THE HARROGATE OPEN 2017
17 June to 10 September 2017
The Harrogate Open is the Mercer's answer to the Royal Academy Summer Show, when artists in the Harrogate district are invited to enter our open art competition. The selectors - artists Jake Attree and Tom Wood and curator Jane Sellars - will choose works in all media to fill the whole Mercer Art Gallery, with money prizes for the winners. Everything in the exhibition will be for sale, so get here as soon as you can to snap up a great work of art.
The Harrogate Open 2017 is sponsored by the Friends of the Mercer Art Gallery.
The Resonant Rumour of Sun by Jacquie Denby
SHEILA BOWNAS (1925 - 2007): A Yorkshire Life in Pattern
9 September 2017 to 7 January 2018
This exhibition tells the story of an artist whose work was profoundly influenced by a love of the Yorkshire landscape and was nearly lost forever but for a chance discovery in a Yorkshire saleroom.
Sheila Bownas was a textile designer of exceptional gifts who came from a rural Yorkshire background. She grew up in Linton on Craven near Grassington and in 1946 her talent won her a place at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. Sheila always worked as a freelance designer, making designs for Liberty and Co., Marks and Spencer, Laura Ashley, the Natural History Museum and more.
Sheila was very close to her parents and loved the Yorkshire Dales. She returned to Linton for good in the mid 1960s, where she carried on selling her designs for another 25 years with an extremely productive period in the early 1970s. During this time she created some bold and colourful work using clever pattern repeats with beautifully formed geometric shapes. Sheila was at her happiest in Yorkshire; it was here that her natural talent truly flourished as an artist and designer. She continued to paint and draw local life right up until her death at the age of 82.
An example of Sheila's design process from initial tracing to coloured gouache
Her creations, forward-thinking, bold designs, deserve to be viewed within the canon of celebrated post-war mid-century modernists who have enjoyed a renaissance in recent times.
KATHARINE HOLMES: Grandmother's Footsteps
16 September 2017 to 14 January 2018
Katharine Holmes's grandmother Constance Pearson was an artist, and so was her mother Philippa Holmes. All three generations of women artists lived and worked in High Barn Cottage Malham, the family home. In this show of new work, Katharine retraces the routes that her grandmother Constance Pearson followed in her life as an artist. For the past two years she has been exploring the places Constance visited to paint and draw, making new work of her own. These places include faraway locations such as the Isle of Arran and Cornwall as well as places nearer home.
This exhibition explores and celebrates Katharine Holmes's twentieth anniversary as an artist and examines the legacy of her artistic family.
Katharine Holmes Malham Limestone oil on canvas 2010-11 copyright Katharine Holmes photography Jerry Hardman-Jones
Page last updated 13/07/2017