Three quick films for those who haven't yet managed to get to the gallery since we reopened on the 2nd September. There will be some professionally shot images and films coming soon. It's an eclectic mix as ever but we think the strongest show of work by such a talented group of artists that we have ever shown. If you can't visit please do get in contact me more films of specific areas of the gallery!
There have been some close calls over the last three years as we have searched extensively for a new home for the gallery. Nothing really nailed the look we were after, a grown-up version of the space we occupy at Nunnington Studios. Strangely a building we pass daily almost that has been empty since it closed as a public house back in 2010 caught our eye. In less than a month we have negotiated (hard) and signed a lease.
Stephen explains his work, processes and inspirations:
"The work is an on-going and sustained exploration of form and process. Influences are diverse and come from the natural and built environments.
The forms, often vessels, are hand-built using a combination of methods. All the work is put through the Raku-firing process which provides an infinite range of possibilities.
Bill Zima has been on quite an eventful journey, hailing from Chicago where he was a much celebrated artist producing fine works of art. Bill began to feel consumed by the mechanisms of the commissioning process and wanted to start painting for himself. There followed a long sabbatical in Spain where he began to develop encaustic works with the inspiration of bonsai sitting in the back of his mind. A couple of years ago he once again relocated to Edinburgh with his young family and began to use a combination of his original skills combined with his enthusiasm for ink and wax.
In February this year we revealed the first showing of these works in England to huge acclaim. All the works are based on real trees, yet they have a clear bonsai/Asian influence. There's depth, texture and smell from the beeswax used in the process. The works are remarkable in their adaptability to any home or office building.
2015 proved to be the year of sculpture in the gallery, with us finding new homes for more pieces than previous years. The supply has helped no end with top end sculptors asking to exhibit at the gallery and 2016 is the year we will spend more resources on bringing in more contemporary works from around the UK.
Here our a few of our picks for 2016 including a rather special new arrival!
Having returned from our first big external event, smiles abound from the experience, the people we met and the reception to our stand! Hard work didn't abate though with the need to completely rehang and dress the entire gallery! We have moved 1200 pieces over the last week and will be putting the finishing touches to the display tomorrow and Friday.
We have several new artists on board too including Juliette Bigley who makes stunning vessels from sterling silver and base metals. We also welcome Helen Dodds with her egg tempera paintings finished with gold leaf and a lot of her humour. Up from Cornwall come paintings from Amy Albright and we now have Laura Rich's North York Moors series available from the gallery.
This week I've been planning the road trip to collect from far and wide. Thankfully some lovely makers are bringing their wares to us, although the trek couldn't take much more in. I'm off to Nottingham, Leicester, London, Canterbury, Lewes, Farnham, Mere, Devon/Cornwall border. Two other trips are happening too, the Lake District and Lincoln!
Meanwhile our set designers are hard at work making something very special for the stand. We are delighted with their vision and hope you will be too.
Back in 2012 Kate and I were approached to take over a business in Helmsley, we immediately set out to find a bit more about the town and Bils & Rye was born! A quick Wikipedia search revealed that Helmsley is where the two valleys of Bilsdale and Ryedale meet. Kate shortened them to Bils & Rye and we registered the name.
Like the iconic programme on Channel 4, Bils & Rye offers our visitors four very different rooms, each packed with fabulous visual delights. The internet is a hard place to portray the passion we have for the artists and their work. Even images don't really tell the whole story, somewhat disproving the 1000 words analogy.
Dispelling the Myth
Here at Bils & Rye we like to do things a little differently. Our ethos is based on the ethical treatment of our artists and our customers alike.
We love to talk! Discussions about art, about life are common occurrences in the gallery and often become conversations that span many topics, and frequently go off on tangents. In fact, we love people, and talking, as much as we love art. So we aim to be as approachable and honest as we possibly can.
There are always inevitably a few that smart a little and can be tricky to answer. Let’s face it; galleries haven’t had the best of reputations in the past… elitist, unwelcoming, aloof, greedy… The last one, that is the hardest one to dispel.