Open Up North Exhibition 2011- Prize winner


Open Up North


Open Up North has been developed by the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal to allow artists in the North of England the chance to showcase their work at some of the North’s leading arts venues including The Brewery Arts Centre, The Abbot Hall Art Gallery Coffee Shop and Artisan at Booths




The winners of the Open up North competition were announced at the opening of the exhibition at the Brewery Arts Centre on Saturday 1 October.



3rd Prize – Tina Balmer



“Blue, Black Jug, Nasturtiums”

Although Tina sometimes paints dogs, carefully capturing their individual personalities, her main subject is flowers.


“After years of painting other things, I went to see a Rose Hilton exhibition at the Tate St Ives and was struck by how she paints what she wants – women, rooms, flowers… Maybe it’s harder to paint something that seems frivolous, but I want to paint flowers. I love them. It’s what I enjoy painting. So I decided to go back to things that are important to me – people and objects that remind me of the joy of life.”


Shapes, spaces, colours, light and shadow are all arranged into a two-dimensional design, a perspective often ignored. Loose brushwork, thick paint or thin washes, scraping, rubbing – all these are equally important to Tina as she builds up layers until the painting emerges.


“Sometimes my paintings move towards abstraction, then return to something more figurative – it’s all in the process of trying to capture the essence of the object – whether flowers, animals or figures.”


The painting was done a couple of years ago. I sometimes call it


Margaret's Table .I like to have objects or flowers that have belonged to someone special or which they have given to me. The table came from my dear friend and mentor, the artist Margaret Traherne who died in 2006. She has had a big influence on my painting and I came to inherit many of her paints so some of the colours I used actually belonged to her, bringing Margaret into the painting for me.




Article from The Westmorland Gazette:


Open Up North has put the Brewery firmly back in the frame. The great and the good of the region’s arts world gathered under the Kendal arts centre’s roof for the first time in years for the OUN preview and prizegiving ceremony. It was inspiring to see the Brewery buzzing with so many creative talents.In fact, it harked back to the heady days of Trevor Avery, and before him Lene Bragger, both Brewery visual arts officers who created a thriving arts scene in and around the Brewery. The Open Up North exhibition has more than 110 pieces of artwork on show and runs in five art spaces around Kendal until November 10 - three within the Brewery itself plus Abbot Hall Art Gallery Café and Artisan at Booths. The work was selected from 400 entries by more than 200 artists from across the north of England. Overall winner was gifted painter Chris Rigby with his striking oil Cut Throat Rock, which landed him the £1,000 first prize. Second was a richly deserved accolade for Monica Metsers and £500 to go with it for her semi-abstract Lechuguilla (The Chandelier Ballroom) and Ulverston’s Tina Balmer took third prize and £200 for her subtle, yet extremely effective Blue, Black Jug, Nasturtiums.



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