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March 2018 – Exhibition News & a Portrait Drawing Course
see images of Visual Connections by STEPHEN MURFITT and TERRY BEARD exhibition HERE
A Portrait Drawing Course in Robin Hood’s Bay
You may recall that two years ago we exhibited the marvellous portraits by actor/artist STEVE HUISON. The show was called in A Year in Bay and featured the portraits of various people that Steve had met since moving there
We have a new exhibition by Steve on Saturday 7 July, and before that , Steve will be giving a talk to York Artworkers Association on Monday 4 June.
But first ….. on May 11th, 12th, 13th and 18th, 19th 20th ……….
Steve will be passing on his knowledge of the subject over a 6 day course in Robin Hood’s Bay to beginners for a modest fee of £295.
and another painting workshop in May 2018 at SIMONSTONE HALL ……..
I’m thinking of attending this painting workshop, so I took the trouble to go up to Simonstone Hall last week. Lovely venue in a beautiful position. The new owner/manager Jake has booked Scottish painter Gill Waugh to run her workshop ‘Painting without Fear’. She is also a musician and the evenings will be interesting social occasions too. Anyone out there wants to try a very free and expressive painting style, please contact the venue to book – but please let me know too.
Visual Connections – Exhibition opens Saturday 17 March at 11am
On Saturday 17th March we are welcoming potter Stephen Murfitt and painter Terry Beard to open their joint exhibition ‘Visual Connections’ . Husband and Wife Stephen and Terry live near St Ives in Cambridgeshire, which is just a short way from my daughter Eli. So, I am looking forward to a visit to see Eli and James with Orla who is now 14 months, then Stephen and Terry’s studio. I will be picking up half of the exhibition, as it will not all fit in their car on Friday. So, the show will be half ready to see on Thursday and finished by Friday afternoon , all in time for the opening on Saturday at 11am. Please join Stephen and Terry for a glass of something between 11am and 3pm. Roddie Harris will be playing guitar.
see a preview of the exhibition HERE
Previous posts …………
For 2018 we wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
The York Artworkers 25th Anniversary Exhibition – Friday Jan 12th at 6pm
please join us for the opening of our exhibition by about 45 members of YAWA as it celebrates its 25th year with the publication of a book about the association and its members to be
Launched on Friday 12th January 2018 at 6pm
please join local artists at the opening event and enjoy a glass of wine or soft drink
Wishing you a Merry Christmas 2017
I want to thank all our customers who have supported us this year and particularly at Christmas. The year overall has been exceptionally good for Pyramid. Christmas sales though have so far been slightly down on the previous two years. We put this down to so much negativity about BREXIT, but also down to the effects of the extended Christmas Market in York, which has made Saturday’s more of a challenge for us (the streets are too full!). Other businesses in York have told me a similar story. But, despite this, we are pleased with both the amazing compliments from customers and with sales we have had from Anita Klein’s exhibition and the other Christmas Collection displays. Jewellery sales, as always at Christmas, have been very good. We look forward to the new year with a great amount of enthusiasm and excitement….
Allure! our Christmas Jeweller of the month is
Our Christmas Alphabet …….
Sarah has been picking items out of our CHRISTMAS COLLECTION and making a sequence of alphabet pages
See our FACEBOOK page to see them all
The York Artworkers 25th Anniversary Exhibition – Friday Jan 12th
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and very Happy New Year, from all the staff at Pyramid….. Terry, Fiona, Sarah, Ruth, Franky, Issy
CHARITY EXHIBITION in October
It seems only a few days since we opened our charity exhibition ‘COAST‘ with 17 local artists. All our normal commission was donated to St Leonard’s Hospice. We have so far handed over £420 plus £15 on our justgiving page. A further £230 is pledged, that will come in gradually.
And soon after that, we opened TREVOR PRICE exhibition on Monday 6 Nov. This coincided with a wonderful talk about his life as an artist to York Artworkers Association in the evening.
William Blake’s memorial
and two weeks later, we opened an exhibition by JOHN W. MILLS about WILLIAM BLAKE. You can see images of that show here
The William Blake show is a bit of a departure for me – a step further into the world of Fine Art. I first saw a John Mills figure of Blake when I was about 13 or 14. Having become friends at school with John’s son Dylan, I spent many enjoyable days in their house and garden at Hinxworth. The garden was haunted by a prowling figure of Blake, 8ft tall, ghostly white. Now I know that it was done at the same time as the 1964 memorial to William Blake in Blake House, Soho. Putting this show on at Pyramid Gallery is an incredibly rewarding and exciting venture for me. I couldn’t have done this 5 years ago, but having worked on two previous shows with John (Lions and Divers) I feel more confident about using that space for a series of powerful images of one man. Reading up on Blake has been very rewarding too. He was a fascinating, intelligent, thoughtful and very talented individual. Though he died before he was fully appreciated, his legacy is influential, profound and will be celebrated for many centuries to come.
please JOIN US in CELEBRATION of William Blake’s birthday
The 260th anniversary of his birth is this tuesday 28th Nov. If you are in York, please pop in and we will have wine and soft drinks out – we will make a toast to the great man!
Two weeks ago (saturday 11th Nov at 11.45am) we were victim to a crime, involving the theft of a tray of gold and diamond rings (half since recovered)
It’s a distressing, but also unusual tale.
