Launch Event at Masham Church

Friday 24th May 2019 at 7.30pm.
RSVP asap:

Sculpt is a major new free art event taking place from 25th May to 28th September 2019 in seven churches centred on Masham, near Ripon in North Yorkshire.  North Stainley, West Tanfield, Well, Snape, Masham, Healey and Mickley each have a site-specific artwork installed by a top international and innovative artist.  Their brief was to “respond to space”, for which they have risen to the occasion and successfully created dramatic and unique, installations in village churches surrounded by the stunning Yorkshire countryside.

The 26 mile trail offers all the ingredients for an enriching, educational and stimulating visit to buildings that form an essential part of the fabric of British culture, but that are often neglected or ignored.  Everyone agrees that a village needs a church, and the thought of them being converted into carpet warehouses or strange residential conversions is as unappealing to non-church goers as it is to the faithful.  This event is for everyone.  

All of the striking and exciting work is now installed in the individual churches, ready for the exhibition to start at the weekend.  Harriet Hill’s sculpture called ‘Rock of Ages’ takes the form of a huge floating rock, nearly three metres long, created from woven willow and felt made from the wool of the local Masham sheep along with straw, baler twine and bale netting. It represents the layering of history, in particular relating to the people who have worked the land and lived around the church through its 1000+ year history.  Suspended on shock cord stretched from all corners of the church, suggesting the connections from the present to our ancestors who came into the church, just as we do today, linking us to the continuing history of the church and surrounding community.

The Church of England are following with interest the development of Sculpt with a view to encouraging England’s other 16,000 churches to try something similar.  Art in the Churches is a new initiative to re-engage with churches through the introduction of cultural events. It is supported by the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, who is taking the position of patron. As well as offering opportunities for education and community involvement, there is also a treasure hunt to engage children at each venue. Sculpt is dramatic art, not passive, and this is the first event of its kind in the UK. It takes place at the same time as Yorkshire Sculpture International, making Yorkshire the top destination for sculpture in the UK in 2019.

 This art project has been made possible with the generous support of the Arts Council, the Jerusalem Trust, All Churches Trust, Skipton Hire Centres, The Arts Society North East Area, Concord Lighting and the Himalayan Garden.

Interviews available with Chris Baily, Chair & Curator and Tessa Klemz, Marketing Committee, on request.  High resolution photography also available on request.


 Notes on venues and artists

Sarah Williams (St Mary’s Church, North Stainley). Every Small Difference. Williams’ work is emotional and honest, questioning and trying to understand the world we live in.  Her work is about the vulnerability of the planet to climate change, our responsibility to protect it and our vulnerability, if we fail to do so.  

Eduardo Niebla (St Nicholas’ Church, West Tanfield). The Seven Colours. Eduardo has crafted a ‘sound palette’. which takes you on a journey through a thought-provoking collage of both local and global communities.  The final composition is meditative, absorbing and enlightening. The church In West Tanfield dates to the 12th century and contains many antiquities including the medieval tomb of Sir John Marmion.

Harriet Hill (St Michael’s Church, Well). Rock of Ages. Hill’s work is often about community and how we place ourselves within that. Through her installation, she has explored the interdependency between the Church and the wider populace.  Well Church is one of the most notable historic churches in the event with the remains of a Roman mosaic floor and many other features.

Jonathan Gabb (St Mary’s Chapel, Snape Castle, Snape). Wonder and War in Heaven. Gabb produces rich, textural, rather “not of this world” organic creations from both rudimentary and fine art materials. The interior of Snape Chapel has inspired Gabb’s work. He has used vibrant coloured knotted cord to capture the spirit of the original but now decayed ceiling fresco. The Castle alongside the chapel was once home to Catherine Parr, 6thwife of Henry VIII.

Silvia Lerin (St Mary’s Church, Masham). Neons from Heaven. Lerin’s installation consists of 100 large, blue painted tubes or ‘neons’. They are painted a beautiful, heavenly blue and feature mirrors in the base. When you look up, you encounter yourself. This experience of facing into our soul helps realise the truth of our situation and maybe answers to our questions. Masham Church dates back to Anglo-Saxon period, is the largest church on the circuit, centred in this thriving Yorkshire market town. 

Ana Rosa Hopkins (St Paul’s Church, Healey). Le Bon Temps Viendra. Hopkins has crafted six beautiful and fragile cocoons which are hung in the central crossing tower of this most scenic village church. They represent the façade that we present as humans and our inner souls. The beauty comes from the combination of precious materials used, including silk, copper, bronze, glass and gold leaf. 

Alexandra Carr (St John’s Church, Mickley). Cloud of Unknowing. Carr has installed a “cube of fog”, a scientific artwork, to represent the boundary of materiality and immateriality. Much like faith, the piece has a sense of presence but no definition of form. We seek to understand but just as we get close, the image disappears. The small church in Mickley is the perfect place for this mystifying sculpture, enhanced by sophisticated lighting.

