York College

Exhibitions at the Gallery

9th November

Adam Higton Cosmic Carpets Exhibition: 9th November 2020 - 3rd December 2020

Cosmic Carpets are an ongoing series of textile works by York based artist and illustrator - Adam Higton.

cosmic carpets adam higton 3

Adam Higton created the Cosmic Neighbourhood in 2012 as an outlet for his experimental electronic music.  Drawings, collages, zines, clothing and prints have documented the daily goings on in this mystical suburb since then.  What started initially as an experiment in latch hook rug making has become a series of carpets made using a Danish Danella carpet needle.  Each piece is made by hand, the process begins with a drawing which is then made into a collage, the design is drawn onto a stretched canvas in reverse, the wool is punched through using the needle before the carpet is bound together using liquid latex.

cosmic carpets adam higton

Since graduating in 2008 with a degree in Fine Art from The University of the West of England, Adam Higton has exhibited internationally in France, Sweden, Germany, UK, United States and Japan. Illustration clients include The Guardian, Adobe, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Die Zeit, Camden Brewery and Rough Trade. In July 2020, Adam had a cartoon printed every day in the New York Times. In August 2020, Adam Higton and Emma Crockatt started Hedgefolk Records, a not-for-profit record label, releasing a series of 5-inch lathe cut records to raise money for York based charity Accessible Arts and Media.

Adam is currently studying for his PGCE here at York College where he is training to become an Art Teacher.

Further information about the work of Adam Higton can be found on his Instagram.

Additional Links

Art & Design at York College

cosmic carpets adam higton 2

4th September 2020

Monica Gabb Exhibition: 7th September -  15th October 2020

Monica Gabb is a Designer and has been teaching at York College for 11 years alongside working as a freelance designer exploring type, image and print. She grew up in the south and gained her Masters Degree in Sequential Design and Illustration at the University of Brighton in 2006. During this year she moved to North Yorkshire. Once here she published an anti-bullying book and gained her teaching qualification.

monicagabb pattern design

She has exhibited work in varying group exhibitions in the North whilst selling work on-line, at galleries and fairs. Monica is a member of the Unlocked Collective; a group of female artists each of varying specialist disciplines. This particular collective create exhibitions that capture the essence of a place and it’s legacy of wherever it may be. Each artist responds independently and works created are curated in a final exhibition to compliment and contrast one another. Works formed with the Unlocked Collective include the ‘Scissors series’; celebrating Sheffield Steel and ‘Feathers Collection’; celebrating the year of Emily Bronte through responding to ‘Wuthering Heights’.

rolled paper

Monica is currently concentrating her time on her collection ‘Twenty Birds’. In this exhibition she shows her finished pieces form the Unlocked Collective Projects along with her newest personal project and displayed the process of the varying approaches to each screen print project as she believes the process, inclusivity and understanding is as important as displaying the final piece. This reflects the combination of her own teaching and practice.

crest wishes

There is a clear link in approach to all of the works. Looking at collections, layout and layering. A love for sharp line and block colour which is definitely the graphic design-training showing through.

twenty birds logo high res


26th February 2020

Former  Art & Design student Emma Crockatt has returned to York College to exhibit her collages, inspired by seasons, nature and simple every day events. Emma is showing eighteen painted collages alongside her most recent collaboration with York based artist Tessa Layzelle.


Emma makes small hand painted collages using cut paper shapes and motifs that conjure her own visual world. In addition to her collages, Emma enjoys exploring how her work can be translated into functional items through different mediums including ceramics and more recently textiles.

Tessa makes one of a kind appliqué quilts. Her current focus is creating sustainable, usable artworks for the home by combining her self-taught traditional quilting methods with her training in fine art. Tessa has designed for projects at Nottingham Contemporary, Hackney Draper, Pantoufle and Misha & Puff.

Together, they have taken Emma’s designs and turned these into functional appliqué quilts that can be used as wall hangings or homewares.


Emma Crockatt completed the Art Foundation Diploma at York College in 2004 and progressed to Goldsmiths in London to study a BA in Art History, and then completed an MA in Illustration at Camberwell College of Art in 2013.


Since graduating, Emma has continued to develop her personal work through collaboration. She has created editorial work for Anorak magazine and German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, designed an interactive Children’s exhibition with American art educator Ryan Trott, and has an ongoing relationship with American clothing company Misha and Puff.

Collages exhibition runs until 18th March 2020 in the York College Gallery.


Related Link

Art & Design Foundation Diploma Post Level 3

29th January 2020

While at pivotal points in each of their Fine Art degrees, four alumni from the York College Art Foundation Diploma have come together to curate a show of their recent works, titled PIVOT.

 pivot posterWEB

All the artists are in the second year of their degree, studying at various places across the country. Jess Miller and Declan Clark are currently at Leeds Beckett University, Tom Pieces is studying at Manchester School of Art and Kerensa Murray is studying at Central Saint Martins.

