Crown Gallery the Newest Art Gallery in Carlisle 2011


A message from Joe Miller, the original creator of this site.
I live in Carlisle, in the north of England, where I run an art gallery with my partner Julie. I hope to sometimes be writing about art and design. I hope you enjoy what I write, and please feel free to leave a comment! It's nice to know someone was here.

The content below is from the site's 2011- 2013 archived pages

Crown Gallery, Carlisle
Innovative and original arts and crafts from Cumbria, Northumbria and South-West Scotland.
5 Lonsdale St, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA1 1BJ 
Tel 01228 595 055


Welcome to Crown Gallery

Crown Gallery is Carlisles newest contemporary arts and crafts gallery. We aim to bring you exciting fine art and crafts from around Cumbria, Northumberland and South-West Scotland. We will occasionally bring interesting exhibitors from further afield, so the gallery will always be somewhere to find new and diverse gifts.

Situated right on the border between England and Scotland, we are ideally placed to showcase the art that this historic area has to offer, with a wealth of local talent in all disciplines, including fine art, ceramics, glass work, wood work, jewellery and metal work.

We have monthly exhibitions in our art gallery, as well as a constantly changing range of applied arts and fine art in our main shop. We also have "The Vault", where we host more experimental and innovative exhibitions from local artists and students from the University of Cumbria.

We hope you enjoy the website, and hope to see you in the gallery soon.

Joe Miller  and Julie Butterworth


Crown Gallery is one year old!

Crown Gallery will be one year old in December!
To celebrate, we are holding a first birthday party, here at Crown Gallery. We will have lots going on, and everyone is invited to come along and help us celebrate.
We will be opening '17 Seconds', a new exhibition of work by Carlisle artists Malcolm Wilson and David Hollins, as well as an extended display of local arts and crafts.
We are also hoping to raise some money for Prism Arts, a local charity which works with excluded groups through art.


Cumbrian Borders


Exhibition by Stephen Warnes

stephen-warnes-02.jpgStephen Warnes has been described as one of the North's most original modern painters. Over the years he has built up a reputation for producing fascinating, complex, yet accessible works which appeal to a wide cross-section of people. It is the sheer range of styles and subject matter however, that probably make him unique. From delicate watercolours, through dazzling, light-filled landscapes to full-blown Expressionist and Surrealist works. Though not within the theme of this exhibition, he also produces detailed and multi-faceted social history paintings and is considered to be one of Britain's leading railway painters. Since his first retrospective exhibition at the Upfront Gallery, Hutton in the Forest, his work has continued to gain in recognition and examples can now be found in many private collections. Having lived in Brampton for over 20 years, he has become a keen observer and portrayer of the particular qualities of our region.

Cumbrian Borders, by Stephen Warnes, opens on Monday 3rd October, with a preview on Saturday 1st October, 6 - 8pm.

Man, Beast, Magic


mark-gibbs-03-thumb Crown Gallery are proud to present a new exhibition of work by Carlisle based artist Mark Gibbs. Mark's recent work has a Northern European theme, depicting creatures of  forest and tundra. His sculptures and paintings show animals such as bison, wolves and reindeer, once native to this country, as shamanic guardian spirits, beasts of power with ancient antecedence. These creatures, now extinct here, live in an increasingly diminished and fractured environment, and much of Mark's work comments on our hand in this process.

Since graduating in 1998 with a first class degree in fine art, Mark has continued to paint and sculpt, exhibiting locally, nationally and internationally.  He has held successful exhibitions at the Ice House Gallery, in London, and at many art fairs. Mark's work has been highly commended at the 2010 and 2011 Wildlife Artist of the Year Award.

As part of his exhibition, Mark will be presenting a workshop on Saturday 10th September, where visitors can make their own fridge magnets and create their own herd of reindeer, crossing the icy wastes of their fridge! Tickets will cost £3, which covers the cost of materials. Contact the gallery for more details.


Paul Cowan Sculpture


Haaf Netter Sculptor Paul Cowan doesn't pull any punches with his work. Big, bold, and often controversial, his work always excites comment.
Cowan is perhaps best known locally for his public sculptures. He has created a striking sculpture of a 'haaf-netter', which was commissioned by Tesco for the roundabout at the entrance to the store in Annan. This sculpture has received local praise and criticism in equal amounts, but many local people like the the work as it's different to the usual Scottish fare of Robert the Bruce and thistles. It also celebrates the ordinary working people of Annan, and the traditions that have formed their lives. Cowan is also currently working on a public statue for the harbour in Annan. The idea is still in it's infancy, but has already met with considerable interest from local groups.

The works that Cowan has brought to Crown Gallery are smaller, but lack none of the punch of his public pieces. Cowan has originally described himself as a craftsman, and this ability to form different materials is reflected in his work. He describes his method of working as releasing the shapes in the materials, working with what's already there and enhancing it. This method certainly works to great effect with some of his wood-carved pieces; the flowing lines of the timber in his 'Wave' series looking almost like Tibetan prayer flags in the wind. His furniture, like the table for sale in the gallery, delight in the mixture of wood and brushed steel, the free-form and the rigid.

