Hopmarket art offering Hope and Joy

WORCESTER’s historic Hopmarket has welcomed a number of artists as part of a city-wide art project.

The courtyard is one of the chosen venues for an outdoor gallery of art, organised by Worcester City Council, Worcester BID and Severn Arts.

Launched earlier this month with a theme of Hope and Joy, the scheme aims to create engaging and bespoke designs in retail units throughout the city.

The Hopmarket’s artists are :

Sarah Millin

Artist and illustrator Sarah Millin is exhibiting her piece, entitled Look up in Unit 5 at The Hopmarket.  Sarah explained her vision behind it; she said : “When I visited the city centre during the pandemic I looked up towards the city’s skyline and saw – amongst other things – gargoyles and historical chimney stacks.  From this I created artwork for 50 postcards, Worcester’s 50 reasons to be cheerful in these challenging times.”

Sarah – who takes her inspiration from nature – has worked with clients which include the BBC, Liberty’s of London, The Hay Festival, The National Trust and The Forestry Commission.  She has also worked in Kenya as a textile designer.

Michelle Flint

Textile artist Michelle Flint is exhibiting her images, entitled Finding Hope and Joy at Unit 6 in The Hopmarket.  She said : “I wanted to make people stop and look at the work in detail so I have incorporated the theme of hope and joy as a phrase written throughout the design for people to find.  A QR code on the bottom of the artwork links to a webpage that has the answer.  The idea is that people spend time looking for the phrases and see if they can find them all.”

Michelle specialises in creating realistic textile illustrations of buildings, landscapes and animals which are drawn with thread using a domestic sewing machine.  The designs are painted on cotton using procion dyes or acrylic paints mixed with a textile medium using free motion embroidery.

Mark Riley

Mark’s mixed media collage – entitled Reconnecting – can be viewed at Unit 17 in The Hopmarket; a freelance community artist as well as a fine artist, Mark exhibited in the Pastel Society’s annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London in 2018 and awarded Highly Commended in the TALP Open Exhibition in both 2017 and 2019.

Mark explained the inspiration behind his piece; he said : “The theme of the outdoor gallery is Hope and Joy; I wanted to remember the positive things we discovered in lockdown – helping each other out, looking after our physical and mental wellbeing, reconnecting with nature and our outdoor spaces; the artwork tries to capture this and show how it is all connected.”

Cherrie Mansfield and Richard Nicholls

Cherrie Mansfield and Richard Nicholls are exhibiting their five pieces of bespoke artwork – entitled The Joy of Colour – at 16, The Foregate. The ‘thrown’ paintings have been designed to evoke feelings of joy, optimism and positivity and have been created using acrylic paints and macro photography.

Cherrie’s paintings are regularly exhibited throughout the West Midlands and have been shown in London and St Ives.  She is an ArtGemini Prize finalist and her work was selected for the Society of Women Artists Annual Exhibition in London in 2017.  Richard is a fine art photographer and has a particular interest in the crossover of digital and traditional processes.

Coun Michael Johnson, interim chairman of The Hopmarket Charitable Trust said : “We are thrilled to be playing our part in this latest initiative to animate our local spaces and bring art to the whole community, particularly at such a time of upheaval.

“We encourage people to visit The Hopmarket and immerse themselves in this uplifting project.”

Worcester – The Worcester Observer