Christmas Art Exhibition - 19th - 23rd November 2016

Another first for Bils & Rye is this joint venture with Sir Paul and Lady Edwards who are bringing some of their favourite artists to the gallery for a short show in time for Christmas. Regulars will recognise Robert J Wyatt's work who is a gallery regular, we are excited to see the new works he has produced along with Terence Bennett who features in our own personal collection. John Sprakes and David Venables join them with Yorkshire inspired work. We do hope you can join us for the launch on the 19th November from 12:00 noon.



Terence Bennett

Terence Bennett's painting displays a passionate, almost mystical relationship with landscape. His work reveals a deep and intuitive understanding of the beauty and power of the natural world. His oil painting is applied with a sensitive and sensuous energy which reflects the elemental forces that interplay with light and shade in ever-changing patterns. Vast spaces, often with small, fragile buildings that seem to defy the forces of change around them, capture the 'spirit of place' of northern moorland. 

His watercolours show a delicate handling of the medium in the best British tradition of understatement. There is a delicacy of observation that has a masterly structure underlying the iridescent light illuminating the paper, and informs mists of land and sea. 

Taken as a whole Terence Bennett's oils, drawings and watercolours testify that this painter is at the height of his powers of expression; the culmination of fifty years of creative hard work. Terence Bennett found recognition for his work, in the late 1960's and early 1970's, with his industrial landscapes of South Yorkshire. The pits, slag heaps and quarries, were his inspiration until he moved with his family to the village of Bolsterstone, in the Ewden valley near Sheffield. 

The change of environment brought about a change in style, depicting moorland and river scenes, plus the beautiful coastal scenes of the east coast of England. While Terence still continues to find inspiration in his native Yorkshire, frequent forays to the west coast of Ireland have resulted in some memorable works of Connemara, Galway and County Clare.


John Sprakes ROI RBA MAFA D A Edin

John's work reflects his love of the coast, his native Yorkshire and a love of Suffolk. Doncaster born and bred, John studied at Doncaster School of Art before heading on scholarship to Edinburgh College of Art where he went on to apprentice with Sir Wiliam Gillies. Given the surrounding landscape of his birthplace, it is a surprise to many that he chooses to paint mostly coastal scenes from Suffolk, however, he explains that this is where he sees a 'wow factor'.


David Venables

As a Northerner still living in the North of England David is constantly aware of our industrial heritage and the lives that shaped it. The dignity of working people, past and present, with their unique modes of expression and dialect, has always inspired him to try to capture their down-to-earth beauty in the context of their work and leisure.

David's art is his personal view of the world he knew growing up in the 1940s and '50s. The art needs little explanation. It is as direct as a housewife's scorn to an errant husband, and as gentle and soothing as a mother's kiss to an unhappy child. They are his people! The art depicts the sights of a not too distant past with their sounds and smells and zeitgeist. A time when health and safety was yet to become part of everyday working and domestic consciousness.

It is not "Grim up North" for those of us who see and feel beauty in industrial landscape and most of all in the dignified endurance of a people making the best of a harsh climate and often a harsh destiny. There was a heroism and skill in hard labour and an ironic and self deprecating sense of humour that those unfortunate enough to have been born in the South can never fully share! 


Robert J. Wyatt ROI

Robert J. Wyatt is a painter influenced by the work of the Renaissance painters, in particular the Flemish masters. Following a period of private study in classical drawing and painting technique Robert has gone on to develop contemporary approaches and themes in his work. Most of his paintings have a narrative; they are paintings “about” rather than simply “of” things.

Robert J. Wyatt is represented by commercial galleries nationwide and has been selected for exhibition by the Royal Institute of Oil Painters.

Working process

Most of Robert’s work begins with an idea rather than an object; the items in each still life are then gathered and composed to illustrate the original notion.

Initial sketches are completed to finalise the composition before a more detailed drawing from life is done. Wooden panel is used rather than canvas as the weave or “tooth” of canvas can interfere with more detailed work. Each panel is cut to size then primed with around eight coats of Gesso (a synthetic version of the rabbit skin glue used during the renaissance). This is done on both sides of the panel to prevent warping. The piece is then under painted to establish tonal changes and to provide a base for subsequent layers of paint. Some areas of the painting are completed using layers, or “glazes” of paint, each layer must be allowed to dry fully before further layers can be applied. A more direct approach may be used for certain areas of the painting to create the desired effect.


Kate & Nick Bentley

Founders and owners of Bils & Rye Kate and Nick Bentley live for art. It is there passion, along with two daughters and two errant dogs.

Kate spent the last 10 years working as an artist, recently taking a break to spend more time in the gallery alongside home schooling her young daughters. Her work covered figurative through to seascapes and much in between and her last body of work was a series showing the diversity of Highland Cattle! She has a love of dogs, horses, chocolate and entertaining (not necessarily in that order). Her greatest influence has been her incredibly arty family.

Nick spent many years in a variety of careers including air traffic control, building, event management, catering and sales. Never has he been happier than running the gallery. He has no formal art training, preferring to believe in aesthetics and finish rather than theory. Outside of art and ceramics in particular, Nick loves motor racing, cricket, reading and eating out! Wine is also quite important.