A new exhibition has opened at Middlesbrough’s Gallery TS1 as part of the on-going Tour De Yorkshire festivities.
The exhibition, which features paintings, sketches, and jewellery inspired by the cycling event is on display until June for people to admire and purchase.
The gallery has long been known for linking exhibitions with town-related events, using it as an opportunity for local talent to showcase their artistic side, with all forms of art catered for, from ceramic and glassware to fabrics and prints.
Tour de Yorkshire is the latest local event to be given the gallery treatment, with many works of art incorporating cycling and the north east landscape, from the Transporter Bridge and Temenos to the North Yorkshire moors, linking cycling to the history of Middlesbrough and the north.
Gail Wright, one of the artists involved in the exhibition, has been a member of Gallery TS1 for almost seven years, and has made jewellery for almost forty, though not always professionally, and has several pieces of handcrafted jewellery showcased as part of the exhibition.
Although her preferred method of crafting jewellery involves dichroic glass, her Tour de Yorkshire pieces are mainly metal and enamel paint to tie in with the event’s colour scheme.
“It’s an unusual subject to fit into jewellery,” she told me.
“Jewellery is not usually about things like cycling. I think what people were intrigued by was that somebody had made jewellery based on bicycles.”
Her handcrafted necklaces incorporate the blue and yellow cycling theme of Tour De Yorkshire to produce an unusual but intriguing mix of sports and meticulously crafted works of art.
Of course, although jewellery making can be a challenging task, Ms Wright highlighted the therapeutic element of the process, as well as explaining that to make a truly stunning piece, uniqueness is key.
“It depends on whether you’re set on making works of art or fulfil a difficult commission, or just occupying your time. It’s important for people to reach out and make something very unique with every piece you do.”
In recent years, due in part to the popularity of sites such as Etsy, which allow people to sell their handmade items, arts and crafts have become more commonplace, with many people using the websites as an opportunity to make extra money out of a hobby they greatly enjoy.
Etsy currently has over 35 million handmade products for people to peruse and buy, making it more difficult for galleries to compete when it comes to putting crafts on the market.
However, exhibitions such as this continue to prove popular with local people as they reinforce the North East’s pride in their heritage and history.
In the past Ms Wright has worked on many well-known animated films such as The Snowman, before turning her hobby of artistry into a chance to showcase and sell her talents along with many other members of the gallery over the past few years.
The exhibition will be open until the first week of June, when another enticing display will take its place, so be sure you don’t miss out on a visit to the gallery this month!