Ruth Miemczyk

Paintings and Collage

Ruth Miemczyk, Winter Moons, oil on canvas, 183cm x 228cm, 2003

Ruth Miemczyk, Winter Moons, oil on canvas, 183cm x 228cm, 2003

Saturday 26th September – Sunday 31st October 2015
Thursdays – Saturdays
11.00am – 4.00pm and by appointment
Admission is free

You are invited to the opening of this exhibition on Friday 25th September from 6.30pm – 9.30pm.

Ruth Miemczyk in conversation with curator Lara Goodband: Saturday 26th September, 2.00pm – 3.00pm. Admission is free.

‘The start of a picture can often be quite ambiguous. I can work energetically, conscious of the physicality of movement, the deliberateness of a gesture. Keeping an openness and fluidity in my working process enables me to become responsive to the unintentional or surprise element that might suddenly come into being’.
Ruth Miemczyk.

Painting is a process of constantly looking, changing, contemplating, and discovering for Ruth Miemczyk. While she may not be certain of how a painting begins, or where it will lead her, she can recognise when it ‘works’ and should be left alone.

The artist discusses painting as a visual language to be experienced through colour, shape, scale and a sense of space arrived at through the visible process and gestural act of painting. Her paintings take shape through a distillation of their visual language and a process of adding, eliminating, changing the balance, weight and dynamics until she is close to being satisfied with the resulting work. This may be a lengthy process and Ruth admits that she will spend far more time looking at and thinking about the work, than physically painting.

Painting is a necessary and continual process for Ruth Miemczyk, like breathing, which is felt in the recurrence of certain shapes and gestures; notably the geometric shapes of diamonds, circles, squares and triangles. That she might have ‘finished with’ any single painting is perhaps misleading, as we can retrospectively trace similar configurations across works spanning a considerable period of time. It’s as if she has to look again and revisit a proposition or idea, but the resulting paintings emerge as persistent, elusive and wayward as memory.

If Ruth maintains ‘an openness and fluidity’ within her working process that is not the same as a lack of rigour and discipline. Ruth, like many of the best artists, manages to create a sense of clarity without destroying the delicate balance which must allow for ambiguity and expansiveness without which their work would lack poetic spark. Her use of colour, for example, may seem quite restricted at first sight but offers up nuances and depths the more we look at the paintings.

While Ruth talks about her paintings purely in terms of their abstract qualities of gesture, shape and colour, the viewer may be drawn to look for associative elements and it’s certainly possible to see how the paintings relate to landscape or architectural structures or spaces. That’s not to say that the paintings are ‘about’ landscape or architecture, or even a specific place or event. Occasionally Ruth will give a title to a painting such as ‘Winter Moons’ and while this suggest an atmospheric reading of the work it equally refers to the archetypal geometry and colour within the painting. We all absorb and, inevitably, are influenced by our visible and physical environment. This tends to be accumulative and associative rather than linear or narrative. Painting is a perfect medium to uncover sensibilities that many of us share and the best artists, like Ruth Miemczyk, can express with keener perception than most of us.

Ruth Miemczyk lives and works in Scarborough. She studied Fine Art at Barnsley School of Arts and Crafts and then at Central School of Arts and Design and Goldsmiths College, London. She has exhibited widely across the UK, including as part of the ‘Art in Hospitals Scheme’ during the 1980s. Ruth has strengthened her connections more recently in Poland, where she has participated in several residencies and group shows as well as presenting two major solo exhibitions in Lodz in 2006 and Gorlice in 2003. This exhibition is her second solo showing in Yorkshire following her exhibition at Cannon Hall Museum, Barnsley in 2006.

To Draw is to be Human

Andy Black - Kate Black - Tracy Himsworth - Lucy O’Donnell - Sally Taylor

Lucy O’Donnell, moving image, 2015

Lucy O’Donnell, moving image, 2015

Sat 7th November – Sat 12th December
Thursdays to Saturdays
11.00am – 4.00pm
and by appointment – admission is free

You are invited to the opening of this exhibition on
Friday 6th November 6.30pm – 9.30pm

Saturday 28th November at 12.00pm the artists are in conversation with Crescent Arts Director Stuart Cameron


“Drawing is everywhere. We are surrounded by it. It is sewn into the warp and weft of our lives: we practice it as one of our earliest experiences as schoolchildren, and as parents we treasure the drawings made by our off-spring like nothing else.”
Dexter, E, (2005) ‘To draw is to be human” in Vitamin D, 2005, Phaidon: London, PP6-10.

This exhibition brings together the work of five artists that use drawing as the centre of their practice; Narrative, Construction, Gesture, Mapping and Inscription could be seen as the key principles that these artists are investigating through their diverse practices.