Two burly men in their 50’s, blocked everyone’s view of the window cabinet in the corner of the shop and quietly picked the lock. As they removed a tray of rings and rushed for the door a very alert and helpful customer alerted me. I rushed out of the shop and ran down Stonegate, not knowing what they looked like or what they had taken. I shouted ‘STOP THIEF’. When they heard this, they started to run, thus making themselves very obvious. They ran into Coffee Yard and one of them, very unfit and heavy, crashed into the wall. I almost caught them up. I followed them through the snickleway and into Finkle Street. Shouting at them. Unfortunately, one disappeared into the crowd in St Sampson’s square, but the other I could see at the corner by Brown’s department store entrance. So I pursued him until he too disappeared. I felt that I needed to go back to the shop and phone the police, then I resumed my search. I met with a police van and three constables. They had reports of a sighting, so we headed into Museum gardens, and then into Marygate Car park. I was amazed that the Polilce were onto this so quickly. I couldn’t understand how they were able to follow him with such scant information.
I went with the police to Marygate Car Park where I was astonished to be greeted by a friend, her sister and niece. Apparently, her niece had spotted me chasing the men, then later recognised one of them in Coney Street. The three of them followed the man, who was looking anxious, as if frightened of being followed. While phoning the police, they tracked him back to his white van. They took down his registration and watched him drive away. The police picked him up at Clifton Green (where he was waiting for his accomplice) and retrieved the bulk of the rings. Some are still missing and we do not know what happened to those. The man was arrested.
The whole episode was shocking, scary and yet exhilerating. I don’t know the end yet, but am very pleased that they did not get away with this unkind act. I will post up here news as it comes (the court case may be a while off). In the meantime I want to extend my thanks and extreme gratitude to the customer and friends involved. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
26 November 2017
when That’s York TV came to see our current exhibition
Aaron called me last week and suggested a feature for the local TV station That’s York. Here is the interview with BEN ARNUP and PIERS BROWNE and myself. I’m really pleased with the result. Aaron spent about an hour filming. It’s a pity they can’t show the whole of Pier’s story – he retold the whole story of his book La Route des Violettes into the camera, but this gets cut down to about 2 mins in the feature. So , if you want to know, you will have to read the book! It is a mostly true love story, autobiographical, a very heartfelt and romantic story set in the Violet fields of Provence. The book will be available this friday, we hope. Piers will sign the limited edition copies and post them out to customers who have ordered them in advance. £20 from Pyramid Gallery.
Please CLICK HERE to watch the TV interview
will be signing copies of his book
on SATURDAY 7 OCTOBER
from 12noon until 2.30pm
please come and meet the artist PIERS BROWNE who will be happy to tell you about his printmaking techniques and about the (mostly) true story that became his novella set in Provence
PIANO RECITAL NEWS…….
There will be a charity piano concert on Wed Oct 18th. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Tickets are FREE, but we hope you will make a donation that will go to The Young Talents Trust that will award scholarships to young musicians and performers
You can read about the concert and the charity HERE.
I have really enjoyed visiting two artists studios in the last two weeks
First was John W. Mills, sculptor. I dropped in to see how things were progressing for his exhibition on November 18th which is focused on paintings and drawings of William Blake. John first worked on Blake in 1964 with a commission for Blake House in Soho. William Blake is an odd character. I remember a haunting plaster figure of Blake stalking the Mills’ garden back in the 1970’s. I had the pleasure of visiting often because my friend Dylan at school was John Mills’ son – exploring the house and garden at the age 15 has left me with an appreciation of sculpture that I now rely on every single day). I hadn’t known then that John had produced a head of Blake that was based on a’ life mask’ that was available to the sculptor to use as a model. Some 45 years later and I feel privileged to be showing the John Mills version of the ‘life-mask’ head and also a maquette for the Blake house commission in Pyramid Gallery. Here are some images of my visit in July (click on the photo for more images)
Two weeks later, I visited the home of another Dylan. This was the potter Dylan Bowen who has a studio near Oxford. Again, I was dropping in to chat about a future exhibition (October 2018). The exhibition will be mostly bowls, square vases and plates featuring slipware decoration. About 9 months ago I bought a piece from Dylan that challenged me. A weird looking ‘greenman’ figure. It seemed an affront to my sense of form and finish, but at the same time it aroused in me a sense of intrigue and fun. I bought the piece so that I could live with it awhile. It sat on a shelf near the counter, or in the staff room for a few months. As I drove towards Oxford, I wondered if any more were available – I was astonished and delighted to be greeted by a whole army of ‘monsters’. I selected 11 of various sizes . Picking them was difficult. I felt sorry for those that I did not select! These are now on display in Pyramid. Not everyone will like them, but that is right. Art must challenge our senses and tastes. If everyone liked them immediately, then they would not be pushing boundaries. I asked Dylan what he thought about when making their faces…..
‘They just come out. They are not designed or influenced by anything, they come to me. I then try to make them look scary, but none of them ever are. I like the ones on which the facial features are not so obvious.’
They represent something in us. Humans are mostly imperfect and must look a bit weird and awkward to other creatures. But most of us are quite vulnerable and soft, emotional creatures. Do we look scary to, say, a Peregrine Falcon? In comparison we are poorly constructed and quite inadequate, but we act as if we are mightier and superior. A falcon would probably judge us all to be quite ugly and not at all impressive. I really like these ‘monsters’. Especially in a crowd. In their weirdness, they are a bit like William Blake, but you would never see him in a crowd.
Before those exhibitions though we have the excitement of putting two esteemed local artists in one space. On Friday September 8th we are inviting our customers to the opening of exhibitions by two very different artists
PIERS BROWNE and BEN ARNUP
Piers is launching his novella, La Route des Violettes with an exhibition of the etchings that illustrate the story. Read more HERE
and Ben Arnup will be showing his fabulous and intriguing Trompe l’Oeil ceramic forms. He is currently making them, so as yet we have no pictures, but here is one from a previous show
4.5.17 May the fourth be with you!
to go directly to the SALE …..