Aiming to transform the Gallery space at York College, they have displayed a wide range of media including video, sculpture and performance which shows the importance they place on experimentation. At this early stage of their careers, they hope that this exhibition will serve as an example of what current Contemporary Art students at York College might expect when progressing to the next level.


By painting the walls various colours and patterns, and putting up golden shimmering curtains, they have created a space that not only invites a wider audience but also seeks to change the way art is viewed in this context. While there are inspirations from artists such as Rachel Maclean, Alan Kaprow and Hayley Newman respectively, the installation as a whole is reminiscent of the Memphis movement; a reaction against the status quo. Because “good taste” is overrated anyway, this show is certainly not one to be missed.

Steven Hemingway, curator of the gallery space says “It has been a great opportunity for these students to return to York College and present work in the exhibition space. They have used the space as a test bed for their ideas and it is useful for them to gain critical feedback before they begin to create work for their degree shows next year. It is bright, full on and kitsch and It is always really interesting to see what our students go on to produce and how their practice changes whilst studying at degree level”.

PIVOT exhibition is in the Gallery at York College until 13th February 2020.


Related Link

Art and Design Foundation Diploma Level 3


7th November 2019

A new exhibition in The Gallery at York College features Perilune Behind the Scenes, by Mister Finch – a textile artist w whose fairytale creatures and books bring fairytales bang up to date with surprising and often dazzling results.

me and himWEB

Self-taught, Mister Finch works alone in a small studio in Leeds, taking old and found objects and sewing and twisting them into characters with strange roles and jobs.

In the past he has created Badgers running a secret post office system, wishing mice and spiders who carry love letters and this year we meet Perilune a magical hare boy, a huge pink bumblebee and moonlit tales of the sea. Mister Finch's show brings all the props and pieces from his latest book together, from the stories main hero Perilune himself to the curious Marvelings...his moon guitar and favourite red kite.


This display of hand made and hand sewn objects grants the viewer a rare chance to see everything up close. From vintage velvets, brass wheels to a glaring single moon eye this strange and magical collection is a real Christmas treat for all ages.

Perilune Behind the Scences runs from 11th November – 19th December in the York College Gallery.

16th September 2019

Material-Process-Object is the first exhibition of the 2019/20 academic year in The Gallery at York College, and is the culmination of a project led by York College alumni Paul Digby, celebrating the front line of the UK’s public sector.

Image 2WEB

Developed between 2016 and 2019, the project involved Paul working with the emergency services, drawing and sculpting them in classical poses, in addition to collaborations with different community groups including schools, universities, galleries and museums. As well as the sculptures and drawings Paul delivered a series of workshops to Shakespeare Primary School and the COOP Academy Secondary School in Leeds, as well as Lionwood Infants School in Norwich. Each child created a small clay figurative sculpture and these are included in the exhibition Material-Process-Object.

Image 1WEB

Watch this video to find out more about Paul's incredible project:

“There are two key strands to this project, the first is aesthetic and conceptual. This representation of the emergency services as statuesque, massively sculptural figures in splendid isolation. They are isolated pictorially, and this actually reminds us that these crucial and often very separate roles that our emergency services, play in our lives can be isolating and at time, traumatic. They are ordinary people who perform extraordinary roles and in my experience possess extraordinary abilities and determination. The second aspect is the role of art as a collaborative practice, the artist Joseph Beuys I think coined the term ‘social sculpture’ back in around 1968, but since that time, ‘socially engaged practice’ has come to be more widely understood and more widely valued as a vehicle for dialogue through and around the arts.” 
Professor Neil Powell, Pro Vice-Chancellor Norwich University of the Arts

Paul Dibgy 1WEB

“Paul Digby’s drawings of public sector workers are truly remarkable. Each portrait takes around four months to compose and devotes meticulous attention to technical equipment, uniform, posture, embodiment and expression - not of landowners or of CEOs, or even celebrities - but of public sector workers in the emergency services. Digby’s art calls out and celebrates the people who work every day to save our lives and our homes, the people whose rewarding work makes them fit only for pay and job cuts in the age of austerity.” 
Ruth Holliday (2019), Professor of Gender and Culture, University of Leeds

The condition of the socially engaged artist. His work is both dependent on and a product of successive, and successful, collaborations. With the current economic climate forcing society to prioritise basic, physical needs over that of our mental and emotional health, art is at risk of becoming side-lined (despite increasing studies suggest a fundamental parallel between the two). More than just presenting the likenesses of public sector workers, Digby’s collaborative practice points to the artist’s position as the missing emergency service, the resulting body of work articulately addresses the urgent and vital role art can play in our lives.”
Claire Allerton (2019), East Gallery NUA

At York College Paul Digby studied a Hairdressing Apprenticeship (1989), the BTEC and Foundation Diploma Art & Design (1991-94), and progressed to Norwich University to study a degree in Visual Studies (1997). Paul then completed an MA in Fine Art at Leeds University (2002). Over the last twenty years he has been a successful practicing artist, working around the country.

Material-Process-Object runs from 16th September – 24th October in The Gallery, York College


Need Help?