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Imprints: Art Editing Modernism - 2021

Imprints - Art Editing Modernism
Imprints – Art Editing Modernism

Imprints: Art Editing Modernism explored the impact and meaning of modernist literary works in the present day. This exhibition asked ‘What does it mean to edit a modernist text?’ and examines the creative potential packed into that practice through a series of newly commissioned artworks.

The exhibition was the culmination of Imprints of The New Modernist Editing, a project exploring contemporary understanding and engagement with modernist literature. Artworks featured in the show reflect on questions of intervention, preservation, distance and proximity that are central to the practice of editing an existing text. They responded to issues such as: the particular characteristics of fluidity and uncertainty which permeate modernist aesthetics; the unprecedented way in which writers embraced the process of revision in this period; the effect of the rapid innovation in print technologies during the early twentieth century; the centrality of the relationship between the verbal and visual in the modernist period; and the very wide range of allusion characteristic of many modernist texts. The exhibition included work in a variety of media, including paintings, drawing, sound works, digital prints, letterpress, silkscreen and engravings, sculpture, collage, and artists’ books, responding to texts from a range of different languages and cultures.

Imprints: Art Editing Modernism is part of the Imprints of the New Modernist Editing project,
funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council:
It is led by Professor Bryony Randall, University of Glasgow;
Jane Hyslop, Edinburgh College of Art;
and Edwin Pickstone, Glasgow School of Art

Image: Barbara Balfour, 2020. Photo: Patrick Jameson, 2021

28th August 21 – 11th September 21

Katrin Moye - Filthy Trash - Ceramic sculptures based on Tristram Shandy - 2021

31st July 21 – 21st August 21
Shandy Hall Gallery

A collection of works by Lady-Artist Madam KATRIN MOYE,

on the subject of the most REMARKABLE and FASCINATING Novel


by the most esteemed and revered LAURENCE STERNE,

Befittingly Entitled: FILTHY TRASH

Ceramic sculptures (For sale) based on various double entendres in Tristram Shandy


31 July till 21st August 2021

NOSES, based on the nose on the bust of Laurence Sterne by Joseph Nollekens, for sale here

Katrin Moye’s website here

Read a review of the exhibition by Andrew Green here

Locke Unlocked - 2022

This display at Shandy Hall can be viewed for free by appointment until 30 September.

Locke Unlocked: A Look at John Locke’s An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

origami crown and boots
Prince and cobbler

Click here for an audio commentary on the ideas elucidated in this exhibit by philosophers Tim Crane and Peter Millican.

Tom Phillips - A Grand Folio - 2021

Grand Folio Tom Phillips
Grand Folio Tom Phillips

An exhibition of works by Tom Phillips R.A. for the recent Folio Society edition of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne. The exhibition will also feature some of Tom’s other works relating to literature. Tom Phillips has produced illustrations to Beckett, Plato, Henry James, Humbert Wolfe, Shelley, Dante, T.S. Eliot, Shakespeare, Cicero, James Joyce and, of course, W.H. Mallock.

. . . neglect thy pastimes—call forth all the powers and faculties of thy nature—macerate thyself in the service of mankind, and write a grand Folio for them, upon the subject of their noses . . . (Tristram Shandy, Vol. 2 Chapter XXXI)



Carolyn Thompson - Post Moderns - 2019

Carolyn Thompson Post Moderns
Carolyn Thompson Post Moderns

Carolyn Thompson’s new work is based on the 50 texts found in the Penguin Modern Box Set (2018), which celebrates the pioneering spirit of Penguin’s publishing. The collection includes seminal works by Samuel Beckett, Truman Capote, Allen Ginsberg, Dorothy Parker, George Simenon, and Susan Sontag amongst others.

Consisting of 50 separate artworks, each one responding to one book from the collection, Thompson’s project includes text pieces, drawings, embroideries, prints and altered books. A solo exhibition of the full set of works, Post Moderns, will be held at the Laurence Sterne Trust, Shandy Hall, York, from 8 September until 4 October 2019, and Eagle Gallery, London in February 2020.

The Flourish of Liberty - 'Trim's Squiggle' - 2019

A new exhibition at Shandy Hall invited 102 artists to respond to the idea of ‘Liberty’. The theme is taken from Laurence Sterne’s masterpiece The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, the majority of which was written at Coxwold in the North York Moors.

For more information on this see Auction Exhibitions page

‘Trim’s squiggle’ or ‘The Flourish of Liberty’ in Tristram Shandy (Vol IX p.17) is an exuberant and life-affirming visual declaration.  As he has already done throughout the previous eight volumes, Laurence Sterne invites the reader to join him in an exercise of imagination, understanding and interpretation that brings his novel to life.

On page 17 the reader learns that Uncle Toby and Trim are marching up to the Widow Wadman’s front door where Toby will propose marriage.

Nothing, continued the Corporal, can be so sad as confinement for life – or so sweet, an’ please your honour, as liberty. Nothing, Trim – said my Uncle Toby, musing – Whil’st a man is free – cried the corporal, giving a flourish with his stick thus –

And the story is given a visual jolt – a writhing pathway that represents the pathway of Trim’s cane through the air.  How it hatches in the mind of the reader is up to each individual.  Is it a languid and stately passage?  A rapier-like swish? Is it from top to bottom or bottom to top? The exhibition featured the work of internationally acclaimed and award-winning artists, writers and composers who have each responded to the idea of ‘Liberty’.

Patrick Hughes and Studio - XL x LX - 2019

Patrick Hughes
Patrick Hughes

A group exhibition featuring new work by Patrick Hughes and his Reverspective Studio artists.

The works measure 40 (XL) by (x) 60 (LX) centimetres or 60 cm x 40 cm.

Artists featured are:

Irrum Ahmed, Kelly-Anne Davitt, Katie Elder, Donna Kemp, Patrick Hughes, Michele Martinelli, Zoë Moss, Jason Parker, Ian Robinson, Kirsty Sellman, James Treagus and Justin Virdi.

Patrick Hughes’ first solo show was in Mayfair in 1961. He opened his studio in Hoxton in 1995, and his staff now numbers fifteen. He made his first picture in Reverspective in 1964. Patrick has had three books written about his art: Perverspective (1998) by John Slyce; A New Perspective (2014) by Dawn Ades and Martin Kemp; and A Newer Perspective in 2018. Hughes is himself the author of a critical anthology, Paradoxymoron (2011). He belongs to no school or trend, though he is widely imitated. Patrick is devoted to imagination, humour, science and experiment.

More about Patrick Hughes

A Sentimental Journey - anniversary exhibition - 2018

Rowson Sentimental Journey
Rowson Sentimental Journey

This exhibition paid tribute to Laurence Sterne in his 250th anniversary year. A Sentimental Journey was first published 27 February 1768 and, three weeks later on 18 March, Sterne died. His final work of fiction was published incomplete and although a message to the subscribers promised a further two volumes at a later date, this was not to be.

This exhibition contained a selection of original pen and ink drawings by two outstanding illustrators of A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy.

T.H. Robinson (1869-1954) came from a family of artists which included his more famous brother W. Heath Robinson. The drawings were published in book form in 1897 and the original edition contained over a hundred delicate and sensitive interpretations of the adventures of Mr. Yorick in France.

Martin Rowson is one of our finest cartoonists, with work appearing regularly in the Guardian.  He has published graphic novel versions of The Waste LandTristram Shandy and the Communist Manifesto. Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the LST commissioned the artist to illustrate a new edition of Sterne’s account of his travels.  Rowson shows Mr Yorick (aka Sterne) in delicate situations where opposing sides of his nature struggle to dominate. Every encounter that takes place, whether with the ‘fair fille de chambre‘ or a bird in a cage, demonstrates the dilemma of the Sentimental Traveller.

New work by the internationally acclaimed ‘miner of books’ Brian Dettmer can be seen, as well as work by visual artist Carolyn Thompson, and an historic work entitled The Starling (1937) by Adeline Newman (a mysterious artist about whom little is known).

Buy the new edition here.

