Great Britain

Local artists online show

A GALLERY owner has put together a special Christmas exhibition to inspire artists who have found their working lives hit by the pandemic.

David Starley is displaying his own work at the Bingley Gallery in Park Road, Bingley alongside that of artists including Bingley painter Jane Fielder, Bradford-based artist Amy Charlesworth and Leeds-born Clarke Avery.

The exhibition, Art in the Times of Covid, gives artists the opportunity to showcase their work, having been unable to do this for much of the year.

“Amongst the plight of many self-employed people during Covid, one group that has attracted less attention is the visual artist: painters, sculptors, ceramicists and the like,” says David. “At the best of times their profile is relatively low, except for the few big names. If not in actual garrets, most work from studios, tucked away in former industrial buildings or from home or their back gardens.

“The prospect for many has been bleak - most of the art fairs that provide their opportunity for selling artwork have been cancelled, particularly the popular indoor ones in the weeks before Christmas. The impact has not only been financial, but psychological.”

In putting together the exhibition at the Bingley Gallery, David Starley found significant numbers of artists, for whom lockdown had led to a lack of inspiration and an inability to actually come up with fresh work.

“However, that has not been universal,” he says. “For some the first, more rigidly observed, lockdown was the chance to re-connect with the natural environment close to their homes.”

Assuming no changes in the lockdown lifting, we'll be opening on Weds 2nd Dec.

There are 15 artists in the exhibition: four painters, one engraver, four metalwork sculptors, four Potters/ceramic sculptors and two working in wood.

For Jane Fielder, lockdown was an opportunity to recall the traffic-free years of her childhood. One of her new works, ‘Lockdown - The Night Pollution Slept’, depicts the scene as she saw it: “The stars were as bright as when I was a child, 70 years ago. Wildlife had its moment. The only train was a hedgehog scurrying along the railway track with its babies. The swans, emboldened, took up the tow path, babies on back, the ducks huddled close behind them.There wasn’t a movement or a sound. An exquisite eerie silence blanketed Bingley that night.”

David, himself an oil painter, returned to one of his favourite subject, trees. “They just seemed that bit greener, more beautiful and powerful than before.”

Amy Charlesworth enjoyed the lack of crowds and chattering of people. She found pleasure in recreating the snow-blanketed expanses around the Ribblehead Viaduct, returning time and again to find new angles from which to observe the iconic monument.

At present there is a virtual exhibition on the gallery website davidstarleyartist.com.“The website provides a means for artists to showcase their response to the current situation and who knows, a sale or too might provide a little retail therapy for artist and buyer alike,” says David.

It will run until December 24. Visit davidstarleyartist.com

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