So, the building is being painted at last. It was hit badly 18 months ago by a truck. Repaired about 4 months later, but never repainted. I understand that there was a problem with the licence for scaffolding that would block half the street. And I’m not surprised! The scaffolding went up yesterday and it has hidden our shopfront completely behind a corrugated iron cavern. What to do? Trade has ceased. It will be here until next friday. Nine days in all.
The scaffold-Cave-Crisis 4 May 2017
What can one do? Turn the outside into a gallery, of course….. This is thanks to ideas from many people, Fi, David Ward Maclean, Purpleman and others
In the meantime…
We will have a SALE!
previous blogs appear below……..
27 . 1 . 17
Getting ready for two events this weekend! We have a piano recital on Friday evening and our new exhibition on Sat 28th at 11am with
LESLEY SEEGER paintings
EOGHAN BRIDGE sculpture
TOM PAYNE figurative sculpture
CRISPIAN HEATH Cast Glass
please join Crispian, Eoghan and Lesley at the opening on saturday at 11am
but before that, we are laying new carpet in our front exhibition room, so it will be closed all week. The back room is still open though
Tickets are still available for this…
Please text Terry on 078 0502 9254 and he will reserve you some tickets , which are FREE. Donations invited at the event. Nika is looking forward to playing you some beautiful piano pieces by Chopin, Schubert and Schumann (sh, sh, shhh!)
17 . 1 . 17
A beautiful date!
And today we are working hard at Pyramid Gallery to entice you into York with beautiful art at Pyramid Gallery and two beautiful events, one at the National Centre for Early Music and the other in Cumbria (click here for the Creative Retreat in April)
Events for the New Year
we are still catching up from a very busy Christmas season at Pyramid, but also looking forward to these events in January and April
Friday 27th January
is our charity concert with pianist NIKA SHIROCORAD at the National Centre for Early Music. Tickets are FREE from Pyramid Gallery, donations invited at the event. Here you can watch Nika at a previous Pyramid Gallery event
and the next day….
Saturday 28th January
is the start of our new exhibition
‘An Antidote to and English Winter’
Sculpture by EOGHAN BRIDGE and TOM PAYNE
Glass by LAURA HART and CRISPIAN HEATH
and some new paintings by
LESLEY SEEGER to go with her book that we launched just before Christmas
at the same time we have jewellery exhibitions………..
RINGLEADERS (click here to read more)
‘LOVE is in the AIR‘ some jewellery for valentines and all other romantic or celebratory occasions
please join us at these two events
Please come in soon and pick up your FREE tickets for the concert….
31 December 2016
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
we have been taken photos of things that loosely relate to the theme , the Twelve Days of Christmas. It was Fi’s inspiration on Christmas Eve
here are the first 7 days. All items are currently on display in the shop
21 December 2016
Solstice Day – today at 10.44am
to all our customers and supporters of British arts and crafts
and thank you everyone who has come shopping this yuletide. I appreciate your support, hugely. As do the artists!
It is a challenging time for retail, December has been difficult for many York shops. I am pleased to be roughly on target for the whole season, which is largely due to the extraordinary efforts of the team at Pyramid – Fi who has organised all the jewellery and much of everything else, Ruth and Frankie who have given enthusiastic and brilliant service to everyone and Sarah who has been taking photographs and making this website work for us, as well as serving at the counter.
we had work by a new artist this christmas, Tom Payne. I like these sitting men, which he refers to as ‘Grunts’. So we have invited him to do a big show of them in January, opening on January 28th
We have just these two pieces left from the Christmas show
Christmas Card news …….
Every year since 1995, I have created a Christmas card under the nom de plume ‘Bertt deBaldock – a strange and quirky cartoon that reflects on a few events in the year. (Actually, it’ s main focus seems to be on significant celebs who have passed away!). I have always done this as a distraction to stop me worrying too much about the business. Many collectors of the cards now would be desperate if the card did not land on their doormat between Christmas and New Year, so I feel a sense of responsibility to get it out – this then stops my mind from worrying about the level of sales in the run up to Christmas.
This year I have printed off extra copies and will put these out in the shop for anyone to pick up in return for a charity donation. If you come into the shop over the next couple of days, you are welcome to take one
Here is an image of the card . It starts with sadly departed Sir Terry Wogan presenting the Eurovision Song Contest………
Merry Christmas! Terry aka Bertt deBaldock.
25 November 2016
There are events between now and 2 December. Best thing for me to do is simply list them here. You can click on each date and all will be revealed. Then further down I will talk about them
please click on the dates for more information
Wednesday 16 November 4pm until 6.30pm
SOPHIE LAYTON artist printmaker
at Pyramid gallery in the afternoon ……. So why is this paragraph headed with a date that hasn’t happened yet? It’s so that you think ‘something was on 25 November wasn’t it?’ YES see further below.
PETER LAYTON and LONDON GLASSBLOWING
40th anniversary exhibition – see images here
Wednesday 23 November
York Contemporary Art Trail
Friday 25 November
The Bronte sisters visited ‘Pyramid Gallery’ building in York!
The CHRISTMAS COLLECTION
Also opens on Friday 2 December
12 October 2016
Cat Hall, a member of the Pyramid team for two years, sadly passed away last week
Cat came to work occasionally at Pyramid Gallery in 2015 and helped out from time to time, especially at exhibition openings. An actress for theatre and television all her life, she was best known in York for her roles in this years Mystery Plays.
Full of life and with many exotic tales to tell (many of those about mixing with David Bowie and others in the 70’s) Cat was an enthusiastic member of our team and we are pleased to have known her and worked with her for a short time.
