The art to see in York right now – October 2017

Detail from Home Remembers Me by Kerry Darlington, artist at Whitewall Gallery this month
12 Oct 2017 @ 8.51 am
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We’ve got more exhibitions and art events going on this month than you can shake a stick at…

…but put the stick down and read on.

You’ll get a much better handle on the situation that way.

A British icon @ York Art Gallery

Harbour and Room, by Paul Nash, 1930-31. Private collection

It’s hard to imagine a more iconic modern British painter than Paul Nash.

His emotive and ground-breaking work transformed the world of landscape painting in the aftermath of the First World War.

Now York Art Gallery explores Nash’s world in a new show, Paul Nash and the Uncanny Landcape, where surrealism meets the mysticism of the British landscape and the violence and turmoil of the proceeding years finds an eery calm in the familiar scenes of home.

The exhibition, which opens on October 20, has been curated by John Stezaker, a contemporary artist whose work will be displayed in a second gallery for the duration of the exhibition.

Stezaker is a British artist whose work in photographic collage has echoes of the familiar-unfamiliar that we find in Nash’s world.

Seeing these artists side by side, it is clear that Nash’s work still has relevance in the modern world and persists to influence some of the exceptional work being created by the artists of today.

A celebratory symphony @ York Art Gallery

Image from York Symphony by Marinella Senotare, at York Art Gallery

It is a rare event that York Art Gallery unveils an exhibition comprised entirely of new work, but when it does, you know it’s going to be good.

York Symphony, a multi-media show from Italian artist Marinella Senatore, is no exception.

Well-known in Europe and the US for using collaborative processes and public participation in her artwork, Senatore has been collecting individual stories from the people of York for her most recent series.

The resultant show utilises a range of media including video, collage and text, to speak for the city and to the city, through its people.

With so many stories to tell it is fortunate that the show runs until May, so you have plenty of time to give it the multiple visits that it deserves.


More northern celebrations @ Lotte Inch

Artwork by Judy Burnett from her exhibition at Blossom Street Gallery

Hurry down to Lotte Inch to catch the final few days of their current exhibition, Northern Art: From Scarborough to Skye.

The gallery has scoured the art-worlds of Yorkshire and Scotland to find some of the finest under-acknowledged artists of the North.

The admirable aim of the exhibition is to shine a light on the rich culture of undiscovered artists, some of whom are still practising today while others are, sadly, celebrated posthumously.

Catch them now at the gallery until October 7.

A world of watercolour @ Kunthuis

Watercolour by James Faure Walker, one of the artists featured at Kunsthuis Gallery

One of the oldest and most historically prolific painting forms is being revived at Kunsthuis Gallery this month in the form of their new exhibition, A Wash of Energy.

After extensive research into artists working in the medium of watercolour, the gallery has selected six contemporary artists who sit in line with their ethos to be ‘the Contemporary Abstract Gallery of the North’.

Expect something a little different from your traditional watercolour scenes at this exhibition, running until October 29.

Attree is back @ The New School House Gallery

Jake Attree’s Studio at Dean Clough, Halifax, image courtesy of

York born contemporary artist, Jake Attree, returns to the city this month to begin a three month residency at the New School House Gallery.

His first event will be a showcase of his newest collection, In Search of the Key, which kicks off with a free public event on October 13, 6 PM.

Following the event, the paintings will remain on display while Attree begins his residency on October 15.

Keep your eyes peeled for details of other events and workshops brought to you by Attree at the gallery during this time.

Still waters @ Blossom Street

Artwork by Judy Burnett from her exhibition at Blossom Street Gallery

Water is an enigmatic phenomenon and force.

A giver and taker of life, peaceful and calm or powerful and dangerous, man has always been drawn to this most capricious element.

Head down to Blossom Street Gallery right now and you will find an exploration of the element at its most stunning.

The exhibition, Seashores and Riverbanks, is a captivating collection of water scenes by collage creator, illustrator and painter, Judy Burnett.

Find it at the gallery until October 28.

An artist’s journey @ Blue Tree Gallery

River Cottage by Guiliana Lazzerini

Artist in residence at Blue Tree Gallery, Giuliana Lazzerini, has travelled far from her italian birthplace to settle in the colder climes of North Yorkshire.

Now she celebrates the character and beauty of both her homes in a new exhibition, Tuscany to Yorkshire, showing at the gallery throughout the month.