Quote from Harriet Hill, artist at St Michael’s Church, Well: ‘My installation work responds to the specifics of each new space. Opportunities to work with unknown and varied environments are essential for experimentation and the progression of my ideas.  Having lived half my life in a rural community I was excited about the challenge of making art in this context; to address the significance of the church both as an architectural structure and as a socio-political centre point, historically and today.’

For further information, please visit


Subject: Yorkshire Gardens Trust

Dear All

In recent months, the area team have been looking to make links with other organisations in our area with a view to both sharing our expertise and attracting potential new members to The Arts Society.

As a result of meetings that Sally Craig, Area HV Representative, and I have had with the Yorkshire Gardens Trust, Arts Society members in our area have been invited to join a training day that is being held at Bramham Park on 12th March.  I realise that this is very short notice but we have only just been sent the details which I am attaching.

Claire Wesley (Area Secretary and Chair of Ebor) has kindly volunteered to represent the area on 12th Marchas neither Sally nor I can do so.  Sally has forwarded the information to society HVs.  However, if you feel able to circulate the attached information to your committee and members, there may well be others who are interested.  It does look a most fascinating day and not expensive at £10 a head.


Inspiration and Planning:
What Future for our Historic Parks and Gardens?
The conservation of historic designed landscapes and the role of the Gardens Trusts

12th March 2019,

An Historic Landscape Project Training Day, With Yorkshire Gardens Trust

Bramham Park, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS23 6ND – an internationally important park and garden

Background: Despite their popularity, the historic parks and gardens that we love are easily lost, as they are vulnerable to decay, development, and a lack of understanding. That they survive is testimony to decades of effort by professionals and dedicated amateurs, including members of the County Gardens Trusts. Every year, the Gardens Trust receives some 1500 planning applications that may affect historic parks and gardens, and this figure is expected to rise. With the economic crisis bringing a hammer blow to the availability of skilled resources in the conservation sector, is this make or break time for historic parks and gardens?

Aim: Visiting a fabulous park and garden and appreciating what makes it special helps us understand only too clearly how easy it is for it to be spoilt by inappropriate development. This day is intended to introduce some conservation issues facing the historic parks and gardens we so enjoy, and to offer ways in which we might help protect sites we care about. By looking at a real site, delegates will gain a broad understanding of key conservation issues and can think about and discuss what tools we could use to tackle possible threats. The day will explain just how important a role County Gardens Trusts play, and how the work they do helps The Gardens Trust protect the gardens we treasure. Delegates will leave with a fresh insight into historic parks and gardens, and some ideas as to how they can get involved.

This training day, including lunch and viewing some of the park and garden, is part-funded by Yorkshire Gardens Trust (YGT) and is free of charge to their members,
or £10 for non-members.

Enquiries or bookings to

Inspiration and Planning:
What Future for our Historic Parks and Gardens?


9.45am Arrival with tea, coffee and biscuits

10.15am Welcome (Tamsin McMillan, Historic Landscape Project Officer, the Gardens Trust, and Nick Lane Fox of Bramham Park & Vice President of YGT)

10.20am Threats to historic parks and gardens (David Lambert, historic landscape consultant and the Conservation Committee member, the Gardens Trust)
An introduction to the wide variety of planning and management threats affecting historic designed landscapes

11.10am Conserving Historic Parks and Gardens (Chris Mayes, Landscape Architect for the North of England, Historic England)
Using policy to protect HPGs; and the importance of understanding significance

12.00am Comfort break

12.10pm Bramham Park: a brief history, and challenges of protection, conservation and planning (Nick Lane Fox)

12.30pm Tour of Bramham Park (Nick Lane Fox, with HLP staff and Susan Kellerman, YGT volunteer)
A guided walking tour around parts of the park and gardens, with a discussion of actual and theoretical planning issues

1.30pm Lunch & further time to look outside

2.30pm Crucial Role of the Gardens Trust and County Gardens Trusts (Margie Hoffnung, the Gardens Trust, Conservation Officer)
The Gardens Trust as a statutory consultee and the vital input of CGT volunteers

3.15pm Yorkshire Gardens Trust: How we work with volunteers
(Val Hepworth, YGT Chair)
How YGT manages planning cases. Exercise: which developments do we think are acceptable, and which not?

4.00pm Tea and Cake, with final discussion (Tamsin McMillan)

4.30pm Close

Enquiries or bookings to

And look out for Part 2 of our Planning Training, in summer 2019, taking volunteers step by step through the nitty gritting of writing an effective planning letter.

The Theatre Royal York: Past, Present and Future
We invite to join us for a Study Day
on Friday 22 March 2019
Find out about the fascinating history of the Theatre Royal, from the Romans through to the present day.
Discover the Georgian folly backstage, learn why a stage is called a deck and why you must never whistle in a theatre.
Listen to a talk by Angus Morrogh-Ryan, the leading architect for the theatre’s £4.1 million renovations that have transformed into a building fit for the 21st Century and, finally, take a tour of the Theatre and discover what happens both front and back stage.
Tickets are available from 1st  January 2019
£38 for Arts Society members
£40 for non-members
(ticket price includes coffee on arrival)
To reserve your place please contact Joanna Finlay
or telephone her on 01904 641865