Helen Cass

28th January to 1st March

Wed - Sun, 11am - 4pm

You are invited to the opening of ArtsMill’s Gallery first project of 2009, an exhibition of work by Helen Cass. “Coolly abstract and beautifully composed, Helen’s work combines a deep sense of purity with a quiet sensuality. Precise, immaculate and perfectly proportioned, her artworks display common themes of patience and spirituality.”

Shropshire born and educated at the Ruskin School, Oxford, Cass’s work is a mixture of painting and relief sculpture. From a family of farmers she describes her first aesthetic experiences as being of “Linen cupboards stacked high and deep with white starched, ironed and folded table cloths and other household items,” and “ploughed soil, furrows following the contours of the land, borders and hedges.” It is via these memories that Cass’s immaculate linen structures slowly and patiently come into being. The canvas is ironed into furrowed parallel ridges before being stretched onto stretcher bars like paintings, often with smooth curves or blocks jutting interrupting the surface from underneath, playing with light, space and texture. At first, seemingly coolly abstract these structures have a mysterious ambiguity and quiet power. Those pieces painted black have a latex like quality, the greys ones an illusion of rubberyness.

Also on display are Cass’s other activities, ink drawings on canvas. At first seeming simple textured linen rectangles on a stretcher frames, closer inspection reveals that these are actually painstaking drawings made up of tiny and marks imitating the waft and weave of beautiful dyed or stone washed materials. The mind boggling patience and determination of their making again has roots in Cass’s heritage, the simple rituals of a life working on the land, the humble, unassuming day to day interaction with earth, materials and repetitive processes.


Educated in Fine Art at Oxford University, Helen‘s work has been exhibited widely throughout the UK, in addition to being held within the corporate collection of Calvin Klein.

Helen Cass Image

“Coolly abstract and beautifully composed, Helen’s work combines a deep sense of purity with a quiet sensuality. Precise, immaculate and perfectly proportioned, her artworks display common themes of patience and spirituality.” Richard Noyce.


Joe Hesketh

Wed 25th March – Sun 22nd April

Deeply painterly and expressionistic Hesketh’s paintings can be joyous, tragic or full of humour. Often monumental in scale and always rich in their colour and material presence, her work is rigidly structured in a way that belies its playful enthusiasm. “My work is a construction of personal experience, colour and shapes, representations of situations, experimentalism and chance. It is a result of being open and effected by most things around, from the past and up to present day.”

Joe Hesketh Image


The Spring Art Fair

Wed 13th May – Sun 19th June

ArtsMill’s popular open exhibition returns. Showing artists from the Yorkshire and Lancashire regions.

Spring Fair Image

Prints by Ana Maria Pacheco

Saturday July 4 to Sunday August 2

A Hayward Touring Exhibition

Wednesday to Sunday 11.00am to 5.00pm

Born in Brazil in 1943, Ana Maria Pacheco’s prints celebrate a wide variety of cultural references that include Brazilian folklore, classical myth and mystical Catholicism.

Ana Maria Pacheco is an artist of extraordinary diversity. Her work ranges from painting and sculpture to printmaking and draws on a wide variety of cultural references that include Brazilian folklore, classical myth, Catholic ritual and medieval satire. This Hayward Touring Exhibition, Ana Maria Pacheco: Prints, focuses on five sets of Pacheco’s prints.

Pacheco has developed a particular use of symbols, motifs and devices, which combine to produce a distinctive and fantastic imagery. The five sets of prints on show here were made between 1989 and 1998. In each series Pacheco has concentrated on a specific historical fable or social tradition to produce dramatic, highly charged images that illustrate the fine line between human comedy and tragedy.

Born in Brazil in 1943, Pacheco has lived and worked in England since 1973. She has exhibited in a number of one-person shows and in group exhibitions in Britain and abroad, and was Associate Artist at the National Gallery, London (1997-1999).

The richness of her imagery is complemented by her inventive use of the medium. In her printed work, Pacheco employs a variety of techniques (lithography, screenprint, etching, woodcut and drypoint) to present each image to maximum effect.

For over 40 years, the Hayward Gallery has a played a key role in creating imaginative, high profile exhibitions in London and, through Hayward Touring Exhibitions, within the UK. Both NTE and the Arts Council Collection are managed by the Hayward Gallery on behalf of Arts Council England, and add to the Hayward’s distinctive national remit.

The Hayward Gallery is a constituent part of the Southbank Centre, which is also responsible for the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, the Saison Poetry Library, the Hungerford car park and Jubilee Gardens. Each year the Hayward Gallery presents up to six major art exhibitions as well as Hayward Touring exhibitions in more than 100 venues around the country. Southbank Centre also stages nearly 1,000 ticketed performances of music, dance and literature and more than 300 free foyer events. It annually attracts more than three million visitors.

For more information about upcoming venues for this exhibition please check: www.southbankcentre.co.uk/visual-arts/hayward-touring/current

Public enquiries about Hayward Touring Exhibitions: 020 7921 0837

Miles Richmond – A Celebration

ArtsMill Gallery – 13th September – 18th October

Painting has led me to question the assumption that we simply look out at the world. My research suggests that we both look out and look in, and the world is literally within the mind of our complex identity. My work sets out to plot some of the geometries of a new sense of embodiment. Inevitably these representations will hardly seem recognizable or typical to eyes conditioned by the renaissance view of incarnation which photography has made ubiquitous. But they may help illuminate some who feel old ways of seeing are outworn.”

