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Artists are branching out

By Mark Hayhurst 14 Mar 2017

Tree-mendous work on show in Leeds.

Wire wonders by artist Helaina Sharpley are on show at The Leeds Craft Centre and Design Gallery this weekend when their show Branching Out opens.

The show, part of the gallery’s 35 year anniversary exhibition programme, celebrates the work of artists inspired by the beauty of trees.

This wide selection of talented makers creating contemporary jewellery, ceramics, glass and works in mixed media capture the essence of these remarkably diverse and beautiful marvels of the natural world and will be on show in Leeds until June 24.

One of the makers, Helaina Sharpley is a wirework artist and designer based in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, specialising in wall art inspired by tea drinking and architecture from the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

Her work captured the attention of David Hockney who now owns two of her pieces. Helaina started her journey studying a BA in Design Crafts at Hereford College of Art and Design.

She is inspired by tradition, old fashion values and having afternoon tea in beautiful surroundings, preferably from the Edwardian period.

Illustrations turned into wire works after a college lecturer placed some wire into her hands because he wanted Helaina to make something in 3D and she kept drawing. The rest is wirework history.

On producing tree-inspired wall-hung works for the show, Helaina said: “Trees are time consuming and fiddly things to make, but the finished, delicate pieces catch people’s eyes and intrigue them. The first question they ask is “how long did it take to you make?”

To discover more about Branching Out and the rest of the gallery’s exhibition programme you can visit the website www.craftcentreleeds.co.uk

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