Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Macclesfield Barnaby Festival 14-30 June 2013

Macclesfield Barnaby Festival runs from 14-30 June 2013 with over 100 events and exhibitions (most of them FREE), including a two week Art Trail with three major site-specific installations funded by Arts Council England.

Barnaby, a community festival run entirely by volunteers, is a re-invention of a centuries-old tradition of feast days and holidays celebrating St Barnabas. Every June, the town comes alive with music, performance, street theatre, visual arts, workshops and walks and talks celebrating the heritage and traditions of this wonderful mill town, made famous by its historic silk production.

Local industrialist, Charles Roe, built Christ Church, a Grade II* listed Georgian gem in the centre of Macclesfield -  dormant for 30 years - but brought back to life this Barnaby as an arts and performance venue.

Christ Church plays host to art work by UK collective Brass Art (pictured), a live music concert by Peter Hook & The Light (sold out), a comedy evening with award-winning Radio 4 regular, Mark Steel (sold out) and a 'Summertime' performance by the Northern Chamber Orchestra, with a special guest appearance by pupils from Bollington Cross Primary School.

For more information and to buy tickets for some of the events, please visit

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Malcolm Croft at the Colourfield Gallery

One of my very favourite Cheshire-based artists is having a show at the Colourfield Gallery in Poynton this month. Malcolm Croft shares wall space with Alan Thomson at 'Small Paintings' - don't miss the 'Road to Rainow' which is a little treasure.  Visit for more details. Preview starts at 7pm on Thursday 21 March. Expect plenty of red dots!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

shiny new website...

Please browse my new photography website at 

Have been working on some new portraits, like this one of actress Xanthe Patterson, and branching out into lifestyle & food, taking photographs for the new Lime Tree restaurant in Bollington. A selection of images were recently published alongside a great review in Cheshire Life magazine.

Many thanks to the lovely Tom Hardwidge at for all his genius.

Monday, 25 February 2013

'Dead End' - a zombie apocalypse!

A different kind of art this time - theatre.

Casting is underway for Dead End, an original production for the 2013 Macclesfield Barnaby Festival. The play is set against the backdrop of a UK zombie apocalypse and auditions are being held to find actors aged anywhere between ten and seventy for a variety of roles.

Dead End writer and director Jude D’Souza says: “I’m keen to audition as many people as possible, for parts that include a newsreader, a journalist, a scientist and a teenage survivor. The play is written as a series of monologues but includes some single lines and pre-recorded sequences too, so there is a range of opportunities for actors of all abilities, amateur, professional or complete novice!”

Open auditions for Dead End take place at the Bate Hall Pub on Chestergate in Macclesfield at 2pm on Saturday 2 March and 8pm on Thursday 7 March. Excerpts from the main roles will be available to read at the audition, but participants are welcome to perform a single monologue they have selected themselves.

If you have any queries please contact Jude D’Souza at For more information, please visit

Dead End will premiere at this year’s Macclesfield Barnaby Festival and is programmed to take place over the Big Weekend 21-23 June 2013.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Portrait of a Young Lady

Messing about taking photos of my youngest, Carrie. She has always had such extraordinary composure in front of a lens.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

HOLD 27 October to 15 November

Another interesting exhibition to put in the diary is Hold, showing at the Community Gallery run by ARC (Arts for Recovery in the Community) in Stockport, from Saturday 27th October to 15 November.

This is an exhibition of art by women from HMP, Styal and was produced during Arc associate Charlotte Brown's year-long residency at the prison. The show includes hand made books, textile banners, photographs and papier mache bird sculptures. The work is rich in creative ideas and incredible intricacy, and has been recognised for its quality at the prestigious Koestler Awards in London.

Inmates working on the project said: "I'm really buzzing about this and want to be able to keep this (piece of sculpture) to show my son about the 'real' me." "I've never had anyone to look after me or tell me anything good about myself. Art helps me do something good for me and I get encouragement. It's the gift that I give myself."

For more information about ARC, and to find out more about the exhibition, please visit

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Bright Future, by Judith Donaghy (Vernon Mill Artist)

Just a reminder to scoot down to Vernon Mill in Stockport this Friday 19 October, for the preview of their open studios weekend, from 7-10pm. Lots of fabulous work by established as well as up-and-coming artists.

Vernon Mill was where i first spotted Malcolm Croft and tempted him to come and exhibit at thewhitegallery. We were his first outing into the world of commercial art and since those early days, he's become something of a Cheshire celebrity! His solo shows sell out in minutes, but i'm pleased to report fame didn't go to his head and we've remained firm friends ever since. Malcolm no longer works from the mill, but his work can be viewed online at

Cornishwear teapot, by Malcolm Croft (SOLD)

Vernon Mill is on Mersey Street in Stockport.

