Friday, 14 September 2012

Hannah Lamb Open Studio

This weekend at the Butterfly Rooms, Saltaire
15th & 16th September 2012

Come and see my new studio space on the first floor.
I will be exhibiting textile art, work in progress and demonstrating throughout the weekend...
... and there will be cake.

David Starley will have his studio open and an exhibition of artwork and Salts Pots Ceramic Studio will be open for pottery painting fun for all the family.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Bradford is OPEN for art

Midway through the Bradford Open weekend, and despite the miserable weather all our venues are well and truly open. Below are photos of 13 Bromley Road, Shipley, where  we have had a steady stream of visitors through the day. Looking forward to more lovely conversations tomorrow.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Martin Priestley shares his passion for photography

Name: Martin Priestley

5 words to describe your practice: landscape and fine art photography

Exhibiting at: Open Studio (OS12)

19 Titus Street
BD18 4LT

2nd to 5th June, 11am - 4pm daily

I am a professional photographer, specialising in landscapes and fine art. The British landscape provides a rich vein of inspiration for me, with the stunning Yorkshire countryside holding particular importance to me. I strive to take eye-catching and arresting images, with strong graphical elements and a sense of atmosphere.

My interest in photography began when using my father’s old Praktica SLR camera. I’m a keen hiker and cyclist, and was drawn towards landscape photography. Though initially self taught, I completed a photographic degree course at Leeds Metropolitan University in 2007.

My work has appeared in publications including The Guardian, Amateur Photographer, Practical Photography, Digital Photo and The Architects' Journal.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

A celebration at Hive

Hive, formerly Kirkgate Studios and Workshops, has worked for over 30 years to promote and deliver creative activities to communities across Bradford. Our base in Shipley has a fully equipped workshop space including pottery, woodworking and a range of creative facilities.

We offer opportunities to explore creative skills and abilities in a fun and informal way; engage interest in the arts, develop opportunities for individuals to explore their creative side in an informal and supportive environment.

We are delighted that, with support from Awards for All working with artists Jane McDonald and Vic Buta, we are able to celebrate our 30th Anniversary with a project that has involved many different communities around Bradford and District. These groups have been involved in creating carnival costumes for our celebration event on Saturday 2nd June.

All are welcome to celebrate at our Shipley base from 12pm - 4pm. There will be a shared lunch, live music, arts and crafts activities, a chance to see all the fantastic carnival costumes and other Open for Art venues nearby to explore.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Studio culture with David Starley

Name: David Starley
5 words to describe your practice:
Oil paint, thickly, lusciously, atmospherically
Exhibiting at:
Studio 1
Butterfly Rooms
73 Bingley Road
BD18 4SB

Saturday 2nd June 10am- 5pm, Sunday 3rd to Tuesday 5th June 10am - 4pm
The most unusual thing about my work is... The amount of paint that goes onto each canvas
3 biggest inspirations on your practice:
The landscape of Yorkshire in all its moods and character
Our historic, man-made heritage – preferably a little battered by the years
Oil paint-amazing stuff!

David describes the difference between gallery exhibitions and seeing artwork in the artists studio:

"Galleries are great for giving that cool professional gloss to your work with their carefully positioned lighting, soft music, hovering proprietor and cultivated selling atmosphere. – But a visit to an artist’s studio is a more direct personal experience. Mine’s pretty much a traditional artist’s garret with a steep and narrow climb which then opens out to my working studio with the tools of my trade, paintings ongoing, paintings drying and paintings awaiting a gallery or a direct buyer. It’s a full sensory experience of sight, smell and touch – well the dry ones at least - and you’ll get to meet the artist as he works – who knows even add your own touch to his latest work!"

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Stitching and printing with Alice Fox

Name: Alice Fox

5 words to describe your practice: layered stitched and printed artworks 

Exhibiting at: Open Studios (OS11) 3rd - 5th, 11am - 5pm

28 Highfield Terrace
BD18 4EE

The most unusual thing about my work is... I use a mixture of different print techniques along with stitch to build up layers of texture.  I use paper as well as fabric as a base for my work.

3 biggest inspirations on your practice: Landscape, the detail of the natural world and sustainability are key.

