We have been approached by Leeds Museums and Galleries earlier this year to help engage artists in the recently archived catalogue of over 400 works by prolific landscape artist John Sell Cotman. Since March we have embarked on a programme of workshops, dedicated to honouring the work of Cotman, and to provide a creative platform for keen local artists to respond to his work. Along the way, they have learnt about Cotman’s own struggles with mental health, making the finished body of work even more poignant. Cotman was fascinated with the structural beauty and landscape of our precious county over three summer visits, often coming back to study places such as Kirkstall Abbey, Rievaulx Abbey and the River Greta in beautiful watercolour, etchings, and illustration.
These artistic techniques have again served as mediums for the Inkwell participants to create their own, unique works, often visiting the same stunning destinations that Cotman himself found therapy in painting and drawing.
This inspiring project now culminates with a fully immersive digital experience at the acclaimed ‘Light Night’ in Leeds’ city centre, with the installation fully illuminated for one night only on Friday 6th October. Housed in the esteemed Leeds Central Library, a main installation in Room 700 will become an intriguing focus for the Light Night explorers, where they too can begin to understand the creative drive of Cotman and feel the same pride in the local heritage and architecture that inspired so much of his work. Further artworks and textiles will be on display in Leeds Library until October 20th.
Come and join us for a free night of impressive work created by the Leeds community which we are very proud of.