Affecting Moments - prints from the collection of David Alexander - 2017

Affecting Moments
Affecting Moments

The exhibition showed some of the prints of English literature engraved in the last quarter of the eighteenth century which were singly issued rather than being in books. Most of these are in the technique of stipple, which suddenly became popular with the increased demand for decorative prints in the 1770s. Such prints were usually bought as ‘furniture’, that is, to be framed – often in elegant gilt circles or ovals – and displayed on the wall rather than being kept in albums or portfolios. It was the great expansion of the English print market at this time, coinciding with an increase in the public appetite for literature, which encouraged artists to paint or draw scenes from poems, plays and novels.

On the whole artists looked for moving incidents to depict – hence the ‘Affecting Moments’ title of the exhibition. A very high proportion of the prints show powerful female emotions treated in a sentimental way. But not all artists succumbed to the fashion for sentimentality, as the selection of prints after Henry Fuseli makes clear.

All prints from the collection of David Alexander. Catalogue available.

Thomas Gaugain, Maria from Sterne’s A Sentimental Journey, c.1779 kindly loaned by Miles Barton Period Paintings.


Paint Her to Your Own Mind - The Blank Page exhibition - 2016

147 artists responded to Laurence Sterne’s ‘blank page’ for a fundraising exhibition at Shandy Hall Gallery in 2016

Continuing the theme of the two previous exhibitions (The Black Page  & Emblem of My Work) Paint Her to Your Own Mind invited 147 artists / writers to join in creating 147 different representations of beauty.

For more information on this auction/exhibition, see Auction Exhibitions page


Tom Phillips reads

Tom Phillips: From Prequel To Sequel - the 50 final pages of A Humument - 2016

Tom Phillips Prequel to Sequel
Tom Phillips Prequel to Sequel

26th June 2016
Shandy Hall Gallery

Tom Phillips R.A. has received critical acclaim and has become one of Britain’s best loved artists.

In 1966 Phillips resolved to dedicate himself to making art out of the first secondhand book he could find for threepence on Peckham Rye. Thus began A Humument, the first and longest (50 years) of Phillips’s extended serial projects. A Humument is a radical ‘treatment’ of a forgotten Victorian novel by means of collage, cut-up, ornament and other techniques. To date, four editions, each with a number of pages reworked, have been published, and Phillips has said the series will only be complete when all pages of his original have themselves been revised.

The Royal Academy of Art dedicated the whole of Gallery X in their 2015 Summer Exhibition to Tom Phillips with the exhibition; A Humument 1966 – 2015. The exhibition traced the history of A Humument from its initial untreated pages, the first version and the second (and final) “virtually entire” reworked version of each page. The final 50 pages of this fifty year work-in-progress were omitted from The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.

The Laurence Sterne Trust at Shandy Hall was proud to display these final 50 pages for the first time.

A Humument has become a touchstone of Phillips’s oeuvre with its characters and quotations populating other paintings, works of art criticism, his opera Irma and some of the songs he wrote when returning to music in the 1990s. Tom Phillips is an artist whose work is fuelled by several persistent preoccupations, expressed through an even larger number of formats. These include painting (both figurative and abstract), opera (composer, librettist, set designer), concrete poetry and ornamental forms of writing, sculpture and site-specific designs (mosaic, tapestry, wire frame objects). He has also taken on several para-artistic roles: critic, curator, committee chairman for the Royal Academy, translator – all of which he has folded back into his art.

Gary Winters and Claire Hind - Flesh Grass Fresh Glass -2016

Flesh Grass Fresh Glass
Flesh Grass Fresh Glass

“On the south wall in the chancel of the Church of St Michael, Coxwold, is the memorial tomb of Thomas,1st Viscount Fauconberg, and his wife Barbara Cholmeley erected in 1618.
The couple, carved in stone, are shown kneeling in silent prayer.
Below is an inscription that commemorates Thomas’ love for Barbara:
‘Omnis homo bulla, omnis caro faenum’ which translates:
‘Every man is a bubble all flesh is grass’

The exhibition in the gallery at Shandy Hall takes this phrase as inspiration for a creative writing project and we have written and produced a series of neon lights and photographed them in wild locations across the North York Moors.

The exhibition celebrates the imagined, the magical, the serendipitous and the ephemeral.”

Gary Winters and Claire Hind collaborate on live performance pieces for the city and for the studio, gallery or museum; they also make Super 8mm film shorts, printed artworks and boxed archives that slip between performance documentation and artefact. Their work has toured internationally and has been regularly supported by Arts Council England. Projects include: Kong Lear, Dream Yards, Roy of the Dead/Day of the O, Gillygate Sleeps, We Made Something of This and Five Dead Acts Five Dead Cats. Gary Winters is the co-artistic Director of performance company Lone Twin and the company’s work is regularly shown across the world to popular and critical acclaim. Claire Hind is an Associate Professor at York St John University where she is the course leader for the MA Theatre and Performance.

12th -18th April 2016

Sentimental Landscapes - Myriorama - 2015

A private collection of rare 19th century ‘Endless Landscapes’ (Myriorama) was on display for the first time, alongside a newly commissioned interpretation by Guardian cartoonist Tom Gauld.

Myriorama, or ‘Many Thousand Views’ consist of numerous cards depicting fragments or segments of landscapes that can be arranged in a multitude of different combinations. This ‘entertainment’ for young ladies and gentlemen originated in France. The first English version in 1824 was a set of 16 cards which depicted Gothic ruins, castles, cottages, a lighthouse, a man fishing and a gypsy encampment. These landmarks had a backdrop of mountains with islands and a lake to add extra texture and depth.

Whenever the cards were taken out and arranged upon a table, they produced a landscape of harmony which was variable, compatible and satisfying to the user without being geographically identifiable. This first myriorama seems to have been an instant success and many varieties were created to satisfy the demands of the public.

The newly commissioned contemporary myriorama by Tom Gauld has many references to Laurence Sterne’s writings and contains incidents and characters that may be familiar to the reader. He has ordered his drawings to allow an almost limitless variety of Sternean encounters to take place. 479,001,600 Journeys to be precise.

“What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life, by him who interests his heart in everything, and who, having eyes to see what time and chance are perpetually holding out to him as he journeyeth on his way, misses nothing he can fairly lay his hands on.”

from ‘A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy‘ by Laurence Sterne

Supported by Arts Council England.

Part of ‘Art in Yorkshire 2015 supported by the Art Fund’ a celebration of visual art in 22 public art galleries throughout Yorkshire.

Carry Akroyd - Happy Spirits - 2015

Carry Akroyd Happy Spirit
Carry Akroyd Happy Spirit

14th June 2015

Carry Akroyd is a painter-printmaker whose work has sometimes been reproduced on book-jackets, and at other times she makes work specifically for book-jackets. Also an occasional illustrator, Carry works only on subjects that are an extension of her usual interest. For This Happy Spirit, the whole book was partly her idea. Therefore the boundary between her own work and commissioned work becomes vague; the threshold between inspiration and illustration hard to identify precisely.

Carry’s images examine the relationship between humans, landscape and wildlife, alongside formal concerns about colour, pattern, shape and balance. Her interest in history, geography, botany and birds all inform her representations of contemporary agricultural landscapes.

The large serigraphs are colourful and expressive screen-prints often with added mixed media; striking from a distance they also draw close attention to small details, textures and gestures that are part of the construction of the whole. The very hands-on method of working means that even in a small edition no two prints are exactly the same, as they are invented and responded to in the making.

Most of the black and white linocuts in this exhibition are illustrations from the latest selection of John Clare poems published by The John Clare Society: This Happy Spirit. Also shown here are screen-prints made recently for the book of the BBC Radio 4 series Tweet of the Day. In an appropriate follow-up to such an ornithological task, this year Carry became the ‘Bird of the Month’ illustrator for The Oldie magazine, and some of these are also on show.

Carry was awarded an MA with distinction from the University of Northampton, and is a member of the Society of Wildlife Artists and shows with them in London each year. She exhibits regularly in a few galleries in England, Scotland and Wales. Last year the Birdscapes Gallery chose Carry for their Conservation through Art Award : ‘for her rare ability to make heart-felt environmental statements through the medium of superbly-appealing art’.

