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Nature and the Environment

Thursday 19 March to Tuesday 14 April 

James McGairy's watercolours show off the beautiful landscapes of the North York Moors. Sculptor Darrell Evanes and artist Peter Reynolds reflect how nature and the environment interconnect.

James McGairy

James McGairy has been working as an artist in Guisborough, on the northern edge of the North York Moors, since 1991.

James is inspired by the visual splendour of the moors and uses paint to celebrate the subtle northern light of the local landscape.

He holds regular workshops and painting demonstrations, and his work has been recognised at several art competitions. At the 1993 Autumn Exhibition of the British Society of Painters, James was highly commended and won an award as the most outstanding young watercolourist. 

James says:

I search for subjects that inspire and I often look for a ‘light’ – in fact, for me, light is the key. I use photographs as reference point, though I need to spend time at the location and often return to familiar places. The painting process involves layering paint, in an effort to achieve depth, and thus I feel my way into my paintings. I am continually thrilled by the magical quality of paint.

Darrell Evanes

Darrell Evanes is a Leeds-born artist and sculptor. He studied for a BA (Hons) in Fine Art and Sculpture at Bretton Hall, Wakefield, graduating in 1996, and currently works from his studio in Oldham, Lancashire. In 2013, Darrell was short-listed for Royal Academy of Arts summer show.

His work employs the concept of fragments in time – of what once was and is no more. He uses recycled metals, iron and rust to create unique sculptures of boats, planes, trains, birds, insects, animals and human forms. Chains are often found within the sculptures, symbolising the link between the present and the past. 

Darrell says:

My aim is to express and share my feelings, impressions, inventions and view of life. In the context of our age – dynamic, intense, overloaded with information – I have chosen the short form as the best way for artistic expression. I create my sculptures from scrap metal and found objects in order to achieve a more vital, direct and immediate effect. I place emphasis on the detail of a curious structure, object or substance, giving it a new meaning by putting it in an extraordinary environment or by changing its dimensions and composition. I transform each piece into a new reality.

Peter Reynolds

Peter Reynolds was born in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, but moved to the North York Moors upon his retirement from the police force. He now pursues a love of painting that he’s had since an early age, combined with an endless fascination with the natural world. 

From his home on the edge of Newtondale, Peter takes his inspiration from the wildlife and landscapes seen on his walks. He’s always on the lookout for a good prop for a painting, and can often be seen returning with an old rusty bucket or a fallen tree branch to add to his studio collection of useful odds and ends.

Peter paints mainly in acrylics, enjoying the medium’s ability to allow fine detail, but he also works in watercolour, relying on simple brush strokes and tone to convey mood and atmosphere.

Peter has demonstrated at art clubs and societies all over the country and is a sought-after teacher of painting techniques.