She died from a complicated situation caused by 3 types of cancer, one of which must have been quiet aggressive, as she had only known about it for a few weeks. Only two weeks ago, Fi and I visited her in St. Leonard’s Hospice and shared a bottle of red wine with her and two of her friends. She talked then about her intention to get out of there so that she could be at the premier of her composer daughter Rose Hall’s opera in London in November. See more here on twitter RoseHComposer
She is greatly missed by all at Pyramid. Her funeral takes place at York Crematorium at 1.30pm on Friday 14th October, after which there will be a wake at The Woodsman pub on Main Street in Bishopthorpe, which will be a celebration of her life. Dress code for the funeral is colour, not black. No flowers, but donations to the Hospice are welcome.
Pyramid Gallery will be closed from 1pm, for most of Friday afternoon.
27 September 2016 – we are preparing for a SALE
I don’t really like to have a sale. It seems disrespectful to our artists and makers. But it needs to be done. Even though the gallery is having its best year since 2003. Here’s why we are doing it.
The first reason is that our stock rooms are rammed. There is no space for all the lovely work that will start to arrive soon for our Christmas Collection. So I have decided to have a massive clear out. There are items in there that I cannot reach! This week I have taken a storage unit and am transferring all my old boxes of accounts and unused bits and pieces into that. Just so that we can move around.I am finding all sorts of things that have been neglected.
The second reason is that weekends have been very disappointing this year. York is full of people on a Saturday, but they do not spend. We have been doing well midweek and on Sundays, but not on Saturdays! So I need to give our regular customers a reason to come in and look.
The third reason is …… well, there are some customers who enjoy shopping for themselves when sales are on. (They spend on things like Wedding presents at other times and are therefore very important to me). Infact, I am the same when it comes to clothes. Like every retailer, I need to play that game if I am to maintain my sales targets in the first two weeks of October. It is the quietest period in the year and I need a certain level of sales so that I can pay the staff. Otherwise I would have to reduce their hours and then have to work their shifts myself! I’m too old for that. I’m also not as good at that role as my very dedicated and capable team.
So please come and look. There will be some special deals in the shop on Friday for those that make the trip. And for those that cannot get to York, here are some treats that you may purchase online immediately. Just type Oct2016 into the SEARCH BOX on this web site or click HERE
Thank you for reading this! Terry and the team : Fi, Sarah, Ruth, Frankie x
12 August 2016 – Divers come up Gold
I have taken a new and more informed view of diving in this year’s Olympics. Having read John Mills’ history of the influence of his own experience of competition diving on his career as a sculptor, I can appreciate better the aesthetic qualities of the human form as it bends, rolls and twists during the dive. The slow replay on television also helps appreciate the shape that the body is formed into.
I have really enjoyed watching the perfection of the Chinese synchronised divers, but even more the joy of success on the part of the British pairs Tom Dayley & Daniel Goodfellow winning a bronze and then Jack Laugher and Chris Mears winning gold on the 3m springboard. Remarkable. Beautiful.
It is no coincidence that we have an exhibition entitled ‘Divers’ running as these British heroes win medals. John suggested this to me back in 2015 – he was already looking forward to watching Britain do well in a sport that he regards as an art-form. Just having these sculptures and drawings in my gallery gives me the feeling of some sort of connection to the sport and that is a measure of the value of artistic endeavour. Art helps us enjoy those things that we already looking at.
click here for Divers – exhibition by John W. Mills
21 July – preview of the exhibition – opening Fri 22 July at 6pm
we are very excited here at Pyramid as we prepare for tomorrow nights exhibition opening. I visited John Mills’ studio yesterday and collected these sculptures plus about 20 framed pictures (paintings, lithographs, drawings) of Divers
Steve Huison came in to hang his show ‘A Year in Bay’ on tuesday and Michelle Freemantle brought her pots in. Today Jennie McCall delivered her amazing porcelain skulls and feathers
So, Steve, John and Michelle will be at the opening friday evening. It will be a party with guitarist Roddie and wine and finger food (that I have to prepare tonight!)
and then on Saturday, Steve and Jennie will be here between 11am and 1pm to meet people for another glass of wine
It’s all Go! and all great fun. Please phone us on 01904 641187 to add your name to the guest list for friday, or just turn up on Saturday.
Please note – we will not be open on Sunday
12 July 2016 – Retail recession? Actually, the signs are very positive
Last week I was worried. This week I am amazed at how much more is being spent by visitors from abroad.
If I look back to when we first had the shop in 1994, which was the moment that the long recession ended, most of the trade in the summer months was to foreign tourists. Predominantly American, German, Dutch, Japanese and Norwegian. This gradually changed over the years until the last decade when perhaps 80% of all sales have been to loyal repeat customers who live locally or far away, but regularly visit York. The pound has always been too strong for the foreign tourist. On previous occasions when the pound has dropped, the effects of the financial crisis counteracted any effect of the weak pound.
But this week we are seeing a different situation. The effect of Brexit has been to advertise Britain around the world as a place to buy things cheap. Visitors already coming to the UK are relishing the opportunity for a spending spree. The first weekend after Brexit was a bit bleak, as were the next four week days. The situation looked scary. Saturdays have generally been difficult all year (a trend that started s few years ago and is related to the rowdy atmosphere in York on Saturday afternoons). So I decided to make a pledge and put signs on the shop saying that I would donate a percentage of takings to St Leonard’s Hospice, if we exceed our target. The first Saturday, we fell short of target by £1500. But this saturday was amazing and we were £2500 pounds over target. Mostly due to selling a piece of glass by Colin Reid. Now I must be true to my word and shall make a donation to St Leonard’s of £250.
The glass exhibition ends today. It has been highly successful, especially for Crispian Heath, Rachel Elliott, Sue Burns and Hayley Gammon. We now look forward to three exhibitions that start at 6pm on Friday 22 July. Sculptor John Mills with an exhibition of drawings, pantings and sculptures of Divers to celebrate a beautiful sport in which team GB has such high hopes in the forthcoming olympics.
