Shifting Boundaries

9 Sept – 12 November 2017
Mirror Gallery, South Hill Park, Bracknell

Materials are ineffable. They cannot be pinned down in terms of established concepts or categories. To describe any material is to pose a riddle, whose answer can be discovered only through observation and engagement with what is there. The riddle gives the material a voice and allows it to tell its own story: it us up to us, then, to listen, and from the clues it offers, to discover what is speaking. (Ingold 2013, 31)

Shifting Boundaries is a collaboration between visual artists Yvette Hawkins and Judith Davies. Over a one-year period, Hawkins and Davies have developed a visual dialogue, exploring materiality by pushing the boundaries of materials, adopting an experimental approach to making. The balance between chance and control is central to this experimentation; privileging processes that allow the materials to affect outcomes by working with their intrinsic properties. The artists have chosen to work with natural pigments and explored methods of dipping, pouring and washing that build up layers of deposits, forming a palminset of mark-making that evidences also the interaction of the hand. Working across scale and colour the work finds a meeting point where both their practices in textiles, ceramics and drawing co-exist. This is reflected through a new site specific commission made in collaboration; alongside drawings, ceramics, textiles and artist books.

As well as exploring boundaries in their individual practices, the work brings to light the use of boundary on a physical and geographical scale by referencing the border lands of Scotland and England, formed in most part by the river Tweed. The artists have collected raw materials from the river banks, creating pigments and dyes that explore the geological changes from limestone to iron rich rock as the border is crossed.

This collaboration has come about through the artists’ experience of sharing a studio and finding commonality of approach in their making over an extended period. The studio is divided, having its own boundary, but passing through this, ideas have exchanged. While both artists have worked under different materials and making processes, it became apparent that a mutual understanding and visual language has emerged naturally, forming a new collaborative practice inside the studio and beyond in the physical landscape.


Forty Three Houses and a Ford Escort & Casing In

Saturday 18 April – Sunday 24 May

Photo 01-07-2014 10 02 50

Beaumont Street
NE46 3LS

Yvette Hawkins brings together two exhibitions which addresses the temporal nature of a nomadic life. In Forty Three Houses and a Ford Escort, a series of folded maps portray a biographical chronology of the artists homes and temporary abodes spanning two nations. The use of map folding references the act of locating and placing, linking the paper artefact to the physical world.

Casing In depicts a series of insect damaged books mended using the unique spinning process of the silk worm. Yvette observed the nature of spinning silk cocoons over the pages and covers creating a new home for them to mend and occupy. The title ‘Casing In’ alludes to the technical term a bookbinder uses to ‘case in’ or glue a book block of sewn pages to its hard backed cover. In this same way the silkworms are encasing themselves and the pages of the book into a new abode.



Unnatural Pleasures

26th February – 17th April 2015

Photo 01-07-2014 10 02 50

Radiant Space, 12 Derry’s Cross, Plymouth, PL1 2TE

The latest in the R[eff]uge series, supported by Arts Council England and Plymouth University, UNNATURAL PLEASURES focuses on synthesised experiences and the discomfort which is often the unfortunate by-product of attempts to comfort ourselves through man-made items.

Exhibiting Artists: Liz West, Alana Tyson, David Sargeant, Johanna Schmeer and Yvette Hawkins.

Image Credit: Yvette Hawkins


paper, table, wall and after

01 December 2014 – 23 January 2015


Gallery North, Northumbria University, Ellison Place, Newcastle upon Tyne

The provisional, but vital, stages of making artworks; the fluid open-ended possibilities for their interpretation through display; the uncertain destinies that await all material artefacts, however precious – these often disconnected moments in the ‘life story’ of an art object are the topic of a new exhibition in Gallery North. Co-curated by Chris Dorsett and Sian Bowen from Paper Studio Northumbria, this exhibition explores not only how contemporary artists utilize the special properties of paper but also how the passage of paper-based artworks across studio tablesand gallery wallscan lead to an unknown ‘after’, a contingent world only tentatively related to the immediate concerns of viewing an exhibition.

