Harry Potter artist launches three-day art event

An illustration for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by Cliff Wright. Published by Bloomsbury
4 Oct 2013 @ 8.55 am
| News
An illustration for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by Cliff Wright. Published by Bloomsbury
An illustration for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by Cliff Wright. Published by Bloomsbury

A new art event opens in York today, Friday, October 4, showcasing the work of Harry Potter illustrator Cliff Wright, selling the work of more than 40 artists and showcasing some emerging talent.

Make It Up North is a three-day art and contemporary craft and design event at the Guildhall. Friday is given over to talks and workshops by Cliff Wright, while Saturday and Sunday sees a full art fair, sale and exhibition.

Organisers hope to make it a focal point in the north, bringing together a wealth of artists, designer-makers and crafts people from all over the country.

Located at the Guildhall, Make It Up North offers a weekend of art, design and contemporary craft for sale and commission. A varied programme of workshops, talks, installations and entertainment runs alongside the sale, with an informal preview evening opened by Lord Mayor of York Cllr Julie Gunnell on Friday, October 4.

“We feel there is a real need for an event like Make It Up North,” says co-organiser Victoria Robinson.

“While there are lots of good, smaller events, open studios and arts trails in and around Yorkshire, there isn’t one, big show that can act as a focal point for art and craft in the area and that’s what we would like Make It Up North to become.

“We also wish to reinforce the idea that it is possible to make it as an artist or designer-maker in the north as there is a misapprehension that you have to go down south to be able to sell your work successfully.”

Artist, sculptor and the illustrator of two Harry Potter books, Cliff Wright hosts two workshops, as well as giving a talk seeking to inspire the artist in everyone.

“I think there’s a creative soul in all of us, you just need self-belief,” Cliff said. “It’s important for people to experience it for themselves and then talk about it afterwards.”

Other established artists will be showing and selling their original works within a specially curated space, including paper cut artist Sarah Morpeth and sculptor Brendan Hesmondhalgh, who won first and second place respectively at Art In Action’s prestigious Best of the Best competition.

Make It Up North will also showcase fresh talent, including Hayley Murphy who will be exhibiting an installation based on her degree show work.

There will be a photographic exhibition capturing rehearsals from epic First World War theatre production Blood + Chocolate.

Sculptor Brendan Hesmondhalgh is a director of the company behind Make It Up North, The Art Market. He said: “York seemed such an obvious destination to launch our newest event, it’s a fantastic city of culture and I think our event fits York’s character perfectly.

Make It Up North is a three year plan for York. Our October event is a pilot scheme, already packed full of fantastic artists and artworks. We hope the residents and visitors of York love it – we plan to make this event much bigger over the next three years.”

A piece by Brendan Hesmondhalgh. Photograph: John Coombes
A piece by Brendan Hesmondhalgh. Photograph: John Coombes

What’s on

Friday, October 4

Cliff Wright Day
10am-noon: Workshop for adults, £40. More details here
Afternoon: workshop for schools
4pm-5pm: Artist talk for all ages. Tickets are £6 and include entry into the main show on either Saturday, October 5 or Sunday, October 6. More details here

Saturday, October 5 and Sunday, October 6

Main show
The Guildhall will be packed with artists and designer-makers selling their own artworks direct to the public. There will also be a curated exhibition space, installations, demonstrations, Filmore & Union cafe area, Blood & Chocolate photography exhibition and live music. Runs from 10am to 6pm on Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday

There are also talks from wirework artist Cathy Miles, jeweller Jennie Gill, textile artist Dionne Swift, painter Gillian Lee Smith. Workshops include life drawing from York gallery owner Greg McGee and sculpture from Brendan Hesmondhalgh. All the event details are here.