ARTISTS are looking skywards for inspiration for The Dark Skies exhibition at the North York Moors National Park's Inspired By...Gallery at Danby.

New pieces by more than 20 artists will go on show on February 10 to coincide with the National Park’s annual celestial festival, complemented by contributions from Len Tabner, Leeds Fine Arts and East Anglian Marine Artists.

Works depicting brooding storms, starry nights and more besides will be on show until April 16, and many of the artists have said how skyward glances moved them to interpret the skies in their work.

Landscape photographer Joe Cornish, for example, has chosen four images, including a new picture of five fishermen reeling in their lines at Staithes. "Dark skies are full of the doubt, suffering, toil, rage, depth, beauty, wonder and sometime sublime redemption of being fully human," he says.

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One of Peter Hicks's exhibits for The Dark Skies exhibition at the Inspired By...Gallery at Danby

Father and daughter Peter and Beverley Ann Hicks have created a series of paintings based on the dramatic skies they saw as they drove back to Danby after exhibiting at last September’s Staithes Festival of Art and Heritage. "Our pieces include one that has seldom been shown but which I consider to be amongst my best ever," says Peter.

Scarborough artist Kane Cunningham draws attention to the challenges of painting plein air when faced with less-than-ideal conditions: "My picture of Farndale was painted on the wettest day of the year. All the watercolour paint had washed off the paper. However, I managed to complete the picture with pastels under a canopy tied to my Land Rover."

Nocturnal animal life features in the exhibition too, such as a moon-gazing hare by sculptor Emma Stothard and ceramic studies of owls by Dave Cooke.

Sally Ann Smith, Inspired By's curator, says: "While the sky features in many pieces of art, making it the subject matter has enabled the artists to capture the power of the dark skies, whether it comes to evoking a particular mood, changing how the landscape looks or affects animal behaviour, or interpreting the National Park’s star-filled heavens at night."

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Sea Fishing, Staithes, by Joe Cornish

The exhibition will run until April 16 and will open with a special preview on February 10, followed by a Love In The Air Valentine’s afternoon on February 11, when visitors can meet the artists and listen to harp player Sarah Dean.

Look out too for a display of wearable handcrafted jewellery by Jackie Selcraig, etched silver and copper pieces by inkylinky's Liz Samways, from Leeds, and work by Jenny Weston that uses semi-precious stones.

The Dark Skies Festival is part of Destination Partnerships Moors and Dales, a project running until March 1 2019 that is designed to boost rural tourism across the four protected landscapes within North Yorkshire: the North York Moors National Park, Yorkshire Dales National Park, Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.