For more information, please visit

Monday, 24 September 2012

Watching the heavy rain today, and listening to the news on Radio Four of more floods around Britain, I was reminded of an email sent to me by the lovely artist, Kate Lycett, who lives in Hebden Bridge. The town was hit by not just one, but two catastrophic floods this summer and residents and businesses alike were badly affected.

In an effort to renovate and regenerate this vibrant community, there's a  wonderful event happening at the new town hall in Hebden Bridge on Friday 28 September (time to be confirmed). Many of the artists and makers who live there, and quite a few that don't, but love the town, have donated beautiful things to be auctioned (see some images below).

Everyone is invited to visit and take part. To find out more, please go to their Facebook page at, or visit the town hall website at for more information about the auction.

Thursday, 6 September 2012


Crimson Rose in a blue glass vase, by Malcolm Croft

Every two years a very special art exhibition takes place in Macclesfield to raise money for the East Cheshire Hospice.

This year Art Fair 2012 is from 28 September to 6 October, 10am - 5pm daily.

Don't miss this opportunity to see work by over 90 established artists, including Timothy Gustard, Ian Jarman, Caroline Bailey, Jenny Matthews and Malcolm Croft. This year there is also a Gift Gallery selling high-quality prints, cards, textiles, jewellery and ceramics, so plenty to enjoy.

All works are for sale and 30% is donated directly to East Cheshire Hospice.

The Artist's Evening on Tuesday 2 October (6-9pm) gives you the opportunity to meet some of the artists and maybe sit for a portrait too! Refreshments are available throughout Art Fair 2012, so please drop by for a cup of tea and a chance to browse and buy.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

the end of a wonderful chapter, but not the book...

the gallery is now closed, but i won't be turning my back on the visual arts or artists in the area. please keep visiting this site, to find out more about events and exhibitions happening locally. i will continue to be closely involved with macclesfield barnaby festival and to shout loudly about new and exciting talent, wherever i find it. please watch this space...

Monday, 18 June 2012

eves@amuse and inking & thinking

There are some very special exhibitions being hung at this year's Macclesfield Barnaby Festival which runs from 21-24 June 2012.

eves@amuse, a solo show of work by Carlo Eves (one of the region's most accomplished painters) is at amuse cafe on Chestergate from Thursday 21 June and continues over the summer. The preview is on that same Thursday from 6pm and you are very welcome to join us for what will be the last official white gallery exhibition. 

Carlo Eves trained as a print maker and his most recent work leans towards abstraction and constructivism. He is fascinated by the relationship between the natural contours of the land and man's intervention, mostly represented by repeat patterns, shapes and marks made with a sharp tool using an ancient engraving technique called intaglio

Carlo will be demonstrating his skills at amuse on Friday 22 June (3-4pm) and Saturday 23 June 
(5-6pm) so please drop in and enjoy learning more about his techniques. 

Macclesfield is awash with art over Barnaby Festival and Thursday night provides an opportunity to see as many exhibitions on the art trail as is physically possible to do in the space of three hours! Start at amuse and take it from there. Please note, the art trail continues throughout the festival, with three very special Arts Council funded exhibitions at Paradise Mill, the Savage Chapel attached to St Michaels Church, and King Edward Street Chapel. Visit for more details.

Another exhibition to enjoy is Inking and Thinking, a collection of paintings and drawings by another white gallery artist, David Evans, at the Silk Museum on Old Park Lane. David will be running two bookmaking workshops aimed at young people aged between 8-12 on Saturday and Sunday over Barnaby, from 2-4pm. Ring the museum to reserve a place, or just drop in. If you have children who enjoy history and WWII, they'll love this!

My final recommendation is a wonderful exhibition at St Michael's church in Market Place called Animal Magic. The paintings have been created by local school children, using Saint-Saens 'Carnival of the Animals' music as inspiration. Pupils also studied Tunnicliffe's beautiful animal drawings at West Park Museum. A live concert performance of 'Carnival of the Animals' is also taking place on Sunday 24 June at 4.45pm to compliment the exhibition. Children are encouraged to make a mask (FREE mask-making workshops at the church on Saturday 23 June from 11am-1pm and 3-5pm) and wear it for the finale!

Please come along and enjoy all of these events if you can. The festival is run entirely by volunteers and is a fabulous opportunity to find out more about Macclesfield. For further information, and to buy tickets for some of the events, please visit

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

moving on...