Carry is the cover artist for a new series from British Wildlife Publishing. In 2011 she edited Wildlife in Printmaking for Langford Press, in which she brought together work by 22 printmakers whose subject is the natural world. Her own book ‘natures powers & spells’ records a sympathetic connection to the nineteenth century poet John Clare, a ‘ditch visionary’ whose writing has been a continuing source of inspiration.

The Unforgotten Coat - Frank Cottrell-Boyce and Edge Hill University, Liverpool - 2015

Frank Cottrell-Boyce Unforgotten Coat
Frank Cottrell-Boyce Unforgotten Coat

Inspired by Frank Cottrell-Boyce’s The Unforgotten Coat, a children’s book about two Mongolian refugee brothers living in Liverpool, The Unforgotten Coat exhibition features stunning and atmospheric photography which transforms Liverpool into a version of Mongolia through the medium of Polaroid photos.

The novel was originally illustrated by film-maker and musician Carl Hunter and film-maker and photographer Clare Heney, both lecturers at Edge Hill University, who created digital images of the Polaroid photos described in the story. In 2013 Carl and Clare undertook further creative research to create the exhibition, transforming the original images from digital images into physical, analogue Polaroid-style photographs.

In April 2015 The Unforgotten Coat exhibition will feature in Yorkshire’s Shandy Hall, before moving to Bank Street Arts in Sheffield for the month of September 2015 where it will be part of Opening up the Book, a festival of Book Arts and related practices.

The Unforgotten Coat won the Guardian Children’s Fiction prize, the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis 2013 in the Best Children’s Book category, and has been translated into several languages. It remains a core text for the Reader Organisation’s reading groups in the community and has been praised for highlighting the plight of young asylum seekers.

This exhibition was in partnership with Edge Hill University and supported by Arts Council England.

12th April – 3rd May 2015

Bridget Gillespie - Rich Pickings, Pears, Medlars and Quinces - 2014

Bridget Gillespie Medlars
Bridget Gillespie Medlars

These 30 pictures have been painted over a period of about 6 years. Bridget acknowledges the kindness of the many growers, both public and private who have allowed her to select from their trees.

Bridget has painted botanical illustrations for over 18 years. Her work combines scientific accuracy with the beauty of the natural world, from garden favourites to obscure hothouse specimens and local hedgerow finds. Bridget has exhibited work in Cambridge, Essex, Durham, London and Yorkshire and has gained 2 Gold Medals from the RHS who have also purchased several pieces for their historic collection. Illustrated publications include ‘The Northern Pomona’ and she runs courses in Botanical Illustration.

22nd November 14 – 14th December 14



Ian Duhig and Phillipa Troutman - Digressions - 2014

Digressions- Troutman
Digressions- Troutman

Digressions was a site-specific art and poetry project based around Shandy Hall where Laurence Sterne wrote The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.  The project began in 2013 (the tercentenary of Sterne’s birth) and finished in autumn 2014 with the publication of a book of artwork, poetry and prose also called Digressions.  The book was launched with an exhibition at the Poetry Society, London on 18 September 2014, which transferred to Shandy Hall in Coxwold for an opening on 11 October 2014.

Using Tristram Shandy, as a starting point, Digressions took in the topography, history and traditions of where the novel was written through wandering but site-specific engagements by artist, Philippa Troutman and writer, Ian Duhig.

Mazes, meteors and medieval shapeshifter ghost stories informed their work against a background of shifting religion, politics, science and art from the world’s first marbling techniques of Suminagashi through dada to contemporary art practitioners. Digressions‘ poetry draws on ballad traditions as well as modern conceptual writing – for which Shandy Hall is a recognised international centre – while a long prose ‘Afterforeword’ describes the project’s procedures and discoveries in greater detail and can be read in full on Philippa Troutman’s website.

11th October 14 – 1st November 14

More about the Digressions project

Afterforeward by Ian Duhig

Alison Turnbull - Like a Secret Spring in a Well-ordered Machine - 2014

Alison Turnbull
Alison Turnbull

Alison Turnbull transforms readymade information – plans, diagrams, blueprints – into abstract paintings.  Recently she has explored star charts and the architecture of spaces relating to the study of the night sky. At Shandy Hall she is showing new paintings that reconfigure in various ways a found image of distant galaxies, assembled by astronomers over a ten-year period from photographs taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

In addition, Turnbull has collaborated with designer Simon Elvins to make Marbled Page, a print that gathers and disperses the English and Latin names of all the macro-moths that have been lured by light, trapped, identified and released at Shandy Hall. Displayed on a large table, the print is, so to speak, a simulacrum of a moth trap.  Butterflies and moths have long been of interest to Turnbull and in 2010 she was artist-in-residence in the Entomolgy Department at the Natural History Museum. Marbled Page invokes both a celebrated Shandyism and the 18th Century nomenclature for various moths – for instance Tawny Marbled Minor and Lunar Marbled Brown.

Although their relationship to the night sky is obvious – moths, after all, navigate by the moon and the stars and are both drawn to and confused by artificial light – it is their essential ‘invisibility’ that makes them compelling as subjects for Turnbull.  The human eye will never witness the most remote stars; similarly, many species of moth remain largely unseen. Perhaps they dramatise the problems inherent in making and looking at art.

Alison Turnbull was born in 1956 in Bogota, Colombia, and lives and works in London. She studied in Madrid before graduating from Bath Academy in 1981. Recent exhibitions include: Alison Turnbull De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill (2013-2014): Alison Turnbull, Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh (2012); Galapagos, touring exhibition, Gulbenkian Galapagos Artists’ Residency Programme (2012-2013), Green Oak Aqua Modern, Russian Club Gallery, London (2011) and Observatory, Matt’s Gallery, London (2010). Turnbull is currently collaborating on a book with writer Philip Hoare, about Linn Botanic Gardens in west Scotland, produced by Cove Park.  Her work is included in the Arts Council Collection, the British Council Collection, the Imperial War Museum and other public and private collections.

Simon Elvins was born on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent in 1981 and graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2006.  He is an independent designer based in London.

Alison Turnbull is represented by Matt’s Gallery, London.

Supported by Arts Council England. 

17th August 14 – 26th September 14

Colin See-Paynton - Nocturnal Encounters: wood engravings - 2014

Owl See-Paynton
Owl See-Paynton

Colin See-Paynton is widely regarded as one of Britain’s leading exponents in the art of wood engraving. His latest body of work explores the twilight adventures of wild creatures.

His inspiration for this new series of prints came from watching ‘tame’ brown hares in his garden in mid Wales, he explains: ‘Last year an adult female produced at least two litters of beautiful leverets. They stayed with us all through a winter of snow, wind and rain, being suckled by the mother each evening, and have themselves now produced offspring of their own. Hares are known to be generally much more active in the twilight hours and at night and this set me thinking about what unseen adventures they might have’.

Colin’s work is characterised by meticulous observational drawing, intricate patterning and layering of images.

Wood engraving is a relief printing process where the lines of the design are left standing in relief on the block. The wood used is very hard, such as boxwood, and cut across the grain; this differentiates it from woodcuts where marks are cut with the grain. Blocks are bolted together to form a larger surface. Colin’s method involves painting white watercolour or gouache over the block (more usually the surface is left black) before transferring the drawings that have to be reversed and are sometimes produced with the aid of origami models.

28th June – Special opening with artist Colin See-Paynton 

Part of Art in Yorkshire supported by the Art Fund. A celebration of visual art in 22 public art galleries throughout Yorkshire during 2014.

28th June 14 – 8th August 14

A Kaleidoscope of Moths - featuring Richard Lewington, and Yorkshire Museum's Allis Collection - 2014

Richard Lewington moth
Richard Lewington moth

The first of our programme of summer exhibitions concentrates on the work of acclaimed wildlife illustrator Richard Lewington alongside mounted specimens from York Museums Trust’s historic Allis Collection.

Richard Lewington is considered to be the world’s finest illustrator of books about butterflies and moths. His skill as observer and miniaturist is complemented by his knowledge of his subject matter, gathered over more than three decades, and his total fascination with the creatures he paints. Using a combination of live specimens, photographic resources and specimens from the Oxford University Museum and private collectors, he captures more accurately in his paintings the detail and colour of each specimen than any photograph.