Cowan also works in bronze, and has brought two pieces, 'Pregnant Angel' and 'Minotaur'. Both are cast in bronze, with thick stainless steel rods forming arms and wings. I can't decide which I like the best. 'Pregnant Angel' is lovely; her polished bronze belly tells the tale of her pregnant-angelglorious condition, she emerges from the stone plinth as a wraith of smoke and light. It's only when you grasp her firmly by the buttocks and breasts to move her that you realise how heavy she really is! The Minotaur, on the other hand, is a beast gone to seed, sunken chest and pot-belly the result of a life of decadence and priapic over-indulgence. A semi-erect cock is all he can manage now; perhaps he needs a little Viagra to get it on these days? There's still fire in the old boy though, with his head thrown back in a gesture of pure defiance. Despite his age, he's still a force to be reckoned with!.



Clive Barker, Imaginer


Clive Barker, master of Horror, brings his paintings and drawings to Crown Gallery, Carlisle 16th July - 23rd August 2011

Clive Barkerhas worked for over twenty five years as an ‘Imaginer’. He was discovered with a quote from Stephen King in 1984 who said; “I have seen the future of horror and his name is Clive Barker,” which heralded the release of ‘The Books of Blood.’ These books were issued with six covers painted by Barker to illustrate his stories and characters.


Paintings that are Less Flat IV


 A Brief History of Now


Eddie Powell is a self-taught artist, specialising in what he calls 'Social and Environmental Surrealism'. The pictures on display date from the 1990s, with the exception of one new work, yet to be unveiled.

His paintings depict global issues such as war, famine, religous strife and the domination of global corporations and shows them in a surrealistic form, creating a personal response and pictorial narrative in each picture. He paints richly detailed canvasses, scattered with personal symbology and hidden meanings which combine to give an often disturbing emotional rage against the issues he is tackling, whether it's arthritis, in 'Francis Stevenson Orr' or genocide in 'Bosnia'.


Gill Swinglehurst

gill-swinglehurst-01My photography is an exploration of the effects of light, layers and translucency and is inspired by all things natural but seen from a different perspective – I am very interested in the different ways that people and animals see things. There is a huge variety and diversity of vision throughout the natural world, which I find absolutely fascinating.


Facets: Art exhibition by Wayne Van Tilburg



Wayne van Tilburg began painting over 50 years ago in America. Since moving to the UK in 1972, he has continued to paint, drawing on his experience as a graphic artist and designer. He now lives in Carlisle with his wife Margaret.

In his second Carlisle exhibition, Wayne will be exhibiting some of his more abstract and cerebral work. The paintings on display reflect his fascination with pushing the boundaries of what he can portray through painting. He often attempts to create work which combine graphic shapes when viewed from a distance, which resolve into complex detail when viewed from close-up. The paintings represent a series of experiments in form, shade and colour; almost draughtsman-like detail combined with washes and slabs of colour to see what can be portrayed.


Urban: Ceri Allen


Ceri Allen studied Fine Art Painting at City & Guilds School of Art, London. She has exhibited widely, her work is represented in private collections in the UK and USA and also in Carlisle City Museum & Art Gallery and St Mary's Hospital, Paddington. Ceri was awarded first prize in the Cumbrian Open exhibition in 2007. In 2009 she was selected for the AA2A scheme at University of Cumbria to work in the printmaking department.



Blog 2011


John Davenport and Frances Winder

May 28, 2011 by Joe Miller

We had a visit today from the lovely John Davenport and his wife, Frances Winder today. They brought a delightful selection of their work for us to choose from for our gallery.

I love it when artists bring new work in. It's like Christmas has come around; we get to see lots of new work, and choose what we think will sell well in the gallery. It's always a good chance to chat about how the gallery is doing, and our plans for the future, as well as talking to artists about their work. We learn lots about the different techniques they use and their inspiration for their work.

It always amazes me how much truly inventive work people create. John was showing us his range of garden ceramics today; he buys a plant, then designs a pot to put it in. The reult is a lovely combination of form and shape, which is completely harmonious.

Frances is experimenting with printing shapes onto paper, then colouring them by hand. the results are really unusual, and will be a fine addition to our range here at Crown Gallery.


Classes and workshops at Crown Gallery


April 11, 2011  by Joe Miller

We are pleased to announce an expanding range of new classes and workshops to be held at Crown Gallery, in Carlisle.

We are starting off with two beginners classes; basis jewellery techniques with Jane Shaw. Jane presents a series of four classes, aimed at beginners but suitable for a wide range of experience. Step by step, she will tak you through the basic techniques fo jewellery making, working with wire, beading choosing colours etc.

We are also holding a beginners series fo drawing classes by Katy Little. Katy is an experienced tutor, described as 'excellent' by one of our local artists! Katy will cover some of the techniques fundamental to successful drawing; drawing what you can see, and working with different materials and media. Later in the year we will be holding life drawing classes, also by Katy. more details of these when they become available.

All our classes will be held in the 'kitchen' gallery, downstairs at Crown Gallery. A booking form is available, and full details of course content, materials and any additional expenses will be made avialable. All the classes will be small numbers of students, so you can be assured of maximum tutor time!

We hope that you will enjoy these classes. we have many more in the pipeline, and will add them to the website as they become available.