After five wonderful years, thewhitegallery will be closing at the end of June. We are moving into Macclesfield, to a house where the children can have a trampoline in the garden and a dog to fuss over.

Of course, the joy of living at 13 Wellington Road has been the front room gallery, which has been a shop since the 1920's. First a cobblers, then a haberdashers, then a corsetieres, then the Greenhouse Gallery before we moved here in 2007 to set up thewhitegallery. Quite a journey for the house, and for us as a family. We've loved every minute of it, from the preview parties, to the exhibitions, to the last-minute christmas shoppers, to all the new friends we've made along the way.

I'm going to take a short break before launching myself back into my photography and writing, which i've been doing a lot more of recently. However, I won't be turning my back on the visual arts, and intend to carry on exhibiting and promoting new and established artists at every opportunity - I just won't be using a permanent or conventional gallery space to do it. I look forward to updating you via this blog, very soon. Also, I will continue to mail out interesting and unusual arts events and happenings that I'm either involved with, or find out about on my travels. There is so much going on in and around Macclesfield these days and I look forward to telling people more about it.

To start with, there's Macclesfield Barnaby Festival which starts on Thursday 21 June with Bell-issimo! a mass ring-in (involving church bells, hand bells, bicycle bells, alarm bells, mobile phone bells, people called get the picture!) and continues until Sunday 24 June with any number of fabulous things in between, including art exhibitions, live music and performances, the fete and carnival parade, midsummer tea party and evening feast, comedy, workshops and a touch of magic which will leave you breathless.

People all around us are busy creating something extremely special so please take part, visit the town over Barnaby and enjoy seeing Macclesfield at its very best. For more information, please visit

And please let me know if you'd like to be on my mailing list, or if you'd like to be removed. I can still be contacted on or by phone on 0776 167 7370.

It's been great getting to know all my customers over the years, and thinking of many of them now as friends. And of course, a special mention to all my lovely artists. Thank you for all your support and kindness. Until soon....

Saturday, 19 May 2012

ALEC FLEMING (1903-1978)

A lovely man called George, who's being restoring and framing paintings forever, rang me this week to ask whether he could show me some pictures he'd bought at a house clearance. "They're rather nice," he said. "I think you'll like them." He was right. It's not often I get that fizzy feeling in my stomach, but these four paintings created that response immediately.
We know very little about Alec Fleming, who lived with his wife Barbara (who was also a painter) in Alderley Edge. He was born in 1903 and died in 1978. We don't think they had any children.

They obviously loved to travel, as many of the pictures are of European cities and landscapes including Italy and France. As I imagine it, they painted pictures of places they visited and loved, and returned home with their memories in oil on board, rather than conventional photographs or postcards. I love the idea they wanted to paint something into their memory, rather than simply taking a snapshot of it.

 Alec painted local scenes too, of the Cheshire countryside and coastal scenes from what we think is the south of England. None of the paintings have titles, and all are very simply signed on the back. George has lovingly restored the pictures and given them elegant frames that show them off well. I've only seen a handful of pictures, but they're all impressive, with an assured, lose brush stroke, and with hints of inspiration from impressionist artists like Vincent Van Gogh and Alfred Sisley.

 I'd love to know more about this artist, and his wife too: George has several of Barbara's paintings in his collection as well. But for the moment, I'll have to be content with simply the paintings, which speak for themselves.

Friday, 27 January 2012

exactly the right picture...

'White Nancy from Rainow Road', by Christine Anne Sheehan.

Paintings by Bollington-based arist, Christine Anne Sheehan, have always been popular at thewhitegallery: she manages to capture the essence of the village and the hills that surround it with such skill and affection. And I love the way she paints light.

Recently, a customer came in to see if we had any paintings of Bollington: she was moving to start a new life in London but was struggling to leave the village behind. She wondered if there was something she could take with her to remind her of the time she'd spent here? I showed her a small print by Christine, which happened to be her favourite view of White Nancy as you come down Moss Brow from Long Lane, somewhere she often walked her dog.

She loved the view but the print wasn't big enough, so i suggested she might like to commission a painting. Within days, the customer had met Christine and talked things through. Christine then went away to paint exactly the right view, at exactly the right time of year (that crispy, crunchy time in winter, with frost on the trees and pinkish watered-down light) and with exactly the right dimensions and frame.

You might say it was exactly the right picture. And certainly a lovely way for my customer to remember the village and its breath-taking views - she and the hound even feature in the painting!

'White Nancy from Moss Brow, Winter' by Christine Anne Sheehan

Friday, 20 January 2012

new year, new work by ian jarman...

