An afternoon at Yorkshire Artspace Open Studios
From 18th-20th November 2016 Yorkshire Artspace gave the public a rare opportunity to nosey around the various studios of local artists. Workshops were spread across three different buildings; Persistence Works, Manor Oaks Studios and Exchange Studios.
We visited Persistence Works and took a stroll across six floors of incredibly talented artists showcasing everything from ceramic, joinery, mushroom knitting (we’ll get to that later), painting, metalwork, photography to incredible sculptures made from unexpected materials. It gives you a snapshot into the incredible minds of these creators in an intimate, one off opportunity.
Despite getting there there at 1pm (with the event closing at 4pm) we didn’t have nearly enough time to truly investigate every artist. That said, we did manage to check out every studio and speak with the creators about their work. Each artist’s passion and enthusiam glows from them as they gladly (and somehow untiringly) explain to intrigued strangers what their work means to them; their influences, their background and journey into the artistic world- ready to discuss the subtleties of whichever piece of work you inquire about.
For anyone interested in creating things, this is a really exciting and humbling experience which leaves you feel inspired to go out and make something you can be just as proud of.
Some of our favourite artists of the weekend were…
The Knitting One
With playful, colour filled knitted creations Kandy Diamond has the hair to match. We loved her quirky mushroom cushion designs, pom pom eyeballs and 3D knitted picture (you have to wear 3D glasses to see the image pop into its full dimensionsal glory). Kandy has 8 years experience teaching knitted textiles at college and university and also offers one on one tuition. She does one day workshops at £60 a pop where you can learn how to use her might knitting machine.
You can check out her workshop dates here.
The Mosiac One
As lovers of colour this lady’s work was completely irresistable to us. Her intricate creations are made using an obscure assortment of patterned crockery, china plated, mugs, mirrors. Diana does a lot of work with local communities and observes how mosiac appeals to a wide range of people. It offers alternative avenue for those not interested in the fine art practices of drawing and painting.
You can see more of her work here.
The Silver One
Rebecca H Joselyn
Rebecca started her business back in 2006 and has many admirers including the Duke of Devonshire, who is an avid collector of her work. She works in silver and creates incredibly realistic, mysifying pieces of art. The collection on show at Persistence Works was “The Packaging Collection” which is an intriguing array of everyday objects sculpted to perfection in silver. Rebecca draws inspiration from “our hectic lifestyles of convenience and throwaway, [she] looks at the materials we take for granted and discard from day to day. Her tableware questions how using different materials can change our views on objects and their acceptance within society.”
You can check more of it out here.
The One With A Story
This man definitely deserves a mention. His delicate, geometrical sculpture immediately caught our eye and unsuprisingly held an equally as enthralling story. One day Giles woke up completely paralysed in the face. He had Bell’s Palsy syndrome; the future was uncertain. However, fortunately within 6 month Giles had reclaimed full movement of his features.
This piece represents Giles’ recovery and the extremely subtle, delicate balance within our bodies, with every nerve playing an integral part in the functioning of the whole. Snip one string in Giles’ sculpture and the entire thing will unravel, leaving a mere memory in place of what existed moments before; an entirely functional circuit in all it’s beauty. Because of the calculated perfection of the sculpture, it is possible to see both a cube and a sphere in the center crossing when viewing at the right angle.
Giles graduated from his course in Metalwork and Jewellery at Hallam University in 2015. He prides himself on using a high level of mathematic design to create products.
This particular piece was for sale at over £2000. However, Giles did admit that he would be heartbroken if he had to sell it, hence the tidy sum.
You can check out more of his work here.
The Peaky Blinder One
The very last studio we saw was that of painter Andrew Hunt. We were taken aback by his large scale, incredibly lifelike, distorted portraiture. Working in oils he appeared to be painting a long landscape featuring various elderly men and women howling with laughter.
Andrew was born in Chester and now lives in Sheffield. He won the BP Portait Award back in 2008 and is a trained illustrator/graphic designer who used to draw on the pavements of Chester before he made it big time.
His work has an amazing accessible quality and aims to bring together narrative and humour in a gritty, surreal way. His paintings tend to be sculptural and packed with energy – coming together to form extremely emotive art.
After doing a bit of research on Andrew we discovered that he was commissioned to paint portraits for cast members in the epic series “Peaky Blinders”. We were going to mention him on this blog before we found out this amazing fact but we won’t deny it made us pretty excited..
The event was totally free. A head count on the door allowed Sheffield council to measure the success of the event and therefore determine whether to continue funding Sheffield’s artistic community in the future.
Yorkshire Artspace is actually a registered charity which offers artists affordable studio spots (at around just £150 a month) as opposed to what they would otherwise be paying (around £800) for similar spaces in such an excellent, city centre location.
So not only is Open Studios a refreshing way for art lovers to spend their weekend, it’s also a great way to directly help your community to put on more events like this. You get to support the Sheffield Art scene without paying a penny. Watch out for the next one.
Written by Becca Linnard at Brag Vintage