“Talk to me about art”

A DEARNE Valley artist is inviting people to walk, talk and write about art.

Darfield’s Iain Nicholls has taken up residence at The Civic, Barnsley, to make art inspired by Cat Hill, an historical place on the edge of Darfield.

Cat Hill is part of Darfield folklore and the slope at the side of the Dearne Valley Parkway is full of history and stories.

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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 studied painting at Chelsea School of Art and The Royal College of Art, and his works have been exhibited both nationally and internationally.

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During his time in residence he will be painting the ancient land of Cat Hill and is inviting residents to visit him in his new studio.

A museum spokesman said: “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 is a solo performer and writer, he’s been poet in residence at Barnsley Football Club, Northern Spirit Trains and Humberside Police.

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“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.”

The project has been made possible by 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 six artists and companies at varying stages of their careers to create and develop new work and ideas.

The two-day workshop will take place next Thursday and Friday when guests are invited to go for a walk around Cat Hill before moving onto the Civic where Iain and Ian will lead a workshop.

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Places are free but there is a limited capacity so booking is essential on 01226 327000. Participants are expected to provide their own transport and dress appropriate for trekking around Cat Hill.

Long trousers would be preferred due to nettles.

Lunch will not be provided but participants are welcome to take a break at any time during the workshop.

All participants are welcome to take away with them any works of art and writing they create during these workshops.

For more information visit www.barnsleycivic.co.uk.