Over the years since we opened in 2009, we have had almost 70 exhibitions. Some of these are available online. We hope you will enjoy browsing these pages. If you live far from Settle, perhaps it will whet your appetite to pay us a visit. And in the summer of 2019 we staged a special tenth anniversary exhibition at the Folly Museum in Settle. It ran from July 6 to September 6 and told the story of how we established the gallery. It listed all the exhibitions; included many of the posters we used to promote them and included tributes from many of our previous exhibitors, including Brian May who has shown some of his fascinating collection of Victorian photographs on two separate occasions. The boards from the exhibition are in the NOW WE ARE TEN section of this page.
13 April – 14 June 2021
This exhibition featured paintings on stone of bothies – or mountain huts – by Horton-based artist Alex Pilkington.
Alex is a regular visitor to bothies in the UK and across Europe. He has also recently become a maintenance organiser for Greensykes Bothy in South Scotland. In this exhibition Alex told the story of the bothies and the stones: “Not everyone is familiar with the word ‘Bothy’, so as a simple explanation… It is a mountain shelter that is open for people to stop over for a night, or take refuge in poor weather, or just visit for a picnic or lunch. There is much more to the bothy than this as they are all individual and have rich histories, both from the peasant farmers and shepherds that use to live in them with their families generations ago, to the mountaineers that have used them on epic and pioneering winter climbs. They are a wonderful asset to have in the UK’s wilderness areas and a night in one can enhance any visit to the mountains, as well as providing the chance to have a great social encounter with other like-minded mountain visitors that you may never have met before, nor meet again – but often the memories and stories told will never be forgotten.
“I have been visiting the bothies for a number of years using my mountain bike to bike-pack between them, sometimes doing 3-4 day trips, or sometimes just a night, sometimes with friends, sometimes with family and quite often just on my own. During the coronavirus lockdown the bothy pebble painting became a good escape for me and I found it very therapeutic. I have created some 30 images on a range of stones, most from my own photographs of bothies that I have visited. There is a wide range of landscapes from sunny coastal vistas to winter mountain-scapes, some under the crisp night sky, similarly the stones are all varied and provide a nice medium to paint on.”
Alex Pilkington – Horton- in-Ribblesdale The Bothy Stones are for sale at £25 each. A £5 donation will be made to the Mountain Bothies Association – www.mountainbothies.org.uk
Alex at a Slovenian Bothy (or Bivak as they are known in that country)
Alex’s bike outside a highland bothy
The Greensykes Bothy, in the Scottish Borders, which Alex helps maintain
9 January -12 April 2021
John Bentley’s photographic exhibition ‘A Year in Hill Farming’ documented the sheep farming year in the uplands of Yorkshire and Cumbria. The photographs had been taken over the past 6 years by John who is based in Settle and is fascinated by the cycle and traditions of the farming year, the diversity of sheep and hill farming and the dedication of individual farmers and localities to particular breeds.
He said: “To me it is very important to document the industry as it stands and I am very respectful of the history and traditions of sheep farming and its social and economic importance to the Dales and the rural north of England. There are economic and environmental pressures on the industry and this past year has, of course, also seen the impact of Covid-19, meaning that the gatherings for the traditional shows and sales (as depicted in many of the photographs) can no longer take place in the usual way. The photographs in the exhibition document the sheep breeds, the people who rear / buy / sell them, the workings of the farming calendar and the environment and the infrastructure of hill farming. “
John has been a keen photographer for over 40 years. He has a wide range of photographic interests including live concert photography, landscape, travel and documentary photography. While John contributes news and stock photographs to a national press agency he is retired from full-time employment and able to devote his time to his personal photographic projects. In 2016/17 he was a contributor to the ‘Voices from the Land’ exhibition (initially staged at Hawes Countryside Centre), which focussed on interviewing and photographing farmers in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. His wide range of photographic work can be viewed online at-
John says: “When I moved to Settle my farming photo project was mainly centred around photographing agricultural shows, livestock markets and sheepdog trials. In particular, sheep shows like Tan Hill and the various Lake District Shepherds’ Meets started to loom large in the coverage. Becoming an ‘addict’ of sorts, I was drawn into photographing the world of hill sheep farming. There is still so much to photograph in the realm of sheep, but in the meantime in this exhibition I’ve tried to paint a picture of how the farming year pans out, including putting the tups with the ewes (or ‘yows’) in autumn, pregnancy testing, spring lambing, fell gathers, shearing, shows and sales and haymaking. I’ve tried to record the people, the animals, the activities, the infrastructure, the landscape and environment and the seasons. I find lots of aspects to photograph, although Covid-19.
A guide giving the background to the exhibition and more about hill farming today can be downloaded here:
The story behind the exhibition
12 December 2020 – 8 January 2021
In the winter of 2020, once again we were delighted to show the famous all-knitted 12 days of Christmas as our contribution to the seasonal spirit in Settle. Featuring lords-a leaping, maids a milking, swans a swimming and all the rest, including of course the partridge in its pear tree, would Christmas be Christmas without this excellent work by our local knitters?
Since their first showing in 2014 the 78 tiny all knitted figures that act out the words of the Twelve Days of Christmas have amazed visitors and set many of them reciting the lines about what their true love gave to them on each of those days of Christmas.
