Exhibitions in Derbyshire – April 2014

Spring Light, Alport by Mark Preston

Spring Light, Alport by Mark Preston - Credit: Archant

A round-up of exhibitions in Derbyshire during April

St John St Gallery

April promises to be busy at the Ashbourne gallery with three painting workshops: Wendy Darker is leading two workshops, one on 1st-2nd April entitled ‘Paint a Long Wool Sheep’ and on 29th April ‘Paint a Pig’. John Connolly is to run his first workshop at the gallery from 15th-16th April on the theme of ‘Trees, Woodland, Forests’ in mixed media and acrylic.

Paintings by both artists will also be on display during April, complemented by a selection of stunning bronze sculptures by local sculptor David Sprakes. David’s approach to sculpture is both figurative and abstract. He has been inspired for this series of work by locations in the Yorkshire Wolds, the Trent in South Nottinghamshire, the Peak District, and the North Norfolk coastline and salt marshes.

New work by Belper artist Ruth Gray will be also be on display. Ruth depicts a variety of familiar Derbyshire scenes in a unique, almost ethereal style. Open: Tue-Sat 9.30am-5pm; Sun 10am-4pm

Ridgeway Gallery

This will be the fourth solo exhibition by Mark Preston hosted by Ridgeway Gallery in the Old Tavern off Bakewell’s Rutland Square and it promises to be as outstanding and unmissable as ever. It comprises over 50 new works painted in Derbyshire, Cornwall and the Lake District, portraying these beautiful and varying landscapes – spring flowers, dramatic mountains, wild moors and winter seas – in different seasons and changing weather.

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Mark’s fascination with the shifting panorama and his understanding of the subject can be felt in his paintings and gives them an extra element. He works on location, which results in a ‘lively’ application of paint, and experiences first-hand the encroaching tide, fading light or an approaching storm, resulting in subtle changes in colour and light. His love of painting outside, with relatively little time spent in the studio, seems to reinforce a link with the landscape and the elements, giving his work freshness, vitality, mood and atmosphere.

A new selection of signed limited edition prints is to be published in time for the exhibition. The exhibition is on show from Friday 4th April to Saturday 19th April. The gallery closes on Mondays.

Ingleby Gallery

From 27th April to 11th May Ingleby Gallery near Melbourne, has a solo exhibition by mixed media artist Rob Wilson, who has been called ‘one of the most exciting contemporary artists in the UK’.

Now based in Whaley Bridge, Rob studied for a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration at Bradford University and the city, with its rich textile heritage, came to have a tremendous influence on his work.

Viibrancy, dynamism, rich colour and texture are the distinctive hallmarks of Rob’s work. His powerful and arresting cityscapes brilliantly capture the urban landscape, giving it significance through vivid depiction of buildings and street furniture as well as people, who give life and movement. Rob’s interest in drawing has combined with a fascination for buildings and how they are designed and created.

Rob’s work has won numerous awards and he has carried out a number of prestigious commissions, including last summer’s Old Trafford cricket commission, for which he captured the excitement of the Ashes Test.

Cromford Studio & Gallery

During April professional watercolour landscape artist, tuition and workshop provider, writer and TV presenter Peter Woolley has a solo exhibition at the gallery in Cromford’s Market Place, open Wed-Sun 10am-5pm.

Java Gallery

The gallery on Market Street in Whaley Bridge is celebrating its fifth anniversary this month with a solo exhibition by Helen Parsley. Helen studied illustration at Manchester University and has illustrated books worldwide, including the BBC’s Last of the Summer Wine. She now paints highly realistic landscapes and still life, working mainly in acrylics with a remarkably ‘free’ technique. Capturing the effect of light is one of her specialisms. She chooses a variety of subjects that range from the delights of an old-fashioned sweet shop to a café in Venice, and peaceful English country paths where light filters through trees to nostalgic arrangements of teacups and cakes.

The exhibition runs from 5th to 22nd April with an invitation-only preview evening on 4th when there will be a chance to meet the artist.

Ferrers Gallery

The Staunton Harold gallery’s hare-themed exhibition continues until 27th April with jewellery, ceramics, textiles, print and paintings. On display until 11th May is ‘Heavy Metal’, a celebration of metal in its more rugged form with hand forged, welded and riveted items of all shapes and sizes.

Derby Cathedral

During April the Cathedral Centre on Iron Gate has a selection of paintings by Ruth Goodheir entitled ‘Living Life’. At a time of personal crisis Ruth was encouraged to paint from her imagination as a way of expressing her inner thoughts and feelings. This resulted in a five-year journey that explores a paradox at the heart of Christianity; that the experience of suffering is a necessary part of an authentic spiritual development. Ruth says, ‘During this time I experienced joy and pain, darkness and light, storm and calm, and a sense of the sacredness of creation. The imagery in the paintings is Christian but I have discovered they can speak to people of all faiths and none.’

James Smyth

Local artist James Smyth will be exhibiting his paintings at the Guild Hall, Derby Market Place from 7th to 12th April, 10am-5pm, with a preview on 6th at 7-9pm. The work on display will include oils, pastels, watercolours and gouache, many of which were inspired by a recent visit to Bermuda. James, a qualified art tutor, will be present during the exhibition to talk about his work and give details of his courses and workshops.

The Peak Prints Project

From the start of last year, 12 of the country’s leading wood engravers were invited to take part in a project to create a body of work that captured the beauty of the Peak District National Park. The result is a glorious collection of 40 images that will be exhibited this spring and summer in venues around the Peak District. From 11th April to 4th May they will be on display at Gallerytop in Rowsley. Open Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 11am-4pm.

Buxton Museum & Art Gallery

Born in a remote hamlet near the Arctic Circle, but a White Peak resident for over 10 years, narrative visual artist Ingrid Karlsson-Kemp enjoys looking for stories then using them to create her mixed media work. The stories can be found in the small details, the language of the landscape, the man-made legacies and the legends. In the past year she has focused on treasures and curiosities found in the Peak District, around the British coast and in northern Sweden, blending media and techniques to create a rich and colourful ‘tapestry’. Ingrid’s exhibition continues until 5th May and there is an opportunity to meet her at the gallery on Terrace Road on 11th April, 2-4pm. There will be an interview with Ingrid by Mike Smith in next month’s Peak District supplement.