Crescent Arts Blog

Scarborough-based visual arts studios – we offer support to artists, exhibitions, performances, installations, film screenings, workshops & more.

Karen T: AA2A ‘Plus’ & Craft Council Accessions

Karen Thompson has been busy this autumn! She was recently awarded an AA2A ‘Plus’ placement with York Art Gallery and York College . Karen will make work in response to York Museums Trust’s ceramic collection over the coming months.

In November the artist visited the top secret York Museums Trust’s stores, searching for works to respond to.


An intriguing work from the collection.

This was an exciting experience – Karen got a ‘behind-the-scenes’ glimpse of works that are due to be displayed once York Art Gallery re-opens in 2015. She will be running workshops as part of this placement in the new year.

This news is wonderful for Karen – being part of the pilot AA2A ‘Plus’ during York Art Gallery’s re-opening year will bring increased attention from the museum sector to her work.


Karen’s ceramic tureen heads, currently on display within the Winter Exhibition at the Biscuit Factory in Newcastle. Perfect Christmas gifts!


Additionally, Karen just found out that two pieces of her work, one being a Gove bust, have been accessioned into Craft Council’s collection. Her sandwich, created as part of York Curiouser, has been placed into CC’s Handling Collection.

We look forward to following Karen’s progress over the coming months. See below for links relating to her recent ceramic activities!

Karen T’s AA2A Profile
Karen T’s AA2A Blog
Information on Craft Council’s handling collection


Footnotes – installation shots

Sarah Coggrave
Serena Partridge

The exhibition is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11am – 4pm, until 20th December.

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Footnotes is a group exhibition that presents work by four artists who took up studios at Crescent Arts this year; Sarah Coggrave, Serena Partridge and artist partnership Caitlin and Andrew Webb-Ellis. Their work spans performance, film, photography and meticulously crafted artworks.

You are invited to the preview of Footnotes on Sunday 16th November at Crescent Arts from 3.33 pm.

Exhibition opening times:
Thursday 20th November – Saturday 20th December 2014
11.00 am – 4.00 pm
Thursdays – Saturdays and by appointment
Admission is free

By siting specific examples of the artists’ work together the exhibition references the broader practice and concerns of each artist and work that is to come. It invites comparisons and visitors to the exhibition will most probably be struck by contrasts between the works and use of very different media and approaches. However, there are parallels that become more apparent on closer scrutiny.

Copyright Webb-Ellis.

Copyright Webb-Ellis.

The performative strand provides a common ground and means to explore the relationships between lived, imagined or recorded experience and memory. It is worth mentioning that Sarah Coggrave has created a middle-aged spinster called Miss Pilchard, who frequently re-appears in her work, and some of Miss P’s sedentary aspirations can be enjoyed in this exhibition. Webb-Ellis show video documentation of a research performance they made in Berlin in 2013 and in Mother Again they explore the relationships between performance and life. The live performance acts as research and precursor to their current audio-visual installation, Mother. I am Going. Serena Partridge presents gloves as museum acquisitions, creating distance between the viewer and the maker, suggesting that someone else has selected and displayed the artifacts. The ‘someone else’ is the artist in another guise, an alter ego, reflecting on working behind the scenes at a museum.

Sarah Coggrave uses performance art as a form of research. This research frequently, but not always, investigates the histories of places, and involves the creation of characters, scenes and props. Stories emerge (mixtures of fact and fiction), which are acted out and documented.

Copyright Sarah Coggrave.

Copyright Sarah Coggrave.

Serena Partridge’s work addresses the theme of loss, emotional and physical; lost possessions, loss of loved ones, lost relationships, the disappearance of Agatha Christie. The materials she uses have had previous lives: leather reclaimed from old gloves, silk and metal threads discovered in junk shops, paper from dressmaking patterns and human hair.

Webb-Ellis work with performance, film, video and photography. Their work frequently investigates the role that film and photography play in the obliteration of ‘real’ memory, and how images and objects come to stand for, or take the place of, lived experience.

Copyright Serena Partridge.

Copyright Serena Partridge.

A process of research is central to the practice of all these artists and may involve unearthing, collecting or tracing ‘evidence’ in the form of found or created artifacts, texts, materials, footage or photographic image. Their work is a result of speculation and investigation into histories and content that extends to people and places, exploring the factual and the fictional by assembling and (re)constructing circumstantial and biographical information.

Studio Opportunities with us


Crescent Arts is a contemporary visual arts organisation based in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. We are inviting printmakers and ceramicists to apply for subsidised studio space supported through professional development, exhibition opportunities and access to production and workshop facilities.

We are keen to encourage artists whose work is innovative, challenging and critically engaged, especially those at a formative stage who would benefit most from the facilities and support that we can provide.

Copyright Karen Thompson.

Copyright Karen Thompson.

