3 North East artists and makers you can find at The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle upon Tyne
When it comes to art galleries in Newcastle, The Biscuit Factory is a proper (iced) gem. Especially when you realise most of the artwork adorning its walls has been created by North East painters, ceramists, textile artists, sculptors and sketchers…
Local Newcastle artists have long found a home at The Biscuit Factory – the largest independent commercial art, craft and design gallery in the UK.
A cultural hub of creativity, the artisan gallery and art shop has attracted the great and the good of the North East’s art scene to the Ouseburn Valley since it opened back in 2002. And being able to display the work of more than 250 artists at any given time, it’s pretty easy to see why.
But what we’ve always loved about this former Victorian warehouse is the ethos that has bound it so indescribably with its local community. The Biscuit Factory has always sought to provide a platform for North East locals not only to enjoy art, but also to showcase their own creations on its walls. The gallery has worked consistently to support emergent local artists to make a living from creating by selling their original paintings, handmade prints, glass, ceramics, textiles, photography, furniture, design-led homeware and jewellery to many of the 50,000 visitors a year who walk through its doors – creating a genuine marketplace for artists in the region.
Choosing our favourite of these local creatives is like choosing our favourite limb – they’re all pretty essential to the fun and function of this independent gallery. But what we can do is spotlight three of our favourite female artists from the North East who are absolutely killing the game in their respective fields right now – and whose work you’ll not want to miss on your next visit to The Biscuit Factory…
Despite having originally trained as an actor, it was clear to North East local Barbara Peirson early on that her calling also lay in visual artistry and, retraining in Fine Art at Colchester School of Art, she has combined a career in theatre and art ever since.
Perhaps it is because of her roots in theatre that there is a clear sense of narrative that pervades Barbara’s work, even though this storytelling is somewhat elusive. The landscapes and figures that appear in her pieces neither seem real nor imagined, but rather half-remembered.
Whatever their story, we can’t help but find ourselves being irresistibly drawn into Barbara’s artwork, every piece having been inspired by life along the North East coastline where she grew up.
Find out more
LOOP AND YARN
South Shields designer-maker Ruth O’Reilly – aka the face and genius behind Loop and Yarn – is renowned here in the North East for the vibrant rugs and wall pieces she creates using a rug tufting gun.
Having honed her craft by studying Textiles and Surface Design at The Northern School of Art, Ruth’s charismatic collection at The Biscuit Factory incorporates a mixture of loop and cut pile, as well as some hand-punched, large scale loops, to create a fascinating mix of tactile textures.
Bold, graphic and one-of-a-kind, take home any of Loop and Yarn’s quirky creations and you’ll be sure to be the envy of all your culturally conscious friends.
Find out more
Having worked for many years as an illustrator and designer for various publishing houses, design studios and, most recently, having created artworks for ITV’s award-winning detective series Vera, Angela Edwards has a wealth of creative experience at her disposal – with Disney, Penguin Books and the classic Beatrix Potter books among her previous clients.
At The Biscuit Factory, you’ll find a tantalising selection of Angela’s paintings, all created in an impasto style using acrylic and oil. Mostly depicting her local landscape and expressing her interest in colour interactions and contrasting shapes, Angela’s art works to build up layers of colour to make bold marks on the canvas and create a sensational showpiece for the walls of any home.
Find out more