Portraits of sequined meerkats sit alongside fine oil paintings and delicate jewellery.

It’s a snapshot of some of the creative talents of artists exhibiting in Huddersfield as part of the HOST events.

The Huddersfield Open Studios Trail (HOST) showcases new talent alongside work by established artists.

Events were spread across the borough and the Packhorse Gallery – one of the newest galleries in the town – was a hub of all things creative.

Huddersfield’s Diana Jordan was one of those not only exhibiting work, but also demonstrating how she works.

Diana is a mixed medium artist who works in acrylic, oil and watercolour.

“I was a volunteer at the Packhorse and the other artists have nurtured me as an artist and given me help and advice,” she said.

“It’s meant I’m no longer nervous about people watching me work.

 

“I find people are really interested in how we create a painting. Often it’s people who don’t feel they can do it themselves who stop and speak.”

The gallery inside the Packhorse Shopping Centre opened in 2012 and it has created not only a space for artists to work, but also to exhibit.

“The amount of people coming down here since we opened is unbelievable – it’s a unique place,” Diana added.

One of the new artists to exhibit is Geoff Wright, an oil painter who usually exhibits his work in Stalybridge.

He has shown his work in Huddersfield for around 12 months after visiting family in Elland.

“It’s a great atmosphere for artists here,” Geoff said. “I’m pleased with the response I’ve had.

“I think allowing people to watch you work is certainly a magnet. Working in oil, people are interested in how I layer colour.”

And Geoff’s artistic efforts do not stop at paintings. Illustrations of a dragon led to him writing a short story which proved such a hit he made it into an illustrated book, The Tale of the Dragonstone.

Paintings and photographs were not the only draw – visitors could pick up quirky Nora Batty and Compo mugs, woodwork pieces and jewellery.

At Huddersfield Art Gallery five-year-old Siobhan Lawton, of Holmfirth, was enjoying a children’s workshop with artist Jo Blaker.

Siobhan, attending with mum Lisa, loves art.

The youngster said: “I’ve got lots of paints and paper and crayons and felt pens. I glitter and glue a lot of things. I like getting messy but I tidy it up.”

Mum Lisa said: “I’ve done a bit of photography on and off for years. I wanted to encourage Siobhan to realise art is not just something to fill a bit of time but that it can be really special.

“It’s great coming to events like this because they can really inspire people.”

The Lawrence Batley Theatre was also a focus of artists showcasing their work, as well as Bates Mill on Queen Street South and the West Yorkshire Print Workshop in Mirfield, among many other venues.

HOST director Pam Lonsdale said: “It is a chance not only to look and appreciate art but to have a go yourself, hear about art and share the experience with others.”

For more information go to the website: www.hoststudios.co.uk