This exhibition at Zillah Bell Gallery in Thirsk draws on the common threads of interest of three artists; Andrea Bailey, Andrew Cheetham and Jim Wright, and weaves them together, to create a show with strong individual variations in the differing themes. The artists have spent time on the moors together. Finding their different experiences and approaches immensely stimulating to their work, without affecting their strong individual styles. It is evident that all three share a passion for painting directly in response to what they see.
Andrea Bailey at 83 years old has an energy for her art that would impress any first year art student. Not only does she have an urge to work creatively on one project or another, without a break, but she constantly strives to develop her work through discussion and practice with fellow artists.
She travels to York College once a week to attend a sculpture workshop, and divides the rest of her creative time between felting and painting.
Andrea trained at Chelsea College of Art and went on to study at a Paris studio. She is known throughout the region for the paintings of the fowl which she rears in her smallholding. It's through her keen observational skill that she often manages to capture them in the oddest situations.
Her daughter Elizabeth Bailey, a potter in Kirbymoorside, recalls early family holidays with her mother always having a sketchbook in her hand. Andrea always has a story to tell Jim and Andrew, on their regular excursions onto the moors, and has a wealth of knowledge of the local area.
Jim Wright has been painting landscapes of The North York Moors for eleven years and has also established a strong knowledge base of the area. He has introduced Andrew and Andrea to favourite haunts, where they have been rewarded with some inspirational light, despite setting off in thick fog. Jim worked as an illustrator for many years in the audio visual industry, before pursuing a career in Fine Art. He is particularly well known in the North East for his brooding depictions of the moors and his ability to capture the light in his landscape paintings.
Andrew Cheetham will be spending much more time in the area, having just been selected as Artist in Residence for an 'Inspired by Heritage' residency in Rosedale this year. Andrew is one of the most talented artists in this region with a pencil or charcoal and sketchbook. His natural strokes are a joy to study, and his residency at Knaresborough Castle produced some impressive works which were exhibited at The Mercer Gallery in Harrogate in 2007.
Andrew and Andrea both have an interest in life drawing (Andrew runs life drawing classes in Scarborough) and some of their sketches are of the musicians who Jim plays with in Kirkbymoorside.
Jim and Andrew also share a fascination for the sea, Andrew is based at The Baiting Sheds in Scarborough and is well known to the local fishermen. He was recently commissioned by The Friends of Scarborough Art Gallery to paint a seascape which now hangs in the gallery. Jim has also spent many hours at the coast, he's a keen surfer and through this interest has studied the waves extensively. Both Andrew and Jim's seascapes seek to portray the movement and energy of the sea.
Sketch books from the three artists will be on show at the exhibition along side their paintings. In addition Andrea will show felt works and sculpture.
The exhibition runs from 4th to 25th April 2009, admission is free.
Zillah Bell Art Gallery, 15 Kirkgate, Thirsk, YO7 1PQ. Open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. For enquiries please contact email@example.com or 01845 522 479.