Fresh Talent On Show From Across the Region at The Harley Open

Fresh Talent On Show From Across the Region at The Harley Open

A petrol can, pinpricks and gold are some of the more unusual materials featured alongside oils, acrylics, watercolours and photographs in the explosion of artistic talent unearthed by The Harley Gallery’s popular biennial art competition.

With works from artists based in Nottingham, Leicester, Derby, Chesterfield, Sheffield, Mansfield, Lincoln, Matlock and Worksop (see full list of entries from each area here) and the surrounding counties, the exhibition is a showcase of the wealth of artistic talent to be found across in the East Midlands and Yorkshire. From paintings in oils and watercolours through to abstract photographs and screenprints, etchings and linocuts, the show is full of delightful surprises.

Hannah Obee, exhibitions curator at Chatsworth, Geoff Diego Litherland, artist and Lucy Phillips, director at Leicester Print Studio had the task of selecting the best pieces to go on show from a vast variety of styles and mediums submitted by both established artists and others who have never exhibited before.

Hannah Obee, Chatsworth, said: “Working with The Harley never fails to disappoint and being part of the selection panel for The Harley Open was another inspiring day. With 80 percent of submissions coming from within a 50 mile radius, it proves once again the extraordinary talent to be found in the north. It also demonstrates the important focus provided for the region by The Harley and with Earth & Fire relocating there this summer, this only looks set to grow.”

The overall prize-winners will be announced on 8 July at a public event to be held at the gallery. Visitors can also nominate their favourite piece for The ‘People’s Prize’ of £250 sponsored by Child First at Welbeck with the winner announced at the end of the exhibition.

As well as the Harley Prize of £750, the winner also gets a solo show alongside the next Open Exhibition. Other prizes include the Judges Prize of £500, sponsored by Welbeck Estates Company; The Storycatchers Prize of £250; a Luxury Hamper for the Welbeck Farm Shop Prize, vouchers in the Leicester Print Workshop Prize and a weekend course for The School of Artisan Food prize.

Director of The Harley Gallery, Lisa Gee said: “It’s been great to see so many artists putting work forward for the first time.  The selectors had such a varied body of works to choose from, and they’ve come up with a fine mix of the traditional and the contemporary. It’s fascinating to see these pieces alongside the historic works in The Portland Collection, giving real food for thought about how we document our lives through art.

Also running alongside the Harley Open is a solo show from the 2015 Judges’ Prize and People’s Prize Winner, Olivier Marc Thomas Leger. Whale Wails and Waves is set to be one of the biggest and best solo shows to date by the Loughborough based artist, whose playful work is made using fine liner pens with the animals imagined as living planets with their own landscapes and ecosystems.

He said: “Winning the Harley Open helped me raise my profile with a wider audience. The Harley Gallery audience are well engaged, so it’s an amazing opportunity for me to have an exhibition here.”

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