Buxton’s popular destination for lovers of art and creativity, The Green Man Gallery, has opened its doors again after four and a half months of closure. Thanks to the hard work of the gallery team, The Green Man has earned accreditation from Visit England’s We’re Good to Go national scheme which assures visitors that all the COVID-safe requirements have been met.
“We have followed the guidelines for museums and galleries which are very stringent,” says Events Manager, Caroline Small, “and we’re delighted to be welcoming people back for a much-needed dose of colour and inspiration!”
What can visitors expect?
Regular visitors will notice a few changes – opening hours are much reduced and the upper floors are currently closed – but the quality of the work and the warmth of the welcome are just the same. In more normal times, the gallery has a busy programme of workshops, performances and other art-related events but these are all on hold until restrictions are lifted.
“We’re hoping to open the upper floors during the autumn, and to resume a few regular events such as Life Drawing, pottery tuition and the Frames 4 Art Pop-Up Shop if it’s safe to do so. There’s still so much uncertainty and we’re taking things a step at a time”, says Caroline.
Entry remains free and visitors do not need to pre-book. Visitor numbers are being monitored to avoid overcrowding and enable social distancing so visitors can enjoy the gallery space safely.
In the meantime, visitors can explore new exhibitions by the eleven resident artists in the large ground floor gallery; smaller art and craft items in the shop area and an extensive new display of prints and cards. There are prices to suit all budgets making original, contemporary affordable art for anyone who is keen to refresh their walls after lockdown.
Toilets will currently remain closed at the gallery; the nearest public toilets are at Buxton Town Hall, on the opposite side of the road just a couple of minutes from the gallery.
Meet the Artists!
Geoff Chilton is a painter and ceramicist and is one half of Earth Pig Pottery. His paintings have incredible depth and energy thanks to experimental mixed media techniques. His fascination with the colours, forms and textures of the landscape is reflected both in his paintings and in the glazes he uses on his ceramic pieces.
Mandy Collins continually experiments with new media. Her love of colour is expressed in work ranging from hand painted silk scarves to abstract acrylic and resin pieces. She is also a digital artist creating abstract and semi-abstract images from her original photos.
Mara Edwards is known for her large, colourful and expressive oil paintings. Her work is mostly abstract but contains figurative, floral and organic elements which are a delight to explore. The paint is often thickly applied but the overall impression is of lightness and vitality.
Susan Eversfield enjoys working thematically and creates art works in a wide range of styles and media including watercolours, pastels and ceramics. Her images often draw inspiration from her extensive travels. Her new collection includes a series inspired by trees.
Dawn Featherstone is a highly experienced painter and printmaker with a huge body of work – the result of a lifetime passion for drawing, painting and printing. In her exhibition space you will find paintings in oil and watercolour; pencil drawings; linocuts, woodcuts, etchings and collagraphs.
Fiona Jubb joined the gallery as a textile artist, demonstrating her mastery of the craft of wet felting and taking it to new heights of artistry. Now she also works experimentally with watercolours, most recently a series of striking and powerful portraits painted during lockdown.
Jenny McKenzie is a mixed media artist with a love of both landscape and interiors. Her new show is called ‘Here and There’ – a series inspired by the landscapes of Derbyshire and SW France – all in her hallmark style using dynamic colours and collaging techniques.
Suzanne Pearson is a versatile mixed media painter and printmaker. She takes much of her inspiration from Buxton itself, from the Peak District and other wild landscapes where she likes to walk, and often incorporates architectural details into her paintings and woodcuts.
Caroline Small is known for her elegant macro photography of the natural world. Her new collection is ‘Dreams of Summer’, a series of memories of holidays and garden days, imbued with a dream-like and painterly quality which encourage the viewer to pause and breathe more deeply.
Jo Spencer creates stunning mosaics using the ‘picassiette’ (broken crockery) technique. From large-scale landscapes to small hangings, Jo’s work takes inspiration from the natural world around her and can be hung inside or out.
Find out more about each artist on the gallery’s website or better still, by visiting the gallery. There are always artists on duty who are happy to talk about their work.
Closure during the busiest months of the year presented huge challenges for The Green Man Gallery as it did for many local businesses. The venue derives approximately two-thirds of its income from events and room hire and the cancellation of many bookings, including this year’s Buxton Spa Prize and Buxton Fringe Festival, was a huge blow. “We were due to host over 60 performances in the Fringe,” says Caroline, “and the annual Spa Prize exhibition is a major draw.”
The good news is that the gallery was eligible for a small business support grant which compensates for some of the lost income and will help to pay the winter heating bills. “After that, who knows?” says Caroline. “We’ll celebrate the gallery’s 8th birthday in November and we’ll be working very hard to find ways to continue.”
Join the gallery’s mailing list for updates; email Caroline on [email protected]
The Green Man Gallery opening hours in September Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10.30am to 4.30pm. For opening times in October, check their website and we’ll update the information on Explore Buxton with updated information. Entry is free.
The Green Man Gallery, Hardwick Hall, Buxton, SK17 6PY
T: 01298 937375