If you would like to read more about Alice's practice you can read her blog here: and she also blogs about her current residency at Spurn Point here:

Friday, 25 May 2012

Barry Hanson

Name: Barry Hanson

5 words to describe your practice: Emotionally charged with atmospheric mood

Exhibiting at:

Bradford Library (June 2nd-5th)
Shipley Library (June 6th-23rd)

The most unusual thing about my work is... I strive for tonal contrast for dramatic effect.

3 biggest inspirations on your practice: John Crome and the "Norwich School of Painters" plus the American watercolourists Winslow Homer and Nita Engle have really affected my work!

Jane Sedgwick

Name: Jane Sedgwick

5 words to describe your practice: Fine-Art, 2D, Relief, Painting

Exhibiting at: Fearndean Manor throughout June and Ilkley Library 1st - 14th June

The most unusual thing about my work is... the variety of styles and media

3 biggest inspirations on your practice: Nature - The Universe - Meditation

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Textile Artist Hannah Lamb

Name: Hannah Lamb

5 words to describe your practice: 

Stitched and printed landscape observations.

Exhibiting at:

13 Bromley Road
Shipley, BD18 4DS

11am-4pm 3rd - 5th of June 2012

I am delighted to be invited to exhibit in the home of natural-dyer Claire-Wellesley-Smith, and alongside woodturner Hugh Leishman.

The most unusual thing about my work is: 

I use objects and materials collected when walking in the Aire valley, including making tiny books from freshwater clam shells and shards of river washed pottery.

3 biggest inspirations on your practice:

Walking in the countryside.
Collecting or salvaging the overlooked.
My family, especially my Mum, who made my clothes when I was little and encouraged a creative approach to recycling materials.

Hannah once sold a piece of work to the actress Helena Bonham-Carter. We are looking forward to seeing if we have any famous visitors to our Open Studio!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

open experiences

It can be pretty daunting to open your house or work space to the public.  These are private spaces and there is a large helping of trust needed to invite Joe Public in.  But open studio events can be incredibly rewarding experiences for both those doing the opening and those doing the visiting.  

To be able to see artwork in a situation that isn’t a gallery can be a much more approachable way in for many people.  Art shown in domestic settings allows for more relaxed viewing and it gives a license for people to be a bit nosey – we all love a chance to see how other people live!  There is a chance to talk to the artists themselves and ask all sorts of questions about their process.  Seeing the kinds of things they surround themselves with in their work space can be fascinating: the postcards tacked to the wall; the intriguing bits of equipment; the detail of people’s practical arrangements can say so much about their approach to making.

For the artist there is of course the hope of selling work, but often the most warming of experiences are the conversations to be had with visitors: feedback on your work that you wouldn’t otherwise get; connections made with people about their creativity or background; appreciation for the time you so slavishly put into your work.  

I’ve had the pleasure of visiting artists’ studios or homes as part of North Yorkshire Open Studios, York Open Studios, Stroud Textile Trail, Saltaire Arts Trail and each one has given really special and lasting memories.  The spirit of sharing really is the key to these events.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Kate Stewart - textile and transparency

Name: Kate Stewart

5 words to describe your practice: figurative in textile and watercolour

Exhibiting at: my open studio

8 Selborne Villas
St. Mary’s Road

You can find me just accross the road from Cartwright Hall. On Saturday you can enjoy a glass of wine while you browse.

The most unusual thing about my work is: my use of transparency

3 biggest inspirations on your practice: for my work are landscape, light and colour.

Kate stewart blogs about her artwork here:

Blue Remembered Hills by Kate Stewart

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Jane Fielder at home and abroad

Jane Fielder

Name: Jane Fielder

5 words to describe your practice: colourful, quirky, intuitive, varied, prolific

Exhibiting at:  Jane Fielder Open House

Bromley Road
Bingley, BD16 4DA
Tel 01274 551939.

Cuppa and Cake on the lawn, paintings throughout the house. Colourful interpretations of Cityscapes, Flowers and Domesticity, set in the environment that inspired them. Hundreds of paintings!

Everyone welcome, bring the family.
Sat 2 June to Tues 5 June, 2pm to 7pm.

The most unusual thing about my work is...  The amount and variety. I must have thousands of paintings.