At the same opening event, actor and artists STEVE HUISON will be opening his exhibition of portraits ‘ A Year in Bay‘. We are expecting alot of support for this show, so it could be busy. If you would like to attend, you should phone the gallery and add your name to the guest list. Both John Mills and Steve Huison will be at the opening.
On the plinths will be a ceramics exhibition by 4 potters, with a very interesting display of porcelain bones and feathers by Jennie McCall. We shall pictures to this website of the ceramics show, in the meantime Click here for more information.
2 July 2016 – The Saturday Charity Pledge
BREXIT – how should we respond to a potential crisis for the arts and crafts?
I have always tried to find a positive response to any crisis in my world. Rather than be mournful about the effect of some event that impacts my life, I choose to invent some new project that perhaps turns crisis into opportunity. At least something to distract negative thoughts. So, because Saturdays have been disappointing lately, I have come up with a scheme……….. these are the words on a poster now displayed in the window (and every Saturday in July)
Every Saturday, Pyramid Gallery will set a sales target (based on the average of the past 5 years)
If we exceed that target, then 10% of the increase will be donated to a charity. This excludes items sold at reduced price. It will include the value of new orders, but not the amount paid for orders collected.
The charity for July 2016 is
St Leonard’s Hospice, York
Today’s target is £1500
Please support UK artists and craft makers by purchasing from Pyramid Gallery and help us raise funds for charities too
Thank you for coming in to Pyramid Gallery. Your enthusiastic enjoyment of beautiful handmade objects of art is very much appreciated. We will publish how much is donated to good causes on our website
Terry and the Pyramid team, Fiona, Ruth and Sarah
30 June 2016 – 360 degree photo
thanks to Mark, Nicky and Mike http://www.nimaconsultancy.co.uk for their help with 360 promotional images . Here is one of them. Please let me know if this does not work interactively on your device!
14 June 2016 – The Purpleman ‘Dreams’ project
I am looking forward to this Monday evening, the 20th. The Streetperformer and artist Purpleman has hired City Screen cinema for the world premier of a film ‘The Chronicles of Purpleman’ and I am pleased to reflect on my part in his journey. When we offered PM the gallery for a Purple Art Experience in 2014, I said to him that my commission for any sales of artworks should go to a charity of his choice. He thus dreamed up the idea of collecting toys and taking them to Syrian refugees. This has been fulfilled, but rather than rest on his laurels, the man who wears purple has documented several journeys and plans for more in a film. Tickets are FREE.There are just 25 left and these are in Pyramid Gallery.
If you arrive at 8pm you will also be entertained by Ukulele Sunshine Revival playing a special Purple inspired set, with me on Banjolele and singing such songs as ‘ The Purpleman’s Blues’ or ‘the Fisherman’s Purples’ and ‘Purple Afternoon’ and ‘Hello PurpleMan’ adapted from well known standards.
Last week I had the immense pleasure of visiting Rosie and Clive Bowen and purchased a lovely collection of wood fired slipware pots. Hopefully some will find their way onto this website. For the moment here is Clive with the new pots
I also dropped in on JOHN MALTBY and selected 19 new pieces for our displays.
These are on the website: JOHN MALTBY
What will BREXIT mean for Pyramid Gallery?
I write this after learning the discomforting news that the Sun newspaper has decided to back the LEAVE campaign. Surely, this is the death knell for the REMAIN camp. Personally I like being part of Europe and I like the fact that this country has always been so inclusive of people from other countries, however they find their way here. I have voted REMAIN already (postal vote needed because next week Gill and I are at Glastonbury festival getting wet and muddy. I shall be there with my daughter Eli who has recently informed me that in December I will be a Grandfather!!!)
I think it will be sad to leave Europe, but I can understand why so many people are dissatisfied with European bureaucrats. It would also be nice to have our fish stocks back in UK control. As for Pyramid Gallery, I think the decision will make little difference. European visitors to York have not spent much money on British Art for decades. We sell more to visitors from Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand and British expats who live in the Middle East. If the effect of leaving the EU causes a crash in the pound and a lowering of commercial property values and more fish for us, then these things should compensate for the calamity that is about to hit us when we vote LEAVE.
19 May 2016 – setting up GLASS 2016
Yesterday I drove down to Bermondsey Street to collect glass from Cathryn Shilling for our annual glass show, setting off from York at 7am and arriving home at 12.30 in the night. It was a long day, but I decided to do this because it also enabled me to meet up with Peter Layton and his team at London Glassblowing Workshop and talk over their exhibition which will open on Saturday 22 October. Also to see Peter’s daughter’s exhibition opening at Eames Fine Art. Sophie Layton will be showing her carborundum collagraphs at the October show as well. It was a really enjoyable day, but extremely tiring. I managed to sneak into the Tate Modern for an hour while there. I fell asleep watching a video!
Today Fi, Sarah and myself have been opening boxes of glass that has arrived by courier. Here are some images of the show as it is being set up. It looks fantastic.
and also a couple of shots from Tuesday when Laura Hart delivered her work. Thank you Laura for your help moving the plinths in order to display your lovely butterflies and moth.
9 May 2016 the final week of ‘Lions’ and ‘Echoes’
There is just 1 week left for our two exhibitions and it is going to be a shame to take it down! The two rooms have a very different feel, with the serene pastel colours of Emma’s and Sally’s pictures contrasting with the formidable images of Lions by John Mills. I have asked John to write a few words about the subject of the Lion. You can read it here. If you haven’t yet seen the exhibition ‘Lions’ then I hope you can get to view it before next tuesday. Having hosted this show is a big moment in the history of Pyramid Gallery and a very satisfying moment for me personally as well (read why here)
York and shoppers …….
