January is a great time to take stock of what works and what doesn’t and we have been very busy sorting out plans for 2019 during these past couple of weeks. Part of that has been looking at our opening times. Sundays just haven’t worked out as we had hoped so with immediate effect we will no longer open on Sundays unless by prior appointment. We still encourage visitors to ring the number on the door of the gallery should we be closed and if available we can be there in five minutes to open up.
As we draw towards the end of the Emerging Artists Exhibition we are starting to curate the next show, which will be the last formalised show of the year. This is centre around animal art with a focus on sculpture.
We have secured works from Simon Gudgeon, Louise McNaught, Jamel Akib, Nichola Theakston, Marion McConaghie, Laura Rich (drawings), Stephen Page, Fiona Rogers & Anup Shah, Ian Greensitt and many more. All of the above have produced special animal works that will accompany a series of talks.
2017 has past with a rush! It's been a big year for the team, bedding into our new location in Kirkbymoorside and then enduring the eighteen weeks of renovations that ensued! We now have the gallery we really wanted and all that hard work has been worth the efforts.
We would firstly like to thank the teams who helped with the renovations from Sid Brackley's building firm, Jonathan Graham's decorations, Chris Clark Electricians, Ryedale District Council for their understanding and assistance and no least our landlord who had the larger bill at the end of the works.
Through it all we continued to trade, despite the gallery closing it's doors for two months
Another whistle stop tour of the UK and we are back with more wonderful artworks to tempt you. 12 counties in 3 days and another 900 miles wracked up to make sure we have the very best to offer visitors to the gallery. We have also have Google in to create some internal 360 degree shots for Google Maps, so that you can check we really are doing what we say from the comfort of your home/office! It's up live and click the image below to check it out!
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!
A very rare weekend off and away for the whole family! We left the gallery with the wonderful Layla Khoo and Iona Stock, both students at the excellent York College studying ceramics and 3d design. Gallery looks fabulous on our return and our thanks goes out to them both for their hard work and more importantly looking after our baby!
We spent the weekend with Martin Miles-Moore and Siobhan Newton, a married couple who work together at the Miles Moore Pottery in Lancashire. A treat of great food, fine wines, late night outdoor chatting by the Chiminea with the sound of the Church bells every hour.
November sees us welcome another new potter, Chris Taylor, who plies his trade from studios in Devon. Using quite different techniques to the norm, printing, sandblasting and decals to create pots of magnitude. We love that each pot is as individual as the eventual owners and that they have an appearance of being decayed with layer upon layer of history embedded into each piece.
We have a batch of 9 pots that arrived at the end of October, one sold instantly so there are 8 to pick from ranging from £190 to £1050.
It has been a head spinning few weeks since we made the decision to move the gallery. Five weeks from the point of signing the lease on 5 Market Place, Kirkbymoorside to opening the doors to a large new exhibition with 29 new makers! Meanwhile our plans for the stand at Cambridge Art Fair continued apace and we returned with quite a bit less work than we took. Now that that is over we can concentrate on the new gallery space which is proving to be a big hit with visitors and generally getting the seal of approval from the locals.
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.
Our tip for the year in ceramics is Catalan artist Albert Montserrat. His thrown porcelain vessels are majestic measuring 50-60cm tall. Currently priced at £350.00 they represent great value too! We currently have six examples in the gallery collected at the weekend. There were 8 but already two have departed to new homes!
Albert's use of oil spot glazes helps to elevate an already beautiful pot to something quite magnificent.
We are also delighted to announce that Fryton Catering have taken on the old coffee shop at Nunnington Studios and will be opening the doors shortly. It will be great to have a buzz about at the yard again. They have planned a launch event for Friday 29th April in the evening and we will be letting you know more about that shortly. The gallery will be open for the evening too so you can experience the courtyard and all that it offers along with a glass or two of wine with canapés and a hog roast!
We've had a quick trip around the gallery with the camera to introduce you to a few of the makers on display. Searching For Enlightenment runs into April with a few additions to come over the next couple of weeks. We are delighted to welcome our first French artist in Veronique Paquereau with one of her wonderful mixed media paintings. More will be coming soon. Click on each image for a better look or pop in and see them for yourself.
As ever there is a diverse collection of ceramics in the four rooms that make up Bils & Rye. Strong colours combined with antique, retro and reclaimed furniture provide an alternative setting for works of real distinction.
Each room has sculpture added from some of the most exciting British sculptors. We have a strong heritage of sculpture at the gallery, one of the rooms was built by the sculptor, John Bunting, who worked with Robert Thompson (the Mouseman) and Henry Moore before teaching Sir Anthony Gormley at the nearby Ampleforth Abbey.
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.