Check out the artists, writers and crafters who showcase and sell their work at the Shop at the SJT in Scarborough

From porcelain to paintings and from photography to poetry – the Shop at the SJT showcases the work of dozens of artists, writers and crafters.

By Sue Wilkinson
Thursday, 17th February 2022, 11:17 am
Updated Thursday, 17th February 2022, 11:27 am
Artists and authors who show and sell their work at the Shop at the SJT in Scarborough
Artists and authors who show and sell their work at the Shop at the SJT in Scarborough

Ramshill-based artist Lynne Arnison is chairperson of the shop in the foyer of the Stephen Joseph Theatre.

“The Shop at the SJT has worked as a successful collective of local artists and makers for a number of years,” said Lynne. “Covid knocked us for six but like a phoenix we have risen and we now have a full complement of local artists and makers offering a range of unique artwork, gifts and books.

“It’s great being part of the team here and everyone brings new ideas improving the shop’s profile as well as helping each other out to cover shop shifts as we are all volunteers.”

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Lynne is an avid theatre-goer. Some of her work has been influenced by film and theatre including portraits of Sir Alan Ayckbourn, Stephen Joseph, Oscar Wilde, Barrie Rutter, Withnail and the Stephen Joseph theatre building.

IN PICTURES: The artists and authors showcasing their work here

Lynne has also been artist in residence at Burton Agnes Hall for a number of years and some of her work from this time is available to buy from the shop.

She also uses archival photographs of her hometown Morley to create charcoal drawings.

“One benefit of the last two years is it has focused our minds more on being creative but also appreciating the creativity of others and this is evident in the art and gifts available at the theatre shop,” she said.

Speth Milnes

Speth, who lives in Scalby, was a nurse. She has always had an interest in art and in 2000 did a degree at what was Universityof Hull Scarborough campus. Speth took herself off to Scotland to specialise in oil painting with artist Eleanor White in Ullapool.

She paints landscapes in oils and has also developed an interest in botanical subjects.

Sue Willmington

Born in Scarborough, Sue now lives near Whitby. She studied fine art at Maidstone College of Art and theatre design at the Motley Theatre Design School. Sue has worked as a designer for 43 years and works mainly in opera. She also displays etchings – a skill she has developed through lockdown – at the shop.

Helen Ventress returned to Scarborough six years ago, having left Troutsdale aged 12.

She taught in further education and spent the past 20 years of her career as head of art and design at Harrogate College and York College.

She works with a group of potters based at the St James Arts Centre Ceramic Studio and uses brightly-coloured clay to decorate vessels of all kinds.

Her pots are hand-built or thrown. Her cats came to the theatre just before Christmas.

Scarborough-based Angela Weir, who works for Advocacy Alliance, sources her wood from a local gardener and then uses them as a ‘canvas’ for her wildlife paintings. Her love of nature comes from her late father Peter. She also creates and sells cushions and lampshades.

Taxi driver Simon-James Smith is an abstract photographer. He worked in aviation insurance in London for 30 years and relocated back to his hometown of Scarborough during the second lockdown.

He has had solo exhibitions in London, has been highly commended in three prestigious competitions and has work published in magazines. He is a contributor to The Scarborough News readers’ pictures pages.

Retired teacher and costume designer Lizzie Skyhall moved from London to Scarborough – on the recommendation of an artist she met on a course in Norfolk – during lockdown last year. She paints in oils and also has a studio at the Old Parcels Office at Scarborough Railway Station. She and her dog Mivvy – a Westie Bichon – can often be seen walking in Peasholm Park.

Retired probation office Felix Hodcroft sells his poetry collections – full of verse on people he has met, relationships and emotions – at the shop.

Shirley Shepherd, who also has a gallery in Blands Cliff, displays and sells her ceramics and paintings. Her most recent work is porcelain. Shirley also champions the works of other artists.

Liz Craven, who works for Crofts Chocolates in Scarborough, uses the shop to showcase her pencil drawings. During lockdown she also started creating embroidery hoops.

Textile specialist Charlotte Hill makes jewellery, scarves and clothes, She also has a shop in the Market Vaults.

Scarborough-based Robert Marshall took up writing after retiring from his bakery business.

Among the books he has on sale are the autobiographical Bob the Baker and Bob the Biker. He also writes science fiction.

Retired state registered nurse Suzanne Jackman writes under the name Marshall. Her Mill Children, which she published via Amazon, was a huge hit. “I loved writing as a child,” said Suzanne who lives in Scalby.

With Felix and Robert she belongs to Scarborough Poetry Workshop which is due to begin live performances again.

Elena Tradwell is from Russia and has lived in England for 25 years. She makes hats of all shapes and sizes.

Other artists showing and selling work at the Shop at the SJT include Jenny Weston, Adam King and Sharon Hodgson.

Customers can also pick up Crofts Chocolates at the outlet.

Opening hours are: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from: 5pm to 7.30pm.

Thursday from noon to 7.30pm; Friday from noon to 2.30pm; from 5pm and 7.30pm and Saturday from noon to 7.30pm.