presents opportunities for Pamela to explore concepts of perception, time and ‘the stuff of which we are made’.
Currently developing her own techniques of working mainly in hand built porcelain, which is pinched and marked, sometimes finished with oxide and stains, she aspires to make work which is light enough to be hung in the air and strong enough to be placed piece inside piece, to create new possibilities of form and meaning.