The retail scene seems to be quiet to me. There are people coming into York but they seem less keen on serious shopping. This is actually quite nice. The shop has a very relaxed feel and our regular visitors have been enjoying coming in to browse and enjoy the two exhibitions upstairs. And Fi and Ruth have been able to get on with all the new jewellery coming in, pricing and displaying. But for me it is a bit of an anxious period. Saturdays have been disappointing for my till, and the first few days in the week were also unexciting. By thursday I was wondering what was wrong and then a supplier rang me, for a chat, wondering why I hadn’t ordered his lovely pewter spoons recently. I told him him that people where not out there shopping like they used to. He told me that his customers in every town and city in the UK are saying the same. I like to hear that as it means that it is not something that we are doing wrong. I think I have worked this out. It seems to me that many of the generation between say 30 and 45, have massive amounts of their hard earned salaries sucked up by either large mortgages, excessively high rents or they are trying to save for a deposit on a house that they can barely afford. Others, those that can meet their basic living costs are enjoying trips abroad. I guess there have always been periods like this , and us retailers start to become jittery whenever we are not having a ‘boom’.
But I am very fortunate to have some really good supporters in my customer list, real patrons of the arts. On Friday we took a deposit for two of Sally Arnup’s bronzes and today an order for an Emma Whitelock painting as well as a another Sally Arnup piece to be made. This has relieved me of all my worries. So I made the decision to buy a bike. I went out to the Bicycle Rescue centre near Lendal Bridge and bought a very nice bike to fill the gap left by bike thieves back in February. Once again I can get from where I live into York in a few minutes. This will be helpful tonight when I have two events booked. First I need to be at the York Artworkers Association meeting www.yorkartworkers.org.uk/programme.php to help set up for a talk by Cluny Chapman and then I have to rush back at 8pm for Ukulele band rehearsal. This is why I need a bike! It is a really nice bike too. Maybe I will put a picture of it on here tomorrow. York-Bike Rescue Project
12 April 2016 ‘Echoes’ exhibition, with ‘Lions’
I have had the pleasure of the company of York artists Emma Whitelock and Sally Clarke all this morning. They have been hanging their exhibition ‘Echoes’ that opens on Saturday 16th at 11am. Also Lynn and Gerry Grant came to deliver pottery that will go in the same show. Gerry has given me some pieces with a new ‘Rutile’ glaze that will sit nicely alongside the ever popular blue glaze. I drink coffee from a Gerry Grant blue mug every day in the shop, and I drink tea from a similar one at home every evening. They tell me that this is their 40th year at Fangfoss pottery. A truly remarkable achievement when you consider the strains that production throwing puts on the whole body (especially the back). Most peoples backs would have given up long ago. click here for info ECHOES or JOHN W. MILLS – LIONS
For the opening on saturday I have booked Peter Byrom-Smith to come in and play guitar. There will be wine and soft drinks. I’m also hoping that John Mills (sculptor) might attend for the opening of his show ‘Lions’ , but he has to drive up from Hinxworth, Hertfordshire and has not confirmed this yet. It is the first event since my holiday in March. 3 weeks in Mexico and Cuba, with my nieces wedding in Puerto Morelos in the middle. Coming back from a warm place to chilly, rainy England has been a shock to the system, but the business of promoting and arranging an exhibition has made me have to focus on the task. The excitement of opening a box of pottery and the thrill of collecting a pride of lions from Hertfordshire compensates for not being in the sun.
27 January 2016
We are preparing now for our Piano Concert. Nika Shirocorad presented a remarkable recital in October that was attended by 158 pe
ople and raised £680 for the York Arts Barge . That was Part 1 of a series of 4. This one is Part two and covers the era that could be described as Classicism and the Romantics. Nika will play pieces by Beethoven and Chopin. To be associated with these concerts is an honour for me, and feels like a huge privilege. I have decided to fund the concert hall and the piano tuning fee out of Pyramid Gallery funds. The concert was raising money for St Leonard’s Hospice in York.
Thank you everyone who attended – 77 in all – it was a beautiful occasion and we are pleased to have been able to make a donation of £500 to St Leonard’s Hospice
21 January 2016
The new exhibitions are nearly ready and I am so delighted today to see a preview in the York Press by Charles Hutchinson – almost a full page – with a photo of an inspired piece of work by Eoghan Bridge, plus one of BB King by Ian Astle. The two exhibition rooms are looking great. It all kicks off tomorrow evening at 6.30pm. Please join us for a glass of wine of lemon ginger soda with Eoghan Bridge, Anna Whitehouse, Ben Davies and Ian Astle. Ben is travelling up from London for the opening and returning by train the same night. This is a dedication to the cause that impresses me immensely. I hope we get a good crowd! Though he is from York originally, he has to be back in London on saturday to teach Cello at the Royal Academy of Music. Thank yu in advance to all the artists for all the effort they are making for this show.
and thank you Eoghan for this feature on LinkedIN today
While I have been busy in the exhibition rooms, Fi (assistant manager) and Ruth have been hard at work pricing and displaying an amazing collection of rings for the exhibition that we call Ringleaders.
12 January 2016
For our forthcoming exhibition, please click here
We have details today about the funeral for Sally Arnup
SALLY ROBINA ARNUP
nee Baynton Williams
15th July 1930—22nd December 2015
Saturday 23rd January 2016
Quaker Funeral at
12 Noon, Bootham School
A Procession from
Holtby Studios to
Holtby Church for burial.
With celebration and food
At Holtby Studios afterwards.
All are welcome to join us for the day.
