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.
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!
September sees us celebrate our first year in the new premises in Kirkbymoorside. The last few months have been a trying time, with renovations running way beyond the desired finish date due to weather and complexities of an old building. So we are ready for a party!
The work may not have finished but we hope the scaffolding will be down and just the decorating on the outside will need to be finished. We can't wait any longer to open up the gallery and show the changes inside as well as outside!
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.
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.
Christmas is almost upon us once again! All of the team at Bils & Rye would like to thank all of our customers, visitors and artists for their support this year. It has been a terrific year despite lower visitor numbers to the village.
We have a host of plans being prepared for 2016 including more shows away from Nunnington. We will endeavour to keep increasing the quality of work on display particularly in the ceramics and sculpture departments.
In our last blog we talked about the beginnings of Bils & Rye. This one is all about what we stand for now, two and a half years into what we hope will be a long and happy journey. Earlier in the year we commissioned a film by Craft Council favourites Richard Foot and Arron Finch. They, together make films under the R & A Collaborations banner. We loved what they had done for several of the makers we already worked with.
This film is the easiest way of explaining what we do at the gallery and why we do it. I will now try and put that into written words, as many of you know, I'm prone to waffling and going off on a tangent, losing the thread and generally being a little controversial at times! I will do my best to stick to the task at hand!