Diyi Tan, an MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies student, reflects on her experience of working with the Gallery as part of her course.


Diyi says: “My team and I share wonderful moments of curating our first exhibition, which is currently on display in The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery.

It has been five weeks since we were first introduced to the project. Our mission was to create a display in the Education Room in The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery. In the beginning, we received a long list of landscape paintings from the Gallery. We did research on the various artists and their artworks based on the long list. However, we found ourselves attracted to the artworks by Marie Hartley. Eventually, we came up with the idea of curating a solo exhibition based on her work.

As some of you may be familiar with the cultures and traditions of Yorkshire, you may be interested in doing further research around this area. Marie Hartley, a Yorkshire-born artist (1905-2006), devoted her life to preserving the culture heritage of Yorkshire. Through her vivid descriptions in her paintings and books, you can feel her passion for and love of the region:

“Of the rural landscape of England the Yorkshire Dales are to many ‘beloved over all’. Where else in England is to be found so large and unspoilt a tract of country with so many high grass-covered hills, so many peopled valleys, so many crystal-clear rivers?…In these thousands of acres scarcely a blemish is visible.” (Marie Hartley, ‘The Yorkshire Dales’, 1956)

Her works are not only seen as records of her personal visits, but also as the reflections of the generation’s memories of Yorkshire from the last century.

If you are as new to Yorkshire as I am, I strongly recommend that you come to our exhibition, where some of Hartley’s books and drawings have been brought together, delivering a taste of how diverse Yorkshire is. Hopefully, you will be inspired by this region and go on to create your own art as Hartley did.

It has been a great experience to be involved in this project. I hope you also find joy wandering around our displays. Our exhibition will be on until 17th December. There will be a public celebration of our exhibition from 5pm to 8 pm on 8th December. Please take a map and postcard with you and feel free to hashtag #mariesyorkshire on social media. We hope you share your experiences of Yorkshire and bring them back to our exhibition.