The eight ladies knitting who produced the exhibition are Settle residents: Jeanne Carr, Catherine Holland, Shirley Crosby, Alison Tyas, Joyce Elliot, Jacqui Lewington, Betty Beesley and Janet Lillywhite. Credit is due too to Barbara Rigby who designed the window panels, giving the exhibition a truly festival spirit.
It has long been believed that the words of the Twelve Days of Christmas, did not reflect the rather odd collection of gifts given to a fiancée who would probably have preferred a box of chocolates, but were a device used by 16th century Roman Catholics to convey the basics of their belief without arousing the suspicions of non-Catholics.
In previous years the exhibition has been enhanced by gifts of chocolate left for visitors, but this year Covid restrictions prevented this.
Eight knitters knitting
12 September – 12 December 2020
This exhibition honoured the true heroes of the Covid-19 pandemic – the people who put their own safety at risk to look after us all.
The exhibition ran from September 12 and was due to close on November 6, but with a new lockdown introduced from November 4 and set to run until early December it seemed only right to extend this highly relevant exhibition until the start of the Christmas show on December 12.
As in the earlier lockdown the gallery remained open, not least because we physically couldn’t close it, but visitors were requested to observe social distancing ie one visitor at a time and to wash their hands before and after their visit.
Many of the portraits in Frontline faces were of friends and former colleagues of the Settle-based artist Julie Sobczak. Some were local, including a sheep farmer and his dog, but reflecting the fact that this is a global pandemic, they also included people that Julie had met during her extensive travels, that included a spell working as a midwife in the Cayman Islands.
Among the images was one of a group of musicians from New York who entertained neighbours during lockdown – the lead musician James Palmaro, who has been blind for forty years, is a long- time friend of Julie’s. You can read more about him here: James Palmaro
Another image was of a policeman and his dog from New Zealand: they work with another of Julie’s friends and have been featured in a piece on this exhibition in the New Zealand police magazine (see posting in the Gallery in the News section). Naturally health care workers in their protective gear featured in many of the images. And reflecting Julie’s time as a midwife there was a picture of a family and their new born child with the midwife.
As an artist, Julie has previously worked mainly with watercolours but has more recently has embraced the wizardry of technology to create these digital paintings, based on photographs, that strive not only to capture a likeness – but also give an insight into subject’s personality.
Julie says: “Thank you to all frontline workers. Your tireless efforts are not going unnoticed.” Fifty percent of donations made to the gallery during this exhibition will go to NHS Charities Together.
You can read more about Julie’s work at the website www.digitalartbrush.com
11 July – 11 September 2020
The work on show in this co-authorship exhibition TALKING PINK was created by Alison Medd and Paul Rogers and investigated and explored ideas and images based around the colour PINK..
Interacting with the photography the contemporary art practice of Alison has a different approach and provided contrasting emphasis and vitality to the exhibition in its enquiry around the subject. Stories collected from children and their families were explored and their words made the colour exist invisibly in this space. Dialogue is a contraction from the Greek words for through and words. Today children catalogue and categorise their everyday through a visual frame. Emoji’s and’ likes’ replace the human response; what is read is frequently lost but what is spoken can be passed down through generations. Scientist David Bohm considers dialogue as a kind of creative catalyst for a group so this project TALKING PINK aims to trigger an intergenerational discourse on what the colour pink means to them and their families. As children’s author Lois Lowry said ‘Memories need to be shared.’
The photographic images were collected ‘street photography’ which were meant to complement and balance Alison’s eclectic, investigative approach to pink.
A.C. Grayling says…’ The history of collecting illuminates something striking: the human mind’s unquenchable curiosity, and its love for the wonder of the world’ – in this case TALKING PINK. The images are what most street photography is about – questioning; collecting; creating or snapping the ‘strange and mundane’; developing contexts; encouraging one thing to lead to another and allowing thinking about things we didn’t know or hadn’t seriously thought about. All put into perspective and reinforced in practice by Magidson’s lyrics…’ Enjoy yourself while you’re still in the pink’ and Elizabeth Taylor’s comment about ‘…falling off my pink cloud with a thud’.
Alison Medd is Director of Learning for Expressive Arts at a secondary school in Kent. Alison is new to the Gallery on the Green but has exhibited contemporary art at group shows with rhizoMAATic14 including – 288 NXRd, rhizoMAATic14 Graduate Show’(August 2014); 310 NXRd, ‘Say What?’ (March 2015); The Mali Salon, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Rijeka, Croatia ‘Say What?’ (April 2015). ‘Message on a Bottle’ Ashcroft Arts Centre (May 2016); Utopia Volkspark Friedrichshain (August 2016) and the Islington Arts Factory Summer Show (August 2017).
Paul Rogers was Associate Head of the School of Art and Design and a principal lecturer in applied photography at Blackpool and the Fylde college. He has exhibited previously in the Gallery on the Green and in local and national venues in the UK and the USA.
Alison Medd and Paul Rogers
Here is a photograph of Alison and Paul at the opening of the exhibition together with an overview of the show and some of the images on show in the exhibition.