There have been artists working at Wainsgate for many years – working in different media including painting, sculpture, photography, writing, mixed media and ceramics. There are several studios on two floors. The artists have had exhibitions at Wainsgate and have also opened their studios as part of the local ‘Hebden Bridge Open Studios’ events for several years. In 2016 over 100 people made their way up to see the works on show and gave very good feedback that the trip was worth it! Plans are underway for 2017…so if you’ve never been up for a visit and a look round the amazing building we highly recommend it. The space is beautiful, up a peaceful lane in Old Town.
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I have had a studio for a few years at Wainsgate after many years not being able to paint or do any art. A strange unease and low level frustration stayed with me for a long time. Finally after working outdoors with the seasons, developing a shamanic practise, things shifted. Born in Hertfordshire, I studied Fine Art at Portsmouth Polytechnic in the early 80’s and produced mixed media Performance Art for a few years. I now try not to think too much – but to just do it. To mix colour and make shapes and create pictures. I paint people, mostly women. I am inspired by Frida Kahlo and other, mainly women, mainly figurative artists. I love painting friends and feel close to them while I work, even though they may live far away.
Rob Hopper is an artist and maker working in ceramics. His interest is in making functional ceramics for the home but also in developing an artistic practice using clay.
Born in Hull in 1967, Rob has had a varied career mostly working in the NHS and studied Interior Architecture at Brighton University. He moved to Hebden Bridge from the south coast in June 2015 and soon took on one of the studios at Wainsgate Chapel.
Wainsgate is such a wonderful peaceful place to work and in such a beautiful part of Hebden Bridge. Being elevated above the valley, the light is particularly special. It is easy to wander from the studio and on to the moors within minutes and enjoy the glorious views towards Heptonstall over the Calder Valley.
A contemporary artist working predominantly in portraiture.
Alan exhibits regularly in both the UK and US, notably at the annual exhibitions of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and the prestigious BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery London, where in 2012 he was awarded third prize for his portrait of Richie Culver. Alan has produced commissioned work for clients including The New York Times Magazine, The Sunday Times Magazine, Bloomberg Markets Magazine, Carlton Books, The Chronicle Review and Club Wembley. He has works in private collections worldwide and is represented by Anthony Brunelli Fine Arts NY.
Born Leeds 1977, currently living in Hebden Bridge.
I paint mostly in oil on canvas and sometimes board. I can get lost for hours, totally absorbed in creating a painting.
I’m inspired by colour, particularly the colours I see whilst out running on the hills. I love the drama of extreme weather and the contrast the light brings.
I also love the urban colours of the local skate park, the colour of the graffiti, the clothes, the movement of it all, Love it!
Rainbows and Rapture
Stacy Smith and Caren Thompson are a hula hooping duo based at Wainsgate Chapel, Hebden Bridge. Specialising in hula hoop workshops and parties, their passion is creating a fun, magical and supportive space for children and adults to explore play through hoop dance and circus skills.
Encouraging dressing up to create their own alto egos, participants have the opportunity to be someone else and lose themselves in the moment, with help from props and facing painting.
The workshops include lessons in basic hooping, moving on to tricks and more advance moves. Learning hoop dance, routines and finding your own hoop flow.
Caren Thomspon: “Children have the natural ability to play and explore. Adults find it hard to find time to play and let go because of their busy lives. It always gives me a warm feeling inside when adults skip away from our workshops having lost their inhibitions and rediscover the art of play.”
Caren and Stacy also make and sell custom handmade hula hoops in a variety of sizes and colours.