We expect artists to participate in professional development activities, and contribute to our exhibitions programme for which they receive modest financial support. Studio artists also contribute to workshops and educational programmes, for which they are paid appropriate fees. We house ceramics and printmaking facilities (intaglio, relief, screen printing) and regularly organise workshops with public access.

Studios are subsidised and licensed to artists, currently at an all-in charge of £45 pcm, for a period of up to 3 years.

Deadline for applications: 5pm on Monday 1st December 2014. Short-listed applicants will be invited for interview in mid-December.

For an information pack please visit Crescent Arts Studios online:

Or request a pack by contacting:
Subject: Studio Application

Please send applications BY POST to:
Stuart Cameron, Director (studio applications)
Crescent Arts, The Crescent, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO11 2PW

Further info:
T: 01723 351461

Copyright Dawn Brooks.

Copyright Dawn Brooks.

Crescent Arts is funded by Arts Council England and Scarborough Borough Council. We are committed to equal opportunities and welcome applications from artists from all sections of the community. Please note that resident studio artists are required to undergo CRB disclosure checks prior to working with children or vulnerable adults.

In Search of Places to Sit: Miss Pilchard at Manchester Free For Arts Festival

Once every hour a single train takes passengers from Scarborough to Manchester (and beyond – Liverpool Lime Street is the final stop). Last week Miss Pilchard – spinster, adventurer and alter-ego – undertook this journey.

More accustomed to provincial gentility than the bustle of the city, her explorations formed part of the 2014 Free For Arts Festival.

From October 3rd until October 10th, the 2014 Free For Arts Festival provided Manchester with a feast of art – hosted in across all kinds of places; from conventional gallery spaces to shops, studios and differing sorts of buildings. Miss Pilchard’s visit formed part of this festival, challenging visitors to spot her amidst the crowds, the noise and the general eccentricity of the city’s inhabitants.

The clear blue skies of Yorkshire gave way to menacing clouds and feverish moments of rain, as Miss Pilchard’s train approached Piccadilly Station. After disembarking she took a moment to settle her nerves – by taking a seat and reading the local publication.

To her enormous horror and embarrassment, our enterprising spinster was thwarted by the suspicions of station security, who politely requested that she vacate the premises.

Flustered, indignant and a little lost, Miss Pilchard made her way to Piccadilly Gardens, in search of a new seating place – hopefully with minimal interruptions. But alas she was to be thwarted again – this time by pigeons.

As soon as she sat down, the pigeons attacked.

Not even Queen Victoria offered any suitable respite.

It was impossible to sit comfortably under the stern glare of the former monarch.

There were, however, a number of curious distractions to dispel Miss Pilchard’s earnest frustrations. Such as plants apparently growing from walls.

And the spectacular collection of paintings at Manchester Art Gallery.

Furthermore, Miss Pilchard, attired in ill-fitting tweed, a smart hat and sensible shoes, was willing to consider all manner of places to sit.

Some, however, were more suitable than others.

Having explored various corners of this vast city, and having sat upon an assortment of benches, seats and so forth, Miss Pilchard made copious notes in her bulging pocket book. The question is, what were the nature of her observations?

And where, if anywhere, will she choose to publish them?

All photography © Liz Coggrave

Mother. I am Going

Webb-Ellis, 'Mother. I am Going' (film still), 2014.

Webb-Ellis, ‘Mother. I am Going’ (film still), 2014.

Crescent Arts’ resident artists Webb-Ellis will be exhibiting their new film, ‘Mother. I am Going’ at The Tetley in Leeds this November. The preview is scheduled for 7.00 pm on 14th November. The exhibition will run through to 23rd November, at the usual gallery times.

The pair will also be exhibiting the film at Studio 2 of the PACE Building at De Montford University during the UK Young Artists Leicester Festival. As other events are scheduled, the film can only be viewed at certain times, as follows:

November 7th – 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm
November 8th- 10.00 am – 12.30 pm & again from 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm
November 9th- 12.00 pm – 3.00 pm

For further information:
UK Young Artists Profile
Film Information

Andy Black feature within Big Issue

Feature within The Big Issue in the North, Autumn 2014.

Feature within The Big Issue in the North, Autumn 2014.

Andy Black – Exhibition Photographs

Crescent Arts presents…

Andy Black: Garden & Big Garden

“Andy Black’s drawings are intriguing and nothing is quite as straightforward as might first appear. Plant-like organisms seem disciplined by the geometry of topiary, rock-like outcrops stand monumentally erect, while other motifs hint at architectural landmarks. Explore these ‘landscapes’ in his exhibition ‘Garden’ and drawing installation ‘Big Garden’ this month”.

‘Garden’ is open now, running until Saturday 1st November 2014. It is open to the public on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 11.00 am – 4.00 pm, and by appointment. Admission is free.

Below are some photographs taken just before the private view on Friday 29th September (but you really need to come and see the works in the flesh!)

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For more information on this exhibition:
E: | T: 01723 351461

Follow ‘Big Garden’ as it progresses via Andy’s website:

Thanks again to all who attended the private view. We hope to see you again very soon! In the meantime, why not sign up for one of Andy Black’s workshops? See the website for full details.