His Field Guides are reliable for accurate identification and the recent publication of his ‘Field Guide to Micro-Moths of Great Britain and Ireland’ has transformed contemporary understanding in this particular area of study.

The first of our ‘Moth Anthology Series’ 2014.

Good Humour at Shandy Hall - 2014


Good Humour Club Dining room
Good Humour Club Dining room

This summer, The Good Humour Club took up residence in the dining room at Shandy Hall. From 1 May to 30 September, every Wednesday from 2.30pm, visitors could experience an interactive exhibition about the eighteenth-century gentleman’s club as part of the normal Shandy Hall house tour. This included a chance to listen to an dramatic reconstruction of a club meeting that might have taken place on one auspicious night in 1759…

Visitors could joinus by the fire, charge your glass, settle themselves comfortably and learn more about this group of eighteenth-century Yorkshire men who believed that friendship and good humour improved a man’s mind and strengthened his body.

4th May 14 – 31st August 14

This event was part of a whole series of talks, exhibitions and events in 2013/14 as part of the Good Humour Club project. See also the Good Humour Club website

The Good Humour Club - 2013

The Good Humour Club minute book
The Good Humour Club minute book

The Good Humour Club project was part of the 300th anniversary celebrations of the birth of Laurence Sterne.

The discovery of a minute book from 1743 in the collection at Shandy Hall of a hitherto unknown society became the inspiration for The Good Humour Club project, which ran throughout Sterne’s tercentenary to May 2014. A further minute book of the Club, dated 1781 was located in the Minster Library collection shortly afterwards. Both books contain the minutes from the weekly meetings of an eighteenth-century society called The Good Humour Club, which met in Sunton’s Coffee House in the city of York.

The Good Humour Club (c.1725-1800) was a society which celebrated the twin virtues of companionship and conviviality. The members were men who belonged to polite, though not elite, trades and professions; clergymen and doctors rubbed elbows with masons, mercers, and drapers at weekly meetings where a good supper and copious amounts of punch were consumed. The society was also known as ‘The Doctor’s Club’ as each member was given the honorary title of ‘Dr.’. Our research suggests that there were four volumes of minutes for the Club in total: the minute book at Shandy Hall being the second, and the Minster volume being the fourth. The Club’s minute books are important artefacts of a forgotten piece of Yorkshire history. The search continues for minute books I and III.

Later in the year, a period dramatisation (via a podcast) brought to life a meeting of the Good Humour Club on the night of the publication of Tristram Shandy in 1759.

Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund

30th June 13 – 30th September 13

Kate Briggs and Lucrezia Russo -The Nabokov Paper - An experiment in novel-reading - 2013

Nabokov exhibition exam questions
Nabokov exhibition exam questions

An experiment in novel-reading

The Nabokov Paper was a project by Kate Briggs and Lucrezia Russo.

It takes as its starting point a series of exam questions set by Vladimir Nabokov in the 1950s, for students of his now famous lectures on great works of European fiction.

In April 2012, ten artists, eight writers, six university professors, three translators, two architects, a librarian, a curator, a graphic designer, an illustrator and a computer engineer each selected a question on one of seven course texts: Austen’s Mansfield Park, Dickens’s Bleak House, Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Kafka’s ‘The Metamorphosis’, Proust’s Swann’s Way, and Joyce’s Ulysses.

The responses they turned in take the form of writing, drawing, painting, film, graphs, indexes, lists, maps, newly designed editions, objects, scale-models, a lecture and a reading game. The aim of the project is to discover what Nabokov’s idiosyncratic take on ‘good reading’ might have to teach us today: about the novel, about how reading works across practices and disciplines, and about the past, present and future forms of literary criticism.

With work by:

Graham Allen, James Arnett, Abraham Asfaw, Anne Attali, Katarzyna Bazarnik, Derek Beaulieu, Paul Becker, Christian Bok, Shanna Bosley, Stephen Bury, Chloe Briggs, Kate Briggs, Maurice Carlin, Jennifer Carr, Guillaume Constantin, Jamie Crewe, Veronique Devoldere, Lucia della Paolera, Craig Dworkin, Zenon Fajfer, Helen Frank, Celine Guyot, John Hamilton, Sharon Kivland, Gianni Lavacchini, Anna-Louise Milne, Forbes Morlock, Simon Morris, Amy Pettifer, Lucrezia Russo, Olivia Sautreuil, Nick Thurston, Jane Topping, Madeleine Walton, Patrick Wildgust, Robert Williams and Jack Aylward-Williams, Sarah Wood, Gillian Wylde.

Published by information as material

26th October 13 – 22nd November 13

Tom Wood - Cocks and Bulls: Paintings and Drawings - 2013

Tom Wood Cocks and Bulls
Tom Wood Cocks and Bulls

To mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of Laurence Sterne (1713 – 1768), writer and vicar of Coxwold, North Yorkshire, the Laurence Sterne Trust has commissioned the renowned Yorkshire painter Tom Wood to produce a body of new work to celebrate the event. The title of the show is taken from the last line of Sterne’s  masterpiece Tristram Shandy : -A Cock and a Bull, said Yorick – and one of the best of its kind, I ever heard -.

Tom Wood, best known for his portraits (including those of HRH Prince of Wales and Alan Bennett, both now in the National Portrait Gallery), has in recent years turned his attention to the natural world. His work features many animals including intriguing portraits of prize winning bulls in which the animals seem to inhabit a mysterious world of signs and symbols.  In his own words, Wood is trying to “paint chickens as though they were race horses; trying to make us see afresh the things we frequently overlook.”  Wood’s animals, in particular his paintings of cockerels and bulls, are layered with multiple meanings and in the spirit of Sterne they can be read in many different ways.

This was Tom Wood’s first major exhibition of his work in nearly ten years and marked a significant shift.  Again, in the words of the artist  “I feel this need to celebrate the natural world and our relationship to it in all its complexity, poetry and ambiguity.  These paintings are my attempt to dig beneath the surface and marvel at the mysteries that lie there.”

Tom, an experienced teacher led a number of ‘introductory’ workshops throughout the duration of the exhibition.

28th April 13 – 9th June 13

This exhibition was part of Art in Yorkshire 2013.

Watch the video of Tom Woods workshops and exhibitions

 More about Tom Wood – National Portrait Gallery

Simon Cutts Erica Van Horn - Printed in Norfolk : Coracle Publications 1989 - 2012

Printed in Norfolk
Printed in Norfolk – Coracle Press

From March to November 2012 an exhibition of work by leading artists’ book publisher Coracle made during the period 1989 to 2012 toured four UK venues. Printed in Norfolk showcased artists’ books, poetry, critical documents, ephemera, catalogues and anthologies.

Artist, poet and curator Simon Cutts founded, and works under the name of Coracle. A key player in UK arts since the mid 1970s, Cutts and long-term co-director Erica Van Horn are based in Ireland, working internationally on Coracle exhibitions, publications and other collaborations.

Printed in Norfolk brought together works produced by Coracle during a twenty year collaboration with trade printer Crome and Akers in Kings Lynn, Norfolk. Exhibition tour organiser Helen Mitchell said;

“This exhibition is the first chance for many years to see a significant body of Coracle’s work in the UK mainland. It’s both a major retrospective and a chance to explore Coracle’s highly productive collaboration with Crome and Akers.

The printer’s bread and butter work was posters for cattle auctions, raffle tickets and stationery. Working with Coracle they made artists’ books that are in collections and archives around the world.”

The exhibition catalogue was published by RGAP (Research Group for Artists Publications) and charted the influential role Simon Cutts has played in UK and international arts since the 1960s as well as Coracle’s suite of Norfolk publications.

