5 talented artists from Cheshire

5 Cheshire artists

5 Cheshire artists - Credit: Archant

These talented artists have been spotted and admired by experts

Ghislaine Howard

Ghislaine Howard - Credit: Archant

Ghislaine Howard

Ghislaine Howard was named as a Woman of The Year in 2008 for her contribution to art and society. She had been acclaimed for her ground-breaking exhibition concerning pregnancy and birth, at Manchester City Art Gallery, A Shared Experience and worked on projects with theatres, prisons, the BBC, women’s refuges and cathedrals as well as Amnesty International. Her large cycle of paintings The Stations of the Cross / The Captive Figure were shown at the two Liverpool Cathedrals at Canterbury Cathedral and at Gloucester. Her 25 foot high Visitation Altarpiece can be seen in Trinity Chapel at Liverpool Hope University

What’s so great about Ghislaine?

She is continuing to work on a series of paintings in response to news images taken from the Guardian newspaper – an exhibition of 365 of these paintings was shown at the Imperial War Museum North from March to September 2009.These are forming the basis of a major new series The Seven Works of Mercy. From February to May 2013, Ghislaine’s drawing Pregnant Self Portrait July 1987 was at the centre of the British Museum’s ground breaking exhibition Ice Age Art/ Arrival of the Modern Mind, where it hung alongside 30,000 year old sculptures of pregnant women, some of the earliest representations of the human form.

Why we are impressed

Ghislaine has featured in various publications and television documentaries including Degas: An Old Man Mad about Art, 1996 and Degas and the Dance in 2004, which was awarded the prestigious Peabody Award and is represented in many public and private collections.

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www.ghislainehoward.comMalcolm Croft Visual image has always played a part in Malcolm’s life. He worked as a news photographer in Fleet Street and Manchester (winning the Press Photographer of the Year Award in 1997 for his coverage of the IRA bombing of Manchester) until a road accident ended his career and in 2005 he began to paint. Influenced by many French artists of the early 20th century Malcolm developed a distinct style, using bold outlines and bright colours to produce lively landscapes and vivid still lifes.

Malcolm Croft

Malcolm Croft - Credit: Archant

What’s so great about Malcolm Croft?

After joining an artists’ co-operative in 2007 art collectors were soon beating a path to his door. Successful group exhibitions were followed by sell-out solo shows at one of the North’s top galleries, making him one of the region’s best-selling emerging artists.

‘My work examines the relationship between form and colour. I paint obsessively, every day. A painting might take weeks, months, or even years to complete but I try to retain a sense of immediacy and energy.’

Malcolm, from Bramhall, may be an artist whose reputation is growing every year but he finds time to encourage others, for example as head judge of the Cheshire Life Young Artist of the Year competition.

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www.croftart.comHelen ClapcottFor 30 years Helen Clapcott has been painting Stockport. She moved to the town aged 10 and it became the focus of her life and imagination. She paints the town in tempera - a medium normally used in frescos. Her subjects include Victorian mills such as Beehive Mill and Stockport Paper Mill, high rise flats and the Stockport Viaduct.Clapcott’s work is well-known in the North: she has had solo shows at public galleries, and exhibited regularly with commercial galleries in Manchester and Surrey. Most of her work has been sold to appreciative collectors.

What’s so great about Helen Clapcott?

‘If it was Lowry who made us recognise the strange beauty of the industrial scene, Helen Clapcott has built on that achievement and substantially added to it.’ says Alan Lambirth.

Why we are impressed

Clapcott made her first tempera painting of Stockport in 1974. Experts say there’s wit and a lightness in her art which wins her a loyal and appreciative following.

Helen Clapcott

Helen Clapcott - Credit: Archant

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www.paintingsofstockport.co.uk Wendy J Levy gallery: www.wendyjlevy.com Ben KellyKerridge artist Ben Kelly trained at Central St Martin’s before winning the £15,000 Football in the Arts prize, an accolade only previously bestowed on one other painter: LS Lowry. Kelly is nothing if not modest: ‘I just enjoy painting and it’s great that people like what I do. I didn’t ever expect quite so many people to like them.’ he said.

Kelly, a Manchester City fanatic, who spent a year as that club’s official artist produced 94 paintings for an exhibition at Clark Art in Hale last year and within a few days every one had been sold, including the three biggest canvases which both fetched over £10,000.

What’s so great about Ben Kelly?

His work is in private collections including that of the Turner Prize winner Mark Wallinger and interior designer David Carter. His work is also in National Football Museum.

Why we are impressed

Ben’s paintings have been described by Dr Rina Arya, a top art critic, as ‘following in the footsteps of Lowry in celebrating the everydayness of life, people carrying out their daily rituals and routines.’

Useful information

www.benkellyart.co.uk www.clark-art.co.ukColin TaylorColin Taylor has 30 years’ experience of climbing and working in mountains in Europe, South America and Asia. He was born in the Midlands and studied art and drama at Trent Polytechnic in the mid-eighties. He then moved to Manchester, and set up a company in the outdoor leisure industry which still influences his artwork and more specifically, the context for A Short Walk in the Big Landscape; a series of nine solo exhibitions that toured England in 2008/09.

Ben Kelly

Ben Kelly - Credit: Archant

What’s so great about Colin Taylor?

In 2011, he exhibited nearly 40 drawings at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, the first time a single artist had been invited to focus on the building’s architecture. He has also had solo exhibitions in New York, Cologne and in 2014, Washington DC.

He is nearing the end of a four year project with the Manchester-based property developer, Bruntwood plc, working on a series of cityscapes, looking across the city’s skyline from a number of their properties. An exhibition of this work is being planned for this year.

Why we are impressed

Colin Taylor is also a climber and his paintings are influenced by this. He says: ‘For some time I had been sure there was some kind of reciprocal relationship between the experience of being within a huge natural landscape and my own art practice. It took time before this connection became obvious enough for me to understand that climbing mountains was less of a physical activity and much more of a psychological challenge. That realisation meant that I had to find a way of embedding something of the effort and emotion experienced into my work and not just reproduce the visual panorama in a factual and leaden way.’

Useful information

www.coltaylor.co.uk Wendy J Levy gallery: www.wendyjlevy.com

Colin Taylor

Colin Taylor - Credit: Archant