There are painters taught by David Bomberg who went on to enjoy the high profile success denied to their teacher. In his lifetime Miles Richmond (1922 – 2008) was not to be one of these chosen few, but of all those to come under Bomberg’s intense gaze, none enjoyed such a close and sustained contact with the master as he. This contact began at the Borough Polytechnic in 1946 and continued to the last days of Bomberg’s life on the artist’s final journey from Ronda back to England. Ronda had been one of Bomberg’s inspirations for the latter part of his life. Richmond, deeply in love with the area himself, sustained that contact, moving frequently between England and Spain until nearly the end of the century. His concentrated work there was an important part of his development in the practice and philosophy of painting. He completed his last paintings of the Ronda gorge and valley when he returned for a large exhibition of his work in Ronda in 2006 and in Málaga in 2008. So it is perhaps fitting that the last show during his lifetime should have been there.

From the 70s onwards he worked intensively both in London and here in the north; however, he is still a seriously underexposed artist in the country of his birth, which as a young man and wartime conscientious objector, he set out to serve through his painting.

This exhibition offers a brief overview of Richmond’s career, beginning with the dark limited palette paintings of the Borough life room. There are a great number of these, often double-sided, seemingly done quickly with a sustained and passionate attack. Exploring the relationships between light, mass and the artist’s imaginative contact with the subject (a give and take osmosis that evolves and intensifies with time) one can sense in these paintings the youthful vigour and excitement of young artists together on a shared quest for what Bomberg famously called “the spirit in the mass.” One can sense in these angular forms, with their mixture of structural imposition and the thrill of chance discovery, the basis for this research that, along with an interest in the human figure as a motif, Richmond continued to pursue uncompromisingly until his death last year. An important self-portrait from this period is on show, together with the last self portrait Richmond painted in the final months of his life.
Self Portrait
The same atmosphere of excitement and discovery pervades the landscapes made in Shropshire at around the same time and it was this drive towards landscape that led him to join Cliff Holden, Dennis Creffield and other ex-Borough Group members in Spain in the early fifties. These pictures see Richmond’s palette expanding, the saturation and temperature of his colours intensifying with his new environment, and the will to mass becoming more urgent confronted by the monumentality of his parched and rocky motifs. Yellow, red and orange became dominant in these paintings, a trend which continues from this point in his career on.

In the early seventies a crisis emerged evolving from a sense that his vision was part dominated by the achievements of his friend and teacher, and the question familiar to artists over the centuries: does what I see exist as I see it or do I only see it as it exists in my imagination, as I have learned to see it? Returning to England and building himself a studio in Camden town, Richmond was determined that through painting the true spirit of the external world and the internal spirit of the artist could become one. This series of still lives represented a departure from Bomberg and led to a painting where Richmond worked for three days on end without putting down his brushes until he was convinced he had penetrated beyond the conventional appearance of the subject to the spiritual radiance it contained. As Plato, in his famous argument for the dismissal of painting, turned to the humble table to explore our removals from truth, it is natural that artists over the years have turned to the still-life and the table to reinvestigate the problem, Cezanne most profoundly, and Richmond has added his own contribution.
Yorkshire Landscape
The last groups of paintings were made in North Yorkshire from his studios at the Motorhouse at East Rounton and in Middlesbrough. Motif’s included Whitby, Hartlepool, Teesside Rievaulx abbey, Ripon Cathedral and Richmond, and the paintings from this point on begin to dissolve into light. Obvious comparisons can be made with late Monet in this case but whereas Impressionism often
seemed to externalise the act of seeing Richmond’s own dissolution of form comes more from the development of his personal quest as he seeks communion with the vision. For Richmond, the painter was akin to the meditating prophet in the wilderness who returns home with the translation of the vision for his people. The medium of this vision is light, the source of the vision is the spirit of creation, and the receiver is the light of the human spirit. In order to receive the vision truly Richmond felt that conscious identity must be bypassed “like creeping upstairs trying not to wake a restless sleeper.” The integrity, self-effacement and conviction of Richmond’s approach is deeply refreshing at a time when so much of the contemporary norm is at best mere elevated conversation and at worst egotistic self-commentary. The result of these late paintings, with their radiant, weightless quality, is Richmond’s ultimate achievements in his personal contribution to the ongoing research into what was always to him “the spirit in the mass.”

Selected Exhibitions:

1946-50: Borough Group: 7 exhibitions

1951: Four Painters, Parsons Gallery, London

1952: Four English Painters, Stockholm, Sweden

1974: One man exhibition, Palacio Mondragon, Ronda, Spain

1978: Morley Gallery, London

1979: Warwick University Gallery

1989: Cleveland College of Art, Middlesbrough

1992: Park Grosvenor Gallery, London

1994-95: Middlesbrough Art Gallery and Newlyn Art Gallery

1997: Myles Meehan Gallery, Darlington Arts Centre

1998: A.I.M. Gallery, Middlesbrough

1999: Land, Sea and Sky.  Group exhibition, Myles Meehan Gallery, Darlington Arts Centre

1999: Executed large millennium celebration painting, London from the South Bank, for South Bank University, London

2000: Executed large painting, Teesside from Eston Bank, for the Virtual Reality Centre, University of Teesside, Middlesbrough

2001: Bartley Drey Gallery, London

2003: Imaginative Substance. Group exhibition, Highgate Gallery, London

2004: Bomberg and Pupils, the Borough Group 1946 – 1951, Boundary Gallery, London

2006: Convento de Santo Domingo, Ronda, Spain

2008, Galeria Italcable, Málaga, Spain

2008, Robin Katz Fine Art, London

2008, Boundary Gallery, London


Exhibition runs 11-4pm, Wed-Sun 16th September - 18th October.

ArtsMill Gallery, Linden Mill, Linden Road, Hebden Bridge, HX7 7DP



ArtsMill Winter Art Market
Saturday 5th to Saturday 19th December 2009

A selling exhibition of work by artists living and/or working in the region, including; Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, Textiles and Photography.