For any further information please contact
Hannah Arnup: 01904 489377
Read an obituary that praises Sally Arnup’s campaigning work in York for disabled children CLICK HERE
22 December 2015
Such sad news – Sally Arnup passed away on 21st December
I am saddened by the news that Sally passed away yesterday. She had been admitted back into hospital a few days ago with an infection. This followed a stroke some 6 or 7 weeks back. Those of us who were lucky enough to see her between these events, like me will have been so impressed by her strength of character that we probably expected her to overcome the ordeal and be back in her studio soon. She came to her exhibition opening on November 20th and talked to people for several hours and came across as positive, cheerful and engaging. It is very sad to hear that she has been brought down by an infection when she had been overcoming the problems of the stroke.
Sally will be missed terribly by all who knew her.
I am told that Sally’s funeral will be after the new year. I will put the time and place on here as soon as I know the details.
Please click here for images of her last exhibition
16 December 2015
Purpleman’s postcards from Syria Your invitation to an event on Weds 16 December at 6pm
18 months ago I made a trip to Southern Turkey with street performer Purpleman. We collected toys and took them to a school for Syrian children. The kids were in raptures about the visit by the crazy man from ‘PurpleLand’ dressed in purple from top to toe, riding a purple bike and handing out toys. It was a moving experience and demonstrated the positive effect a simply act of kindness could have on children who have been deprived of everything, including, in some cases their families.
Purpleman has asked Syrian children to make drawings, which he has printed up as postcards. He is asking for donations via Indiegogo (click the link to find out how to donate. So far over £1000 has been raised.
We will be offering postcards for donations at the shop. You are invited to join Purpleman himself at his leaving party in Pyramid Gallery at 6pm on Wednesday evening 16th December. Wine will be served.
click HERE for more information and pictures
3 December 2015 LATE NIGHT OPENING (every Thursday in December)
Tonight will be my first late night opening. But based on the previous three years, nobody will actually spend any money. But they will look and come back another day to buy. Now here’s the thing… I do this because it is a really useful time to catch up on some admin work. And there are piles of it: Artists needing to be paid, adverts designed, exhibitions to be planned, accounts to be done. I missed my deadline last month for submitting VAT and today had to pay a fine. It is a real drag. I got confused with the dates and this is because the VAT is paid by direct debit at the end of the second month following the quarterly period. I thought that this was the last date for submission. I went on holiday to Galloway at the beginning of November, thinking that I could grab a few moments to get some of that work done – but there was no internet connection. I tried to hook it up via a hotspot on my mobile, but the signal was too weak. So I spent may frustrated hours just trying to make all that work. This didn’t help with getting the VAT return done. We get forced into being a tax collector and severely fined for being slightly overdue!
They sent me a letter saying that I would have to pay a supplementary charge of 10% calculated on the amount of my return in the same period last year. Now, here’s the annoying thing…. I could have just made it up, then I would not have been fined. But I didn’t want to do that. As it happened, when I worked it out correctly, the amount due would only have been 1/5th of what is was last year. I thought ‘this will set alarm bells ringing’ so I took out some of the amounts to be offset (they will now go into the next quarter) so that it looks more in line with other years.
This is a great mistake. The VAT people then recalculated the surcharge based on my submitted figure (which is actually very nice of them, as it was about half of the initial surcharge). Had I given them the correct low figure, my surcharge would have recalculated to such a low figure that I wouldn’t have cared. Such is life for the unpaid tax collector who forgets the submission date.
YORK BID was successful. Or should we say Sucks-cessful ? Businesses in York have applied for a grant, something like £800,000, to be put toward promoting and improving the city. On the face of it, we should celebrate. But I’m not so sure. You see we all have to pay an extra tax. A percentage of the rateable value of our premises. My rates are already a barely affordable £10,000. The first £24,000 of my yearly sales go on rates! I don’t want to be paying extra on my rates, just to have a more crowded city. Visitors come to York in droves and always have and always will. They come to see a historical city. When they get here they want a good experience, not to be herded through Christmassy tacky street fairs, or having to negotiate crowd control barriers when the city has been re-designated as a cycle race-track. So many of my customers feel exhausted by the time they arrive in Pyramid Gallery. Now I shall have to try and join the York Bid Committee, just to make sure they don’t use it for more street fairs and festivals. Maybe they could build moat – make it more difficult to get into the city, letting first time visitors in just 10 at a time, but with a express routes in for regulars and locals. These could be chair lifts that operate from secret locations, so that only those that have been to the city before know where.
But some really really good news….
On Tuesday we sold a cow. A very special cow – made by SALLY ARNUP. We were so pleased and especially pleased for Sally who is doing her best to regain full use of her vocabulary and right arm muscles following her stroke just 6 weeks ago. I am certain that Sally will recover fully from this. She is such a strong individual and we wish her a speedy recovery.
18 November 2015 – Sally Arnup exhibition this Friday
Please click here for information about the exhibition opening
17 November 2015 – still unpacking boxes!
Edinburgh Art Fair was a hard graft. The Art Fair itself is very good – well attended. And the visitors to the fair very nice, very well informed and enthusiastic about what we do. We sold £3500 worth of art and jewellery, which just about covers all costs, but makes no profit for Pyramid!
Obviously there was a great deal of anguish and sadness over the weekend relating to the news from France. It doesn’t feel quite right to be trying to talk to customers about buying art when you know that actually all they can think about is the poor victims of the terror attack in Paris. For some, the Art Fair was a distraction from the unfolding news coming out of Paris, but I feel that the event was mired by the sense of tragedy that everyone was experiencing. In the grand scheme ….. profits seem irrelevant – we are all lucky to be carrying on our lives in what still feels to be a safe country. Awful though the attack was, I don’t feel comfortable with France’s reprisal bombings of Raqqa. I don’t think this will help Syria or France.
