7 of the best art galleries in the Ribble Valley
PUBLISHED: 00:00 04 June 2015 | UPDATED: 16:11 24 February 2016
The Ribble Valley Food Trail brought this glorious part of northern Britain to national attention. Now, a new driving force is bringing more people to the region – its burgeoning arts scene.
Studio @ Bashall Barn, near Waddington
Relatively new to the Ribble Valley arts scene and based at Bashall Barn, artists Cassandra Batterby and John Rotherham specialise in creating bespoke commissioned artworks in the genres of portraiture and landscape. Clients can visit the gallery to browse their work and discuss individual requirements, with the finished painting representing a unique and personal piece of artwork. In addition, the gallery has wide range of original art and limited edition fine art prints available to buy.
Cassandra graduated with a first class honours degree in Fine Art and, after a spell in nuclear design engineering, became a full time professional artist, creating vibrantly coloured landscapes – often of the stunning Ribble Valley countryside. The number and range of John’s commissions are increasing rapidly as the quality of his work becomes more widely known. He is a portrait and figurative artist specialising in accurate and sensitive portrayals of people and animals in contemporary painting. S@BB’s Summer Show starts on 6th June and runs till 6th September. www.studiobb.co.uk
Art Décor Gallery, Whalley
Established for 25 years in Whalley and curated by owners Chris and Julie McCabe, Art Décor specialises in paintings and works on paper by modern British artists, with an emphasis in Northern Art. As well as featuring many internationally renowned artists, great emphasis is placed on representation of the new and talented local scene, with regular exhibitions through the year. This exciting gallery also showcases a range of sculpture in many media including bronze, aluminium, steel, Murano glass and clay.
Their June exhibition is one of works by ‘Lancashire’s greatest living artist’, (Lancashire Life, June 2014) Geoffrey Key, who is in the first rank of today’s British artists. The North West meets France at the gallery later this year with a show in September of the works one of Cheshire’s most collectable artists Malcolm Croft who is inspired by France, and uses the ‘cloissonism’ technique in which black lines separate colours on canvas in the manner of stained glass windows.
November’s exhibition will be by Michael Jackson (no, not that one ..). Michael started his career in the Ribble Valley and, while retaining his links to the area, now lives in France. He is an internationally acclaimed wildlife and figurative artist and will be showing his latest collection. This often applies the wonderful and technically difficult technique of ‘chinoiserie’, where fragmented gold and silver leaf is applied to a painting, causing it to glow and take on another dimension. www.artdecorgallery.co.uk
Longitude Art Gallery, Clitheroe
The Longitude, which is just off Castlegate, has rapidly established a reputation for the high quality of its contemporary art offering. It is currently in partnership with the Maiden Bridge Art and Study Centre of Tatham to present a unique art exhibition of northern, British and internationally acclaimed artists across two venues. Travel north or south through the beautiful Bowland Hills and enjoy the picturesque scenery before indulging in a spectacular visual display of art in the company of Scandinavian Juha Tammenpää and Hannah Smeds-Davies, Graham Lowe, Sharon Steingold, David Davies, A.C.Telfer, Donald Holden, Milan Ivanic and many others.
Ribble Valley Art Studios, Clitheroe
Currently oversubscribed and serving as a working and small exhibition space for eight local artists, the Studios were opened in Wellgate, Clitheroe three years ago by Beverley Chapelhow and Keith Parkinson – themselves very talented artists. With a small gallery space and an annual open exhibition in the autumn, they also run art and life drawing classes, weekend and holiday workshops and sessions for children.
A wide range of styles and approaches are on display by the artists based at the Studios who, as well as featuring the often quirky and witty work of the very popular proprietors, include Julie Bowen, Samantha Grindley, Mark Ollet, Gwen Shackleton, Robert Parkinson and Jill Wright. While working independently, the artists often collaborate, with Bev and Keith’s current project being a sculpture for Lancashire NHS Care Trust to be sited in Blackpool.
RVAS is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 11am to 2pm, but the owners are happy to open by appointment. It’s a great opportunity to watch the artists at work and talk to them about what, how and why they do - and of course there is plenty of great art for sale. www.ribblevalleyartstudios.com
Platform Gallery, Clitheroe
Ribble Valley Borough Council’s Platform Gallery, which also doubles as a Visitor Information Centre, features craft exhibitions within the main gallery space, presenting a programme of exhibitions from nationally recognised makers as well as celebrating work by locally based designers.
Work includes textiles, ceramics, jewellery glass and metalwork and the gallery’s ‘Craft Open’ Exhibition of contemporary craft in the North West can be viewed until 4th July. Leading Northern craftspeople are featured in the exhibition including a celebrated typographer and lettercutter - Manchester’s Wayne Hart. He is one of the UK’s last remaining lettercutters in stone, wood, metals, plastics and glass and, with a string of awards to his name, his celebrated work includes the C S Lewis Memorial at Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey and public artwork at the Maison de Culture d’Amiens in France. www.ribblevalley.gov.uk/platformgallery
Ascot Gallery, Ribchester
Bee Mill is a hive of activity in this Ribble Valleyn community and the Ascot Studios has been one of its cornstones for the last ten years. During that time director Phil Harwood and the team have sold thousands of original paintings to collectord around the world. It success has been such that the Ascot is regarded as one of the leading independent contemporary galleries in the UK, selling works by some of the world’s leading modern artists
This long-established gallery is based in Berry Lane offering a wide selection of original artwork, signed limited edition prints, canvasses and sculptures. Work by leading artists such as Doug Hyde, Sherree Valentine Daines, Mackenzie Thorpe, Govinder Nazran (including West End Girls), Caroline Shotton, Sue Howells, Harry Brioche, and Kerry Darlingtoncan often be found there.
Ribble Valley Borough Council is shortly to launch a new website which will give visitors and residents details of all the galleries and artists in the area – visit www.rvarts.co.uk