A NEW exhibition at The Bingley Gallery takes as its theme the telling of secrets. 
The artists showing their work are all members of Aire Valley Arts, a group of artists whose aim is to make a dynamic contribution to the arts in the community and beyond by holding events, exhibitions and workshops, while providing a supportive forum for its members.
The West Yorkshire group aims to be adventurous in their creativity. One of their ways of encouraging artists to step outside their normal genres and comfort zones is to set an exhibition title or theme towards which they have to work.
After several often frivolous and soon abandoned ideas, the theme of telling secrets was settled upon - a decision that led to much uncertainty as to how to paint, stitch, weave, print or mould the process of conveying confidences. 
The result is a remarkable variety of offerings.
Manningham-based Kate Stewart’s truly exquisite work combines watercolour and embroidery on fabric. She is a great observer of people and the way they communicate and has three studies of conversations in the show.  Do these concern long-held secrets? We’d like to think so.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Kate Stewart at workKate Stewart at work

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: An Oxford Conversation by Kate StewartAn Oxford Conversation by Kate Stewart
Karen Rowley was one or the original members of the group back in 1995. She has delved beyond human secrets into an exploration of communication in the animal kingdom. focusing on the unique ways animals convey hidden messages to each other as well as to humans. 
As she explains: “In some cases, our pets’ faces reveal secrets they would rather not tell.” One of these, ‘It Wasn’t Me’ features a dog whose expression suggests otherwise.
But can inanimate objects share secrets? Under the brush of Martin Cosgrove, even a bowl of pears take on a conspiratorial air. 
Martin can trace his roots in Bingley and Harden back to the 1700s and so has a long attachment to the region. He’s not primarily a landscape artist and prefers to work around concepts, often re-working masterpieces that have attracted and mystified him. 

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Martin Cosgrove's A Confrence of PearsMartin Cosgrove's A Confrence of Pears
Euan Unglow’s In the Shadow of the Cyprus and the colour field works of Mark Rothko are amongst the art that receive this treatment in the current show.
Jane Fielder’s quirky and atmospheric watercolours are instantly recognisable, even if her usual washing line is missing; the location for her Secrets on the Tow Path is Five Rise Locks, near her home in Bingley.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Secrets on the Tow Path by Jane FielderSecrets on the Tow Path by Jane Fielder

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Raven 1 by Paul HudsonRaven 1 by Paul Hudson
Anne Marwick who lives in Ben Rhydding, on the edge of Ilkley Moor, explores the emotions of keeping secrets hidden, of the relief of unburdening ourselves of them and of the process by which they are shared with others. 
Anne’s paintings are boldly painted in oil pastel and gouache.
Paul Hudson is among the most versatile of the group: his offerings include etchings, ink pen and painted work. With his great interest in the human past, he has based works on folklore’s suggestion that ravens overhear human private conversation and reveal people’s secrets to others. 
On a similar note, Jan Whittock’s A little Bird Told Me picks up on the traditional belief that birds hold stores of knowledge. In this case the work is a collagraph print to which gold leaf has been added to emphasise the precious nature of secrets.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Jan Whittock's A Little Bird Told MeJan Whittock's A Little Bird Told Me

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Forest Secrets by David StarleyForest Secrets by David Starley

The international nature of the Aire Valley Arts group is shown through two members Judy Sale and Helen Shearwood. 
Judy is a native of the USA who travelled the world before settling in Haworth. Her work The Monk is Drunk is based on a life drawing in which the model donned a robe. For Judy, this brought back a memory of a monk on a Cypriot work camp who 

The international nature of the Aire Valley Arts group is shown in two members, Judy Sale and Helen Shearwood.

Judy is a native of the USA who travelled the world before settling in Haworth. Her work ‘The Monk is Drunk’ is based on a life drawing in which the model donned a robe. For Judy, this brought back a memory of a monk on a Cypriot work camp who struggled to hide his inebriation.

Helen is a native of Western Australia, who worked closely with Aire Valley Arts whilst on an extended stay in the UK, and has remained a member since. The secret she tells is the unexpected beauty that can be found in everyday objects, such as rubbish bins and lampposts. In the exhibition, her works are based on close-up photographs of fellow artist Jane Fielder’s discarded paint palette. When hand embellished. they emphasise the infinite beauty to be found in every moment of our ordinary lives, each piece whispers its secrets of unexpected beauty … sometimes hidden, always here.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Artist Helen Shearwood, from Western AustraliaArtist Helen Shearwood, from Western Australia

Several of Sue Strange’s paintings are based on overheard conversations, but otherwise she was keeping tight lipped about the thought process behind her work – a secret indeed, Finally, gallery owner, David Starley is an artist who frequently paints woodland. In his impasto oil painting a tree reveals its own secret, as the home for a tawny owl, another bird with a reputation for wisdom. His other paintings draw on his earlier career as an archaeologist and feature monuments and finds that have stories to tell about our distant ancestors.

*Telling Secrets is being held until Sunday June 2 at The Bingley Gallery, 29B Park Rd, Bingley BD16 4BQ. The gallery is open from 10am to 5pm Thursday to Sunday.
For more information contact:  gallery owner: David Starley, tel: 07792242143;  email: davidstarley@yahoo.co.uk
or visit davidstarleyartist.com/bingley
Also visit airevalleyarts.co.uk

Call out to local artists:
*Would you like to see your artwork on these pages? The Telegraph & Argus would like to feature work by local artists. 
We would love to hear about how you got started, what sort of work you do, and about your day to day life as an artist in the district. You never know, your work could inspire others to pick up a paint brush or begin a course in sculpture.
Please get in touch. Email helen.mead@telegraphandargus.co.uk or emma.clayton@telegraphandargus.co.uk
Please include a contact number.