Paper Studio Northumbria (PSN) provides a unique facility nationally and internationally for the research, teaching and scholarship of paper in relation to fine art, conservation and archiving. Importantly it is a platform for an exchange of ideas that transforms the processes of making and exhibiting into research-rich activities. By providing tables as well as gallery walls the curators offer exhibition visitors artworks that can be shuffled, picked up, and examined in a manner that underlines the artefactual status of paper. The aim is to present a ‘jumble’ of ideas about the future of paper research. Gallery North’s visitors are unlikely to behave as if they are at a jumble sale but our ambition is to stimulate the haphazard discoveries associated with this traditional method of trading second-hand goods. Imagine the wealth of ideas that might be rifled through and then re-used or recycled as a result of applying the notion of ‘rummage’ to PSN works of art.

Forty artists, all of whom have worked with PSN during the last three years, will feature in the exhibition. Their use of tables and walls will evolve as exhibitors re-arrange their contributions as part of PSN’s critical discussions and seminar programme. Within this evolutionary process two ‘waves’ of participation will enlarge the exhibition: the first being pieces from the wider community of fine art staff at Northumbria for whom paper plays an important role; and the second, an intervention by the research group Neuschloss which will underline the provisional character of exhibition-making and help us draw uncertain boundaries between before and after, between the impact of one research project on another, between the different stages of a changing exhibition idea.

Beyond the shifting dialogue of making and exhibiting, the notion of provisionality reaches out into the cultural and social afterlife of the artworks on display. To this end Dorsett provides an accompanying text which, in the context of the Research Excellence Framework, interrogates the meaning of ‘research impact’ for makers of paper artefacts. His sequence of six ultra-short stories imagine what future ‘users’ of our exhibits might tell us about the transformational effects of paper artworks after they have been given away or sold, collected or stored, misplaced or thrown out. Nothing about paper, table, wall and after ends up quite as expected.


Caroline Ali / Sian Bowen / Catherine Bullard / Sarah Casey / Chun Chao Chiu / Maureen Coade / Jane Colbourne / Lizzy Costerdine  / Gerry Davies / Judith Davies / Chris Dorsett / Hassen Ebeid / Brian Fay / Sophie Foster / Ross Frew  / Richard James Hall / Yvette Hawkins / Angela Hughes / Mark Jackson / Ricky James/ Sandra Johnston / Christopher Jones / Agnieszka Kozlowska  / Zhao Kun / Lloyd-Wilson / Keith McIntyre / Siobhan McQuade / Clare Money / Michael Mulvihill / Daksha Patel / Graham Patterson / Lionel Playford  / Joanne Proctor / Doris Rohr / Jess Shaw & Steuart Padwick/ Richard Talbot / Jill Wann / Carl von Weiler

More Information

Image Credit: Paper Studio Northumbria


Finding The Value

4th July – 2nd November 2014


York St Mary’s, Castlegate, York, YO1 9RN

In 2011 Peter Madsen left his estate, including his art collection, to York Museums Trust.  Five artists have made new work for this exhibition, using objects from his collection.

We can never know what drew Peter Madsen to collect and keep these things but each artist has found new ways to value them.

York Art Gallery is currently undergoing an £8 million redevelopment. This ambitious project was made possible by the bequest of £2 million by Peter Emil Madsen and his sister Karen Madsen, both from York. Their gift also included Peter’s diverse collection of paintings, books, prints, small sculptures and ethnographic objects.  York Art Gallery has been allowed to sell any pieces not taken into the City’s art collections.

Of course, the historical importance and artistic quality of some works meant they had to be kept. Other works were sold at auction, happily passing into the care of other collectors whilst adding to the monetary value of the gift.

Exhibiting Artists: Andrew Bracey, Alison Erika Forde, Yvette Hawkins, Susie MacMurray and Simon Venus

Image credit: Phil Sayer


Beyond The Book

5th April –  8th June 2014


The Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey, Devon, TQ13 9AF

The artists in this exhibition examine the book as physical form as well as a container of ideas and concepts. A household object – the conventional book has only recently been rivalled by the computer screen and electronic text. This exhibition sets out to explore this transition, through a variety of formats, from photographs to sculptures, installations and jewellery. The special qualities of the book object are deconstructed and described by these artists who all share an interest in history and memory, language and narrative.

