Michele Russell takes a holistic approach to paintingSarah J's passions are 3D mixed media and studio ceramics. Image: Trapezium Gallery
THE work of a group of artists who forged creative links during lockdown will be showcased at Bradford gallery Trapezium.

TRIBUTARIES by Beck Art Group opened at the city centre gallery on Saturday June 29, along with SIMPLY ART, an exhibition by Bradford art teacher Lynne Dobson.

Beck Art Group is comprised of Steven A Spencer, Susan Sands, Michele Russell, Sarah J* and Ann Davies, all local artists who studied, worked or live in the district.

Steven Spencer, one of the founders of the group, explains how the members came together: “The Beck Art Group was formed in May 2021 out of close artistic links that developed during lockdown and has established itself as an intrinsic part of Bradford’s creative community.

“As artists we are influenced and inspired by different subjects and emotions and the way we express our ideas.”

Steven’s work explores the delicate balance of both natural and man-made forms on West Yorkshire’s wild moorlands, observing how these features endure harsh elements with the passing of the seasons.

Steven Spencer is inspired by natural and man-made materials Steven Spencer is inspired by natural and man-made materials (Image: Trapezium Gallery)

Says Steven: “There is a romantic notion of nature as being all powerful, but the moors also have a vulnerability, with the uplands above Marston still bearing the scars of the Industrial Revolution and the threat of wind farms darkening the skies over Top Withens.”

Sue is interested in the colour play and tangled growth of nature, the wild moors, and big skies.

She says: “I often paint in a flurry of activity when trying to capture the feel and energy of plants in full growth. The quick brushstrokes of the Impressionists have always been of great influence, especially the beautiful floral paintings of Van Gogh.”

Susan sands is inspired by the 'tangled growth of nature'Susan sands is inspired by the 'tangled growth of nature' (Image: Trapezium Gallery)

Emotional expression has played an important part in Michele’s work and nature, seasons, places, and people influence her creativity.

Michele Russell takes a holistic approach to painting Michele Russell takes a holistic approach to painting (Image: Trapezium Gallery)

She explains: “I use a holistic and explorative approach, encouraging the observer to interpret my work in a mindful way. It is very much like a child seeing something new for the first time, using the senses to experience the work.”

Sarah’s passions are 3D mixed media and studio ceramics. She says, “I am inspired by natural cycles, the forms that ensue and how human beings interact with these, as well as the social and environmental aspects and what is valued.

“I use a multitude of mediums, often recycled or sustainable materials.

Ann’s skills range from highly technical architectural drawings to innovative textured textile pieces. Her work draws attention to the underpinning structure or detail which she likes to manipulate, or change.

Ann Davis is fascinated by natural forms and how glass structures nurture plantsAnn Davis is fascinated by natural forms and how glass structures nurture plants (Image: Trapezium Gallery)

Says Ann: “I paint glasshouses and greenhouses, because I am fascinated by natural forms and the connection with man-made glass structures which nurture plants.”

SIMPLY ART is an exhibition by Lynne Dobson. An artist and writer, Lynne has lived and worked in Bradford on and off for 70 years.

Says Ken Woods of Trapezium Gallery: “Lynne curated a wonderful exhibition of children’s art last year in our gallery. So it is great to be able to give her the opportunity to show her own artwork for a change.”

Tranquil woodland landscape by Lynne DobsonTranquil woodland landscape by Lynne Dobson (Image: Trapezium Gallery)

Lynne, who runs a regular children’s art page in the Telegraph & Argus, explains her artistic practice: “In answer to the question, What do I paint? If you saw my studio stacked floor to ceiling, with everything from animal portraits to seascapes and landscapes to textile collages to pen and ink drawings, I would challenge anyone to give a sensible answer. “I cannot stick to one topic. I know a lot of artists are defined by their style. I suppose I am slightly selfish as I paint to have fun.”

Adds Lynne: “I am often asked what inspires me and I haven’t a main source of inspiration. As a child, my father, who was an accomplished landscape painter, encouraged me to draw and paint from a very early age. Nowadays it can be anything from a beautiful sky to an expression on an interesting face.”

Lynne is looking forward to the exhibition at Trapezium: “Showing in a gallery is an honour and an interesting way of gaining the public`s opinion. Of course for someone to like my work enough to purchase, that is a huge bonus.

“I have showcased my work around the country and sold worldwide. In 2022 I had a painting accepted into the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. I was also chosen to appear in a BBC TV programme, documenting my journey. It was all very exciting.”

Lynne continues to champion young people’s art locally and beyond: “In 2016 I retired as an art teacher but I continue to promote and showcase children’s artwork, in a regular column in the T&A on young people’s art and in school projects and private tuition to seven students from my studio at home. Two of these students have tuition via video links as they live in Chile.”

* Tributaries by Beck Art Group and Simply Art by Lynne Dobson are at Trapezium Gallery on Kirkgate, Bradford, until Saturday, July 20.

Opening times are Tuesday, Friday, Saturday 11am-3pm. There’s a chance to meet the artists at the launch event at the gallery tomorrow from 6-8pm.

* Visit trapeziumarts.com or email art@trapeziumarts.com