The York Open Studios 2017 are upon us, we’re open April 21st, 22nd, 23rd then the following weekend 29th and 30th! Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 11-5.
My first time exhibiting within the York Open Studios I was unsure what to expect the daunting thoughts of ‘will anyone come?’ and ‘Do you think people will like my work?’ running through my head! But unexpectedly we’ve had an amazing outcome close to 100 guests everyday. A lot of great feedback from a variety of people discussing my process and sharing my darkroom knowledge.
It’s been a very stressful lead up to the event – measuring, planning, and arranging ways my work will be displayed and playing with composition. With the help of two Undergraduate Fine Artists Lois Batty & Laura Carolan also displaying within the York Open Studios venue 50 we created an effective display showcasing an interesting refined body of works which together compliment each individual method and technique.

Lois Batty’s work revolves around brutalist architecture and the aesthetic value of the architecture in modern society. The work displayed uses a mixture of drawing, collage, photography. Lois is displaying a great mixture using contrasting colours to develop a strong practice with compositional balance

Laura Carolan’s work focuses on drawing as a way of navigating place and space. By drawing the environment and its contextual events including her personal experiences of these locations. Each drawing shares a story of a journey and you can see the love and delicacy she puts into her work through the refined detail within each drawing.

It has been a pleasure to work alongside Lois Batty & Laura Carolan and wish them all the best in their degree studies! It was the first time that York St John had displayed a third artist in their personal York Open Studios showcase and I was very grateful that they had offered to let me exhibit in their space. My work displays a range of my portfolio from my undergraduate studies up to my current professional practice (After University). There is several reasons I decided to display some of my undergraduate work I believe it represents a starting point for my professional portfolio and shows where the whole practice developed from.
I created a set of 15 prints from my original series ‘imagine’ a collection of 500 prints shown at the New School House Art Gallery, York. These set of 15 are refined and curated with the help of a local artist. We explored composition and balance within the set of 15 and really picked apart ones we believed were successful.
The trio sets are my personal favorites as this was the original way I thought the work would be displayed I think it allows the viewer to capture the mark makings of the technique and allows them to really understand that each piece is unique as no two lines are the same.

Many questions have popped up within the York Open Studios so some of them I feel I should answer.

Why is my work in black and white? From a darkroom photographers point of view there is several factors that come into refining my palette to monochrome colours. I’ve always had a passion for pure black and white photography I’ve always felt it has a depth of texture you lose when developing in colour. Black and white leaves something to the imagination it allows (and especially within my work) for the viewer. I have previously experimented with colour works and I have never found it as successful due to the lack of detail it produces. Including the effort to create colour film photography I don’t believe the time it takes is worth the results!

What has inspired you? As a young woman I believe it shocked a lot of viewers that I was still working with traditional darkroom equipment and vintage photography. But my whole life has been filled with influential people all extremely talented with digital or darkroom photography it was route I could always see myself going down. From my Father to my Photography teacher at college they all kept the fire lit within me and my passion for the darkroom and being hands on with my work has always inspired my practice.