More information

Image credit: Sarah Deane Photography


Shy Tworls

Preview: Friday 28 February 2014 / 18.00-20.00
Exhibition: Saturday 1 & Sunday 2 March / 12.00-18.00


Northumbria University Studios, BALTIC 39

This diverse show brings together recent work by students of the BxNU Master of Fine Art (MFA) programme, which is based at BALTIC 39, Newcastle upon Tyne. The artists do however all have one thing in common – shy tworls.

Image credit: David Bilbrough


Arborescent 02

7th February 2014


Ouse St Arts Club, 20 Ouse Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2PF

An evening of specially commissioned graphic scores by Richard Dawson, Yvette Hawkins and MawsonKerr architects, performed live by a trio led by double bass improviser John Pope.

Richard Dawson: SING-SONG-SUNG
Yvette Hawkins: Un/Fold
MawsonKerr: Shed Light

John Pope – double bass
Mariam Rezaei – turntables and electronics
Sean Cotterill – violin
Trio led by John Pope

Image Credit: Unit 44



1st June – 17th August 2013


The Gallery, Gateshead Library, Prince Consort Road, Gateshead

Novel is an exhibition by members of the Book Art Network which explores and celebrates the region’s culture and history as part of Festival of the North East.
Inspired by books, these artists have created innovative works of art which include sculpture, collage, text pieces, poetry and collaborative works.
Theresa Easton, Yvette Hawkins ,Stephen Jeffries, Ruth McCann, Aidan Moesby, Mandy Pattullo, Susannah Pickering and Stevie Ronnie

Image credit: Dawn Felicia Knox


As Above So Below

18th – 25th May 2013


Castle Keep, Castle Garth, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1RQ

As Above So Below responds to the architecture and geometry of the chapel through folded tessellated paper sculptures.

Each sculpture mirrors the patterns on the chapel arch ways suggesting an extension of the building that follows the contours of the chapel yet also meanders on its own path.

Image credit: Yvette Hawkins


The Book Borrowers

8 December 2012 – Thursday 17 January 2013

Book Borrowers 1

An exhibition of artwork created exclusively for Darlington by north east artists Yvette Hawkins, Theresa Easton and Dawn Felicia Knox will go on show at the town’s Crown Street Art Gallery from Tuesday 18 December 2012 – Thursday 17 January 2013.



1st October 2012 – 1st March 2013


Stuffed creatures carrying fragile treasures, Victorian-esque “quizzing glasses” and a set of storytelling boxes of relics will feature in a museums-inspired art exhibition.  A group of seven artists from around the UK will exhibit work at Μουσείον: artists’reflections on museums, an exhibition organised by PhD students at the University of Leicester’s School of Museum Studies.

The show, which will run from October 1 at the School on University Road, takes its name from the original ‘mouseion’ built in Alexandria, Egypt, over 2000 years ago.  The artists will explore the role and meanings of museum collections and the processes involved in the storage and display of museums’ artefacts.

The show has been curated by Alex Woodall, a PhD Researcher in the School, who haspreviously worked for Manchester Art Gallery, Museums Sheffield, Renaissance EastMidlands and Kettle’s Yard gallery in Cambridge.

Image credit: Priya Lin


Places Our Paths Might Cross

24th March – 26th May 2012

Tropic of Capricorn

Dovetail, Blandford Square, Newcastle upon Tyne

In Places our paths might cross, Hawkins traces real and imagined journeys through layers of folds in carefully crafted new lands. Two dimensions become three in Hawkins’ beautiful new largescale landscapes, playing with familiarity and encouraging closer survey. This work is presented in both Globe and Dovetail.

Image credit: Colin Davison


Forty Three Houses and a Ford Escort

24th March – 26th May 2012


Globe Gallery, Blandford Square, Newcastle upon Tyne

In Forty Three Houses and a Ford Escort, a series of folded maps portray a biographical chronology of the artists homes and temporary abodes spanning two nations.  The use of map folding references the act of locating and placing, linking the paper artefact to the physical world.

Image credit: Colin Davison





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