The Courtyard Centre for the Arts
Thursday, September 5, 2019
Friday, October 4, 2019
Edgar Street, Hereford, HR4 9JR.
West Midlands
The Courtyard Centre for the Arts

Wonder at the h.Art Open & Young Open Exhibition 

Co-ordinated by Framework Herefordshire and The Apple Store Gallery


As Herefordshire Art Week is nearly here, don’t be surprised if you see a few artists looking simultaneously exhausted and exhilarated as studios, galleries and homes open welcoming visitors for arts experiences across the county.    Perhaps pick up an Art Week brochure and take yourself on a tour around this creatively fertile Herefordshire.


For the coming nine days, people of Herefordshire can truly say art is everywhere! There is a rich cultural scene in the area, often described as ‘vibrant’, ‘diverse’ and one artist I spoke to was ‘pleasantly surprised at the welcome from local artists’.  For those used to bigger cities it can seem quiet and stuck in a time warp; this is art at a different rhythm to London and Berlin, this is art to the beat of the ‘ford!


I spoke to a few artists who are showing in this years Open exhibition which is showing at The Courtyard Centre for the Arts (6 September to 4 October) to find out about their outlook on life and art.  Attitudes ranged from the classic –  ‘carpe diem’, ‘optimistic’ and ‘positive’ to ‘not easily definable’, ‘a never-ending mystery of questions’ and to the perhaps more realistic in the horrific state of politics at the moment ‘desperate’.


Many artists in the area are keen to pass on their skills to the younger generations and see potential for the arts in Herefordshire with more interaction between arts organisations and groups for a stronger united presence.


Artworks on display at this years Open include sculpture, ceramics, painting and print. The work features themes as diverse as life itself, from the enduring landscape, through social issues, to work about the process of painting itself.   A picture tells many more words than a thousand – if could you clearly evoke a work of art with ten thousand words, what would be the point of art?  Well, here a few of the artists reveal something about their work:


“I work intuitively. I was trained traditionally but working with blind and partially sighted people – they taught me how to “see” differently.  Themes emerge and tend to have to do with the human condition, politics and social issues.”  Brian Richardson


Christopher Noble’s paintings are often developments of prints (rather than the other way around). Complex overlaying patterns often leaving traces of previous images to follow a kind of palimpsest result where previous workings are visible (just as landscape is full of traces of previous form of use).  Also, images that are hyper real, using 3D programs, that investigate imaginary worlds or games or machines for which there are no known uses or rules.


Maggie Kingston gets her inspiration from nature and the underlying creative myths and legends that attempt to explain our place within the cosmos. As here experience of working with clay and layering has grown she has been able to be more intuitive in here expression and she is currently exploring “labyrinth” as an expression of life and its questions.


I wonder how the outlooks of artists in Herefordshire compare to those of the rest of the UK?

Let me know your thoughts on the creative scene in your area in my three-question survey.

Thank you to all exhibiting artists whose responses were used in shaping this article: Kate Dawson, David England, Angela Holden, Nick Holmes, Verity Howard, Maggie Kingston, Kathryn Moore, Christopher Noble, Kathy Priddis, Carol Randell, Brian Richardson,Arthur Pierce, Anthony Priddle and Michele Vincent.