Fountains Abbey in the frame as major artistic project is unveiled

Approaching the Abbey, Winter by Emerson Mayes, oil on paper.

Approaching the Abbey, Winter by Emerson Mayes, oil on paper.

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ALTHOUGH a great supporter of the modern with exhibitions featuring pop art, urban art and contemporary sculpture in the past, 108 Fine Art always lives up to the last two parts of its name, writes Graham Chalmers.

This popular Harrogate gallery’s latest show featuring the work of a local artist is an example of fine art at its truly finest.

Emerson Mayes: A Year At Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal is a major collaboration between Harrogate artist Emerson Mayes and the National Trust capturing 12 months at the local beauty spot with the worldwide reputation.

It’s an area which has historically inspired great artists such as JW Turner and John Piper and Mayes’ paintings of the impressive ruins amid the splendours of nature across the changing seasons shares elements of the former’s most famous works.

The exhibition is a finely rendered collection of nearly 50 paintings, prints and drawings and is Mayes’s first solo show since his highly successful exhibition at MacLean Fine Art in Cork Street, London in 2007.

On paper it all began in November 2010 when the artist started working on site, recording the wildlife and changing landscape.

But the artist himself says its real genesis goes back much further.

Mayes said: “As someone who has lived all his life in the Harrogate area, Fountains Abbey has always had a place in my life. It is often too easy to take for granted the landscapes and delights it contains when it is on our doorstep.”

l Emerson Mayes: A Year At Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal runs at 108 Fine Art, 16 Cold Bath Road, Harrogate runs from November 19-December 10 at 16 Cold Bath Road, Harrogate. Open on Saturdays 11am-5pm (please call the gallery to arrange viewing at all other times)

www.108fineart.com