Coracle was founded in 1975 by Simon Cutts, artist, poet, printer, publisher, bookseller and curator, working from bases in London, Norfolk, Italy, Liverpool and Ireland. For over twenty years Cutts has been joined by New England book artist and writer, Erica Van Horn as co-director of Coracle. Cutts and Van Horn make books and exhibitions as individuals, together and in collaboration and have worked with many leading artists, poets, galleries and institutions.  Catalogue

Printed in Norfolk is supported by a catalogue designed by Colin Sackett and published by RGAP. It features poems and a new essay by Simon Cutts -The Norfolk Years’ alongside a specially commissioned essay by writer and poet John Bevis -A star-gazey pie’. The latter is the first comprehensive survey of Simon Cutts and Coracle from 1960s Nottingham (Tarasque Press and the Trent Bookshop), via London (Coracle Press and Gallery, Victoria Miro Gallery, workfortheeyetodo), Florence in Italy, Liverpool, Norfolk and Ireland.

The Norfolk Connection
Between 1989 and 2011 Coracle made books with Crome and Akers printers in Kings Lynn and book binder Stuart Settle in Fakenham. The idea for the exhibition Printed in Norfolk arose when Crome and Akers closed its doors and sold its presses to India. The exhibition celebrates the remarkable body of work produced during the Coracle/Crome and Akers collaboration. Stuart Settle still makes books with Coracle.

“Coracle is a one-word poem, the title of which is a reading in and of the places it moves through.”
Andrew Wilson, Curator, Modern and Contemporary British Art, Tate Britain

information as material - DO or DIY 2012

Do or DIY cover
Do or DIY cover

The exhibition Do or DIY intervened in the gardens at Shandy Hall, exhorting all to self-publish.

It is Sterne’s self-publishing of his most famous work, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, which inspires information as material’s miniature history.

Texts on display throughout the gardens offered an introduction to the concealed history of do-it-yourself publishing, as undertaken by some of the most revered writers of the modern Western canon.

Humorous anecdotal quotations about DIY literary stars were scattered round the garden, sticking out of the grass lawn at acute angles like a set of papers that have blown away in the breeze.

Remember the lessons of literary history. Don’t wait for others to validate your ideas. Do it yourself.

DO or DIY was launched as a gallery installation at the Whitechapel Gallery, London in March 2012.

This exhibition was part of Art in Yorkshire.

information as material was established by the artist Simon Morris in 2002. Based in York, iam operates as an independent imprint that publishes work by artists who use extant material – selecting it and reframing it to generate new meanings – and who, in doing so, disrupt the existing order of things.

The imprint’s activities involve publishing, exhibiting, curating, web-based projects, and invited lectures. iam’s editorial team is Craig Dworkin, Simon Morris, Nick Thurston and Simon Zimmerman.


Carry Akroyd - Found in the Fields - an exhibition of artist's prints - 2012

Found in the fields Akroyd
Found in the fields Akroyd

This exhibition included a series of hand-drawn lithographs which incorporate quotations from the poems of John Clare, the nineteenth century ‘Peasant Poet’. Carry Akroyd has for some years been linking her images of contemporary agricultural landscapes to the concerns and joys expressed in Clare’s poetry. Also on show were some of Carry’s recent screenprints, and ‘work in progress’ as she made new work responding to the environment around Shandy Hall.

Carry Akroyd is a painter and printmaker whose images examine the relationship between wildlife and the farming landscape, but are just as much about colour and composition.

After studying for an MA in Fine Art, and illustrating two books of John Clare’s poetry (‘The Shepherds Calendar’ and ‘The Wood is Sweet’) Carry wrote her own book ‘Natures powers & spells, Landscape Change, John Clare and Me’ which contains 150 of her images. She continues to be inspired by the poetry of John Clare, as can be seen in her current series of lithographs made with Curwen Studio. Recently Carry edited ‘Wildlife in Printmaking’ , also for Langford Press.

More on Carry Akroyd

Precious Cargo: Eliza Draper, an Absent Presence 2012

Precious Cargo logo
Precious Cargo

The Precious Cargo project ‘An Absent Presence’ focuses on the relationship between Laurence Sterne and his muse, Eliza Draper, before and during her long sea-voyage to India in 1767.

Three months after they met, and as Sterne says ‘took fire at each other at the same time’, Eliza had to sail back to her husband in India, and Sterne wrote to her almost every day.  Eliza’s half of the correspondence no longer exists, although spurious versions were published in the late 18th century. Responding to the published letters (and perhaps the counterfeit versions), artist Carolyn Thompson has created an installation within the room (not normally open to the public) in Shandy Hall that Sterne intended especially for Eliza – although she never came to live or stay there. Although absent from Sterne and absent from the house, she was ever-present in his mind during the last months of his life.

Precious Cargo was part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad programme Stories of the World which was led by Arts Council England in partnership with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

For more information visit our ‘mini-site’ Precious Cargo.

John Wedgwood Clarke - Sea Swim - 2012

Sea swim
Sea swim

“Join Sea Swim as it heads inland to Shandy Hall for a day with its pop-up exhibition including an immersive sound piece, a range of creative documentation and short films, all exploring a year of swimming in the North Sea. In the spirit of Uncle Toby’s desire to recreate the exact location where he received his wound at the Siege of Namur, Sea Swim writer and co-artistic director John Wedgwood Clarke will be on hand to help you fail to pin-point the first time your feet were lifted from the shore by the sea.

Part of the imove programme, Sea Swim is dedicated to exploring how swimming changes the way we feel ourselves to be in our bodies. Swimming in the North Sea liberates the imagination and transforms the body. imove: a Cultural Olympiad Programme in Yorkshire www.imoveand.com
imove has been funded by Legacy Trust UK, creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by funding ideas and local talent to inspire creativity across the UK.”

The Emblem of My Work - 2011

169 artists celebrate the 250th anniversary of Sterne’s marbled page

In 2009, 73 artists, writers and composers created a new black page to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the black page in Vol I.  The Emblem of My Work continued this tribute to Sterne’s visualisation of ideas by asking 169 artists / writers / composers to create an Emblem of their work for display in the gallery at Shandy Hall.  Each of the 73 original contributors were invited to participate again – and to propose a fellow practitioner.  An exhibition that celebrates chance – that involves chance.  The list of participants appeared on ‘Emblem of My Work’ blog along with images of the work – but who made which Emblem?

Exhibition was in collaboration with ‘Art in Yorkshire’ supported by Tate.

Supported by The Heritage Lottery Fund.

More about The Emblem of My Work exhibition

John Lawrence - Wood engravings - 2011

Lawrence Folio Toby Walter
Lawrence Folio Toby Walter

One of the country’s finest wood engravers, John Lawrence illustrated the Folio Edition of Tristram Shandy and came to give a talk ‘Lawrence on Laurence and Lawrence’ in Coxwold in 2009.

‘The Rowlandson of the twentieth-century engraving school…his wit and humour are essentially English.’ Dictionary of Twentieth Century Book Illustrators.

John Lawrence is a classic English illustrator and wood engraver, widely regarded as the most eminent of his generation. He studied at Hastings Art School and the Central School of Arts and Crafts, where he was introduced to wood engraving by Gertrude Hermes. John went on to teach at Brighton College of Art until 1968, and then at Camberwell School of Art for over thirty years. In 1990 he served as Master of The Artworkers’ Guild.

Twice winner of The Francis Williams Award for illustration (sponsored by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London), and twice runner-up for the Kurt Emil – Maschler Award, he has illustrated a large number of books for both adults and children, including the best-selling Watership Down by Richard Adams, The Magic Apple Tree:a Country Year by Susan Hill and two books by Paul Theroux. More recently John has recently worked with Philip Pullman producing front cover artwork for the Dark Materials trilogy as well as all the illustrations for Lyra’s Oxford and Once Upon A Time in the North. His own books include the much-loved Rabbit and Pork; Rhyming Talk.

Once retired from lecturing at The Cambridge School of Art, MA Degree course in Illustration, John continued to work full time for Random House, Walker Books and The Folio Society. His artwork is included in collections all over the world, both private and public such as the Victoria and Albert in London, and The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

iam (information as material) The Perverse Library - 2010

The Laurence Sterne Trust and artist-publishers information as material were proud to announce a major exhibition of ‘conceptual writing’, drawn from a collection of work by internationally renowned artists and writers that includes Kathy Acker, Ed Ruscha, Jen Bervin, Christian Bok, Pavel Buchler, Craig Dworkin, Kenneth Goldsmith, On Kawara, Sherrie Levine, Klaus Scherubel and James Joyce, to be held at Shandy Hall, Coxwold, North Yorkshire between 4 September and 31 October 2010.

