Visuals: Features

The century's artists: John Piper and Howard Hodgkin

Scarborough gets a unique chance to witness the development of a key phase in British art this month. Exhibitions by two of the leading artists of the past century, John Piper and Howard Hodgkin, should give some insight into how the great art movements of the twentieth century swept over this island. And, in the present age of conceptual art and installations, we’ll get a chance to see how much paint and print still matter.


John Piper was born in 1903, and became one of the group of artists, writers and composers who dominated British culture in the middle of the century. Piper was friends with Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, Paul Nash and Barbara Hepworth, and collaborated with the likes of Benjamin Britten and Stephen Spender. His work with John Betjeman on the Shell Guides stands as one of the great monuments of British culture. Piper’s abstract take on English and Welsh landscapes, particularly churches and old houses, became his signature and places him solidly alongside the likes of Ivon Hitchens and Eric Ravilious (both in Scarborough Art Gallery) in a notably British tradition.


Howard Hodgkin was born thirties later and was one of the generation which blew in with the spirit of the 1960s and pushed aside the likes of Piper and Nash. Along with Patrick Caulfield, Bridget Riley, R B JKitaj, Peter Blake and David Hockney, Hodgkin offered something vivid and exciting, but, like Hockney he managed to escape the categorisation of a pop artist, instead his abstracts with blocks of colour seem to reflect a continental tradition echoing the likes of Matisse.


Hodgkin and Hockney are now, in turn, the elder statesmen of British art; it will be fascinating to see how Piper and Hodgkin still work their magic.

John Piper shows in Woodend from 2 to 16 July and Howard Hodgkin at Scarborough Art Gallery from 9 July to 18 September

Some like it hot: time for teacups

The humble English tea cup gets the full artistic treatment at an exhibition at Woodend this month. Four artists come at the subject from different angles. Helaina Sharpley works in wire and has an unaccountable passion for all things tea-related - look out for elegant wire sculptures and illustrations. Martin Sadler is an oil painter who produces small paintings of confectionery and the delights of an afternoon tea table. Textile artist Lynn Setterington uses hand-stitched quilts and cloths to show the rituals of domestic life, and Hannah Webster produces mouth-watering photographs of tea and biscuits, scones and jam.


The exhibition of professional work sits alongside teacups produced in workshops by people in Filey, Scarbourgh and beyond. Voluntary groups, schools and the public have joined in the project coordinated by artist Jane Poulton, to give us a vast variety of takes on the teacup. Sup up.


From 6 to 28 June, 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Also 11 am – 5pm Saturday and Sunday 11/12 and 18/19 June

Woodend Art and Craft Gallery, The Crescent, Scarborough

Admission free

Going with the flow: Sally Gatie and Ken Wood

One of Scarborough’s newest galleries shows the work of two locally based painters this month.


The Arts Workshops on South Cliff is home to Ken Wood, whose work forms half of the current show. He uses a very eclectic mix of styles, mostly figurative, and including many familiar Scarborough landscapes. His venture into the recently hot area of hyper-realism is especially successful.


Sally Gatie’s work completes the show. She offers a good contrast to Ken with her concentration on just a very small number of themes. Her curled, sleeping figures seem to drift through exotic waters, the patterned backgrounds gently moving under the eye. Large canvases of suspended, swinging figures offer another form of movement, and a joyous one at that. The dangling, flowing hair and sculpted faces against an infinite blue sky are reminiscent of Kit Williams, or perhaps even Lucien Freud.


The Arts Workshops were opened in a small shop in South Street in Scarborough in 2008 by artist and picture restorer Ken and his wife Angie. In 2010 when the premises at Crown Arcade (a former motorbike repair shop) became vacant. they decided to convert the much larger space into a studio workshop. This gave a great space for Ken to work on his paintings as well as a great gallery space where Angie can do Tai Chi workshops. There will be a different exhibition every month.


Janis Bright


Exhibition continues until 22 March
open Sat, Sun, Mon, Wed & Fri 10.30am - 5.00pm
At The Arts Workshops, Crown Arcade, Albion Road, Scarborough, YO11 2BT
(behind the Crown Spa Hotel on the Esplanade)
Phone Ken on 07768 202773 for further details

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