Celebrating 30 years of Crescent Arts

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Exhibition: Celebrating 30 years of Crescent Arts
Archive: 1000 images of Crescent Arts 1979 – 2009

Saturday 5th December – Saturday 12th December
Daily between 10.30am and 4.30pm
Open studios: Saturday 5th December

Archive: an installation which shows over 1000 images tracing the fascinating history of Crescent Arts, the brainchild of a group of Scarborough artists in 1979, led initially by Mel Noble. Crescent Arts has spanned community arts to high art over its 30 year history with a healthy dose of controversy thrown in. With hindsight, some things appear quaint, but other work stands up well and seems relevant to current challenges and vision. From art on the beach, ambitious international sculpture exhibitions, cutting edge performance art to festivals, art trails and biennales – Crescent Arts has tried it all at one time or another over the past 30 years.

Art Day 1979: original video footage which is a piece of history which will be recognizable to anybody who was working in the visual arts in the late 1970s. It’s of interest to today’s audiences as a mini time-capsule which shows the approach of artists then to developing creative activity within a community.


Recent Works



Saturday 18 July – Sunday 4 October 2009

Dawn Brooks, who is based at Crescent Arts, exhibited recent prints which were developed using automatic drawing as a means of expressing ideas from the subconscious. The resulting drawings were a starting point for the printing plate, created as a painter might use a canvas. The construction of the image was process-led, with the artist reacting spontaneously to marks as they were made.

The Wild

Emma Rushton and Derek Tyman

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Saturday 11 July – Saturday 15 August 2009

The Wild, by Emma Rushton and Derek Tyman was commissioned by Crescent Arts, and shown for the first time at Crescent Artspace in the summer of 2009. The artists have since been long-listed for the Northern Art Prize in Leeds for this and other recent work.

The Wild combined several elements which, at first sight, may have seemed rather unlikely. Cacophonous sounds of rock bands filmed and recorded in rehearsal; a reconstruction of the cabin built by the American writer Henri David Thoreau (originally on the banks of Walden Pond in Massachusetts in 1845); a tree-like hoarding construction; leather motorbike jackets painted with animal motifs.

The Wild centred on the work and ideas of the American writer Henri David Thoreau, and his resistance to the increasingly materialistic society of mid-nineteenth century America by constructing and living in a small cabin near Walden Pond – supposedly back to the wilderness, but in fact quite close to home.

Rushton and Tyman reconstructed Thoreau’s cabin in Scarborough earlier in 2009, in the grounds of Wood End, and upcoming rock bands from the area were invited to rehearse inside the cabin. This was filmed and recorded to form part of their installation at Crescent Artspace at Wood End.

Thoreau’s texts, ‘Walden’ and ‘Civil Disobedience’ have been influential on the study of natural history and philosophy and on environmentalists, thus linking to the history of Wood End and its former life as a Natural History Museum. The Wild was installed in what was the conservatory of the Museum, dating back to the original occupancy by the Sitwell family. As a conservatory it brought ‘nature’ of a kind indoors (in this case ‘one of the most flourishing palms in England’), and acted as a habitat for exotic animals and birds. This was mirrored by the tree-like construction which the artists installed in the space and festooned with leather jackets collected from all corners of the globe. Leather jackets with painted animal motifs – bringing to mind and association with their history as iconic symbol and expression of rebellious anti-social behaviour, linked inextricably to popular culture (cinema and music in particular) and agitation for social and political change.


Crescent Arts and Yorkshire Coast College
‘The {Apothecary’s Unbelievable} Menagerie’
Friday 19th June – Sun 12th July

costume display and live performance
in Salisbury Arcade/Bar Street, Scarborough – all day every day

Crescent Arts and Yorkshire Coast College present an intriguing display of costume design by BA (Hons) Costume students modelled by Performing Arts students, showcasing their creative and dramatic talents. Live mannequins in exquisite hand-crafted costumes perform in Salisbury Arcade in Scarborough, turning window-dressing into a revelatory artform.

Working in partnership with Scarborough Borough Council’s Civic Pride ‘Windows to the Borough’, Crescent Arts promotes a new initiative aimed at improving the town centre by using empty shop premises for community based projects. Thanks go to Scarborough’s Urban Renaissance, Town Centre Management, and the owners of these premises who facilitated…


New Paintings

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John Creighton is an accomplished abstract painter based in Ryedale whose work may be familiar to some of you. This exhibition focuses on recent paintings and drawings, retaining landscape references and incorporating figuration of a more ambiguous nature.

Film screening of ‘Into Abstraction’ with John Creighton


Saturday 17th January – Saturday 21st February 2009

Anne Thalheim’s work has a powerful presence but resists easy interpretation. Nothing is quite what it seems. Objects which from afar resemble plants or creatures, turn out to be something quite different. The organic or natural is revealed as artifice, its beauty is disturbing and its attraction can repel.

“I make three dimensional objects that are often ambiguous, humorous, disturbing or repulsive. A restricted palette and selection of materials from the building trade give unity to this series of works.

Ready-made or found objects are used with a nod to Duchamp and the Surrealists. Figuration in the work emerges from the latent characteristics of these materials, which the artist instinctively draws out. A sensuality, eroticism even, is consciously and wittily contradicted by the choice of materials.

“Rubber from tractor inner tubes brings a further contradiction. A derivative of oil, the black gold, made into an object now made redundant, stubbornly polluting, rubber replaces expensive metal, whilst assemblages take precedent over the laborious and costly process of moulding and casting bronze.”

Language also plays a part in the work; allusive titles such as ‘Reticule’ or ‘Portable Billabong’ seem to mirror (rather than describe) the object. The poetic interplay between language and object compounds ambiguity and removes the possibility of literal interpretation of either.

Biographical note: Anne Thalheim was born in Quebec and studied at University Laval in Quebec. She currently lives and works in North Yorkshire. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at Hatton Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne and Ryedale Folk Museum in Hutton-le-Hole.