'Snow in Manchester' by Ian Jarman

I've worked with Ian Jarman since the gallery opened in 2007. In fact, his large monoprint of Deansgate in Manchester was the first picture i ever sold. But that's not why I have a deep affection for his work: it's because of the skill he brings to every picture, recreating a scene with such sensitivity and making even the most grotty cityscape come to life with light and humanity.

Each line of parked cars, each skyscraper, each gable end is reproduced with such a clear interpretation. I love the way Ian brings such tenderness to the ugliest of scenes. I think this artist could make any gutter beautiful, any skip seem lovely. But he doesn't forget to make his pictures real. As someone who lived in Manchester for many years (my children were both born in St Mary's on Oxford Road, near the University) I have a real soft spot for the city and Ian Jarman shows me the Manchester I carry around in my head: the hidden corners and tucked-away places that reveal the city to us; the fire escapes that climb the backs of buildings behind Picadilly Station, the scrubland car parks round the back of the Arndale, the alleys around and about the Northern Quarter.

'Snow, Roman Fort, Castelfield' by Ian Jarman.

His affection for the city is there in every picture, and it's that quality that makes me smile whenever he shows me something new.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

beautiful bird houses by amanda mares....

the perfect gift for anyone who loves beautiful, handcrafted things, this bird house is made from vintage fabric and comes with a contrasting fabric bird. the house can be placed on a mantle or bookcase, or hung from the wall.

the artist, amanda mares, is based in manchester. we have five different bird houses for sale and, like anything bird-related at thewhitegallery, i'm expecting them to fly out quickly, so be sure to visit soon.

Monday, 28 November 2011

art angels special delivery...

i love this time of the year, when i can order new christmas cards from my wonderful suppliers, art angels in norwich.

the images they use are just beautiful - by artists like allen william seaby & print makers such as robert skinner and alice melvin - and they're printed to the highest quality, so lots of customers return to have them framed.

these are just a small selection of the cards on offer this year.

christmas comes early to thewhitegallery... the shape of new work by the very talented ralph mcgaul.

demand for this artist's work is growing, so make a date to drop in soon and see his new paintings. i promise you won't be disappointed.

'coat of many colours,' by ralph mcgaul.

'baby's head, chips & gravy', by ralph mcgaul.

'lake or backwater' by ralph mcgaul.

we also have some new work by di metcalfe and jenny hirst - perfect for that surprise gift on christmas morning.

the gallery is open wednesday to friday 10am-3pm and saturday 10am-5pm.

Friday, 18 November 2011

something special from over the hill...

'Tulips' by Ingrid Karlson-Kemp.

One of my favourite car journeys out of Bollington is up Blaze Hill, along the side of the ridge with White Nancy at the end, and out across the moors towards Buxton. The children especially love the twists and turns in the road, and the openness as you get to the highest point with the valleys below. I always remark that 'I think that's Shuttlingsloe?' without actually knowing, but something I'm very sure about is that every bit of the landscape makes me want to exhale and lower my shoulders. It was this journey (but in reverse) that the artist Ingrid Karlson-Kemp took to find me the other day.

'River Breaking' by Ingrid Karlson-Kemp

Originally from Sweden, Ingrid works in mixed media, using rich, colourful textures whether working with recycled paper materials or stitching in fabric and fibre. Storytelling inspires her work where subject matter ranges from memories, journeys and experiences, to the magic landscapes of her present home in Upper Dovedale or her roots in Northern Sweden. Favoured techniques include collage, mono-printing and crystalline watercolour lending the work a luminous quality.

Ingrid is one of the resident artists at the Gallery in the Gardens at Buxton's refurbished Pavilions. She is also a member of the Peak District Artisans, exhibiting at the prestigious annual Great Dome Art Fair in the Buxton Festival Fringe.

I'm just delighted Ingrid has decided to venture over the hills to come and exhibit at thewhitegallery. Don't miss this chance to see her work before Christmas.

'Honeysuckle' by Ingrid Karlson-Kemp

Saturday, 5 November 2011

new papier mache sculptures by patty callaghan...

who could resist patty callaghan's papiermache creations. a whole herd of cattle, sheep, crows and shire horses are crowding out thewhitegallery this christmas! fantastic value, starting at just £35 for a newspaper heffer, i dare you not to be charmed! they've brought a smile to the face of every customer who's seen them. be sure to take a look soon - and let us know if you've got any special requests as i'm sure patty could rustle up the odd terrier or gloucester old spot if we asked her nicely! email for more information.

New work by Adele White...

