Local Artist Invites People to Walk, Talk and Write About Art

Barnsley-based painter, Iain Nicholls, has taken up residence at The Civic, Barnsley to make art inspired by Cat Hill, a place on the edge of Darfield and at the centre of history.

Cat Hill is part of Darfield folklore and this little slope at the side of the Dearne Valley Parkway is full of history and stories and collective memory. The tale is that Sir Percival Cresacre was returning from the crusades, on his way to Barnburgh, when he got attacked by a wild cat. He swiped the cat with his sword but the cat carried on attacking him in an epic struggle that took them to Barnburgh by way of Cat Hill. Eventually the two got to the steps of Barnburgh Churchyard where the cat finally killed Sir Percival and he fell on the cat, killing it.

Iain Nicholls lives and works in Darfield, near Barnsley. He studied painting at Chelsea School of Art and The Royal College of Art, and his works have been exhibited both nationally and internationally.

During his time in residence Iain will be painting the ancient land of Cat Hill and invites you to visit him in his brand new studio atThe Civic, Barnsley.  Iain wants you to ask him questions about how and why he paints, with the aim of demystifying the ‘job’ of an artist. He will also offer open workshops for the local community with renowned writer Ian McMillan.

Ian McMillan is a solo performer and writer; he’s been poet in residence at Barnsley Football Club, Northern Spirit Trains andHumberside Police. He’s written comedy for radio and plays for the stage, and worked extensively for Radios 1,2,3,4 and Five Live as well as for Yorkshire Television and BBC2’s Newsnight Review. 

This unique opportunity has been made possible with an award from Arts Council England and The Civic Artistic Residency Programme (CARP) supported by new Barnsley based business Spin Arts Management. The programme welcomes 6 artists and companies at varying stages of their careers to create and develop new work and ideas in a creative and supportive arts environment.

Iain Nicholls says:

‘This is a fantastic opportunity to break down the barriers between the artist and the viewer. The work is relevant to the people of Barnsley, and it is a great privilege to create and exhibit it in my home town.’

The Civic says:

‘We are always looking for opportunities to engage and connect with those that live and work on our doorstep. Inviting high calibre artists such as Iain will help us do that. The Civic is a place to experience extra-ordinary art while feeling as if you are in the safety and comfort of your own home’.

For more information about CARP and Iain Nicholls activities please visit http://www.barnsleycivic.co.uk/

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