The Harley Gallery on Nottinghamshire’s historic Welbeck estate re-opens on Saturday, August 1, for the first time since lockdown with two brand new exhibitions.
More than 100 pieces of art have been selected to show at The Harley Open after the gallery invited both professional and up and coming artists to submit their work for the exhibition.
Lisa Gee, Director of the Harley Gallery, said: “Our gallery doors will open to visitors from Saturday, August 1, and we couldn’t be happier.
“The 102 artists in the exhibition show us their vision and it’s a brilliantly diverse and joyful experience.”
Judges chose the final shortlist from almost 600 submissions from northern artists based within 100 miles of the gallery and the overall exhibition winners will be announced on August 1.
“You’re bound to love some of the pieces and will probably hate some too - but lots will make you smile or remember what we have all been missing – human contact,” said Lisa.
“This exhibition includes a joyful crowd of hundreds of pub regulars, imagined landscapes, a startling self-portrait from lockdown, a lovely painting of a Harley Café favourite of mushrooms and egg on toast, a huge collage made from postal stamps as well as abstracts, ceramics, and prints.”
Joint prize winner last year was Sheffield artist, Joanna Whittle, who since winning has been awarded the acclaimed Contemporary British Painting Prize 2019.
Joanna was a guest selector for The Harley Open this year and her solo show ‘Between Islands’ will take place alongside the exhibition.
“So much has happened since then.
“It was really interesting to be involved with this just as the lockdown was coming to an end.
“It felt celebratory and it was fantastic that so many artists were able to submit work.”
Her own show explores the relationship between ‘creating worlds’ and ‘creating collections’ and is inspired by the rich fabrics and fine ceramics within the Portland Collection, a collection amassed over centuries on the historic Welbeck estate which surrounds Welbeck Abbey.
Joanna’s paintings show islands of silk draped structures, hidden tunnels, and overgrown gateways.
Joanna said: “I am really looking forward to my exhibition ‘Between Islands’ opening alongside the Harley Open.
“It has been such a journey since last year and working with the Portland Collection and the history of Welbeck has been fascinating and a real inspiration for the new work.
The Harley Open includes art from a wide range of ages and backgrounds, from award-winning professional artists to young students, and in a variety of styles and influences.