Newly-opened Harrogate gallery secures first northern showcase of renowned artist

The Watermark Gallery on Royal Parade, which has just reopened following the lockdown, has secured a major national exhibition, featuring award-winning artist Jane Ray.

Monday, 17th August 2020, 4:55 pm
Updated Monday, 17th August 2020, 4:58 pm

The gallery will be exhibiting the British illustrator and children’s book author much to the joy of owners Liz and Richard Hawkes who had only opened the independent venue days before the country went into national lockdown in March.

The exhibition will run from September 4-30 and there will also be a chance to meet Jane, who is also the 2018 nominee for the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Awards.

Owner Liz Hawkes outside the Watermark Gallery.

Jane has illustrated over 60 children's books and worked with some of the biggest named authors such as Jeanette Winterson, Carol Ann Duffy and former children's laureate, Michael Rosen. She is also the author and illustrator of her own books in a career spanning several decades.

Liz said: “We chose Jane for our inaugural exhibition as she was one of the first artists to work and support us when we started out as an online gallery. We still have a signed copy of one of Jane’s books she gave us when our son Henry was born - that was almost 20 years ago - and we have followed her career ever since.

“Jane’s exhibition is a real coup, not just for Watermark, but for Harrogate and Yorkshire as a whole. The art world can be very London/South East centric, and so we are very excited to have someone with Jane’s reputation and talent supporting the northern art scene.”

Watermark Gallery started as an online gallery in 2016 and moved into the former post office premises on Royal Parade after a three-month refurbishment, creating an exhibition and private event space. It now features more than 40 professional artists and makers from across the UK. Jane Ray is its first major exhibition.

Other artists featured on the walls include: David A Parfitt RI, Fred Ingrams, Janine Baldwin PS, Andrew Farmer ROI, George Hainsworth and Michele Bianco.