Memory and imagination combine in this exhibition, alongside Lazzerini’s love of colour and careful composition, to honour the landscapes for their individuality and charm.

A game of chance @ The Fossgate Social

Print by Zoe Kendall from Playing for Life at the Fossgate Social

Interdisciplinary artist Zoe Kendall will be displaying her new collection, Playing for Life, at the Fossgate SocialOctober 7 – 18.

The exhibition title comes from her unusual choice of canvas.

The old playing cards she uses are illustrated with portraits from great masters before she gets to work on them, using paint and collage to reveal an ‘alternative self-portrait, both of the artist, ‘the other,’ and of society.’

The work is enigmatic and playful, and if you’re looking for an excuse to go down the pub, then this one is for you.

Intrigued? You get the first round in then.

Meet the multi-talent @ Pyramid Gallery

Ripening Sun, an etching by Piers Brown at Pyramid Gallery

As an artist, printmaker, poet and author, it’s fair to say that Piers Browne a pretty creative guy.

This month the Wensleydale poly-talent will appear at the Pyramid Gallery for a special event on Saturday 7 October.

As well as opening his exhibition of oil paintings of the Yorkshire Dales, he will also be launching his new novella, La Route des Violettes, which he has illustrated himself with etchings that also feature in the exhibition.

The ‘ardent colourist’ will be at the gallery from 12 PM – 12.30 PM for a book signing and to discuss his work, which you can catch at the gallery until October 18.

A fairytale event @ Whitewall Gallery

The Snow Queen, Kerry Darlington, Whitewall Gallery

You’ll have just enough time after the meet-the-artist event above to skip along to another such event at Whitewall Gallery from 1 PM – 3 PM, also on October 7.

Kerry Darlington is a Welsh-born artist with her roots in children’s book illustration.

Having branched out into fine art, her imaginative work captures the whimsical and magical potential of nature, myth and legend in a style that is reminiscent of the Pre-Raphaelite artists and Art Nouveau.

Artist talks @ York Art Gallery

Bust of Alfed Wolmark by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska
The Friends of York Art Gallery will continue with their regular series of talks this month, offering an opportunity to learn and to be inspired that is open to both members and non-members.

The first of these will be a discussion of Robert Medley’s painting, Cyclist Against a Blue Background, delivered by Peter Gibbard on October 11, 12.30 PM – 1 PM.

Then Dorothy Nott will be speaking about the gallery’s artwork of the month, Bust of Alfed Wolmark by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, for the second talk on October 25, 12.20 PM – 1 PM.

Draw it Yourself

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved in art yourself this month.

York Art Gallery will be hosting its usual drawing socials, Art for Wellbeing on Sunday 8 October 1.30 PM – 3.30 PM, and Sketchbook Circle on Wednesday 11 October 1.30 PM – 3.30 PM.

The latter is sightlier pricier at £5 plus gallery admission, while Art for Wellbeing is free with the cost of admission.

Dr. Sketchy gets scary @ The Basement

The eponymous Carrie, from the film adaptation of Steven King’s gruesome novel

For something a bit more exciting, check out Dr Sketchy’s Anti-Art School in The Basement (below the City Screen Cinema) on Friday 13 October 7.30 PM – 10 PM.

Dr. Sketchy’s life drawing class is an antidote to traditional artistic practises and this month the theme of Steven King is appropriately spooky, given the date.

Come along and draw, dress up if you dare or just enjoy the visual feast presented to you in all its menacing might.

Tickets are £7 in advance or £8 on the door with materials provided.

Watercolours @ York Art Gallery

If you find yourself inspired by the Kunsthuis watercolour exhibition, then York Art Gallery has got just the workshop for you.

Sue Clayton’s Colouful Portraits in Expressive Watercolour class will run on Saturday 7 October from 10.30 AM – 4 PM.

The workshop is running to coincide with Sue’s community arts project, Heroes of York.

Book your place for £30 by calling 01904 552806.

Try oils instead @ York Art Gallery

Closing the Gate, by Bridget Askew

If watercolours aren’t you thing, then sign up for the practical oil painting workshop with Bridget Askew, also at York Art Gallery.

The Yorkshire based artist will be teaching landscape painting techniques on Saturday 21 October 4 PM – 5 PM.

A place in the class costs £40 including materials and can be booked on 01904 552806.