Andy Black: Garden & Big Garden

'Untitled' (2012) Ink on Paper

Andy Black, ‘Untitled’. Ink drawing on paper, 2012.

Crescent Arts presents recent drawings and a large-scale, site-specific installation drawing by Andy Black.

Recent drawings by Andy Black
Preview evening: Friday 26th September
At Crescent Arts between
7.00 – 9.00 pm

Opening dates for this exhibition:
Sat. 27th September – Sat. 1st November 2014
Thursdays to Saturdays
11.00 am – 4.00 pm
and by appointment
Admission is free

Big Garden
A drawing installation by Andy Black
At Crescent Artspace (14/15 Queen Street, Scarborough)
Opening times to be announced shortly
The work can be viewed by appointment
Admission is free

Track the progression of the Big Garden via Andy’s blog.

Andy Black is an artist based in Scarborough. His work has been exhibited widely in solo and group shows including Jerwood Drawing Prize, 2013, ‘Fields and Gardens’ at Duckett and Jeffreys, 2012, ‘Forests’ at Ryedale Folk Museum, 2010, and ‘Real writers Residency’ at G39, Cardiff, 2007.

Born in north Wales, Andy studied Fine Art at UWIC, Cardiff and subsequently at the Royal College of Art, 2000 – 2002. In 2010 he was a selector for East Coast Open at Scarborough Art Gallery and was long-listed for the Northern Art Prize in 2009. Andy currently lectures in Fine Art and Art History at Yorkshire Coast College.

Andy’s exhibition and accompanying workshops run alongside ‘The Big Draw’ this October and it’s a great opportunity to make a really BIG DRAWING. He is very keen to engage students within his workshops, details of which can be found below:

A Big Draw
Saturday 4th October 2014, 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Crescent Artspace, 14/15 Queen Street, Scarborough
Tutor: Andy Black
Fee: £5 for all

A workshop that aims to create a large-scale collaborative drawing to coincide with ‘The Big Draw’. Participants will develop their own motifs and work together to make a large constructed landscape drawing.

A Big Print
Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th October 2014, 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Tutors: Dawn Brooks & Andy Black
Fee: £5 for all

Following Andy Black’s drawing workshop there is the opportunity to attend a one-day printmaking workshop at Crescent Arts, to develop your drawings into finished prints. Techniques available will include etching, drypoint and carborundum.

For further information and press images please contact:
Stuart Cameron:
Katherine Caddy:

Beautiful Autumn/Winter Workshops


Andy Black, ‘Garden 2’. Pen and ink drawing, 2014.

Having just celebrated Crescent Arts’ 35th Anniversary we are delighted to announce a season of fascinating and focused workshops that are open to all abilities.

Workshops primarily run throughout daytimes on weekends but Steven Potter’s ‘Screenprinting for the Busy Bee’ workshops run on Tuesday evenings throughout October.

Safe Hard Ground Etching
Saturday 20th September, 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
£30 members, £40 non-members
Dawn Brooks teaches participants to safe etch using non-toxic materials. The hard ground allows for the production of linear imagery and produces a pen-like line, encouraging the creation of bold work.

Saturday 27th September, 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
£30 members, £40 non-members
Susan Timmins and Karen Thompson lead this workshop. Experiment with the art of print in two and three dimensions! A highly experimental workshop using some unusual methods and materials. 

DSC00084crop copy

A Big Draw
Saturday 4th October, 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Queen Street, Scarborough
Only £5 for all
Andy Black runs this workshop which aims to create a large-scale collaborative drawing to coincide with ‘The Big Draw’. Participants will develop their own motifs and work together to create a large constructed landscape.

Screenprinting for the Busy Bee
Tuesday evenings: 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th October, 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
£30 members, £40 non-members
Join us for this series of workshops that span October. Steven Potter runs these classes that aim to introduce and refresh individuals’ knowledge of screenprinting. Step-by-step tutorials of stencil and photographic screenprinting. £30-£40 covers all four workshops.

Fresco – no frills!
Saturday 11th October, 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
£30 members, £40 non-members
Susan Timmins reinvents fresco painting, exploring the techniques involved in the ancient process. You might need protective clothing, but we do provide aprons.

print workshop image 6

A Big Print
Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th October, 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Only £5 for all
Dawn Brooks and Andy Black are here to guide participants of Andy’s drawing workshop to develop their work into finished prints. Experience etching, dry point, Carborundum and more!

Drypoint & Chine Collé Printmaking
Saturday 15th November, 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
£30 members, £40 non-members
Dawn Brooks takes participants through printmaking methods including drypoint, the simplest and most direct of the intaglio techniques, and Chine collé (Chinese collage). Create unusual effects with line, tone and texture.

For more information please see our website.
Contact Stuart Cameron to book your place –
Call: 01723 351461