CREATURES Great and Small is the title and theme of the latest exhibition at the North Light Gallery, Armitage Bridge.
It is an eclectic show, ranging from famous cartoon characters Wallace and Gromit to religious paintings.
Wallace and Gromit come to us courtesy of Nick Park, of Aardman Animations, with black and white and colour sketches showing us such scenes as Gromit and Fluffles on the bed with Wallace and Gromit and motorbike and sidecar.
There are tiny leaves and other artefacts used in the film A Matter of Loaf and Death and a video showing methods of producing a stop motion animation of this sort.
A joint portrait of Nick by Martin and Kate Rose – highly respected artists and no strangers to the gallery – comes in acrylic and gesso, and Kate also contributes a portrait of gallery owner Mark Brooke.
But it is Kate’s religious paintings which will probably draw most attention.
She uses imaginative treatment in acrylic and gesso for Biblical scenes such as Crossing the Red Sea, the Flight into Egypt and the Presentation at the Temple.
But the most striking of the pieces is a view of the Last Supper, pictured from above, and showing Judas dipping his hand into the pot at the same time as Jesus, while the other disciples look on.
Sculpture in the show comes from Stephen Broadhead, and includes a large white maquette of a horse, later to be cast in bronze, while his Seed VI and VII are beautiful, curved pieces, using bronze and gold leaf.
Anthony Green’s last big exhibition at the gallery will be well remembered by many visitors, and happily he’s up to his old tricks again, eschewing the conventional rectangular forms of paintings and going for his own, like the inverted triangle with the Artist Painting and Jessica Bell-ringing.
Anthony’s large three-dimensional pieces seize our attention.
The Heaven and Earth Machine, which commemorates his long-lived mother, Madeleine, uses a dining table, and many elements ranging from false teeth to pottery and flowers.
Despite its subject, there are still things about this piece which make us smile, as there is about one of his paintings, The Railway to Heaven.
On a lighter note Anthony’s granddaughter Jessica is featured in another large three-dimensional work, having won a sunflower- growing competition with the artist.
Not quite competing with her husband, but revealing her skills in 3D, is his wife Mary Cozens-Walker. They met while studying at the Tate. Mary’s works includes a bust, EMHC-W, presumably a self-portrait, in bold style, with a floral dress and large hat bedecked with flowers. In 3D, too, there’s a Whole Cottage, showing all the interior fittings and furniture of the house in well-displayed detail.
Taking another leaf from her husband’s work, Mary uses a circular form for her religious painting Ravenna, while there’s a diagonal approach to the household painting, Specks of Dust.
The artist’s versatility is shown in embroidered works on tea towels, including A Tempting Meal for the Invalid.
The exhibition Creatures Great and Small runs till December 12 and the gallery and cafe opens Friday and Saturdays, 10am-4pm.