21 Art Makers
Henshaws 21 Exhibition is open at St John's Church in Knaresborough from Saturday 21st September to Wednesday 16th October. The exhibition features 21 of our talented Art Makers to mark the anniversary of the opening of Henshaws Arts & Crafts Centre this year. Read on to find out more about the artists, their inspiration and see examples of their work.
Kez has no sight but this is no barrier to her creativity. She works with torn or cut pieces of paper which she assembles using bowls, containers and moulds. Kez creates very sculptural forms by adding layers of paper. Her visual impairment means the tactile quality to her work is very important.
“I like the feel of it, the process of layering the paper. It’s relaxing and it keeps my hands busy. The feeling you get when you finish a piece is great.”
Kez loves music and listens to it as she works. Each of her paper sculptures is named after one of her favourite singers.
Since Kez was very young, she has been fascinated by hands. Read about Kez’s ‘Hands’ project where she sculpts hands to create a lasting memory of people who are important to her.
Abbey is non verbal by choice but she expresses herself through her obvious enjoyment in making art. Abbey’s work is proving so popular, it is often sold before it is completed. Each canvas is unique and is a window into Abbey’s imagination.
Abbey’s artwork employs a deeply personal and distinctive style, reminiscent of artists such as Miro and Klee. Each piece starts with a line drawing and then Abbey adds bright hues, delicate washes of colour and a subtle touch of metallic paint. Abbey uses a ink and watercolour, allowing the colours to merge into one another which creates interesting reactions and spontaneous results.
Recent works include large scale canvases which have enabled her to develop her practice on an exciting scale.
Andrew has been creating artwork at Henshaws since we opened 21 years ago. His love of tearing paper has inspired him to produce beautiful collages. Andrew rips paper of different colours and textures into shapes which he then arranges into striking patterns.
Andrew enjoys feeling part of something bigger and having a chance to display his artwork in the surrounding community including local exhibitions in Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon.
“I lost my sight as a young child but not being able to see hasn’t stopped me getting fully involved in all aspects of life. It makes me proud that people are seeing my work and that’s all thanks to Henshaws.”
Andrew mainly paints figuratively from his imagination but is also inspired by places, monuments and memories. He paints in a chunky bold style with rounded generous brush strokes and often outlines the elements in his paintings with contrasting colours or black to make the bold even bolder.
“I am interested in mosaics and I especially enjoy the grouting – I like to be messy! I have always been interested in nature and I love doing birds, especially eagles and birds of prey.”
Andrew has had numerous exhibitions featuring his landscapes and cityscapes which include local landmarks such as Knaresborough viaduct and castle. Andrew is inspired by all that he sees and his zest for life and humorous take on things are evident in his bold and colourful work.
Daniel takes part in regular drama and media sessions and he is deeply engaged in the process of performance. He has great energy and enjoys dance, improvisation, puppetry and the spoken word. For this exhibition Daniel has created a sound collage. You will hear Daniel’s words and sounds communicate rhythm and feeling in a unique dreamlike way.
Linda creates strong drawn designs using felt tips which translate beautifully into linocuts and silkscreen prints. Her bold works have been used to create a range of products including tea towels, bags and greetings cards.
Graham has a love of fictional characters and his work mixes fantasy with reality. He has depicted James Bond in front of Knaresborough viaduct, and created a speedboat inspired by an action scene. Graham draws with marker pens and then layers paint on top. He is motivated by his love of music and often dances whilst producing his work.
Simon uses strong colours and geometric designs to represent personal themes such as his family, his body and his interests including tennis and cycling. Simon became disabled through a hit and run accident when he was cycling to art college in his twenties and a lot of his artwork deals with his ongoing relationship with this event and how it has impacted on his life.
Sam makes tactile 3D artworks by covering objects with textured items such as buttons, shells and string. She enjoys finding unusually shaped boxes and objects including mannequins or instrument cases to experiment with.
“I love boxes because I enjoy being able to open them to see what is inside and being able to close them up again. I love the feel of shells and bottle tops and I like to work with different textures, discovering whether they are rough or smooth. I rely on touch to give me all the information about what is around me.”
Sam sometimes re-lives personal experiences through the art process. For her latest piece, Sam has cut plywood into large jigsaw pieces that slot together to form a path to which she has added a variety of textures. This is based on memories she has of walking with her friend Jack.
“I remember walking around the centre and out onto the golf course and all the obstacles we came across. The path I am creating shows the story of our journey.”
Chris approaches every piece with such enthusiasm and ‘sees’ the hues he uses as temperatures or objects of reference from his daily life. He uses a wide spectrum of colours in a range of different media but especially favours pastel, conte crayon, wax or pencil.
