Our big picture Ltd, working in partnership with Grimsby Minster with support from Arts Council England and 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe, is preparing to present the first exhibition in the new season of Art in the Minster.

‘Betty’s Windows’, by local artist Jo Smith, will be on show from Wednesday, 13th June until Wednesday, 11th July 2018, and will be open Tuesday to Friday from 9.30am until 2.30pm and on Saturdays from 9.30am until 1pm. There will also be an evening viewing event on Wednesday, 13th June 2018 (from 68pm) in the Minster.

Betty’s Windows is described as a commissioned exhibition by our big picture, working with local textile artist and tutor Jo Smith. Described as an embroidered narrative using stitch, found windows, belongings and little histories, looking through Betty’s windows into the lives of her generation, the hidden ones and our elderly loved ones.

“I used to pass Betty’s house on my way to work in Cleethorpes,” says Jo.“You could tell it was a time capsule of a captured age and memoryWhen the house came up for sale, I had the opportunity to view it and glimpsed into a wonderful passed life. I often chatted to the builder who was converting the property, hence I rescued the old windows that were taken out, to make room for modern ones. 

“Through further research I found out that Betty was Betty Watkinson, a noted Cleethorpes botanist and historian who spent decades gathering a remarkable archive of meticulously researched material on the natural world, local history and architecture. Betty had published work and was credited with having first discovered bulbous meadow grass, a nationally scarce species that is usually only found in the south and south-east of England, on the old sand dunes.”

In looking ahead to the exhibition, Paula Denton, MD of our big picture Ltd, has said: “We are really looking forward to Jo’s exhibition launching our new season. The previous season of Art in the Minster exhibitions really showed how contemporary art within a heritage venue really enhances both the experience of the art and the heritage.”

Jo Smith is also leading on heirloom workshops for adults and schoolchildren, with a final exhibition of their work at a celebration ‘Tea with Betty’ day on Saturday, 7th July 2018. Our big picture is also working with talent portrait artist Jason Carlisle and is offering drawing and painting workshops. To book school or adult workshops, please email Paula or call 07793 114 180.

Tea with Betty

On Saturday, 7th July 2018 (from 11am until 3.30pm) at Grimsby Minster. Open to everyone (£2 per family or group on the door).

This event will be a cross-generational celebration of Jo Smiths exhibition. There will be drop-in crafts to create a family heirloom, an exhibition of work created by local schoolchildren and the opportunity to learn how to research family history with the Local History Library team. There will be an illustrated talk on Grimsby, and historian Emma Lingard will be carrying out short illustrated walks from the Minster (to last approximately one hour, please just turn up on the day; cost is £4 and includes entry to event).