Kate Black’s drawings illustrate an internal world depicting scenes from an invented, strange soap opera. This series of drawings reveal characters that come across the 4th Dimension, symbolized by odd geometric shapes suspended in the air, or encountered on the ground. The shapes transport the characters into uncanny and surreal worlds; they are portals into narratives that the artist likens to ‘Coronation Street’ on acid.

Andy Black’s work involves constructing imaginary spaces from an index or lexicon of motifs. He has drawings of around a hundred forms collected together in a small book. Some of these forms are objects from the landscape – trees, bushes, rocks, mountains, lakes. Others are sharp-edged and geometric or more amorphous and blobby. The artist creates diagrams of how to organize the pictures (plot, island, field, glade, parterre) forming the syntax of an open-ended series of drawings.

Tracy Himsworth’s drawings record her findings from specific journeys she has plotted. These findings include her experiences and encounters with found objects which are then processed through various drawing methods. The sketch map becomes a mental record of her movement through her immediate environment. She records this information through line, using the joints and intersections of the lines to indicate which paths she has walked.

Lucy O’Donnell’s approach To Draw is to be Human uses wonder as a poetic mode of enquiry to re-evaluate how descriptive syntactical grammars can be employed. Wonder is utilised in her drawing practice as a device to review and revise the world. The work presented in the exhibition employs wonder and seeks to question drawing by asking how gestures are observed, read and subsequently understood by varying away from traditional drawing forms and supports; marking spaces with inscriptions, sounds and her body.

Through the imminence of the hand-drawn mark, Sally Taylor‘s work aims to understand more about human relationships, specifically her own interaction with others. They are equally about forming a balance between formal concerns in relation to the communication of emotional resonance. Recent work has developed into an investigation of the dynamics of social groups – particularly how hierarchies emerge, how roles are assumed and behaviours are managed.

Calling all artists – there’s a great opportunity to take part in the Scarborough Prison Drawing Project at Scarborough’s wonderful Victorian prison, led by the artists in the exhibition ‘To Draw is to be Human’ as part of Coastival 2016.

Further information is available from and

Grace Schwindt Little Birds and a Demon – a Live Transmission

Presented by Pavilion in partnership with Crescent Arts


Little Birds and a Demon – a Live Transmission can be heard live at Crescent Arts

Saturday 19 September at 3pm (GMT)
Entry: Free

Book online:
or email:

Drawing by Grace Schwindt, 2015

Drawing by Grace Schwindt, 2015


From an isolated lighthouse on the southernmost tip of the Shetland Islands, three opera singers and an ensemble of musicians will send a call about love and death – for all those who care to listen.

Join us in the gallery at Crescent Arts to listen to the live transmission. There will be light refreshments. The live sound broadcast will start promptly at 3pm and will last approximately 1 hour.

Little Birds and a Demon – a Live Transmission can also be heard live at public listening stations in Barrow-in-Furnace, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Fleetwood, Glasgow and Leeds.


Other ways to listen:

Listeners anywhere can be put through to the live performance by calling +44(0)113 3201440 at the scheduled time. Calls cost local rates. Sound quality will be greatly reduced when listening on a telephone.

Listen live on ResonanceFM, online, on 104.4FM in central London and on DAB across Greater London.


A Pavilion project supported by Arts Council England Strategic Touring Programme

Partners and supporters: Leeds City Council, CCA, Crescent Arts, Z Hinchliffe, Full of Noises, Promote Shetland, Grundy Art Gallery, LeftCoast, Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, aql & Sumburgh Head



Sat 1st August - Sat 22nd August 2015

Workshop 01_web

Cyanotype prints drying, Webb-Ellis, 2015

An exhibition of work produced in our summer print workshops 

Sat 1st August – Sat 22nd August 2015

Thursdays – Saturdays 11.00am – 4.00pm
and by appointment

admission is free

As we get ready to launch our new season of Autumn workshops, PRINT! brings together some of the most exciting print work produced by participants in Crescent Arts workshops this year.

From Cyanotype and Screen-printing to hand-made artist books, the exhibition will highlight the great variety of different ways of working with each process, and showcase the refreshing diversity of work produced by our workshop participants.

You are invited to the exhibition opening from 2-4pm on Saturday 1st August with a get-together and light refreshments. Our resident artists will also be there providing demonstrations and hands-on taster sessions to whet your appetite for our Autumn workshops. You will get the chance to try out some of the processes on display in the exhibition, and learn more about the facilities and expertise we offer.

Join us for a fun and relaxing afternoon!


A Hayward Touring exhibition from Southbank Centre, London Sat 23rd May – Sun 21st June 2015

Marie Angeletti, Similar Positions, 2013, Courtesy the artist and Hayward Touring, Southbank Centre ©the artist 2015


A Hayward Touring exhibition from Southbank Centre, London

Sat 23rd May – Sun 21st June 2015

Thursdays – Sundays 11.00am – 4.00pm and by appointment
admission is free

Pre-Pop to Post-Human: Collage in the Digital Age invites fifteen artists to make prints that take on board the ideas behind Eduardo Paolozzi’s BUNK portfolio.