Edinburgh was the first Art Fair for Pyramid Gallery. I didn’t really know what to expect, or what to take. So, we loaded the van on wednesday morning with boxes and boxes of ceramics, glass, pictures, jewellery and jewellery cabinets hired from our good friend Karen Thomas (who had cleverly constructed plinths on wheels that contained the glass cubes while in transit). It took 2 1/2 hours to load the van and I arrived in Edinburgh at 5pm, dropped baggage off at a flat in the south side of the city, then drove to the Corn Exchange through slow traffic. When I arrive at 6.30, there was nowhere to park! And it was raining. Hurricane ‘Abigail’ was approaching. I couldn’t unload the van, so drove back to the accommodation. Luckily I could park the van outside the flat, which was in a cul de sac. There was no way I could unload it, other than the 8 big bags of jewellery.
My brother Andy joined me on Thursday. Together, we gradually constructed a miniature facsimile of the York shop. A bonsai Pyramid Gallery! Thanks Bro for your help lugging, unpacking, arranging!
Then realised there was too much for the space! Over the 4 days, I gradually reduced the display, partly because I was anxious about taking it all down at the end. It looked better with less, though I have to say that we sold more from the stand when it was full. The show closes at 5pm on Sunday and everything has to be carted and loaded back in the van. This took Fi, my partner Gill and I three hours. Huge effort. Then a 4 hour drive back to York, unpacking the van at 12.45 am. It is Tuesday now, and still the boxes are sat in our exhibition room waiting to be unpacked.
The Art Fair was a fantastic thing to do. I think we had a good response. We handed out over a thousand leaflets and talked to hundreds of visitors. All of them delightful. Many have been to York before, some knew of our gallery, others said they would come and see us when they visit York. I enjoyed talking to you all and this made me feel very proud of what we do. I hope we can meet you all again!
10 November 2015
Tomorrow I set off in the hire van for Edinburgh. The show opens Friday morning at 11am. But there is a VIP event on thursday evening. I’m looking forward to getting reactions (and many sales) to the work that artists have supplied for us to take to EAF, including pictures by Anita Klein, Trevor Price, Lesley Birch and sculpture by John W. Mills, Peter Hayes, John Maltby, JJ Vincent. Jewellery will feature strongly on the Pyramid Gallery stand with beautiful pieces by Catherine Hills, Yen, John and Dawn Field, Moxon and Simm, Jane Moore, Jane Macintosh, Karen Thomas, Nick Hubbard and Pamela Dickinson. Thank you also Karen Thomas for allowing me to borrow your glass jewellery display cubes.
27 October 2015
EDINBURGH ART FAIR at the Corn Exchange New Market Street 13,14 and 15 November
A new venture beckons – yes, we have booked Stand A3 and Fi and I are busy organising artists and jewellery makers to supply work.
To break even, I need to sell about £5,500 worth of work. It seems like a mountain to climb, but we are assured that the 12,000 visitors will like what we do. And how good is this ? I have just looked on their Facebook page and found that we have got Anita Klein onto their poster…..
This has really encouraged me. I get up at 5.30am tomorrow and am driving down to Exeter to buy some work by John Maltby. Then I shall pick up some glass vases by Will Shakspeare in Taunton. I’m staying the night in a Yurt at an interesting guest house in Glastonbury, from which I can walk up the Tor before breakfast. After that I drive to Bath to see Sally and Neil MacDonell and then to collect some work for Edinburgh by ceramic sculptor Peter Hayes. On the way home I shall drop in to collect some ceramic dogs by Ginny Dowe-Edwards. Home at 7pm I hope. Maybe I shall have the energy to go to Life Drawing in the evening ??
Gill and I visited John Mills on Saturday (click for website: JohnWMills ) and collected 4 bronzes to take to the art fair, two of which are 15 inch tall sculptures of Brian May, dressed in his long tailed coat, one leg raised as he sustains a power chord for the Party at the Palace in 2002 . The other two are flying eagles. One of the most satisfying aspects of running an art gallery has to be visiting eminent sculptors in their studios …
21 October 2015
I am still buzzing from the wonderful performance that Nika gave to 158 people on friday evening. She surprised us (and herself) by giving an illustrated talk about Johan Sebastian Bach and his importance to all composers who followed, illustrating her thesis with pieces by Mozart, who she says owed much to Bach. Everything she said was new to me and I now have a newly found appreciation for Bach. Thank you Nika for a fascinating performance.
The event raised £675 which has been handed over to the Arts Barge Project. The money will be allocated for ‘Nika’s Project’ for the purposes of giving young people experience and help in learning to play music and perform.
Thank you to Abby, Julie, Beth, Sam, Rory, Sheila, Gill, Hannah, Christian, Geoff and Diane for everything you did on the night. Also to Martin Waring who videoed the event – click here to see more images Nika Shirocorad Plays Bach and Mozart
15 October 2015
We are getting ready for Nika’s Concert tomorrow. So far 180 tickets have been given to customers and friends – there are no more tickets. I decided to give the tickets away this year. It takes the stress off. I am sure that this way, more people will come. It is the atmosphere and buzz that is most important. People enjoying themselves. Pyramid Gallery has paid for the hall. Nika is giving this performance for free. Every pound donated will go to the ArtsBarge, as well as the profits from the wine donations. Then the money will be used for Nika to go into the schools where Christian Topman is already giving lessons to young performers in schools where music tuition is often not encouraged for the kids. Next year there will a performance of Niks’a own musical ‘ Alice in Wonderland’ which she is already staging in London, but wants to bring to York.
Thank everyone who intends to be there on Friday. Thank you Artsbarge volunteers for helping at the event. Thank you Diane who will bring Marshmallows and Geoff Walker who is supplying the wine. Geoff Walker Wine Importer