Sunday, 3 March 2013

Spring: A Time of Optimism and Growth

Frost on the fields early one morning at the end of February

Buds are beginning to swell.  Birds are becoming more vocal.

It is a time of optimism and planning; dreaming.  

We of the Ryedale ArtWorks committee are gathering in membership forms, images and cheques in preparation for the production of the new Directory (of artists, makers and galleries in and around Ryedale).  A development this year, after we were approached by two other regions who saw our Directory, is that our membership have agreed that we should "loosen" our boundaries and welcome artists and makers who are actually outside Ryedale.  This is a positive move; we can only benefit from bringing in artists of quality from wider afield and it should open up more opportunities. 

We have worked furiously on a document for the new Cultural Commissioning initiative, for which we have planned and hope to deliver a number of vital services to creatives of Ryedale.  My main contribution to this has been ideas and proof reading as I do not have a lot of experience at writing proposals; I am learning fast!  RAW is forging links with other groups in the area with the hope of engaging more artists, strengthening relationships between artists. encouraging them to collaborate and promote the work going on in this wondrously beautiful area.

There are some incredibly talented and successful artists up here, and in the beginning most of them were reluctant to join us; some of them still are.  But as Ryedale ArtWorks consolidates, develops and grows, we are welcoming them gradually into our midst.  As an artist led collective, we will have more influence than we would working as individuals and it is RAW's ambition to persuade all of the successful practising professional artists here to become members.  Then, there will be no limit to what we can achieve, our dreams of a building with gallery space, workshops, studios and office space, as a hub for all creatives in Ryedale and surrounding areas will become achievable.  Our art, craft, performance, architecture and designs will become recognisable to wider audiences in Ryedale, Yorkshire, UK and beyond.. . . . . .eventually!

For members of the committee, (there are only three of us at the moment!) the balance it takes to make this happen while producing our own work, managing exhibitions and attending to the necessary paperwork and planning for future shows is precarious at times and the energy levels can veer between extremely high to rock bottom with the accompanying mood swings.  We of the committee support each other and the other artists/makers in the group are encouraging and kind so we somehow manage to keep the show on the road.

The Directory, 2012

This year should be an incredibly productive one; I am at last functioning properly after some years of ill health (I am fully recovered now), and I can concentrate most of my time on my work. The building work at home is an on-going project that interrupts this occasionally but I will cope with that.  Ryedale ArtWorks is on the cusp of providing much more for creatives in this area and developing as a more widely recognisable name and organisation.

For now though, I have final work and printed matter to make and organise for my solo show at The Gallery, Ryedale Folk Museum, which opens on 29th March.   RAW will concentrate on our core activities of producing the Directory and delivering the group meetings while we await a response to the Cultural Commissioning document we submitted.  Once we receive this response, we shall no doubt have lots more research, planning, discussing and writing to do.

I feel that Spring is a timely metaphor to describe where both RAW and I are at the moment: on the cusp of sudden growth.  I am ready for the hard work, the excitement and for becoming part of making a stronger artistic community.  

Albums of my work and its development can be viewed on : 

Some of my prints and paintings are currently on the walls of Ashfield Country Manor Hotel, Kirkbymisperton, North Yorkshire: where you can get good beer and really great food.

How beautiful is last night's sunset?


  1. hope all runs smoothly whilst you get ready for your solo exhibition Sue x

  2. Thanks Bridget - I have a list!