'It's the Ephemera' by Adele White

Based in South Cheshire, Adele White's work is immediately striking for its rich use of colour, shape and texture. Adele often works beyond the canvas, placing found objects like metal and board around and over the edges of the base.

"The stimulus for my work," she says, "is a vast collection of memories and experiences...these include old boats, architectural surfaces and peeling billboards whose rich textures and time worn qualities provide intrigue. It is the ephemera which trace a person's existence by the surface marks that remain, which I find fascinating."

Adele describes her painting process as a kind of 'artistic archaeology'- the oil paint is layered up and selectively rubbed back to reveal previously worked areas. Her work is essentially abstract but there is something very realistic about elements of it too - a bus ticket here, a foreign stamp there, each tiny fragment a memory of some journey taken, some place visited. Like a very beautiful scrap book presented in a painterly way. Each picture tells a story and it's up to the viewer to interpret the tale.

'Stop, Look, Listen' by Adele White

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

bollington walking festival 21-30 october 2011

delamere forest I by di metcalfe

to celebrate the second bollington walking festival, thewhitegallery is hosting an exhibition of work by local artists celebrating the landscape.

poynton-based painter, di metcalfe, has produced some beautiful oils of macclesfield forest and a series of paintings depicting delamere forest, cheshire's largest area of woodland near northwich. rich strokes of brown and black represent the trees which are reflected in the lake, with turqoise skies behind. there is a feeling of snow in the air which feels just right for this time of year, as the evenings draw in and we all begin to hunker down and set our fires.

closer to home, bollington artist christine anne sheehan reproduces scenes familiar with walkers and cyclists, such as the the view from baxendale towards kettleshulme or the hills around pott shrigley.

john smith paints the local pond at the bottom of ingersley road with blaze hill in the background, using loose and confident strokes to present his impression of the village.

textures by jack lloyd

jack lloyd's popular photomontages of the village will also be exhibited, with framed and mounted prints available to take away from as little as £40.

please do drop in to look around - if you're lucky there may be tea and cakes available for a donation to the bridgend centre, curtesy of my two children dan and carrie, who've been busy baking.

come rain or shine, hope to see you over the festival & happy walking!

oh, and don't forget to buy your tickets for the catwalk show on sunday 30th october at 7pm, available from the bridgend or here at thewhitegallery. lots of great recycled clothes on show, and the chance to bid for a bargain as tv auctioneer adam partridge takes to the pulpit to auction outfits at the end of the evening. tickets cost £6 (including a glass of wine and nibbles) and are selling fast so be sure to get yours NOW! all profits to the wonderful bridgend centre...

Saturday, 8 October 2011

something fun for the autumn....

dean murray has created some really fun images of white nancy: pop in to take a closer look at 'planet nancy', which uses some very clever photographic techniques indeed. brownie points to the person who can explain how he does it!

andy fullalove - paintings filled with colour & light

andy fullalove's interest in painting began as a young boy, when he remembers wanting to recreate van gogh's 'sunflowers'. his grandfather was a painter and when he died, andy inherited his paints and brushes.

He has always worked in oils, creating layer upon layer of texture & colour. one of the main themes in andy's work is the regeneration of the land - the notion that civilisations have risen up through adversity alongside the constant force of nature.

Andy's work is filled with a richness of colour and light, giving you a palpable sense of the energy and vigour with which he paints.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

kenneth lawson (1920 - 2008)

There is something quite beautiful about the way Kenneth Lawson painted - the elegance of his brush stoke, the confidence of his colour palette. I'm delighted to showing five of his paintings at thewhitegallery this autumn.

During his early years as an artist in Dulwich, Kenneth's mentor was the Royal Academician, James Fitton. Kenneth exhibited with the 'London Group' at Burlington House and at major London galleries, including the Leger and the Redfern.

His working life revolved around the theatre, working as a scenic artist and designer for the Royal Opera House and Convent Garden and in 1951 he was approached by Graham Sutherland to assist with his large painting, 'The Origins of the Land' for the Festival of Britain. The painting was created at the Tate, and has remained there ever since.

During the 50's and 60's Kenneth worked at the BBC in Manchester, designing for television and then in the 1980's he returned to the theatre, collaborting on seven operas for the South Yorkshire Opera Company at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre, including sets for 'Madame Butterfly' and 'Tosca'.

Retirement allowed Kenneth to concentrate once again on painting, inspired by visits to the Algave, Madeira and Italy's Amalfi coast.

During his lifetime, Kenneth's work was exhibited widely across the north west, at Gallery Oldham, Touchstones Rochdale, Salford Museum and Art Gallery and the Whitworth in Manchester. Many of his works also reside in private collections in the UK, France, Holland and the US.