The former carpet mill, now a business, arts, design and education complex – Dean Clough Mills in Halifax – has a wide range of new art exhibitions in its many gallery spaces, most by artists with a strong Yorkshire connection.
Open seven days a week, the mill is currently hosting a major retrospective of works by the late Denis Bowen, who was born in South Africa but raised in Huddersfield and went on to become a teacher at the respected Kingston School of Art. An abstract painter, Bowen was influenced by space exploration, mythological themes and psychedelia. He championed avant garde art and was a significant figure on the London arts scene from the 1950s. His works can be found in many public and private collections, include the Tate. His retrospective, Light Movement Space, is in the Crossley Gallery.
The Upstairs Galleries are being used to show the work of another Yorkshire-born artist, Martin Waters, whose In Memoriam – Reflections on War examine the notion of remembrance and reflect on the horrors of war. Waters began using poppies in his work long before the installation of the ceramic flowers at the Tower of London was created and his initial work was influenced by his father’s memories of the Normandy Landings. The ongoing centennial of the Great War has led to an extension of his interest in memorial sites, war relics and associated stories. His Dean Clough exhibition features anti-war ‘tar paintings’ and a poppy installation of his own.
In the Photograph Gallery, illustrator Ron Wilson is showing Allegory. Based at The Art House in Wakefield, Wilson uses the media of woodcuts and lino prints and is influenced by Durer and Eric Ravilious as well as the artists of the Soviet era. His exhibition of 20 prints is concerned with the uncertain future and the need human beings feel to hold onto the past.
Cleckheaton illustrator Terry Sutton brings Drawing on History to the Illustration Gallery - a collection of detailed works with a leaning towards industrial heritage. The author of books on Yorkshire’s industrial archaeology, Sutton has worked as both a commercial artist and a tutor at Batley School of Art.
Self-taught artist John Baldwin specialises in grand-scale colourful abstracts but also ‘works small’. Dean Clough’s foyer display, Small and Tiny Paintings, is showing his studies and experiments with colour and materials, some as small as 30mm, that vibrate with colour and life.
For those who have yet to see it, the Dean Clough Lego Brick Project - on permanent display - is well worth a visit. This scaled model of the vast mill complex is set to become one of the world’s largest Lego brick buildings. Being constructed by Michael Le Count and Tony Priestman, the model recently acquired its F-Mill wing.
Entry to the art exhibitions is free and the galleries are open from 9am until 5pm. The current exhibitions close on April 26, so there’s still plenty of time to see them all.
Offenbach’s operatic masterpiece Les Contes D’Hoffmann can be seen at the Odeon in Huddersfield - streamed live from the Metropolitan Opera in New York - tomorrow evening.
The broadcast begins at 5.55pm and features tenor Vittorio Grigolo in the title role.