Derbyshire's newest art gallery gathers the work of ten artists for debut exhibition

Rurally based artists are exhibiting their work in the debut exhibition at a newly opened gallery in Wirksworth.

By Gay Bolton
Thursday, 9th December 2021, 6:46 am
Jonathan Michael Ray, Verity Birt and Tom Sewell are contributing to the Gatherine exhibition at Haarlem Gallery in the Red Lion, Wirksworth (photo: Will Slater).
Jonathan Michael Ray, Verity Birt and Tom Sewell are contributing to the Gatherine exhibition at Haarlem Gallery in the Red Lion, Wirksworth (photo: Will Slater).

The exhibition at the Haarlem Gallery in the Red Lion Hotel features the work of ten contributors and explores the act of gathering after a year of travel restrictions and social isolation. From prehistoric sites to folk rituals and rave music, their creations reflect on communal acts of intimacy, creating connections, bonds and intimacy.

Titled Gathering, the exhibition is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays between 11am and 4pm until December 19.

Award-winning artists Verity Birt and Jonathan Michael Ray have curated the exhibition.

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Haarlem Gallery is in the Red Lion Hotel in Wirksworth (photo: Will Slater).

Verity Birt is a funded, practice-based PhD researcher at Northumbria University and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Newcastle Upon Tyne. This year, she was awarded the Christine Downing Fellowship at the Opus Archives and Research Centre at the Pacifica Institute in California.

Jonathan Michael Ray has an MFA in Fine Art Media at the Slade School of Art, University College London. Jonathan’s work comprises of video, photography, sculpture, print and drawing. This year Jonathan was a National Sculpture Prize finalist.

This is set to be the first of a series of stimulating exhibitions that have been programmed for the gallery throughout the year.

Co-director Olivia Punnett said: “This exhibition will really set the tone for the rest of the annual programme at Haarlem, we want to bring together not just small but nationally recognised artists to Wirksworth.”

Artists contributing to the Gathering exhibition include:

Simon Bayliss – artist and music producer based at Porthmeor Studios in St Ives, Cornwall, UK. Simon is trained as a painter and more recently as a potter.

Ilkner Cinarel - a Turkish-British artist based in St Ives, Cornwall, UK. Ilkner works across a range of media including performance, film, Installation, learning and social arts practice.

Georgia Gendall – artist and gardener based in Falmouth, Cornwall. Georgia currently is a studio holder at CAST and often blends her work activities as a gardener with creative exploitation.

Steven Claydon – artist who lives and works in London. Claydon’s work explores the cultural histories and narratives acquired by objects and artworks over time. His work encompasses sculpture, painting, video and performance.

Dan Howard-Birt - painter. Dan is the director of Kingsgate Workshops, London, and he is also the co-director of LIDO Projects. Dan’s work references modern-era painters and projections of the painter’s subjective conscious onto his figures and landscapes.

Abigail Reynolds – artist based in St Just, Cornwall, who has a studio at Porthmeor in St Ives. Whether she is working on a sculpture, a film or an event, all her work is in essence a collage: the practice of bringing found materials into a fresh context.

Lucy Stein – UK artist whose work builds on an engagement with British modernist painting, feminist theory and women’s literature. Her work ranges from painting to performance and film. 

Tom Sewell – Artist who works across sculpture, drawing, installation, print, performance, photography and writing. His work aims to understand human relationships with nature.