Conceived and curated by artist, teacher and founding editor of information as material, Dr Simon Morris, (now Professor Simon Morris) the exhibition was the first of its kind in the UK, and showed works by a generation of artists who have sought a radical reconsideration of the relationship between literature and the visual arts.

Unfolding around Craig Dworkin’s book collection of 2,427 titles, many of them pricelessly rare objects, displayed on invisible bookshelves designed by Canadian architect Michael Farion, the exhibition included:

–        A ‘Bibliography of Ugly Cousins’, for which Simon Morris has drawn together critical examples of appropriated writing, or ‘rip-off’ that expose the parasitic relationship between conceptual writing and writers, and their histories;

–        A collection of carbonised books contributed by artist and collector Greville Worthington, entitled ‘The Black Library’, from the remains of which vegetables are to be grown for consumption in the Shandy Hall Library;

–        A sonic library curated by poet Kenneth Goldsmith, founder of UbuWeb, the world’s largest online archive of visual, concrete and sound poetry. UbuWeb Radio will be streamed live for the duration of the show;

–        ‘Bouvard et Picuchet’s Invented Desk for Copying’ by the young Canadian artist Gareth Long who, working with furniture maker and designer Wilf Williams, will present the copying desk as the latest in his series of sculptures pulled from the unfinished pages of Gustave Flaubert’s last novel.

Thanks to the generous support of Arts Council England, a free bus service ran from York train station to the Shandy Hall site on 27 and 28 October 2010.

A Perverse Library was co-organised by information as material, The Laurence Sterne Trust and In a Word. The exhibition was made possible thanks to the generous support of The Henry Moore Foundation, York College and Arts Council England through their Grants for the Arts programme.

Scott Myles: The Last Full Stop (2006)

Scott Myles lives and works in Glasgow. Recent solo exhibitions include Search and Research, Projects in Art and Theory, Cologne (2009); STABILA, Meyer Riegger, Karlsruhe (2008); ASKIT, The Modern Institute, Glasgow (2007); Grey Matter, Galleria Sonia Rosso, Turin (2006) and Kunsthalle Z’rich, Z’rich (2005).


The Guardian listings review Sat 16 Oct 2010 – The Perverse Library
Staged at Shandy Hall, the former home of the 18th-century writer Laurence Sterne, an exhibition of contemporary and modern-day image and text works paying homage to Sterne’s experimental creativity. The work is vast in range and appropriately wild in spirit, like Greville Worthington’s Black Library, charred remains of carbonised books intended as the soil for growing vegetables to be served in the library. Other renowned names involved hint at the show’s range of inspired lunacy, and include Kathy Acker, Antonin Artaud and George Bataille.

Shandy Hall, Coxwold, to 30 Oct

The Independent – article 28/9/10 Arts and Entertainment section, article by David Lister entitled Trouble at Mall mentions The Perverse Library:

“The avant-garde, like nostalgia, is not what it was. But it certainly exists. It is just to be found in locations that we might not expect…”

The Perverse Library featured in an article by Hannah Duguid in the Independent (4/10/10)

Shandy Hall featured in the Independent’s 50 best Museums and Galleries. (23/10/10)

“The avant-garde, like nostalgia, is not what it was. But it certainly exists. It is just to be found in locations that we might not expect … ”

-- David Lister, Arts and Entertainment, The Independent 28.9.2010

Colin See-Paynton - Lasting Impressions -2010

Colin See-Paynton Mergansers
Colin See-Paynton Mergansers

A selection of wood engravings by the artist Colin See-Paynton RCA RE SWE .

The new edition of the book ‘Of a Feather’ is limited to just 750 copies and copies signed by Colin See-Paynton was available for sale

Colin See-Paynton is a Fellow of the Royal Cambrian Academy, Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers and a member of the Society of Wood Engravers.  He is widely regarded as the leading exponent of wood engraving in the United Kingdom and his work is represented in many private and public collections around the world including the V & A, Ashmolean Museum, Berlin Graphothek, Fremantle Museum & Art Gallery, Australia, Gaudi Salon, Barcelona, National Library of Wales, National Museum of Wales and the Yosemite Wildlife Museum, California.

He has travelled with the Artists for Nature Foundation to the Pyrenees and to Alaska to record and highlight through his art the threat to wildlife caused by man’s exploitation of the natural resources of these areas.

Colin See-Paynton exhibits widely and his publications include ‘Incisive Eye’ a catalogue raisonne of his work 1980-1996 published by Scolar press, ‘Air and Water’ being his complete collection of fish and fowl engravings 1984-2004, and his new limted edition book ‘Of a Feather’ an alphabet of avian collective nouns written, researched and illustrated with over 60 wood engravings by Colin See-Paynton and with a foreword by Sir David Attenborough.

‘Colin See-Paynton has introduced yet another vision to the rich tradition of wood engraving. His delight in the lines of a bird so elegantly inscribed by the cut of his graver, his skill in varying texture even though he only has black and white with which to do so, his palpable pleasure in composing his subjects into joyous designs have brought something new to the portrayal of birds.’

Sir David Attenborough

‘An Admiration’that should be the collective noun for gallery visitors to Colin See-Paynton’s Of a Feather exhibition, for this has been an extraordinary enterprise. The work has drawn on many years of patient and exultant observation, the accumulation of knowledge that allows the imagination to be accurate in the mind’s eye.  Not since Thomas Bewick (1753-1828) have both literary and pictorial aspects been found conjoined in the one talent as in this project, where Colin See-Paynton has both written about and made the plates for an illustrated lexicon of the collective nouns for birds.’

David Alston, Arts Director, Arts Council Wales

‘Colin See-Paynton not only inherits the skills and vision of earlier artists’, (Thomas Bewick, Charles Tunnicliffe, Gertrude Hermes), but adds the brilliance of his design and his mastery of the movement of birds, animals and fish.  It may be that it is difficult for a wood engraver, because of the discipline of his art, to achieve an element of the aesthetic, but when he does so, he produces an object of rare beauty, and many engravings by Colin See-Paynton are very beautiful indeed.’

Sir Kyffin Williams

Information about Colin See-Paynton and his new book Of a Feather. (< 1 MB)

One Previous Owner - books and their provenance 2010

One Previous Owner Shandy Hall
One Previous Owner Shandy Hall
one previous owner book
one previous owner book

The collection at Shandy Hall is the most complete of editions of Laurence Sterne’s writings – Tristram Shandy; A Sentimental Journey; The Sermons and the author’s Letters.

Many of these editions record the identities of the libraries and individuals who owned them before they found their way to Sterne’s study occasionally showing every step of their journey of over 250 years.

To acknowledge these previous owners there was an exhibition of editions from the collection in the gallery at Shandy Hall where names and identities were display. The exhibition focused on a rare, hand-coloured copy of Eboracum or the History and Antiquities of the City of York by Francis Drake. This copy has a particularly rich and unusual history that is documented by dedication, owner signatures and bookplates.

one previous owner Drake bishops arms
One Previous Owner Drake’s Eboracum bishops arms

Supported by The Heritage Lottery Fund.

The exhibition was a great success with visitors from the USA, Italy and Germany.

A selection of visitors’ comments:

‘Another inspiring exhibition, really enjoyed the stimulating ideas’

‘Something completely different! An extremely interesting exhibition and well worth the visit.’

‘A great exhibition very interesting – makes you think about your own book collection.’

‘Thank you for making books interesting for my son.’

‘We are delighted we found you by chance today. It has been a fascinating and enjoyable education.’

‘Absolutely fascinating: this does need to be known about by everyone interested in Sterne.’

The Black Page- 2009

The Black Page exhibition at Shandy Hall celebrated the 250th anniversary of Vols I & II of Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne.

Page 73 of Volume I is a Black Page which marks the death of Parson Yorick.
73 writers and artists were asked to create their own ‘Black Page’ for exhibition and sale by auction.

See more about the Black Page exhibition

See more about the Black Page anniversary

The County Maps of J.L. Carr - 2009

J.L. Carr was Born in Carlton Miniott, near Thirsk. He was a teacher, author, publisher and much else besides. The author of ‘A Month in the Country’ created idiosyncratic and fascinating maps of the counties of England and published them under his own mark – The Quince Tree Press. This was the first time they had been exhibited.