The artists selected are:
Pio Abad, Marie Angeletti, Helen Carmel Benigson, Gabriele Beveridge, Steve Bishop, Bryan Dooley, Adham Faramawy, Anthea Hamilton, Nicholas Hatfull, Eloise Hawser, Jack Lavender, Harry Meadows, Berry Patten, Peles Empire and Samara Scott.

Thirty-seven new commissions are shown alongside some of Paolozzi’s BUNK prints from 1972 featuring images of scientific advancements, planes, motorcars and ammunition merged with food, art and seductive human forms, foreshadowing the fusion of technology and life.

Each artist in Pre-Pop to Post-Human draws on imagery from popular culture to create works reflecting on ways in which our bodies respond to technology, and on our social lives within this new cosmology. Some offer up new, surrealistic landscapes, fusing popular icons or images into entirely new vistas, while others use familiar iconography from video games, high street advertising slogans and popular magazines.

Glossary: How And Why Artists Make Prints

18 Apr 2015 – 16 May 2015

Stephen Chambers, Double Stamping

Stephen Chambers, Double Stamping


18 Apr 2015 – 16 May 2015

Thursdays – Saturdays
11.00am – 4.00pm and by appointment
admission is free


Glossary: How and Why Artists Make Prints, an exhibition curated by Northern Print based in Newcastle upon Tyne, brings together the work of seven contemporary printmakers.

Artists: Stephen Chambers – Rachael Clewlow – Tom Hammick- Bridget Jones – Katharine Jones – Julian Meredith – Hilary Paynter

Printmaking may be a common thread, but it is clear that the concerns and interests of the individual artists are far wider. These concerns span Rachael Clewlow’s coded documentation of walks, which resonate with Hilary Paynter’s wood engravings and Bridget Jones’s lino-cut and letterpress prints; each work rooted in local history and personal experiences of journeys researched, mapped, followed or re-enacted.

There’s some common ground in the works of Julian Meredith and Tom Hammick. Both artists make use of a certain directness and materiality of printmaking in their observation of and response to momentary events or found objects, reflecting aspects of the complex relationship between ourselves and the natural world.

Stephen Chambers uses deceptively simple means, to produce sophisticated images as can be seen in his potato cut, ‘Heaven on Earth’.

If this work suggests a celebration or elevation of the mundane, then Katharine Jones sets out clearly with this in mind in her print ‘A Delimitation of Stripes’ which acknowledges ‘the unrewarded and unsing – those tasked with the arduous job of rebuilding, repairing and caring for those affected during the years following a war’.

Printmakers are sometimes underestimated as artists, with more attention given to technical matters than the content of their work or the concerns and intentions of the artist. Glossary undoubtedly covers a fascinating range of printmaking processes and technical approaches, but ultimately each piece of work stands on its merits as the product of the artist’s creative expression.

The exhibition is accompanied by short films showing the artists at work and the processes they use to make prints.


performance-video installation 28 Feb 2015 – 4 Apr 2015

Webb-Ellis 02


28 Feb 2015 – 4 Apr 2015

Thursdays to Saturdays, 11.00am – 4.00pm
and by appointment

Admission is Free


“We are untrained dancers, and lovers. The installation may fluctuate between humour and gravity as we dance for the five hours. What does it mean to really be present? We’re interested in consciousness, the act of perception, and the boundaries between self and other.”

Resident artist duo Webb-Ellis present a new performance-video installation which shows the artists dancing together naked in the exhibition space for five hours – a performance which challenges the artists physically and emotionally.

The recording of their performance in the two exhibition areas at Crescent Arts, with a camera in each space, is projected into the same spaces, in real time. A clock in the projected video displays the current time of day, set exactly at actual viewing time. The dance is led by Christopher Boylan, a teacher of ‘5 Rhythms’; a form of ecstatic movement which focuses on the present moment and aims to explore both inner and outer worlds of human experience.

While the dance is performed to music, this will only be heard by the visitor through headphones. Ambient sound in the exhibition spaces will comprise the artists’ breathing, movement of their feet and the teacher’s occasional speech. The experience of the work will completely alter according to which soundtrack is heard.

Please note that the projected images feature nudity throughout.

Webb-Ellis are currently resident artists at Crescent Arts. Recent exhibitions include  ‘Mother. I am Going’ at The Tetley as part of Leeds International Film Festival and at UK Young Artists in Leicester in 2014. Up and coming exhibitions include Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival in April and Month of Performance Art – Berlin in May 2015.