3 biggest inspirations on your practice:  Life, love, location

Jane talks about her interest in her work from across the globe:
I once received an email from the publishers Hodder and Stoughton requesting a painting as a gift for well known crime writer Sophie Hannah.
"Did you know she had dedicated her latest novel to you?" went on. I had no idea.
The book The Other Half Lives is not only dedicated to me but talks about my work and specific paintings, and even mentions the framer that I use.

A lady in California contacted me to see if I was REAL (she found me via the internet having seen my name in the novel. She has since bought several of my paintings.

In my current exhibition "Staithes" at The Bingley Gallery a couple contacted me from New Zealand, wanting to buy the six foot long water colour I have on show "Skinningrove - I love this place". (below). It is immensely uplifting to imagine someone from the other side of the world wanting one of my paintings.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

60 seconds with Becca McGrath

Name: Becca McGrath

5 words to describe your practice: Quirky Biro pictures coloured with doodles (sorry, I know that's 6 but I can't get it to 5!).

Exhibiting at: Fearndean Manor, Haworth & Bradford Library.

The most unusual thing about my work is: I only use biros for my pictures, and I have to fill every space with a pattern or a doodle.

3 biggest inspirations on your practice:

Nature: The designs, patterns and colours of the world around me make me want to create pictures, I always try to carry a camera around with me as there is usually some flower or shape that catches my eye.

My Parents: My Mum has always created wonderful designs and my Dad is a mathematician, I like to think my work is a combination of their influences!

I want to show that art doesn't have to be traditional media, I love working with biros and think my pictures benefit from me using them. I wouldn't be able to create the designs I do with any other media, and I wouldn't want to work with anything else.

Take a look at Becca's blog for more of her fascinating doodle artworks:

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

In the studio with Claire Wellesley-Smith

Name: Claire Wellesley-Smith

5 words to describe your practice: Naturally-dyed hand-stitched textiles.

Exhibiting at:

13 Bromley Road
Shipley, BD18 4DS
3rd - 5th of June 2012

My open house and studio will also include the work of textile artist Hannah Lamb and woodturner Hugh Leishman. There will be natural dyeing demonstrations at 2pm each day and tea and home-made cake available too.

The most unusual thing about my work is...

I grow traditional dye plants then process them to dye the fabric and threads I stitch with.

3 biggest inspirations on your practice:Traditional techniques, teaching, and sharing sustainable practices.

You can read more about Claire's work and see beautiful images on her blog:

Monday, 14 May 2012

Landscape painter Sue Strange

Name: Sue Strange

5 words to describe your practice: I’m primarily a landscape painter

Exhibiting at:
Rosedale Cottage Studio
17 High Fold
BD20 8HE
Tel:01535 632000

The most unnusual thing about my work is... I’m a colourist painter, that is I make colour a priority in my work, above form and realism. I think this has been quite unfashionable over recent years but I’ve stuck with it as it’s the best way for me to express myself.

3 biggest inspirations on your practice: the landscape, and the amazing variety of landscape in this country, the light , the weather. These have been inspiring me to paint since I was a child.

On Open studio exhibiting Sue says: I think visitors sometimes don’t get the open studio idea, one person last year asked me who had done all the paintings and he was shocked when I said “me”!

You can see more of Sue's work on her website

Latest news on events and venues

Kath has just plotted all the locations for events happening across the Bradford area. Take a look here to see how many brilliant events are taking place or go to the website for more details.

View >ahref="">Bradford Open For Art 2012 in a full screen map

An interview with Linda Erliz

During the run up to Bradford Open for Art we will be showcasing the work of some of the artists and makers taking part, with some mini 60 second interviews. Our first is with ceramicist Linda Erliz.

Name: Linda Erliz

5 words to describe your practice: Impulsive, changeable, folklore, figurative, quirky

Exhibiting at: The one above Haworth

The most unusual thing about my work is... I have to smash hundreds of mirrors

3 biggest inspirations on your practice:
  • Art in the Mill for selling my work
  • The kiln at work that they let me use
  • Paula Rego and Lucien Freud for being successful figurative artists 
I also have a page on facebook called Green Man Ceramics

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Hannah Lamb interviews Kath Bonson

Hannah: Hi Kath, thanks for agreeing to be interviewed for the blog, I know you are really busy with all the build up and planning for Bradford Open for Art, what is your role in the event?

Kath: I usually describe myself as the co-ordinator. My main responsibilities have been the planning and organising of the event and creating the publicity materials including the website.