As J.L.Carr was a Wesleyan, the Easingwold Silver Band was invited to play Methodist hymns at the launch event. Visitors in the gallery much enjoyed the music as they looked at  the exhibition, but there was another, unusual audience. See Performances page, entry for 2009.

Copies of some of the county maps are available for sale.

Martin Rowson - Yorick's Progress -2009

8 specially commissioned drawings from Martin Rowson, charting the latter years of Sterne’s life, from the publishing of the first two volumes of Tristram Shandy in 1759 to his death in 1768.

These were published in book form, now for sale in our shop.

Supported by The Heritage Lottery Fund.



Colin See-Paynton - Of a Feather: An Avian Alphabet -2008

A Tiding of Magpies Colin See-Paynton
A Tiding of Magpies Colin See-Paynton

6 July – 17 August 2008

Exhibition of Illustrations from Colin See-Paynton’s new book Of a Feather-An Avian Alphabet. Wood engravings of birds using their collective nouns as an alphabet – e.g. An Abandonment of Cuckoos; A Band of Jays; A Covert of Coots, a Tiding of Magpies.





Thomas Newton - Wings of Time - 2008

Wings of Time hourglass
Wings of Time hourglass

Exhibition based around the film “Wings Of Time”  on the village of Coxwold, based on a text from Tristram Shandy. Film commissioned by The Laurence Sterne Trust with funding from Renaissance Yorkshire.

“A passage from The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (Volume IX chapter 8) is the spark of inspiration for this visual exploration of the perception of time. In my previous work Flatland and Wingbeats, I had treated time as physical matter rather than an abstract concept. Here I turned my attention to the village of Coxwold where Sterne lived whilst writing Tristram Shandy, and especially to St. Michael’s church where Sterne was appointed vicar in 1760.

Physically affected by its people, animals and weather, the Coxwold of today and Sterne’s Coxwold co-exist as time becomes as tangible and visual as the cogs of St. Michael’s clock. The ‘light clouds of a windy day’, the twist of a lock of hair, the dance steps of children or a fallen leaf trapped in a stream – through these images we can experience time from a different angle and break our perception of it as a linear phenomenon.” Thomas Jerome Newton

Tom Phillips RA - The Elsinore Library - 2008

Library at Elsinore Tom Phillips
Library at Elsinore Tom Phillips

The Elsinore Library installation shows all the books that have taken their titles from Hamlet and arranged (in the order they appear in the play) on bookshelves.  A selection of other works by Tom Phillips was included in the exhibition. Six new prints from Phillips’ Humument series were also created with a limited number available for purchase.

Art workshops were run with four local schools by Patrick Wildgust and Lucy Shortis based on Tom Phillips work.

More on the Elsinore library blog.

John Lawrence - Lawrence on Laurence and Lawrence 2008

John Lawrence Folio Tristram Shandy
John Lawrence Folio Tristram Shandy

Andrzej Krauze - Crossroads - 2007

Krauze Tristram Shandy maze
Krauze Tristram Shandy maze

Pen and ink drawings by the Guardian’s political cartoonist. A workshop for schools ‘Think with Ink’ was also held using the exhibtion as inspiration in cartooning.

Ruth King - Kate's Pond - 2007

Ruth King Kates Pond
Ruth King Kates Pond

When the Turnbull family restored a pond on their land, Ruth King used the excavated clay to fashion some spectacular pots, and also helped each member of the family to unlock their creativity in clay.

The results, fired on site in a dug-out pit, were on show in the autumn, with historic artefacts loaned from English Heritage and Newburgh Priory.

Bridget Gillespie - Northern Pomona - 2007

Bridget Gillespie illustrations for The Northern Pomona
Bridget Gillespie illustrations for The Northern Pomona

Watercolour drawings of apple varieties that flourish in a cool, northern climate.  The exhibition was also on view in the Royal Horticultural Hall.

Bridget Gillespie first turned to botanical illustration when asked by a friend to paint her wedding bouquet, following a degree and professional career in graphics. In 2002, she was awarded a Gold Medal by the Royal Horticultural Society for a series of plum paintings, two of which now reside at the RHS Lindley Library in London. In 2008 she received a Certificate of Botanical Merit from the Society of Botanical Artists for a painting of helleborus orientalis. Bridget paints from living material on cotton rag paper, using fine watercolours. She teaches botanical illustration and lectures on the history of botanical painting.

Every painting in this exhibition sold.

A Bitter Draught - the Starling and Slavery - 2006

17 September 2006 – 8 October 2006.

Artists exploring the themes of social justice, citzenship and slavery – heralding the 200th anniversary of Parliaments abolition of the slave trade in 2007.

Museum specimens, DVD, stained glass, text, sculpture and installations by contemporary artists.

The exhibition was inspired by a section of ‘A Sentimental Journey’ by Laurence Sterne.

For more information on this exhibition see the Anniversaries page 2006

Carry Akroyd - The Wood is Sweet- 2006

Akroyd Wood is Sweet
Akroyd The Wood is Sweet

Linocut illustrations to an edition of the poetry of John Clare.


Patrick Hughes - A Perspective Backwards - 2006

Patrick Hughes
Patrick Hughes

Patrick Hughes was born in Birmingham, England, in October 1939. His first exhibition was in 1961 and his first reverspective was made in 1964. He has been exhibiting with Angela Flowers Gallery since 1970. He has written and collated three books on visual and verbal rhetoric. Hughes’ work is full of irony. By creating a world solidified into perspective he makes pictures that come alive before our eyes… It is sculpted painting, solid space.

Hughes’ pictures are sculptural paintings. It is as if Hughes had the possibility to pull the vanishing points towards us from the flat painting that he is implying, such as a Rothko retrospective, or a Canaletto. In front of a Hughes the viewer is always uncertain, as the smallest movement she makes causes the picture to move in the opposite direction. Hughes’ art declares that wherever you stand it will always be relative to the rest of the world, and that there is no constant but flux.

Murray McDonald, October 2005

When asked the question ‘How did you start in art? Patrick Hughes replied: ‘When I was nineteen I went to a training college to learn to be a teacher, specialising in English. We were asked to write about our six favourite authors, mine were Eugene Ionesco, Laurence Steme, Franz Kafka, Lewis Carroll, Samuel Butler, N.F Simpson. They said their idea of Eng.Lit was the Brontes, Thomas Hardy and George Eliot, so I should take the art option. A visit to the British Library, St. Pancras is always a treat. Colin St John Wilson’s building is enhanced by art-works by contemporary artists and one of the pieces on the lower floor near the cloakroom causes a stir every time it is seen – Paradoxymoron by Patrick Hughes. I’ve marched friends through the doors, down the stairs to the cloakroom and then put them in front of it to watch their faces shine with delight and amazement as painted library shelves move and shift in perspective. Pure visual magic.

What a joy, therefore, to discover at Shandy Hall a note written from Patrick to Kenneth Monkman in the late 1960’s saying how much he admired Laurence Sterne and wishing success to the restoration of Shandy Hall

Murray McDonald writes on Hughes: ‘Self-reference is one of the causes of paradox, like the notice which says, ‘Please Ignore this Notice’. The reverspectives of Patrick Hughes refer to themselves because they are made in the way we see and then we see them. Feedback is caused. The artist’s favourite section of Tristram Shandy is Volume 6 Chapters XXXVI – XL -‘… good for students, I feel. ‘Graphic Arts & Design students at the University of Teesside have been invited to respond to these chapters which focus on ‘Uncle Toby’s amours’ using multimedia, motion-graphics and book arts to create new works. Their contributions will be included in the exhibition ‘A Perspective Backwards’.

A new edition of ‘Patrick Hughes Perverspective’ by John Slyce was published to coincide with the recent exhibition ‘Permanentspective’ at Flowers East.

More information about Patrick Hughes

The Winged Skull and 8000 other moths - 2005

Exhibition based on the Allis Collection of Lepidoptera. Display cases kindly loaned by the York Museums Trust. Moth traps and identification evenings took place in the Quarry Garden at Shandy Hall. In partnership with York Museums Trust, Husthwaite School, DEFRA, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, University of York and Yorkshire Moth Group.

