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A Special Exhibition for Art On Your Doorstep

Art On Your Doorstep Exhibition

Yet another special event at the Courthouse!

Last week we hosted an exhibition at The Courthouse full of work made by participants of our Art On Your Doorstep project. The work on display were pieces made at Art Cafe, one-to-one sessions and creative projects that had been done at home.


There was a wide array of work, from delicate hand embroidered miniature rugs and colourful ceramic sculptures, to gorgeous watercolour paintings and heartwarming written narratives.

We opened the exhibition with a private view on the morning of Tuesday 12th February to which many attended. A lot of them seemed extremely pleased to have their work up on display!


Heather’s Portrait of her Grandson (pictured top left)

Heather was one of our participants that showed her work and has been attending the Rural Arts Café since towards the end of last year. She displayed a portrait of her grandson in his early years.

Heather said her main reason for drawing him is because he is growing up so fast. “He is a very cheeky chappie”, she said, “but he is very loveable and I was inspired by other artists at the Art Café to try and capture his spirit.”


Mary, Maureen and Mary chose to exhibit their lovely ceramic leaves, painted above, amongst other creations. The ceramic leaves were made back in October 2017 during an Art Café session at The Courthouse and still remains to be many of our participants favourite workshop, We are hoping to repeat the session later this year to create even more beautiful ceramic leaf bowls.

As part of the exhibition, we got our participants to write about their experience of the Art on Your Doorstep project and the impact it has made to them. Below are just a few of the wonderful ways in which the project has made a significant change to our participants.

Work by Edna


Edna Ruscoe and her husband Laurence were participants in the artist one-to-one sessions. Edna worked with Claire to try out a wide variety of activities, including wet felting. She created a selection of woodland animals as pictured above and below, which were exhibited in The Courthouse.

“We would like to thank the organiser of this project. Having reached the age of 89 and given up driving our lives have changed considerably. I myself have learnt how to make felt flowers brooches, pictures and animals. Claire with her bubbling personality encouraged me to put the animals into a scene. I have had a go at painting, which I wasn’t particularly fond of, but I really enjoyed silk painting.

Laurence and I cannot praise this venture more highly and I hope that other people can benefit from these courses.”


Work by Edna


Trisha also worked with Clare Ford in some creative one-to-one sessions. She exhibited her detailed acrylic paintings alongside painted ceramic plates she has created throughout her life.

“Forty years ago I was working a very stressful job in a hospice in Leeds and needed to finds a relaxing hobby. A friend of mine was doing China painting and I thought that it looked idea and had a go, I soon found that this would be the perfect way to de-stress. I have painted hundreds of items over the years, mainly flowers, but also some very detailed work as special commissions. Most of the things that I painted were given away as gifts, but I kept a few things for myself…


Work by Trisha

…When the time came for me to move an apartment, I sadly had to give up my kiln and china painting and gave all of this to Rural Arts. I thought that my painting days were over, but when I discovered that Rural Arts were giving tuition using water and acrylics, I decided that this was a good replacement for my painting. Claire guided me through the basics of using this new medium and I built up the confidence to produce my own Christmas cards this year.”

We also had artwork on display, by participants in the Art Cafe sessions at Sessay, Ampleforth, Kilburn and Husthwaite Village Halls. They had also created an assortment of things, including these colourful mosaic tiles and handmade ceramic boats pictured above and below.

As well as Claire Ford’s one-to-one sessions, we also exhibited work created by participants in one-to-one sessions with writer Char March and photographer Tessa Bunney. 

Tessa worked with residents at Meadowfields to create beautiful photo collages of floral arrangements and personal belongings. Char worked with a number of different people to record their memoirs and to create poetry. 


(Left clockwise) Meadowfields Photo Collage, Char March memoirs, Plates by Trisha.

One of Char’s participants, created a beautiful poem about getting older, a week or so before the exhibition ran, so we chose to display it along with a couple of Char’s poems! Below is the poem in full…

To be old (and not to regret the past)– by M, age 90
Look back not with regret
for what I have done,
those I have known and
where I have been.
Look back with pleasure and with pain.
Look back and give thanks.
Now look to the present:
what I can still do
(perhaps with help
which I need to accept).
Look around at the diversity of people we meet
or see or hear day by day.
Think of the places I have visited
or been taken to.
Think of hints of beauty, kindness, humour.
Old age is not a closing of doors
they are there waiting to be opened
– it’s just that they need
to be pushed a little harder now
or I need the grace to ask someone
to do it for me.

Overall the exhibition was a huge success and so many of the participants in the project were pleased to have their work on display. Although the Art on Your Doorstep project will soon be coming to an end, we will be continuing with the Art Cafe in Thirsk and other village halls, so there is still a chance to join if you or anyone you know would like to come and have a go. All activities are suitable for different levels of experience. Transport can be provided for those that need it as well.

In celebration of 2 years of the Art on your Doorstep project, we will be having Jenni Wren performing at The Courthouse on Thursday 28th March at 2pm, tickets being just £2.50 – Book here!