Hannah: What is Bradford Open for Art?

Kath: It is an area wide event that aims to showcase some of the huge amount of artistic talent that there is in the region. It is open to all types and genres of artist and it offers them a variety of places and ways to share their work.

Hannah: So Bradford Open for Art is a new event that seems to have grown up out of nowhere; how did it come about and what was the catalyst for this huge creative happening?

Kath: The short, flip answer would be that I wanted to sell some pots! Actually, it was a little bit of frustration that for most of Bradford, there was no Open Studios event that we could take part in and that other popular events such as Saltaire Arts Trail are always so heavily oversubscribed. Discussing it with the other members of the Aire Valley Arts Association (which I am secretary of) we thought that it would be a good idea to organise one and so I volunteered to co-ordinate it. This was at the end of January this year, and as I started to put out some feelers, I got an amazing response from most of the arts organisations in the area offering space and support and so the format of a combination of Open Studios, Art Fairs and Art Exhibitions quickly evolved.

Hannah: There is a huge creative culture in the Bradford area, which sometimes gets overlooked in the shadow of all the great events happening in Leeds. However vibrant local events such as Saltaire Arts Trail do exist, so how is Bradford Open for Art different and what can it do for artists and the art lovers?

Kath: The event at Saltaire is an excellent showcase for those artists that are selected, but as I mentioned, it is so often oversubscribed that many local artists find it difficult to get in, and if they do, the historic cottages mean that the space to show their work can be limited. The aim of this event was to allow any artist who wanted to, 
the chance to use their own home or studio space to show their work, and if they did not have suitable premises, then the chance to show or sell in a range of venues. We also wanted to make it a genuinely ‘open’ event; we wanted to allow anyone who was brave enough, the chance to show their work. Art is such a ‘broad church’ of diverse styles and inspirations – but then too, so is the public’s appreciation of it. There may be fashions and trends in art, but what I think is exciting is that this is a completely inclusive event and by offering such diversity, it will give the visiting public the chance to perhaps discover something new and different. The other thing that we wanted them to be able to discover was the amazing diversity of the Bradford Area, not only culturally, but also the scenery, landscape and different districts as well as its many amazing attractions. And then, the other feature of this event is the number of free demonstrations and workshops that visitors will be able to enjoy – the chance to see and take part in the creative processes – and who knows, perhaps get inspired themselves!

Hannah: As a practising ceramist and exhibitor in Bradford Open for Art, how are you getting involved as a maker?

Kath: I will be opening my house and studio in Cullingworth as one of the Open Studios, sharing my space with a fellow ceramicist, Pam Broadhurst. I will be doing some demonstrations during the event including slab building and paperclay and Pam, who specialises in Raku, will be doing some firings including the beautiful horsehair technique.

Hannah: If you could only visit one of the events happening during Bradford Open for Art, what would it be and why?

Kath: Wow! That is a difficult question! All of them have so much to offer. I think the Art Fair at Kala Sangam will be really interesting, with the free Islamic calligraphy workshops and the chance to see the dance lessons, but as an artist who specialises in landscape I think that the scenery around Ferndean Manor is some of the loveliest in the area and with the Haworth Storytelling Festival going on at the same time as the Art Fair and then the Art Exhibition there as well, if I was forced to pick, that would probably be the one.

Hannah: Given the enthusiasm so far what does the future hold for Bradford Open for Art; do you you think it will become an annual event?

Kath: I hope that it will, and perhaps we can even time it to coincide with some of the other Bradford Art events as well to make it even better for the visiting public. One of the crazy things this year is that we were actually offered more space than we could find artists for at such short notice – not something that we as artists are used to! As I said, the various arts organisations have been brilliant and there has been just such a positive buzz from all the artistic communities in the area that I believe that it can only continue to grow and get better for everyone – artists and visitors alike!

Thanks Kath, I really appreciate you taking the time out to talk to me.

Friday, 11 May 2012

3 weeks to go...

... until the very first Bradford Open for Art weekend. This new event will be showcasing the work of artists and makers from all across the Bradford district in exhibitions, makers fairs and open studios. I am thrilled to be taking part in this new adventure, and will be sharing insights from myself and other artists on the run-up to the big weekend, here on this blog.

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