“My cerebral palsy and other disabilities are just a small part of who I am. The process of mark making and creating art really interests me and is something I love to do.”
Julie works in a variety of mediums including drawing, print and mosaic.
She is particularly keen on animals and the natural world. Her bold drawing style translates well into print and she has created a range of striking artworks including cacti canvases, owl bags and coral reef prints.
Julie has communication difficulties but her pictures express her love of the natural world in a way that words could not.
Dolly’s artwork is diverse, ranging from a disco ball embellished with paper beads to lampshades created using steel nuts and wire. She has developed a wire wrapping technique to fix the steel nuts together so she can create bracelets, necklaces, coasters and even a table top.
“I find it very relaxing and therapeutic. There are no limits to what I can create using my beads. I enjoy the process of making and creating artworks that are different.”
Sally has a love of colour and pattern. She draws and paints and then translates these into mosaics and three-dimensional pieces. Her chosen imagery is usually flowers. Sally will often start her drawing with flowers and then link them together with bands and patterns of colour creating a very decorative final image.
“I love the colours of flowers and I have flowers in my garden and see them here at the Arts & Crafts Centre too. Sunflowers are my favourite.”
A particularly vibrant piece of her work in collaboration with a fellow Art Maker Andrew is the ‘Earth plinth’ mosaic which can be found in the gardens.
Hannah paints using fields of colour, creating very powerful, striking pieces. Her work is completely abstract, as she adds colours on top of each other, using masking techniques and semi-transparent paint layers to create a complex surface.
Victoria learnt to paint by making a monochrome copy of an early 19th century painting by English painter Sir Edwin Landseer. She has an interest in drawing mythical beasts and building up paint layers gradually.
Vicky loves to draw and she is interested in shapes, particularly circles and squares. She also enjoys working with paper and has recently started using the quilling technique which involves rolling up lengths of paper tightly around a straw.
Putting the two together, Vicky wanted to make an eyecatching abstract wall piece using circles of paper slotted into a paper mache base which she then painted bright orange.
“I like finding different ways to work with paper and quilling is a repetitive process, it’s quite therapeutic. I’ve not made many large pieces so it was a brilliant challenge. I am very proud of what I have achieved and they look great up on the wall.’”
Vicky’s eye condition Nystagmus means that she experiences a constant flickering due to the movement of her eyes but she does not let this get in the way of her creativity.
Christine particularly enjoys textiles and working with papier mache. She recently created a giant paper mache giraffe for an exhibition at Knaresborough Castle.
Christine has produced a range of textile work including blankets, tote bags and cushions. She loves birds and animals so chose a toucan, cats and dogs as motifs for her blanket designs.
“I sew everything by hand, I use a simple but strong backstitch. I usually make bags but I wanted to set myself a bigger challenge and that’s why I made the blankets. It’s a long process making such a large blanket, I cut all the shapes and templates out, chose my fabric and colours and then stitched all the pieces together.”
Jacob has a precise style of drawing using colours that form patterns across the surfaces of his work. He loves crisp lines and shapes and bright colours. He draws the main shapes first and then working systematically across the surface brings the whole picture alive with patterns. Jacob works for hours on each drawing, becoming totally absorbed in his artwork.
Jacob’s love of geometric shapes has also influenced his ceramic pieces. He created a large plate decorated with coloured shapes and then scored the surface with a textured pattern. Jacob says “I love the colour red”, which features in the majority of his work and he is particularly proud of his drawing which shows a boat on the river in Knaresborough; “I wanted to draw the water.”
Andrew sees colours as tones and he makes mosaics by covering objects with light and dark contrasting patterns of tiles.
Over many years Andrew has helped complete hundreds of wooden items such as garden benches, planters, bird boxes and bird tables.
He likes to combine his mosaics with his woodwork and has produced a beautiful wooden bench and tabletop decorated with his mosaic art.
Rachel loves working with felt tips and produces highly coloured pictures that have a strong design element. She works in print and pottery which suit her bold imagery.
Recently she has been working on a calendar project, making a print for every month of the year depicting flowers that grow at that time. She has decorated and designed pet bowls and cup, bowl and plate sets. Rachel’s use of a careful design process, deliberate mark making, and bright colours leads to some delightful ceramic work.
Wesley has a love of fantasy, science fiction and horror movies which are the inspiration for much of his work.
His latest piece is a tree with a face and waving hands inspired by Lord of the Rings. One of Wesley’s dreams was to build a Star Wars display for the Arts & Crafts Centre pottery window and he recently achieved this with the support of a volunteer. Constructing the famous and complex Death Star involved rolling out the clay, slab work, fixing it together and then scoring the surface to create a detailed pattern.