YORK artist Gill Douglas and London artist and printmaker Anita Klein attended last Saturday's opening of The Christmas Collection exhibition at Pyramid Gallery, York.

Anita and Gill were on hand during the afternoon at the Stonegate gallery where their work is on show in both upstairs galleries.

The Christmas Collection combines "affordable, sometimes quirky" gifts with serious art, glassware and ceramics, plus handmade jewellery by more than 50 British designer makers, with Anna Noel, Dinny Pocock and Paul Smith among the exhibitors.

York Press:

Treasures Darkness, watercolour, by Gill Douglas

Gill Douglas, who was born in Newcastle, worked variously as a secretary and a social worker before completely changing direction at the age of 27.

After five years at art college, she qualified with a diploma in theatre design at Nottingham in 1976 and came to York to work as a designer for the Theatre Royal for a year.

A period of freelance designing followed and in 1989, after a lengthy time of illness, she began to paint again and started working full-time as an artist and theatre designer. By 1998 she was solely painting; in 2004 she began studying for a diploma in printmaking part-time at York College. Now, having bought her own printing press, she works as a painter and printmaker from The Lighthouse, her studio and home, high above the bustling street life of Petergate.

York Press:

Felt Wren Bobbin sculpture by Dinny Pocock

Anita Klein studied at Chelsea and the Slade Schools of Art. She is a fellow and past president of the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers and her work is in many private and public collections in Europe, the United States and Australia, including Arts Council England and the British Museum. She now divides her time between studios in London and Anghiari, Italy.

Gallery owner Terry Brett has been representing Klein for 23 years and has followed the evolution of her family through her work as an artist. "We both have two daughters of the same ages, and Anita records the minutiae of domestic and family life in her work that relate to my own circumstances," says Terry.

"Having been through the teenage years and the twenties with our kids, we're now both enjoying being grandparents – and it's all documented in Anita’s work, mostly as drypoint prints, but also as linocuts and paintings."

This year’s Christmas show also introduces new artists to Pyramid Gallery, not least Gloucester needlepoint felt artist Dinny Pocock, who uses felt to make small creatures and birds that she places on to domestic objects or toys. A felt wren sits atop an old hardback book about wrens, or a robin stands on a cotton reel, pulling at the thread; each piece has a narrative and each is skilfully made.

"Much of the work in this show can be seen or bought on the gallery website at pyramidgallery.com, but it's much more fun to visit our tiny shop on Stonegate and see the items displayed in the gallery," says Terry. "We think of the whole shop as a work of art and the displays change constantly, especially at this time of year when so many items are purchased and taken away every day."

The exhibition will run until January 10 and will be open daily from 10am to 5pm, except on Sundays, when the hours will be 11am to 4.30pm. Thursdays will have late-night opening until 8pm; Pyramid Gallery will be closed from 4pm on Christmas Eve to 11am on December 27 and on New Year's Day.