Sunday, 25 August 2013
Art in the Pen 2013
I love browsing art exhibitions, galleries and fairs so I really enjoyed a recent visit to 'Art in the Pen, the North's Visual Art Fair'. Held in Skipton Auction Mart, this is an annual exhibition/sale of art of all kinds. It has been running for eight years now and each year it has got bigger and better. The Auction Mart is the town's cattle auction market. (You eventually get used to the rich aroma as you wander round!) This year there were 124 artists, each allotted a cattle pen to turn into a mini art gallery. It's high quality art, though some of it is surprisingly affordable. (I bought a beautiful and unusual silver ring for not very much at all.) I am always interested in the photography on show - everything from beautiful landscapes and wildlife to more creatively processed work - but there are also wonderful paintings, prints, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and jewellery. Most of the artists are based in the north of England and so a lot of the work has a local flavour. It's a really good place to chat to the artists too.
I've seen some of the exhibitors' work before (Saltaire Arts Trail is a similar high-end event) but that never diminishes the pleasure and there is always something new to discover. I am interested how some work grabs my attention (and not always for reasons I can define) while others leave me cold. It's a good job we're all different.
The photographic artist Daniel Shiel produces some interesting stuff - mostly vibrant collages of textures and colours. (You can maybe spot some of his work above.) Nicola Taylor's 'visual fairy tales' are moody, compelling, like the Bröntes in pictures. If I'd had the money, this year I'd have walked off with a print from Janis Goodman - probably one of her quirky Saltaire pictures. I contented myself with a few of her cards. Katherine Sainsbury does some wonderful pieces (mirrors, teapot stands, pots and vases) made of smashed vintage china, that would look great in the right setting.