Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
8:59 AM 14th November 2014

Now Far Ahead The Road Has Gone: An Exhibition of Art inspired by the Works of JRR Tolkien"

Opening at the Curzon Ripon Arts cinema venue with a 12th December Preview is an exhibition of diverse international artists inspired by the same source: the works of JRR Tolkien, with specific focus on "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings". The exhibition of Art, intended as a high-profile cultural event for Ripon, will open just days before the final instalment of "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" begins its screening run at Curzon.

The art on show will showcase the work of acclaimed Canadian artist Ted Nasmith, Polish artist Katarzyna Chmiel-Gugulska and local Ripon artist John Cockshaw. The presence of Ted Nasmith's work is a particularly high profile aspect; the established illustrator is due to have a new lavishly published release of George R.R Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire".

"The exhibition is designed to bring together three diverse styles of art inspired from the same starting point" says John Cockshaw, who undertook the coordination and curation of the exhibition, "Ted Nasmith's colourful technical illustrations possess a sense of photographic realism, Katarzyna's conceptual charcoal and graphite work focus on character and really pull you into the emotional world of Tolkien's characters. My own photo manipulation work edges into surrealism and implies the viewpoint of many assorted characters. So although different, there is a connective relationship between all three."

John (Artist, Tolkienist, film aficionado and member of The Tolkien Society), having had the opportunity to exhibit his Tolkien-inspired artwork in Birmingham, Oxford, Seville, São Paolo and Bonn was able to build the contacts needed to attract the other artists to North Yorkshire.

"It was evident that a great use of the display space at Curzon, and an excellent opportunity to use the popular Hobbit films as a platform, would be to showcase a diverse range of art and present a thought-provoking show to the public." Being local to the venue, I've been well placed to pull it all together in quite a short time frame."

John Cockshaw is hoping to build on his recent artistic successes with the curation of this show; in September he presented a talk on his artwork in Oxford to an audience from The Tolkien Society and currently has two Tolkien-themed books in the works with Oloris Publishing; an exclusive art book "Wrath, Ruin and A Red Nightfall: The Art of John Cockshaw" and a collaboration with poet Janet Alvarez on a book of Tolkien-inspired poetry titled "A Sailor's Quest".

"Oloris, the Canadian-based publisher I am collaborating with on these two book projects are enthusiastically sending me a range of publicity materials to have on show at the exhibit venue. They are a young publisher who have been in operation a little over two years and they have a great wealth of writers and artists to showcase."

The exhibition "Now Far Ahead The Road Has Gone" will present an exciting artistic vision for fans of Middle-earth and film fans alike. Not only will the event coincide with 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' but it will be well-timed with a two part illustrated article written by John for the US-based magazine Film Score Monthly that presents a reflective and artistic celebration of Howard Shore's music for all of Peter Jackson's Middle-earth films.

The exhibition can be viewed in the main Studio space and reception areas on the first floor of the venue. The artwork on display can be viewed daily, according to cinema opening times until the start of the last evening screening, from Saturday 13th December up until the 30th of January 2015. Scholarly contributions to the Art on show will feature from Hamburg-based curator Becky Dillon and Leeds-based Archaeologist Shaun Richardson.

The exhibition is kindly sponsored by Square Studios in Harrogate.