Museum art inspires artist-in-residence

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A new exhibition of artworks by Whitby-born artist Sandra Storey opens at Whitby Museum tomorrow and runs through to July 27.

Many of the works in the Sills, Mantelpieces and Museums exhibition have been inspired by the museum’s vast collection during the past year, when Ms Storey was artist in residence at the museum. Sandra, 55, was born in Whitby and grew up in Ruswarp.

Vase and ammonite.

Vase and ammonite.

An artist and practicing art psychotherapist, the exhibition forms the final show for her Masters Degree in Creative Practice, which she is studying at Harrogate College.

She said: “Working in the museum during the last year has enabled me to develop ideas about links between museums and personal collections. The starting point has been the museum artefacts and how they are displayed, the stories they tell and the powerful connection with the landscape in which I grew up.

“The way this prompts memory is a particular interest.

“A love for the area was instilled by parents who were keen to pass on the strong sense of place they felt here.

“In particular, my father’s connection to this part of the world has been a clear influence on the artwork I produce, which often refers to the landscape of childhood memories, inevitably dominated by sea and moorland.”

After taking A-Levels at Whitby School, Sandra Storey left her Ruswarp home in the late 1970s to study art.

She went on to train as an Art Psychotherapist in the NHS and her experiences of working with complex psychological processes informs and colours her work.

She has returned to Whitby regularly and, as Artist in Residence at the museum, been fortunate to focus on the impact of a childhood in the area on her own artwork.

She said: “Whitby Museum is an inspirational place that locals cherish and visitors are enchanted by.

“With its treasure trove of artefacts and huge collections of pieces from generations of local families it inspired diverse ideas which centered around the concept of collections and the places where collections are displayed.”

Wynne Jones, Keeper at Whitby Museum, said: “The museum houses one of the country’s most inspiring and unique collections. The community and visitors trace their family history and the development of the town through pieces made or collected by local people.

“The curators’ role in the displays reflects a refreshing interpretation. Sandra is an artist whose local roots and experiences dovetail perfectly with how the museum and its visitors see the collection and the sense of how we all curate our own collections. This is an important exhibition which highlights the range of artefacts and the Whitby interest.”

You can meet Sandra at Whitby Museum tomorrow from 2-4pm.

She will be exhibiting later in the year at Inspired by… Gallery, The Moors National Park Centre, Danby.

Her exhibition Presence and Absence (September 7 to 27) marks the development of a new body of work which explores memory, the significance of the natural world and the impact of her time at Whitby Museum as artist in residence.