– 27 Nov 2005

Patrick Caulfield - Pause on the Landing 2005

Dovecote studios Pause on the Landing tapestry
Dovecote studios Caulfield Pause on the Landing tapestry

Patrick Caulfield, The British Library and Tristram Shandy including works by John Hoyland, Tom Phillips, Martin Rowson, Anthony Whishaw and students from the University of Teesside.

The Old Granary Gallery, Shandy Hall, May 6th to June 24th 2005

The centrepiece of this exhibition was the design for a tapestry. It was conceived by the artist Patrick Caulfield for the British Library, St.Pancras, but had not yet been realised. We were proud to exhibit the design for the first time, along with a sample of the tapestry created for this exhibition by the Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh, at the instigation of the architect of the British Library, Sir Colin St John Wilson.

The landing on the British Library steps, where the finished tapestry would finally hang, was recreated in the Shandy Hall gallery, by John Oldham Woodworking.

Section of Caulfield Pause on the landing tapestry at Shandy Hall Gallery
Section of Caulfield Pause on the landing tapestry at Shandy Hall Gallery

Patrick Caulfield chose to illustrate Volume 4 chapters 8 – 12 of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy and intended the tapestry to hang on the ‘Shandy Hall Landing’ in the Conference Centre. A generous sponsor has been found and it was learned, just before this exhibition opened, that the whole tapestry is now being woven.

The subject is a comic episode in which Walter and Toby Shandy, engrossed in conversation on their way down a flight of stairs, pause for a considerable time on the landing. Walter several times extends his foot on to the next step downwards, only to withdraw it each time he warms to his next topic of conversation.

So difficult does Sterne find it to get his characters off the stairs that he eventually employs a hack writer to come into his novel to do it for him, and when later in the book a conversation again ensues on a staircase, Sterne has to reassure the reader: ‘Do not be terrified, Madam, this staircase conversation is not so long as the last.’ (Chapter 30)

The episode begins with a Chapter of chances – how do we equip ourselves to deal with the many misfortunes that chance throws at us? Toby suggests religion. Walter thinks we can counterbalance evil with good, and that by naming his son Trismegistus, (“Thrice great”) he will arm him against further troubles.

“WE shall bring all things to rights, said my father, setting his foot upon the first step from the landing — This Trismegistus, continued my father, drawing his leg back, and turning to my uncle Toby — was the greatest (Toby) of all earthly beings – ”

Tristram, poor boy, instead of being thrice great, suffers three crushing blows: one with the squashing of his nose by Dr Slop’s forceps; another by his being misnamed Tristram and a third with the unfortunate premature closing of the sash window.

The pause on the landing – on the very stairs where stands the clock that entered Mrs Shandy’s head, with such unfortunate results, at the crucial point of Tristram’s conception – is a moment out of time in which Toby and Walter Shandy discuss chance, the misfortunes of life, and ponder how to deal with them. The episode is not just comic, but a meditation on change, chaos, and much else besides, and it gives rich scope for the artists who have taken up the challenge for this exhibition.

The clock, symbol and measure of the passing of time, has a central role in Caulfield’s tapestry. It is the clock which is depicted in the sample woven by Dovecot studios and which forms the centrepiece over the ‘landing’ at the far end of the gallery (modelled on the British Library stairs). Consciousness of the speed of passing time shows everywhere in Tristram Shandy – often with comic effect – as in this passage of the impossibility of recording a life in detail while living it at the same time:

‘I am this month one whole year older than I was this time twelve-month; and having got, as you perceive, almost into the middle of my fourth volume — and no farther than to my first day’s life — ’tis demonstrative that I have three hundred and sixty-four days more life to write just now, than when I first set out ; so that instead of advancing, as a common writer, in my work with what I have been doing at it — on the contrary, I am just thrown so many volumes back– was every day of my life to be as busy a day as this — And why not ? — at this rate I should just live 364 times faster than I should write — It must follow, an’ please your worships, that the more I write, the more I shall have to write — and consequently, the more your worships read, the more your worships will have to read. Will this be good for your worships’ eyes?’

Underlying the comedy is a serious consciousness that life is short, and we must live it to the full:

‘Time wastes too fast: every letter I trace tells me with what rapidity Life follows my pen: the days and hours of it, more precious, my dear Jenny! than the rubies about thy neck, are flying over our heads like light clouds of a windy day, never to return more– every thing presses on–whilst thou art twisting that lock,–see! it grows grey’ Vol 4 67

Sterne’s ‘live the moment’ attitude springs perhaps from his knowledge that he was ill and that his life would not be long. The energy and speed of ‘Tristram Shandy’ is driven by his consciousness of having to live life to the full, with death at his heels he resolves to live life at a gallop!

‘had I not better, Eugenius, fly for my life? ‘Tis my advice my dear Tristram, said Eugenius – Then by heaven! I will lead him a dance he little thinks of – …’

The ‘curious vehicle’ which is man, is constantly jolted and jostled by misfortunes, but Walter talks of the ‘secret spring within us’ which ‘sets all things to rights’. For Sterne, this secret spring is high spirits and laughter. As he writes in the dedication to Tristram Shandy:

‘..it is written in a bye corner of the kingdom, and in a retir’d thatch’d house, where I live in a constant endeavour to fence against the infirmities of ill health, and other evils of life, by mirth; being firmly persuaded that every time a man smiles, — but much more so, when he laughs, it adds something to this Fragment of Life.

Visual Wit - Royal Academy artists

Visual wit exhibition
Visual wit exhibition

Exhibition of work by Royal Academicians including Peter Blake, Richard Long and Alison Wilding. In partnership with the Royal Academy.

Philip Barnes and Paul Brandford PB² - 2005

Paul Barnes Paul Brandford PB2
Paul Barnes Paul Brandford PB2

Mixed-media work by Philip Barnes; paintings by Paul Brandford.

8 September – 31 September

Nadia Cockayne - River - 2004

River photo Marion Frith
River photo Marion Frith

Oil pastel paintings of Yorkshire Rivers. Local focus on local becks and streams, identified, named and with photographs by Marion Frith.

York Art Workers - Summer Show - 2004

York Art Workers
York Art Workers

John Langton, Ruth King, Isabel Denyer, Carolyn Stephenson, Pauline Barker, Jane Kennelly, Peter Dick, Helen Whittaker, Marion Frith, Alan Hitchcock, Brian Partridge, Richard Page and Marjorie Walkington.

The York Artworkers is an eclectic association of craftsmen,artists, conservators, academics and others who share a serious interest in the design of buildings, interiors and landscapes. Members represent architectural craftsmanship, other applied arts, fine arts, architecture and conservation. They welcome not only practitioners in these fields but anyone keen to broaden and share their knowledge.

Tom Phillips - Life, Death and that sort of thing - 2004

TOM PHILLIPS was born in 1937 in London where he still lives and works. As an internationally established artist and prominent Royal Academician he is represented in museum collections worldwide. He is best known for his book A Humument (which remains a work in progress) and his work on Dante’s Inferno which he translated and illustrated (as co-director of the TV version he won the Italia Prize). Major retrospectives of his paintings have been held on both sides of the Atlantic including National Portrait Gallery, Yale Center, Royal Academy, Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris and, in 1997 Dulwich Picture Gallery. His musical compositions include the opera Irma which has been recorded several times and the song suite Six of Hearts. His theatre projects include designing The Winter’s Tale for the opening season of the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and translating and designing Otello for the ENO in 1998. He is currently working with composer Tarik O’ Regan on a libretto for a chamber opera of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. In 2008 he designed a production of The Magic Flute for Opera Holland Park. From 1985 to 2007 he was Chairman of the Exhibitions Committee at the Royal Academy of Arts and has served as a trustee of both the National Portrait Gallery and the British Museum.

Carry Akroyd - Of natures powers and spells - 2003

Carry Akroyd Ruth King poster
Carry Akroyd Ruth King

Carry Akroyd. Prints inspired by the poet John Clare. With potter – Ruth King.